Straight Talk

HAIL TO THE DORF! If you thought your only hope of seeing the comedy duo of Tim Conway and Harvey Korman was by watching reruns of The Carol Burnett Show, you're in for a treat. You can catch the veteran comedians live on tour this month in San Antonio and Houston. Conway spoke to us about the show.

You told me jokingly that your career is over.
That's true, yes.

Judging from the success of this tour, that isn't really the case.

Well, we're sold out every night because we buy all the tickets. So we kind of ensure ourselves of at least that.

How does it feel to be performing live again?

It's nice to do something that you know you know how to do and not have somebody tell you how to do it. We were offered situation comedies on television, stuff like that, but I don't think I ever would go back to TV on a regular basis for what it is today. There are four or five producers on every show.

What do you think of today's television comedies?

I think if you have that many producers and you have 25 writers, you should come up with something amusing. I like ensemble things that are well written, well performed, and funny, and there are a couple that I think are well done. But for the most part, it's a laugh track that laughs at the wrong time and it's annoying. I don't know why they keep doing these.

Do you think the new sitcoms take things too far?

Yeah, I think when you have Sex and the City as the outstanding comedy of the year—I mean, I come from the days when television was a member of the family. You'd turn it on and you'd watch the show with the family and you'd laugh. You could share it. Would you sit down with your children or somebody else's children, for that matter, and watch Sex and the City with them?

I'd be embarrassed.

I'd be on edge. And so, I don't understand that, but I'm sure people didn't understand us when we were doing ours. But it was a different time and a different era. In this tour we talk about a lot of things, about our careers being over, getting old, things like that. But we don't use the language and obviously there's no nudity. There's no nudity even when there is no show.

I understand Don Knotts has toured with you too.

He does some shows on occasion. That's why it's truly variety, because somebody could take my place and do it. I'm training a chimp right now. (See Houston: Other Events and San Antonio: Other Events .)

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