Tim Conway was never upset that The Carol Burnett Show kept most of their sketches clean

The actor didn't mind his family-friendly label.

Some comedians thrive under certain constraints and pressures, while some may chafe at the limitations placed upon them, concerned that all these rules and regulations may hinder their creative freedom.

Tim Conway, who kept much of his material relatively G-rated, didn't feel that the aims to do so impeded his success; rather, he felt the exact opposite. In an interview with the Press and Sun-Bulletin, Conway stated that comedy for a more family-friendly audience created a situation where "you don't have to apologize for anything when you get through."

Conway continued, "Looking back, I am much more comfortable with what I did than had I accepted a lot of things in this business that would have led me in another direction."

Conway was pleased with his decision to keep his comedy clean, and it meant that he was perfect for a spot on The Carol Burnett Show. Burnett herself was keen to keep the content on her series fun for everyone to enjoy, and intentionally avoided divisive topics. Conway said, "Carol was very careful in keeping a very broad audience. She was never political, she never mentioned religion, and she never tore apart anybody. So the show was very friendly to the audience." Conway also added that the decision to keep things fairly clean never really felt like a compromise. He said, "We just didn't think of doing it any other way."

This didn't mean that Conway looked down on those who didn't follow his comedic path. Rather, he stated that one of his favorite comedians at the time was Richard Pryor. Conway said, "As far as comedians go, I think Richard Pryor is probably one of the most brilliant comics that come along in a long time, and I don't think his acts have been duplicated."

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13 Comments

Jimtypes 27 days ago
Tim Conway tried so many ways to be a frontman in tv comedies. But he was always best as an ensemble player. See some McHale's Navy shows and Burnett episodes for proof.
MsRockford74 1 month ago
I prefer the clean comics:) What's so original about using dirty language or swearing in your act? Def not classy:(
timothys71 1 month ago
Count me among those who admire comedians who keep their act clean.
knightwing 1 month ago
I always heard it was harder to be a clean comic than a dirty one.
RDDavis58 knightwing 25 days ago
Always easy-to-use least common denominator.
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LalaLucy 1 month ago
One of the reasons he remains a family favorite. Proof you can be hilarious and clean. ❤️
MaryMitch 1 month ago
The thing is... Back in the day, I thought Richard Pryor was extremely funny. But I caught him on a couple Ed Sullivan reruns, and I didn't think he was funny at all. His humor just didn't age well.

Yet when I watch Carol Burnett reruns, I often laugh out loud. So it's stood the test of time.
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MrsPhilHarris 1 month ago
Love both of those skits.
LalaLucy 1 month ago
Love them, too. When those skits come on, everyone knows they will not have my attention till they are done. 🙂
Moverfan 15 days ago
And Lyle started laughing when the puppet started singing! (🎵Someone's in the kitchen with Dinah, someone's in the kitchen, I knoooow... 🎶)
Runeshaper 1 month ago
Keeping it clean was probably not super easy, but I'm glad that the pat the Burnett chose (-:
LoveMETV22 1 month ago
An interesting picture for the article. LOL!
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