Harvey Korman’s Quick Costume Change Backstage Hits a Brick Wall with Tim Conway’s “Oldest Man” Sketch
Watch pompous Broadway star “Mr. Henderson” deal with the oldest, slowest customer in showbiz history
Do you remember the nonstop, slide-splitting zaniness of The Carol Burnett Show? Tim Conway and Harvey Korman were cast regulars on the hit comedy and musical variety show that swept the country for eleven years.
Although never officially a comedy team like Abbott & Costello, the two comic geniuses often joined forces on this hilarious series because they were such a big favorite with audiences.
In this knockout sketch, Korman plays the harried Mr. Henderson, who’s due back onstage in just a few minutes, and needs to quickly change into another costume. When he encounters Tim Conway’s beloved character known as “the oldest man,” it’s a real showstopper.
Even removing Harvey’s fake mustache becomes a complex operation, and wait till you see what happens when Tim tries to resew a button onto Harvey’s vest. You’ll be rolling in the floor laughing.
The one-liners and sight gags come nonstop. We won’t ruin the big finish, but let’s say it involves Tim Conway and an electric garment conveyer.
As was nearly always the case when these two clowns took the stage, there is much ad-libbing in this skit, and Harvey naturally breaks into fits of giggles watching Tim’s antics. His struggles to remain in character are half the fun of watching this zany duo in action.
This sketch is particularly hard on Korman, who completely loses it at the midpoint and never regains his composure. You’ll be guffawing right along with him.
We bet you didn’t know this fun bit of showbiz trivia: Tim and Harvey’s first time working together was in the late 1960s on The Danny Kaye Show. They cherished the experience so much that when Tim became a regular on The Carol Burnett Show nearly ten years later, both men were thrilled and couldn’t wait to collaborate.
Fans of this viral video are giving it five-star reviews. “Crying over here! One of the best reactions from Harvey! I love them together… Tim is always cracking him up as well as me!”
“There is a reason people are still watching these programs up to 50 years after they were originally performed. Though silly, they were smartly written and performed by hilarious and talented people. I laughed until my gut ached, too,” wrote another nostalgic fan.