Tag Archives: Carol Burnett Show

Actor: Tim Conway

Simply put, Tim Conway was the funniest man on one of the funniest programs in television history, The Carol Burnett Show. Uploaded by ourprattville.com.

Tim Conway had a successful run on a very popular sitcom as Ensign Charles Parker on McHale’s Navy (1962-66.) He had leading roles in several movies (including The Apple Dumpling Gang with Don Knotts, 1975). He even had his own sitcom (The Tim Conway Show) and variety hour (The Tim Conway Razzle Dazzle Hour). But you can pretty much ignore all that. Because what took Tim Conway into the Comedy Hall of Fame is his eleven years as the funniest person on one of America’s all-time funniest programs: The Carol Burnett Show.

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The show taped twice on Friday nights. Usually, Conway would play it by the script for the first take. But on the second taping, he’d ad lib and improvise, and the rest of the cast was helpless with laughter. Especially Harvey Korman, who often played Conway’s straight man. Their interactions remain some of the funniest moments in television history.

Conway’s most memorable character was probably the long-suffering Mr.

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Tudball, who had to endure the hopeless Mrs. Wiggins. These performances were chief among the reasons Conway won four Emmy for the show (he’s since won two more for guest appearances on Coach and 30 Rock).  In fact, Conway is the reason that someone had to invent YouTube. His performances are captured there, and you can easily watch them all night. Like this improvised bit on elephants, possibly the funniest skit ever on an all-time classic show.

TV Show: The Mary Tyler Moore Show

On CBS Saturday night during the 70s, the lineup included The Mary Tyler Moore Show, MASH, All in the Family, The Bob Newhart Show, and The Carol Burnett Show. Wow. Uploaded by nytimes.com.

When Mary Richards showed up in our homes, we didn’t quite know what to make of her. A single woman in her 30s? Not widowed or divorced? Not dependent on a man? Happy with her career? Credit not only Mary Tyler Moore, but show creators James Brooks and Allan Burns with bringing something completely new and original to American TV.

The Mary Tyler Moore Show was for many years a part of the Saturday night lineup on CBS, the strongest night of television ever. Consider this lineup – All in the Family, M*A*S*H (Great American Things, Nov. 5, 2009), The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show, and The Carol Burnett Show. A TV hall of fame all one one night.

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The titles said the show was about Mary Tyler Moore, but this was the epitome of sitcom by ensemble. What a remarkable cast of characters: the irascible Lou Grant (Ed Asner), the long-suffering Murray (Gavin MacLeod), the pompous Ted (Ted Knight), the buddy Rhoda (Valerie Harper), the two-faced Sue Ann (Betty White), the snobbish Phyllis (Cloris Leachman), and the naive Georgette (Georgia Engel). What a cast.

Mary worked in the newsroom of WJM TV in Minneapolis, an unusual workplace in a city not known to most viewers. She had an office family we enjoyed getting to know, and a roommate we identified with. The characters grew and developed during the show’s seven-year run, and the humor was more character-driven than was typical at the time.

The show earned lots of awards, both during and after its run. It won 29 Emmys, including Outstanding Comedy Series in 1975, 1976, and 1977. The show received a Peabody Award in 1977 for having “established the benchmark by which all situation comedies must be judged.” In 1977, TV Guide ranked the “Chuckles Bites the Dust” episode as number one on their list of the Greatest Episodes of All Time. In 2002, the magazine named the show as number 11 on its 50 Greatest Shows of All Time.

If you remember the show, one scene that will always stay with you occurred during the opening credits, as Mary tossed her hat into the air. The theme show was right: “You’re gonna make it after all…”