When I was a little gay boy growing up in the quaint suburbs of El Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe, playing in the Lincoln Glen Little League, I would stand in deep left field praying that the ball wouldn’t come to me… for surely I would drop it.
However, there was one other thought that came to my mind: Carol Burnett is on tonight! In the early 70’s the greatest night for television was Saturday night. All in the Family, The Jeffersons, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show and capped off with the always hysterical The Carol Burnett Show. (CBS was not too original on their titles, were they?)
Carol Burnett was by far my favorite because it was such a great show—so many great characters. I used to wait for the inevitable moment when Tim Conway and Harvey Korman would try and make each other laugh. There was that moment—that slight smile—that let the other know that they had them. And they would exploit it until the other broke character. Harvey usually played straight man to Tim’s goofiness, but every now and again, Harvey would get Tim.
And it was classic.
One of my favorite lines of all time was spoken by Harvey, in the 1974 classic Blazing Saddles: “You will be risking your lives, whilst I will be risking an almost-certain Academy Award nomination for the Best Supporting Actor.”
Harvey Korman passed away today after a four month battle from a rupture of an abdominal aortic aneurysm. He was 81.
While I had not seen him on television in quite some time, I must admit I got teary-eyed when I heard of his passing. He provided many wonderful memories during my childhood and his passing pushes that time of innocence farther away.
Thank you, Harvey, for helping to fill my childhood with laughter. You will be missed.
Oh, and Harvey? When you get to heaven, be sure to “go out and do that voodoo, that you do… so WE-E-E-E-LLLL!
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