It is with great sadness that LAist notes the passing of comedy legend Harvey Korman who died today at the UCLA Medical Center. He was 81 years old. Korman died of complications from an abdominal aortic aneurysm that ruptured four months ago.
As someone who grew up during the 1970s, weekends culminated in viewing the “Carol Burnett Show”. The singing numbers were endured in order to enjoy the payoff of watching sketches and parodies featuring Korman and sidekick/associate Tim Conway. If you couldn’t stand Carol Burnett to catch Korman in the 136 episodes he starred in, then you had to have seen him at least one Mel Brooks movie: History of the World Part I, High Anxiety, and his crowning role of Hedley Lamar in Blazing Saddles.
Turn on TV Land or the Cartoon Network and you’ll hear Korman’s voice on “The Flintstones” or see him on “Mama’s Family” and “The Love Boat”. Korman helped define television from the early ’60s to voiceovers in the early 2000s on kids programming like “Buzz Lightyear of Star Command”- that’s 40+ years of influence on American culture that will keep repeating itself forever on cable.
For some people, Korman was simply the erudite upper crust man who could not keep a straight face around Tim Conway, and that’s a connection we could all make with him. Goodbye Harvey, you will be missed.