Friday, May 30, 2008
Thank You, Harvey
When I was a little girl, every Saturday night my mother sat behind me and put my hair up in pincurls using Dippity Doo, while I sat on the floor watching Carol Burnett. It was the highlight of my week.
When I was older, I fell in love with the classic movies of the 1940s, and the more I watched them, the more I saw Harvey Korman in each leading man because he had parodied so many of those same films in sketches. Within the first few minutes of ever seeing Ronald Coleman, for instance, the proverbial light bulb came on as I realized what Harvey had been doing all those years. They were my favorite of Harvey's caricatures, the ones that rolled Clark Gable, Ronald Coleman and David Niven into one over-the-top leading man with a pencil moustache. He mastered their mannerisms and peculiar affected speech to a "T." I've never seen anyone else do that.
So although people loved Harvey in Blazing Saddles and the sketch with Tim Conway as the dentist [oh my gosh, I do, too!], my favorite performances are the ones like the clip I posted here in because those are unique to him.
They say he wanted to be a movie star, but it didn't work out. I'm so glad! Thank you for making me laugh until I cried, Harvey Korman. You were exceedingly gifted.