The death of Tim Conway marks the end of an era of wonderful American comedy that was based on simple things and aimed at a general audience.
Tim Conway was truly one of the funniest men in my remembered lifetime. Or maybe it was just that magical alchemy on the Carol Burnett show, especially in sketches with Harvey Korman. When I need a laugh I return to some of those sketches like a homing pigeon.
What’s especially delightful about Tim Conway’s comedic moments is that they deal with every day things. There are no politics, no wokeness, no identity issues — he just brought us ordinary situations in which human beings are being very, very silly in a wonderful way.
By the way, a lot of what Conway did was improvised. He’d rehearse it straight and then, with the director’s permission, throw surprises at his co-stars. The results were magical.
By the time he died, Tim Conway had already been retired from show business for a very long time. His passing, though, really represents the last gasp of an American style of entertainment meant for all Americans, not just for minute segments steeped in identity politics and voluntary misery.
Here are some of my favorite Tim Conway sketches from a man who lit up the screen with his wonderful humor: