Mel Brooks said that Harvey Korman was a ''dazzling'' comic talent

The director described his collaborator perfectly.

For fans of classic TV, Harvey Korman's legacy is inseparable from The Carol Burnett Show. It's like the show was designed to capitalize on his strengths as a performer. He had impeccable timing and was able to collaborate with the show's ensemble cast to create countless memorable sketches. Korman brought gravity to every role. If he was a sketch's voice of reason, he was believable. Or, if he was the source of comedy, it was all the funnier to see him in undignified situations.

That same skill set translated to the world of movies. Specifically, Korman enjoyed a fruitful relationship with comedy auteur Mel Brooks. Together they made four funny movies, Blazing Saddles, History of the World, Part 1, High Anxiety, and Dracula: Dead and Loving It. Each movie was elevated by Korman's presence, and he made the material shine with his delivery.

When Harvey Korman passed away in 2008, Brooks was just one of Korman's peers to eulogize the late actor in the press. Alongside luminaries like Carol Burnett and Tim Conway, Brooks spoke frankly about his departed friend's aptitude for hilarity. In the quotes that Brooks provided to the Associated Press, the comedy legend succinctly described what it was that made Korman so special.

"I gave him tongue twisters because I knew he was the only one who could wrap his mouth around them," said Brooks. "Harvey was such a good solid actor that he could have done Shakespearean drama just as well and easily as he did comedy."

Brooks said that Korman was a "dazzling" comic talent.

"You could get rock-solid comedy out of him. He could lift the material. He always made it real, always made it work, always believed in characters he was doing," said Brooks.

Do you have a favorite Harvey Korman performance? Let us know in the comments section below!

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19 Comments

HopeDuchaine 16 days ago
I love everything about Carol Burnett; She is smart, funny and amazing. Tim Conway and Harvey Kornan were comical and witty. I still watch the show at 11pm on ME-TV
Amandaschaos 29 days ago
I love both shows, I watch Mama's family over, and over. I enjoyed the episodes especially after her grandson Bubba showed up. It reminds me of better times, the "Mama's I remember growing up" Just the row of having dinner every night sitting down all together, simpler times
Henderson 1 month ago
Count da money! "It's De-moe-nay!" Lol!!
professorecho 1 month ago
Although it stupidly descends into trying to make drunk driving funny, I think the most hilarious Harvey Korman ever was is in the 1969 film THE APRIL FOOLS, starring Jack Lemmon. Korman and Jack Weston play two drunk commuters who are so incredibly funny trying to coach Lemmon on his plans for adultery. Weston was a master at playing drunks and Korman matched him perfectly. The drunk driving bits aren’t funny, but before that, Korman and Weston are superb.
Garydude 1 month ago
I remember an episode of the Wild Wild West where Harvey played the bad guy in a dramatic role. It was wonderful .to see that side of him. He played the bad guy in Blazing Saddles but of course that was a comedy.
24JayBabi4 1 month ago
I can't pick just one Harvey Korman movie, show, or moment.....He had far too to do that. Let's just say he was amazing, from an amazing era and I'm glad there was Carol Burnett and Mel Brooks to showcase his brilliance.
LalaLucy 1 month ago
He had the best timing. He could play the straight man and be a buffoon with the best. He had so many great moments, it is hard to choose just one. Anything that paired him and Tim was comedy gold, of course...but, also love him in any Brooks production, too.
Cydmac1022 1 month ago
HK was brilliant in every thing he did. We would watch the Carol Burnett reruns if it wasn't on at 11:00 p.m. maybe it could be moved to an earlier time slot?
timothys71 Cydmac1022 1 month ago
It is currently airing half an hour earlier on Sunday nights.
Irish 1 month ago
My two favorite skits of Harvey Korman are the one that is with Tim Conway together playing undercover cops. Tim was dressed as a woman. Hilarious. The other one was in the dentist's office. Tim playing a newly graduated dentist and Harvey in the chair. Tim Conway admitted that Harvey actually wet himself laughing in that piece of comedic genious. What a great comedy team they were on TCBS.
Pacificsun 1 month ago
I don't really care. But if you're not intentionally removing comments for no reason, then there's something wrong with your website (Admiral). I think it's been happening to other comments too. Meaning, I'm not seeing other regular contributors as in the past. And none of us are controversial or disruptive. In fact we wouldn't be supporters if we didn't enjoy Classic TV.
CoreyC 1 month ago
Harvey Korman can play both sides funnyman and straight man.
Sway 1 month ago
Such a versatile talent, underrated.
FloridaTopCat 1 month ago
Blazing Saddles!
Even when seeing him now and then on Carol Burnett reruns, my first thought remains, "Lili, Lili, Lili..."
Hedley Lives!
Andybandit 1 month ago
I loved HK on TCBS, especially his skits with TC. He was also good as the voice of Gazo on The Flintstones, and Ed on MF.
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