Sad news over the weekend that at 84, Tim Conway is in the advanced stages of dementia.
I don’t know of anyone who wasn’t a huge fan of his work on The Carol Burnett Show (where he wasn’t even a regular cast member until later in the series, if you can believe it).
The best moments were when Conway would crack up his cast members. I once interviewed Carol Burnett, and she told me that none of the cast knew what Conway was going to do in advance, nor did the crew.
Conway would keep his ad-lib ideas to himself, but before the taping, he would simply tell the director something like, “When I go over to the window, make sure you have a wide shot so you can see my knees”. Then, he’d go to it.
Harvey Korman was particularly helpless when it came to Conway’s lunacy, and Burnett told me that “poor Harvey” was a serious performer, who never wanted to break up during a scene. Of course, that was blood in the water for Conway!
Never was Conway better – unfortunately for Korman – than in this classic.