Tim Conway would save his improvisations for live tapings of ''The Carol Burnett Show''

Conway liked to keep his costars on their toes.

Shout! Factory, LLC

Many professionals will tell you that in any line of work, preparation is the key to success. Whether you're getting ready for an important meeting or just working on your day-to-day tasks, it pays to be prepared for anything. As one of the most successful comedians of our time, it's interesting that Tim Conway did not subscribe to this belief.

According to an interview with the Journal and Courier, Conway revealed that, in some skits during the taping of The Carol Burnett Show, the actor preferred to improvise moments that his costars were otherwise unprepared for. Conway was a regular cast member on the series.

"I always save things for the actual taping," he said. "Some come on the spur of the moment, and some I keep in the back of my mind."

In an interview with the Press-Telegram, Harvey Korman spoke about Conway, his friend and costar. While both Korman and Conway were known as talented sketch comedians, they were also talented at improvisation, a skill they often took advantage of.

"No matter how many times we rehearse, Tim never does anything the same way," Korman said. "He's got a great comic mind and he's always testing new gags or bits of business." Conway's penchant for winging things wasn't a source of annoyance for Korman; rather, it was a source of joy.

"I can't help falling apart because I'm one of his greatest fans," Korman said. "It's his fault I break up. It's impossible to be around him and keep a straight face."

The feeling was mutual for Conway, who found Korman just as entertaining as Korman seemed to find him. "Harvey Korman and I are always breaking each other up at rehearsals," he said.

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5 Comments

PDCougar 17 days ago
Here's what I've wanted to know for a VERY long time: Does the tape still exist of the FIRST version of "The Dentist", before Time added all of his famous wild antics during the 2nd taping that totally destroyed Harvey Korman? And -- related to that -- how was "The Dentist" skit SUPPOSED to go -- as it was originally scripted? (Seems hard to imagine what the storyline was intended to be, without all the memorable stuff Tim added during the 2nd taping.)
canttouchthis 18 days ago
Conway and Korman the 2 that made Carol's Show..
Conway always had me on the floor Laughing i almost wet my pants.
Especially the Dentist.
The_Great_Gazoo 18 days ago
In one of Carol Burnett’s books she tells more about Tim’s antics. They shot two runthroughs of the show on consecutive nights, and the director and producers would pick the best performance of each of the skits or segment . When the first night’s show was done Tim would ask the director if he got what he wanted in his sketches. If the director said yes then the next night Tim would let loose and see what he could get away with, knowing that if it didn’t work they had one good take to use for broadcast. Needless to say the second version often made it to air because it was funnier with Conway’s expert touches.
Coachb 19 days ago
Classics
The Dentist visit
The Elephant Story
McGillahooala 20 days ago
Nothing is funnier on the Carol Burnett Show than Tim Conway cracking up the rest of the cast.
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