Tuesday, November 12, 2013
AN EVENING WITH CAROL BURNETT AND TIM CONWAY
TWO OF AMERICA'S BELOVED COMEDY STARS
CAROL BURNETT AND TIM CONWAY WERE AT THE SABAN THEATRE as part of a book tour to plug Tim's new book, "What's So Funny?' And what was so funny? Seeing Carol and Tim together again. They clearly adore one another, and just one look or a tiny gesture from either one of them sends them into fits of laughter. It was fabulous going over the old days of variety shows shot before live audiences.
Caro's show was shot every Friday at CBS. She shot her "dress" show at 5, and then the "air show" at 8. Very frequently, Tim changed everything he did, and the air version barely resembled the dress version. That is why it was so hard for Carol, and particularly Harvey Korman to keep a straight face. I was a very lucky girl. I attended both the dress and air shows every week for at least five years.
Carol and Tim and the audience agreed what a shame it was that a variety show with music, sketches and songs wasn't on the air anymore. "It will happen again one day," said Carol. "We had our time.We were the last one still going. Times changes, but all it takes is one person to successfully do a new variety show and others will follow."
"I just wish there were good half-hour sitcoms like 'Newhart' or 'Mary' today that were clean and relied on excellent writing. I miss that"---Carol
"Carol wrote the forward of my book. It was so long, that it had more pages than my whole book"---Tim Conway
"I had very peculiar parents. They were certifiable. My father did evrything backwards. Once he installed a new doorbell and it rang all the time. Only when someone came to the door and pushed it would it stop. You'd suddenly hear silence and my father'd say, 'I'll get it!'"---Tim Conway
"My goal in life was to destroy Harvey Korman. Remember the dentist sketch with the novocaine business? Harvey tried to hard not to laugh that he wet his pants."---Tim Conway
"I first met Lucille Ball when she came back stage at an early 'Once Upon a Mattress' performance. She was very complimentary and told me, 'Anything I can do for you, Kid, you let me know.' She always called me, Kid. So one day she was a guest on my show and during a break we went to the Farmer's Market on Fairfax for dinner. I believe she had two Whisky Sours. She said, 'You sure are lucky you have your husband, Joe, to do things. (Joe Hamilton was exec producer of Carol's show.) 'When I was married to the Cuban,' continued Lucy, 'it was great. He did everything for me. If a scene wasn't any good, he'd take care of it. Then I found myself alone on another series. I saw that a scene wasn't working and he wasn't there to help me. I left the set, went back to my office and said, 'What would Desi do?' Well, I called a meeting of the staff and I really told them how bad the script was and that they'd better fix it and don't do bad work again. Kid, that was when they put the 's' on the end of my name." Then Carol added, "I'm still trying to grow balls."
And by the way, hiding out at the back of the theatre were Queen Latifah and Bob Newhart.