Published at: May 29, 2008, 8:26 p.m. CST by quint
Hey guys, Quint here. I guess it's that time. We've had a string of deaths in the last few weeks. Dick Martin, John Phillip Law, Sydney Pollack, Alexander Courage, Bebe Barron and others have died in recent weeks.
Harvey Korman died today at the age of 81.
I most fondly remember him from his work with Mel Brooks. BLAZING SADDLES was a big deal for me as a young teenager. It was a movie made before my time that was funnier than the outlandish R-rated comedies of my day. It pushed envelopes and made a statement about race relations hidden so well in satire and gut-busting off color jokes.
Harvey Korman played the baddie with the unfortunate name of Hedley Lamarr. The man infused the role with a kind of manic energy that really sold whatever gag was on the page. In a lesser actor's hands, that role would have fallen flat, but he was able to make Hedy (That's HEDLEY!) cartoony, but believable. He really fit that character into the world.
His work in HIGH ANXIETY is likewise excellent as well as HISTORY OF THE WORLD PART 1. I especially loved what he did in HIGH ANXIETY, the bit where he pretended to be a werewolf always cracked me up.
Korman will also be remembered for his work on the Carol Burnett Show. That one was a little before my time, but I do remember his own show THE HARVEY KORMAN SHOW, which reran during my childhood.
And then, of course, there's the infamous appearance on the fascinating trainwreck that is The Star Wars Christmas Special.
He toured a lot with Tim Conway, they had a two-man show for the longest time. I've always heard great things about them together, but I never got the chance to see the show.
I was always a little sad I didn't see him in much after DRACULA: DEAD AND LOVING IT (not the shining example of Korman and Brooks' collaborations, but he was funny as always). I will miss his talent and unique comic timing. My thoughts will be with Mr. Korman's friends, family and fans.