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Interview With Harvey Korman and Tim Conway

Aired December 31, 2002 - SHOW   ET



LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Carol Burnett's legendary, hilarious comic duo, Tim Conway and Harvey Korman.

Spend New Year's Even laughing yourself silly (UNINTELLIGIBLE), next on LARRY KING LIVE.


Have we got a treat for you tonight. In the spirit of the holiday season, we bring together two of the comedian geniuses of America, Tim Conway and Harvey Korman, both of whom we've seen on "The Carol Burnett Show," and so many (UNINTELLIGIBLE). And now they're doing an act together in Las Vegas. They're going to be at the Stardust Hotel.

What kind of act do you do? What is the act? You've always been comedic actors.

TIM CONWAY, COMEDIAN: Yes. It's a sell-out. I was going to do this for about four years...

KING: Give me an idea.

CONWAY: We do a variety. We're bringing back Vaudeville. It's hard, because television's getting in the way, but...

KING: Harvey, you might want to...

KORMAN: No, no, no.

CONWAY: He wants to know how the show's going. The show, our show.

KORMAN: I have a guest?

CONWAY: Yes, you will -- He's going to be fine.

KORMAN: Is my clothes (ph) in?

CONWAY: Yes. You've got good color.

KING: May I ask you...?


KING: What do you do on stage?

KORMAN: He does -- I do a little bit of stand-up, he does a little bit of stand-up, and we have a wonderful woman with us named Louise DuArt, who is a marvelous impersonist. And we do sketches that nobody does in nightclubs any more.

We do -- he does the old man, he does the store (ph), and we do sketches like...

KING: ... Last time, sketches like burlesque (ph).

KORMAN: It's just like being in Vaudeville.

CONWAY: Yes, we're in Vaudeville. We're going backwards. Yes.

KORMAN: So the audience gets a chance to see us, you know, performing...

KING: Doing your old sets (ph).

KORMAN: Sex? Oh, I have sex all the time.


KORMAN: Oh, sets. Sets!

CONWAY: Yes. I don't know.

KING: When did you know you'd come back together (ph)?


KING: How did it come about?

CONWAY: I had an offer to go to the Fox (ph) Club in Connecticut, and it...

KING: Head of the comedy world (ph)?

CONWAY: Right. Yes. Huge.

KING: It was for yourself, was it (ph)?

CONWAY: No. They said bring along somebody, and I couldn't find anybody, but Harvey was out walking. I got custody of him when the show ran out (ph), and so I go up and see him once in awhile. And he said he'd do it. We did it, and it just absolutely exploded and it's been that way ever since.

It's sold out every time. We buy all the tickets to make sure of that.

KING: Do you enjoy the club scene as opposed to television, theater and stock...?

KORMAN: It's not so much the club as we kind of make it into, like, theater. It's kind of like revue, like cabaret. It's like, you know, doing our show. And I get a chance to play with him, and we play on each other back and forth. And he still believes (ph) in breaking me up a lot, and he comes up with stuff all the time.

KING: He does. This face. This man, how can you stay straight?

KORMAN: You can't.

CONWAY: Well, he's a very poor performer, too. I think you have to take that into consideration, too.

KING: If he was a good performer, a good performer wouldn't do that.

KORMAN: You what the important thing is about us, is -- us getting out into the country is that we meet so many people whose lives we've affected, whose lives we've impacted. And that goes for the older people who sit under the lights, you know, and talk to the audience, you see a lot of white hair. But there's a lot of 50's and a lot of boomers and a lot of kids in their 30's that grew up with us.

And they come back after -- after the show and talk to us, really moving, about what an important part we played in their growing up. And...

KING: Let's get into a little history of Conway and Korman. You had your own show for awhile (ph)?

CONWAY: Several. Oh, yes. A lot of them. Yes...

KING: You were on...?

KORMAN: I had a couple of shots and then finally when someone said to me, "You're not a star."

CONWAY: I said...

KORMAN: Was that you? Or was that one of the networks who said, "you're not a star"?

KING: How did you handle that?

KORMAN: I cried, I got depressed, and I finally got bombed. You have to have a certain persona to be a star, you know, and I don't have that. I'm a banana.

KING: Second -- second banana?

KORMAN: Second banana, you know, and...

KING: What about him?

KORMAN: He's also a banana. CONWAY: We're also banana -- We're more comfortable in that spot...

KING: You don't want to be the star?


KING: When you had your own show?

CONWAY: I hated it.

KING: You did a scene once, where (UNINTELLIGIBLE) we could have a pilot approved for a show for NBC, but they did not know you were even doing the pilot.

KORMAN: Oh, I see.

KING: And it could get on the schedule just by rumor. (ph)

CONWAY: That's right.

KING: Now if the LARRY KING SHOW starts this ball, they'd be afraid to deny it. You could get a time slot, and no one will ever admit to it.

CONWAY: It has to go on (ph). But actually, we're still doing the "Burnett Show." We go on every Friday and do the show. They don't tape it. But we go down there every Friday in Burbank (ph). (UNINTELLIGIBLE) probably a couple of years.

KING: I bet it's as funny as ever, too.

KORMAN: Oh, it's wonderful.

KING: What first drew you two together was what?

CONWAY: He was not on "The Danny Kaye Show." I did "The Danny Kaye Show," but he was part of "The Danny Kaye Show" at the time. We didn't work together.

The first time we worked together was on "Burnett."

KORMAN: Yes. Yes.

KING: Did you come up with the idea (ph)? Did Burnett do it? Did someone tell you to?

CONWAY: I think I brought in a piece of material that included somebody else and didn't specify (ph) that person.

KING: Was it a hit (ph) right away? Were the two of you...?

CONWAY: I believe so. This is...

KORMAN: I have a talent for anybody who looks at me becomes a big star. And anything that I say, anything I say, the next person that talks will get a big laugh. I don't know how that works. So I've got a reputation for being the straight man, and I've worked with the best. I've worked with Danny Kaye, Jack Benny (ph), Lucy, you know?

KING: What's the secret of a good straight man? Because you're a funny straight man. Another funny straight man, Dean Martin was a straight man.

KORMAN: And funny.

KING: And funny.

KORMAN: And I'll tell you somebody else who was a straight man and considers himself a straight man and describes himself as one, Cary Grant. He said to me once, he said, "You know, we're straight men." And I went, "We are?" And he says, "Yes." And he knew all of our stuff, and he says, "That's just the point when I would have broken up." That's not a good impression.

CONWAY: That was? (ph)

KING: George Burns.

KORMAN: Now that was his favorite straight man. His idol was George Burns.

KING: When he was with Gracie, he was the straight man. And the straight man gets reactions.

CONWAY: Yes, absolutely.

KING: What is it -- You don't have a straight manner (ph)?

CONWAY: No. I'm an instigator, yes.

But Harvey -- if you -- if you throw the ball, you have to have somebody catching it and throwing it right back to you, to make a decent team (ph). And most straight men try to be funny and try to, you know, jump in and take over and things like that. But the important thing is to know, both the straight man and the comics, both of us are really straight men in life (ph).

KORMAN: How to turn the guy on so that he gets (ph) -- you know who's a fabulous straight man? Bud Abbot.


KORMAN: Because he knew how to turn on Lou Costello (ph).

KING: Is it written, is it planned?

KORMAN: No, well no. But think of Lou Costello without Bud Abbot.

KING: And think of the gloomy figure of Lou trying to do (ph) the baseball team. KORMAN: Oh, you mean "Who's on First?"

KING: Laurel and Hardy. (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

CONWAY: All I can say, it's a lot of stuff to watch (ph).

KING: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) the two of you.


KORMAN: Now he's doing the straight man.

CONWAY: That's good, that's good.

KING: Well, you make it so easy.

KORMAN: You do very well with him.

KING: Well, your show, you had one of your shows truly make it (ph).

CONWAY: A little bit.

KING: You had one show that...

CONWAY: Yes. I had, oh, the "Tim Conway Show," had four of those. And an airplane (ph) show with Bill Flynn (ph) and a detective show, I think. I'm truly not comfortable in that first spot. I would much rather be -- you know, that's why I enjoyed the "Burnett Show" so much. You come in and do something funny and be on the top for...

KING: And we'll talk about the part that you played when we come right back.

KORMAN: What do you mean?

KING: When we come back.

KORMAN: Why are we taking a break?

KING: It's for commercials.

KORMAN: Oh. The fee.

KING: I guess -- Tim Conway and Harvey Korman. Happy holidays from all of us at CNN from -- Is it Korman and Conway or Conway and Korman?

KORMAN: Conway and Korman.

CONWAY: Conway and Korman.

KORMAN: Although in Abbott and Costello, and straight man was first. That's a very interesting concept.

CONWAY: Let's talk about it. KING: I think it was alphabetical.

KORMAN: No, no. In those days, the straight man came first.

KING: Martin and Lewis.

KORMAN: Yes, there you go.

CONWAY: Hello? I learned a long time ago...

KORMAN: We'll be right back.

KING: We'll be right back. Don't go away.


CONWAY: You been watching (UNINTELLIGIBLE) (ph)? Well, with those poor boys and that bitch, that's what you get (ph). That big bomber's seen a lot of guys that had a big knob in their head (ph). We're going to let it down (ph). Terrible. What kind of question (UNINTELLIGIBLE)



CAROL BURNETT, COMEDIAN: (singing) You light up my life. You give me hope to carry on. You light up my days and fill my nights. It can't be wrong when it feels so right. Cause you...


KING: We're back with Tim Conway and Harvey Korman here on our program. And I said -- or, you were going to say something when we went to break?

KORMAN: There were a number of things I was going to say. But, if he had a number of chances to have his own show, and he never went beyond 13 weeks. So his license plate says, "13WKS" on it.

Now, he was canceled a lot, but -- and we were canceled once.

CONWAY: At ABC. A guy came down from the executives and actually said, "Stop doing this." And we did.

KORMAN: I got canceled in the middle of making the pilot.

KING: And how is that possible?

KORMAN: I was doing a pilot for ABC. The executive came in, saw what we were doing and said, "It's over." Well, can we finish, at least? No, it's over.

CONWAY: I was canceled while the show was on the air, it was "Turn On." Phil Silver (ph) had a show called "Turn On."

KING: Right. I loved it.

CONWAY: He had a show called "Turn On." It premiered in New York, we had a premiere party out here, and as it came across the country, it was being canceled. That's how fast. When it got to California, it was canceled. Very insensitive jokes (ph). But in Cleveland, they shut it off. Thirty minutes in, it's over.

KING: Let's just get to some of the famous skits (ph)? You and Eunice (ph), (UNINTELLIGIBLE), always at odds with their mother for every little thing. On that, you had to play a real kind of angry (ph)...


KORMAN: It was right here.

BURNETT: No, he wasn't. He was there.

KORMAN: He was right here.

BURNETT: He was not.

KORMAN: You're just trying to take advantage of your mother's stupid move just so's I can lose the game.


KORMAN: It was very uncomfortable doing that. I never felt comfortable doing that part. I always felt like it was not right for me and that I was unbelievable. "But it really is so lovable," and I said no.

CONWAY: Well, it was brilliant. That's probably the reason. I mean, you're nothing like this guy (ph). This would be a New York football (ph) type.

KORMAN: You're lying.

CONWAY: Oh, is that what you thought?

KORMAN: There's no such thing as a New York puzzle (ph).

CONWAY: Oh, isn't there?

KING: That's a New York puzzle (ph). That's a new word.

KORMAN: I want to bring something up at this point, and it's something that I think we didn't cover. Tim Conway was so brilliant on "The Carol Burnett Show" and the main reason was because Carol gave him so much space, gave him so much latitude.


CONWAY: I kind of felt sorry for them. I'd go, hello there, elephant. And he'd go, Woo!" All they can do is just bow and go, "(noise)". KORMAN: She was standing on the stage sometimes with egg on her face, because this now took 20 minutes to do something that should have taken a minute.

I can't see with any other star that would have tolerated that. But she was so good, she was so good to us and moved us to...

KING: There's no one like her.

KORMAN: No one.

KING: You made her laugh, though, you guys. And that's...

CONWAY: I don't think it was ability, to tell you, so much (ph).

KORMAN: I mean, we had on our show, we had marriages, divorces and other stuff going on. And that was just me.

KING: How about Mr. Tedball (ph) and Mrs. Wiggins?

CONWAY: Now that was a sketch that came out of a real life kind of situation. I was a writer on a show so I could literally write one thing and say something else. That's why I introduced (ph) it myself.

So we had a secretary on the show and our offices were down at the end, and we set up an intercom system, but it was the one where if you press the button, you could no longer hear a person. So you would go, "Betty, would you come in...?" And she'd go, "Hello?" "Now Betty, would you...?" "Hello?" "Betty, don't press the..." "Hello."

And I said, "Don't press the button while I'm talking to you."


CONWAY: And I'd just begun to wonder if you...?


CONWAY: Yes, I wonder if you...?

BURNETT: Hello, hello?


KING: Where did you get that accent?

CONWAY: I have no idea. Well, on all the sketches I did on that show, I think it's something about the script. You just kind of...


CONWAY: Well, we had the -- And the reason I think that that went so well is because it was a voice where you really didn't have to have any jokes. You could just talk, "Well, thank you very much." And it was the voice; if you look at the script, there's nothing (ph).

KING: The "Gone with the Wind" sketch.

KORMAN: Oh, that is our wonderful thing where she says, "I've got to make myself a dress." And she takes this curtain rod, which this drapery on it and goes upstairs and comes out with the curtain rod still on it, comes down the stairs. It's one of the great moments.

KING: With Bob Matthews (ph).

KORMAN: Yes, that was Bob Matthews (ph).


KORMAN: Darn, you look good.

BURNETT: Thank you. I saw it in the window and I just couldn't resist.


KING: You did Gable better than Gable. Very good.

CONWAY: He was good.

KORMAN: They say it's good but I didn't know what I was doing until I got into the suit and they put the moustache on me, and somehow, when I got all the drag on, it came out. It was the most amazing thing. I'm truly extraordinary (ph).

KING: You quit, though.

KORMAN: No, really, don't start trouble.

KING: You quit that show and left the team.

KORMAN: I didn't quit.

KING: Well, what would you call it?

KORMAN: I abandoned...

KING: The ship.

KORMAN: No, tell them, Tim. I didn't.

CONWAY: You had your own show.

KORMAN: I had an opportunity to do my own show.

CONWAY: Which didn't survive.

KORMAN: No. And the network executives, they offered to make pilots so they can drink. We'd never seen so many bottle lying around. I couldn't make anything go. It was like I said before. I'm not a star.

KING: What did Carol say when you say, "I'm leaving"?

KORMAN: She didn't like it. She was very sad. And...

KING: Mad or sad?

KORMAN: Oh, she would never get mad.

KING: She really is a true professional.

KORMAN: She's truly an extraordinary woman, she really is. Anyway, she was happy for me, and I think the show kind of was beginning to play itself out, in a way. And we'd done everything there was; we'd done a lot of parodies and satires of movies.

CONWAY: What do you mean it was played out? (ph)

KORMAN: Well, you know, it was our time.

KING: What makes a good sketch?

CONWAY: I think understanding what's really funny. If you have a sense of humor. And then, really, our show was very kind. The "Burnett" show was very kind. We never really parodied anybody per name.

KING: You're thinking "Saturday Night Live," which is the standard (ph) for parody.

CONWAY: Right. And they also chew you up...

KING: Yes.

CONWAY: But our thing was, we were funny in the situation by itself. But we would take a situation that was pretty true to life, and -- for instance, like Saran Wrap. You would take Saran Wrap. I you take Saran Wrap and pull it out of the box, and try to cut it off, you eventually take your thumb off. Or, if you pull out enough, it will wrap around you and kill you.

So, I mean, we'd take that, and everybody knows that you keep, you know, and by the time you get through with it, you just have a ball of nothing.

KORMAN: Now, the answer to that question, really, is advertising.

KING: We're going to take a break while we ponder all that.

KORMAN: Another break? I just want to talk.

KING: Well, we will when I come back with you. We'll be back with Harvey Korman's deep (ph) thoughts. I can't believe you said that.

We'll be back with -- maybe he'll get an offer. (ph)


KING: How do I know? We'll be back with Harvey Korman's thoughts, after this.


BURNETT: However, the money will then go to my equally disgusting nephew, Theo Grubber (ph), in the event of Bosco's death. Unfortunately, there wasn't much there in the first place.




KORMAN: I've come under most urgent business. It is said that the people are revolting.

MEL BROOKS: You said it. They stink on ice.

KORMAN: Your majesty, this is a very serious problem. The peasants feel you have no regard for them.

BROOKS: What? I have no regard for the peasants? They are my people. I am their sovereign. I love them. Pull. Missed him to the left.


KING: We're back with Conway and Korman and both of them (UNINTELLIGIBLE) in this holiday season with us. They'll be performing onstage together at the Stardust in Las Vegas. Check the newspapers for the time, the place, date and everything else.

Now what were you going to say to us?

KORMAN: I was going to say...

KING: You better refresh us. (ph)

KORMAN: OK. You asked what is the secret of a really good sketch. And it is a sketch is a small play. It's got a beginning, and a middle and an end. It should have a plot; it should have the characters, conflict. It is a little play. And in it, will be funny stuff.

Don't -- those writers used to love us. They would write these little plays, and we would take care of the comedy. It really seldom was joke jokes.

So we approached it, not as a comic or comedian. We approached it as actors.

KING: Plays which just happened to be funny.

KORMAN: Yes. Funny is when you're serious.

KING: Is it not?


KING: Where did you come from?

CONWAY: I came from Jersey (ph).

KING: I don't mean that.

CONWAY: I just wanted to be a director in TV (ph). Ernie Anderson was the boss (ph) of ABC, and we loved both their talent, and I was a director. He had very little talent. I had never directed. And so it just was a guest in the morning (ph), the show called for a guest, I was also the guest.

KING: What was the name of the show?

CONWAY: It was called "Ernie's Place" (ph). And was so sure moving (ph), and he had an office near the window (ph) back then, and then we had some rare film (ph). We didn't have any, for the first week, we didn't have an audience (ph).

KING: Did you have your own -- did you get to have your own show improvement (ph)?

CONWAY: No, but had to have a filler at the end of the movie. Yes, that was my show.

No, I never got my own jokes. No, I didn't. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) from "The Dick Van Dyke Show," he said, "This is hysterical, what you did." And I said, "Well, I've been funny all my life by just pretending to be funny." It was always these skits. And I didn't know what it was going to be like. He said, "Oh, yes, do a pilot (ph)."

KING: You were going to do (ph)...


KING: Did she tell you to do this?

CONWAY: No, she just had taped with Steve Allen (ph). She saw me.

KING: And did he do for you?

CONWAY: He put me on, one night, let me introduce the Smothers Brothers.

KING: Let's watch.


STEVE ALLEN: Let's welcome right now Mr. Les Harper (ph), head coordinator of the (UNINTELLIGIBLE). Here he is, Mr. Les Harper (ph).

CONWAY: Good evening, Bill.

ALLEN: Did you travel with the dean (ph)?

CONWAY: Yes, I did, Bill.

ALLEN: Now where is the dean (ph) right now?

CONWAY: In Chicago.


CONWAY: And Steve liked it, and I did a few more shows. And then I had my appearance on "McHale's Navy," which was terrific (ph).


CONWAY: What are you guys worried about? I've got the safety on. Now it's on.


KING: But how long was that show on?

CONWAY: About four years. But I was (UNINTELLIGIBLE). I didn't want to do it. I said, "Gee, if the show goes down, I want to film it (ph)."

KING: Where else were you going to go? You didn't want to do the material?

CONWAY: No. You know, I wasn't interested in seeing that show. First of all, I wanted to look attractive, but you know, first there's this to get off (ph). But then (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and kidnapped me, so I was fulfilling that role, too (ph).

KING: But you were a hit right away...

CONWAY: I couldn't have been any luckier in the 50s. I went from there and did "Hollywood Politics" (ph) and was on "Burnett"...

KING: Where did you start, Harvey?

KORMAN: I started out...

CONWAY: On "The Danny Kaye Show"...

KORMAN: I hadn't quite accomplished that yet, but I was.

KING: What were you definitively born in (ph)?

KORMAN: I was delivered by a (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

In Chicago. I was from Chicago.

CONWAY: Let's just say Miskurgen (ph). Hey, you're onto me.

KORMAN: I went to the Goodman School of Drama (ph) in Chicago. Then I got out of the service, and I was going to be a Shakespearean actor. I played Hamlet, I played Chekhov and Ibsen and all the classics. And I went to New York and died; for 10 years I walked those pavements. I can't think of New York without feeling uncomfortable and feeling like a failure.

KING: What was your first break?

KORMAN: Well, it was "The Danny Kaye Show." I just got a shot.

KING: And how did he find you?

KORMAN: He found me because I had done some shows with Wes Shelton (ph), and Shelton said he had a guy who wants work and was good, and maybe he would work with Danny.


KORMAN: Aren't you a breath of fresh air?


KORMAN: And they gave me a shot, and it worked out. And then "Burnett."

KING: You're in a film (ph). You've been in a movie, you'll see when the presentation's over (ph). What can a person do (ph)...? Where do you go?

KORMAN: I don't think that's number one.

KING: You don't? There's no hierarchy (ph)?

KORMAN: No. But we had a ball. We had fun, what laughing.

KING: There you are.

KORMAN: It was just something that I was...


KORMAN: It was incredible. Incredible.

KING: Count Basie playing piano (ph).

KORMAN: Oh, please.

KING: You have the greatest line in that movie.

KORMAN: Which is?

KING: Give me some peanuts! (ph)

Running through the theater at the end of the movie, and (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

KORMAN: That was Mel just showing how bad it is, no matter how anybody's chasing you or how dangerous it is, you don't go through the movie without peanuts (ph).

KING: We'll be right back with more of Tim Conway and Harvey Korman. Don't go away.


KORMAN: As attorney general, I can assure you that a suitable sheriff will be found to restore the peace of Rock Ridge. Meeting is adjourned. Oh, I am sorry, sir. I didn't mean to overstep my bounds. You say that.


KORMAN: Meeting is adjourned.

BROOKS: It is?

KORMAN: No, you say that, Governor.


KORMAN: Meeting is adjourned.

BROOKS: It is?




KORMAN: Oh, yes. That's an excellent brandy. You can tell just by sniffing the aroma. Much better than the brandy we used to have.

BROOKS: Mr. Anderson (ph), I'm curious what exactly is the rate of a patient recovering through therapy (ph)?

KORMAN: Rate of a patient recovering? I'll have that for you in a moment. Once in a blue moon.


KING: Harvey Korman also appeared in "High Anxiety," an hysterically funny take-off on Hitchcock, done by Mel Brooks, in which you played the evil psychiatrist.


KING: Why did he cast you evil?

KORMAN: I don't know. I was quite evil in "Blazing Saddles."

KING: One of your better roles (ph).

KORMAN: Yes. And so I was evil in "High Anxiety." But you mentioned my best moment in "Blazing Saddles" was that mine when I come running out of the studio and have this big fight in the commissary, and I have pie all over my face, and I'd already broken the fourth wall, and I'm out onto Bound Boulevard (ph), and I call a cab. And start driving off the picture. That was my...

KING: Oh, great line. "History of the World: Part One."

KORMAN: "History of the World: Part One," I was the great sidekick again (ph).


KORMAN: Your majesty, you look like the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) boy.

BROOKS: And you look like a bucket of (no audio).


KING: And Tim, you made a succession of Disney movies.

CONWAY: Yes, I did.

KING: With Don Knotts.

CONWAY: Don and I worked together on a couple pictures. Actually about three or four over the years, yes.

KING: What was it like working with him?

CONWAY: And working for them (ph), you get a lot of perks. Mickey Mouse was there, and a band playing every day (ph). We'd do the whole picture before we realized we never got paid. But it was music and it was good for you. And Mickey.

KING: Did you know Walt?

CONWAY: I only met him once. I'd never really...

KING: Was it intimidating to you?

CONWAY: I wouldn't get out of my office for weeks (ph).

It was something, he'd be on Dudley (ph) Avenue and let us know right now, you know, on a string (ph).

KING: Call him by his first name?

CONWAY: Oh, yes.

KING: Michael Eisner.

CONWAY: Michael. And you get your perks, you meet the women, because god knows, I get the women (ph). (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CONWAY: I got him.


CONWAY: It's really difficult working with animals, though (ph).

KING: What happened...

CONWAY: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) you know, I worked with a lion at one time. We had a lion and a (UNINTELLIGIBLE) in a car, and somebody came up and it was this Bengal, big lion (ph). And we had a hat on it (ph), and he's supposed to be disguised. And I had to put my head on -- put on him a real scarf (ph) and a raincoat. And we're shooting the scene in the car. And I pull into this (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and I say, "How did we get this lion in the car?" And he goes (roar) and his teeth fell out. Now that's got to be God.

So the trainer comes back and says, "I don't understand what's wrong with him." And I said, well, you know, I've watched the Discovery Channel, and I've never seen a lion with a raincoat on. And I think he felt silly, the lion (ph), with a scarf, hat and a raincoat on. I think he was a little upset about that. He said really. (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

KING: What do you...

CONWAY: And literally his teeth fall out and (ph) he's like (makes face). And I talked to him a little, settled him down. And he said (makes noise). And I turned around. He seems a little more settled now. And Milton's like (makes face). He could have come around and ripped your face off. When he finally came out of his coma.

KING: Highlights in your life. You had a fight with alcoholism.

KORMAN: Where did this come from?

KING: I'm just trying to -- I'm going to.

KORMAN: He gets Bengal tigers and I get alcoholism?

KING: I'm going all over the board, that's all.

KORMAN: Before you go all over the board, I have something to drink. I have a drinking problem. I didn't...

KING: I heard it along in the "Pink Panther," (ph) you've started to drinking again.

KORMAN: OK. You want to be serious here?

KING: Well, I wanted to talk about...

KORMAN: I don't have a drinking problem. It's previous. KING: Is it serious? How long has it been...?

KORMAN: I'm -- we're still working on improving it. I'm...


KORMAN: No, I had it on less than love (ph).

KING: Did you?

KORMAN: No, you know, the truth of it, Larry, is that I used to drink moderately when I was happy and to just have a good time. When I was on "The Danny Kaye Show" and I became successful, I didn't know how to handle success. And that's when I started drinking excessively. I didn't know how to handle success. I still have trouble with it.

KING: You didn't like fame?

KORMAN: I didn't think that I was worthy.

KING: You didn't think you were funny?


KING: You did not think that you...

KORMAN: No. I don't think that I'm -- unfortunately...

CONWAY: I couldn't give you any more (ph).

KORMAN: I don't give myself credit (ph) for what I do, and I'm surprised when people acknowledge it.

KING: Why not?

KORMAN: I don't know.

KING: You're wonderful (ph).

KORMAN: Why, thank you very much.

KING: Brando said acting was overrated. A lot of people say that. You were taught to act, and you're in a noble profession.

KORMAN: I wish I could feel that (ph). I wish there was something that -- I get all those wonderful letters and wonderful acknowledgments, and I wish I could be more appreciative of what I do. But it's hard for me.

KING: No kidding? But are you going to stop?

KORMAN: Am I going to stop acting?

KING: Yes.

KORMAN: I've had enough, now and then.

KING: You did?

KORMAN: Yes. I think not.

KING: And you and the racetrack.


KING: You said once that your car goes to the track (ph)?

CONWAY: If you've ever starred in a movie, you have a right to the track (ph). I don't go to the races very often. I used to go -- I was like him (ph). Well, horses are always sitting first and you know, I put the bet down (ph). (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and then he runs across a cheetah (ph) and falls down and then they hurt themselves. But I'd like to go to the track without the (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

Why don't we race limpets (ph)? And they could go miles. Or put a cheetah (ph) on the track. That might make it a race (ph).

KING: You had said you (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

KORMAN: That was the horse that -- The horse that they got me on (ph) was not only the first but...

KING: The old.

KORMAN: Not only the first but the reason he wasn't able to run very fast was that his testicles were too large. So they built a special form to hold his testicles in.

KING: We ought to let him have it (ph).

CONWAY: Now I've often said that you know, first if it's a gelding (ph) they just cut off the testicles. I should you should, you know, you really don't have to cut them off. And I went up to the horse and said, look, I'm going to do you a favor as a friend (ph). And I said, let him go off to bed and (UNINTELLIGIBLE). So you could talk to the horse.

KING: We'll be right back with Conway and Korman. Don't go away.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who in blazes are you?

CONWAY: Mr. Store...


DON KNOTTS: Hi, Frank.


CONWAY: Hi. You're not mad I shot you in the leg there, friend? Yes, you are.




CONWAY: I have some Novocain right here. Hold on to this. Novocain. Wait. Novocain. Insert the drug with the hypodermic needle. All right. The insert Novocain near the gum line (ph).


KING: We are going to continue with two legends of comedy (ph), Tim Conway and Harvey Korman. They'll be performing regularly at the Stardust Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. And my wife performed there with Don Rickles (ph).


KING: Really, and it was terrific.

KORMAN: She did.

KING: It's the Stardust you're in. Yes, it's been a long time.

KORMAN: Really? Oh, my God.

KING: She loved it, too. Don was great (ph). Don was one of the last really actual comics. With Kip Wilson and him.


KORMAN: And especially our program. We opened with him (ph) every night in Vegas, with that show. We were -- we couldn't believe it. We couldn't believe it.

KING: I worked with him (ph) in New York, N.Y. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) And his performance was just terrific.

All right. Let's talk sports teams (ph). You want to do that or you want to...? You're the man, you're the man with the season ticket (ph).

CONWAY: Season ticket.

KING: In Hawaii.

CONWAY: In Hawaii.

KING: And you've never had every day is sunny. And you've never had any kind of severe weather. What would you do? (ph)

KORMAN: What is this, the creative (ph) show? "Whose Line is It Anyway"?

KING: I'm just working off the top of my...

KORMAN: Well, are you going to the game? (ph)


KORMAN: Well, did you hear about what it's going to be like tomorrow?

CONWAY: Yes. It's going to be pretty nice, it really is. And it was yesterday, and tomorrow it's going to be pretty nice. And the next day (ph) is really nice. But we're looking at off and on.

KORMAN: Icy roads (ph) and that kind of thing?

CONWAY: No, no, no.

KORMAN: Did you look at the map?

KING: You never have bad weather?

CONWAY: Not that I know.

KING: So you'd get a little of, "let's go to Tim for the weather," what would you do?

CONWAY: I'd send it in on tape.

KORMAN: Do you want to be first on this weather station? (ph)

CONWAY: I do, I want to be first.

KORMAN: Do you want to be on top with all the scores? (ph)

CONWAY: Yes. Four to five, three to six. I think that pitchers are fun (ph).

KING: And Denver (ph)? What do you think of the Tigers (ph)?

KORMAN: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) wants to be off and live it up (ph).

KING: But they've been hard to track (ph), you wouldn't (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

KORMAN: That's true.

KING: You don't go to the track (ph).

KORMAN: No. He has an issue with...

CONWAY: I'll tell you how much I am at the track (ph). You know, you bet on a race. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and I want to figure out, is a (UNINTELLIGIBLE). And they hit the horse like this. And then they do that, like that. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Of course, he's got two ropes. And then now, he goes like that and I go to my wife (ph), you're the one that started that.

KING: Maybe you learned something. You were on...

CONWAY: Oh, yes.

KORMAN: Now that you brought that up, I have a trick you can play on people. When you have time to put a (UNINTELLIGIBLE) on your bill (ph) in a hotel room.

KING: Why don't I take a break and come back and we're going to let the last segment go long. OK?

We'll take a break and we'll come back and then we'll get the story from Tim Conway and Harvey Korman. For years, they appeared (ph) on "The Carol Burnett Show," and now are (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

We'll be right back and we'll hear their story. Don't go away.



CONWAY: Why you.... There's nothing to do now (ph). (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Oh! My hand sprouted! (ph)


KING: We're back for our remaining minutes with Tim Conway and Harvey Korman. What's the true story?

CONWAY: OK. We were in a hotel in Connecticut, my wife and I. And I let a friend come into the room, but next to the bed was a switch that turns on and off the hall light. So a couple of days go by and I went and I took a pillow and I put it over the switch. And I sit like this. And I act like I'm reading a book, looking down, and she slammed the door of the little cabin, and I turned off the light. Or I turned on the lights. The lights went on. I said what's been happening? A light just went on in the house.

She said, "I don't know." And I said what did you do? She said, "I did this." And she did it again, I turned it off. Now she doesn't see what's going on.

KORMAN: His hand's behind the pillow.

CONWAY: I said it's probably one of those clapper lights (ph), if you clap you turn it on. Try it, try it. And she goes (claps hands), I turn the light on. Gee, you're right (clap). Turn the light off, right?

So now she says, "That's the strangest thing I've ever..." I turned the light back on. "What was that?"

"You're talking too loud. If you talk loud it's going to turn on."

She said, "You're kidding."

I said, "We're going to have to be quiet." And (UNINTELLIGIBLE) is this going to go on all night?

So I said, "Well, I don't know."

"Well, put on the TV."

I said, "We can't watch TV." I said, "Well, the regular program is OK, but the commercials are loud and will turn it on."

"No, it wouldn't."

So we watch a little. Commercial comes on.

And she says, "I'm calling the manager."


And she calls. "Yes, listen, could you come up here? We have a clapper light here we'd like to have taken out."

Now the guys up there with an electrician. My wife goes (claps). I'm going (makes face).

KORMAN: The man will do anything to make you crazy. I went to a huge wedding at the Bel-Air Hotel once and there was, I don't know, hundreds of people sitting down and there was a stage with a band. And I got up.

And in the back is a huge window, if you've been there, with a gorgeous garden out there, well kept. Beautiful garden. And I'm with the band, and I'm communicating (ph) with the audience, and all of a sudden they're scream, they're screams. And I know that I'm not that funny, so I turn around and he has gotten out and gone into the garden with a hose. And water's coming out of the hose and he's got it in a very, very suggestive position, watering the garden.

KING: At a wedding?

KORMAN: At a wedding. The man will do anything, anything.

CONWAY: Oh, I don't know about that. (ph)

KORMAN: He's one of the funniest men in the world, if not the funniest.

CONWAY: Speaking of a personal thing, I had my prostate taken out, too. Did you know that?


CONWAY: Well, it was really dramatic. Had to get it off my chest. I did a tape in 1995 (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

KING: They really had to...?

CONWAY: No, no.

KORMAN: Who was it? Was it someone I know? (ph)

CONWAY: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) I can't do this (UNINTELLIGIBLE). No, are you kidding? I've had such a wonderful life, if anything happened, I would...

KORMAN: Tell them about when you catheter on (ph) and the nurse in the morning...

CONWAY: Yes. You can eat, and watch TV and pee at the same time, you know, when you have a catheter. Well, anyway, they look at that bag in the morning, so one night I put some water in and a goldfish.

And they wake me up at 5:30, and she goes (makes face). He's got neurosis (ph). Well, it's been a long week, you know.

KING: When you were afraid you had prostate cancer (ph)?


KING: Did you feel any (UNINTELLIGIBLE)?

CONWAY: Yes, a little bit.

KORMAN: You know, even if he's upset, Larry, about something, he doesn't -- he does not show his emotions.

CONWAY: I don't know what you're talking about (ph).

He's the opposite and just goes. (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

KORMAN: I'm out there with everything. I'm out there. He keeps his feelings very close.

KING: You don't know what he's thinking?

KORMAN: I admit, I don't really know the man at all.

CONWAY: That's good. Let's keep that. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) You can't see what I was thinking.

KING: You did some things with (UNINTELLIGIBLE), but you don't like them.

CONWAY: I love them. Oh, I love them.

KING: But you said...

CONWAY: No, I worked with him. Oh, I love him. He's wonderful. Oh, yes.

KORMAN: There's never been two men more in love with each other. In fact, we're thinking of getting a little condo in the South Beach (ph).

No, I adore this man, and every day with him (ph) is glorious. I'm serious about it (ph).

KING: And how old are you?

CONWAY: I was 69, I was 69 in December (ph).

KORMAN: How old are you, Larry?

KING: Sixty-eight. Do you feel 75?

KORMAN: Yes, thank you very much. It's almost a feeling. I don't feel much.

CONWAY: She makes you take Viagra, doesn't you (ph)?

KORMAN: If I gave my (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Viagra, it would be like putting a brand new flagpole on a (UNINTELLIGIBLE). I guess it's all right to keep you from rolling out of bed. But I can't think of any other reason.

KING: Do you use it, Tim?

CONWAY: Oh, no. No, no, no. Not any more (ph). No, no.

KORMAN: Well, since your operation, it must be a little tough to...

KING: I guess Viagra is very good if you've had prostate cancer (ph).

CONWAY: Is it really supposed to be? Well, OK.

KING: Think about it.

CONWAY: Yes. Well, I can generate an erection now by standing on my head. But possibly not.

KORMAN: What does that mean?

KING: I don't know. What does that mean?

CONWAY: I don't know. Harvey (ph) told me that.

KING: Well, if someone said prostate cancer, that one of the things that's helpful to a victim of it is Viagra.

CONWAY: Really? What's up with that? Let me look into that.

KING: You never think of the time, do you (ph)?

KORMAN: No, no. And it's tough traveling. You know, the hotels and the airports and all that. That part, eating and getting around to the hotel room and then going on. But we've gone on and we've gone on...

KING: You guys are born geniuses.

KORMAN: Really.

KING: I wanted to say that for years (ph). Thank you so much.

KORMAN: Thanks for having us. I've got to tell you, I watch you every day.

KING: Good for you. Do another "Carol Burnett" special.


KING: And get everyone together again (ph). You call her. You know how it is.

Tim Conway and Harvey Korman on LARRY KING. "NEWSNIGHT WITH AARON BROWN" is next. Thanks for joining us and good night.


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