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 Posted:   May 14, 2019 - 9:48 AM   
 By:   MRAUDIO   (Member)

Tim Conway, star of the 'Carol Burnett Show,' dies at 85

 Posted:   May 14, 2019 - 9:58 AM   
 By:   mgh   (Member)

The Dentist skit with Harvey Korman on the Carol Burnett Show is one of the funniest things I've ever seen.
In memory of....

 Posted:   May 14, 2019 - 10:02 AM   
 By:   eriknelson   (Member)

It always seems these passings take place in threes. This time it's Peggy Lipton, Doris Day and Tim Conway. So sad.

 Posted:   May 14, 2019 - 10:06 AM   
 By:   MRAUDIO   (Member)

The Dentist skit with Harvey Korman on the Carol Burnett Show is one of the funniest things I've ever seen.
In memory of....

The Dentist skit is a true classic:-)

 Posted:   May 14, 2019 - 10:15 AM   
 By:   msmith   (Member)

I heard Tim Conway suffered from Dementia and was almost entirely unresponsive since 2018.

Rest In Peace Tim and thanks for all the years of great humor.

 Posted:   May 14, 2019 - 11:37 AM   
 By:   filmusicnow   (Member)

R.I.P. Tim Conway. I loved you on "McHale's Navy" and "The Carol Burnett Show". You're now up there with Ernest Borgnine, Joe Flynn, Bob Hastings, Carl Ballentine, Billy Sands, Gary Vinson and Harvey Korman providing laughs to the angels.

 Posted:   May 14, 2019 - 5:41 PM   
 By:   Adam B.   (Member)

Conway was in a TV-movie called Roll, Freddy, Roll. The plot concerned Conway's character trying to impress his teen-aged son by setting a world record for wearing roller skates longer than anyone else. I haven't seen it since it's original broadcast but it made an impression on me.

 Posted:   May 14, 2019 - 7:20 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

I mentioned in another thread that while MCHALE was a fave when I was a kid it is unwatchable today.
However, that is no reflection on Conway. A funny guy!
Rip T C

 Posted:   May 15, 2019 - 7:45 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

I remember the TCBS skits had me in stitches I was laughing so hard. Can't say comedy nowadays even comes close to that. RIP Tim.

 Posted:   May 19, 2019 - 9:22 AM   
 By:   TominAtl   (Member)

Conway, Carol Burnett, Red Skelton , Victor Borge, and Jonathan Winters were my comedic idols growing up in the 1970's, which of course belies my age.

Conway's presence on the Carol Burnett Show was the icing on the cake for that show. Even if the particular skit was unfunny, he ended up making it funny. "The Dentist' was a classic of course. The moment, after he inadvertently deadened his hand with Novocaine with poor giggling Harvey Korman watching helpless watching on, the fly arrives and lands on the book and he slaps it dead with his limp wristed hand...just balls out hilarious. And poor Harvey didn't stand a chance in this skit.

RIP indeed. He is a legend.

 Posted:   May 19, 2019 - 11:35 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Tim Conway got his start in television working at local stations in Cleveland, ending at WJW-TV as a writer of comedy skits for intermissions in their morning movie. Comedic actress Rose Marie visited WJW in 1961, as part of CBS's promotional practice of sending their major show stars directly to local affiliates: in this case, it was for “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” She viewed tapes of some of Conway's skits and proceeded to take Conway under her wing. Following his departure from WJW in early1962, Conway moved to New York City, where, with Rose Marie's assistance, he auditioned for, and gained a spot on, ABC's “The Steve Allen Show” as a regular player.

It didn’t take long for Hollywood to take notice of Conway, and he was offered a co-starring slot in support of Ernest Borgnine on a new series being developed at Universal, “McHale’s Navy”. Conway played “Ensign Charles Beaumont Parker”, McHale's likable, but goofy second-in-command. He is referred to by McHale as "Chuck" and by the crew as "Mister Parker" (in the U.S. Navy, officers ranking from warrant officer to lieutenant commander who are not in command are often referred to as "Mister"). Conway's bashful, unassertive, naïve, mildly gung-ho bungler often succeeds in spite of clownish ineptitude (a theme that was career-defining). Like Conway himself, Ensign Parker is from Chagrin Falls, Ohio.

Although he tries to be military, Parker is too much of a dimwitted klutz to command too much respect, and many of the episodes involve Parker getting into trouble because of his bumbling and ineptitude, such as accidentally firing depth charges or shooting down Allied aircraft. Even before becoming a member of McHale's crew, Ensign Parker's personnel file is a laundry list of major foul-ups, including crashing a destroyer escort into a dock and calling in a naval airstrike on a Marine gasoline dump. Because of his considerable bumbling, the crew tries to protect Parker, who they feel will not survive as an officer without their help. Also, he is very slow to catch on and does not know when to keep his mouth closed (McHale usually gives Parker a discreet kick or stomp on the foot to get him to shut up). For instance, when Binghamton says "the cat is out of the bag", Parker says, "I'm sure it's around here somewhere, Sir. Here, kitty kitty". Parker's catchphrase is "Gee, I love that kind of talk" and he loves to cite naval regulations which he knows by heart, but somehow can never remember his serial number correctly.

ABC debuted the show on Thursday, 11 October 1962 at 9:30 PM, following the #28-rated “My Three Sons,” then in its third season. NBC’s “Hazel” ruled the 9:30 timeslot that year, ranking as the #15 show for the season. But “McHale’s Navy” held enough of the “My Three Sons” audience to warrant a renewal.

During the first season, Ernest Borgnine was the only one of the cast who appeared in the opening credits. From the second season on, Tim Conway and Joe Flynn (“Captain Binghamton") also appeared. Tim Conway received an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Performance in a Supporting Role by an Actor for the first season of "McHale's Navy." He lost to Don Knotts for "The Andy Griffith Show."

Tim Conway and Ernest Borgnine in “McHale’s Navy”

In its second season (1963-64), ABC moved the show to Tuesdays at 8:30 PM, following “Combat!”. “McHale’s Navy” went up against the second half of CBS’s popular “The Red Skelton Show”, which was the 11th highest-rated series that year. Even so, “McHale’s Navy” found enough of an audience to break into the top 30 shows, finishing at #22 for the season.

Season 3 (1964-65) found “Red Skelton”’s ranking rising to #6 and McHale’s dropping to #29, while both of them battled a new show on NBC: “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”

Joe Flynn and Tim Conway in “McHale’s Navy”

The fourth season (1965-66) had “McHale’s Navy” undergo a change of locale. The entire PT-73 crew, along with Japanese deserter “Fuji” (Yoshio Yoda, who hid in the -73 as it was being transported), move to the liberated Italian theater in "late 1944" to the coastal town of Voltafiore in "Southern Italy", where Captain Binghamton becomes the military governor and they become members of PT Boat Squadron 19. Moneymaking schemes of the wacky and somewhat crooked “Mayor Mario Lugatto” (Jay Novello) and the looney antics of the citizens introduce many more plot twists and gags.

The changes in the show did not help. “Red Skelton” continued to capture a greater share of the audience, coming in as the 4th most watched program on the air that year. “McHale’s Navy” was cancelled after 138 episodes.

Tim Conway always noted that he and Ernest Borgnine had a wonderful working relationship on-set, and got along famously off the set as well.

 Posted:   May 19, 2019 - 12:20 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In March 1964, during the production hiatus between “McHale’s Navy”’s third and fourth seasons, Universal shot a feature film version of the show, suitably called McHALE’S NAVY. The film’s plot finds the crew of PT-73 trying to win a horse race in New Caledonia after they find a racehorse on the wreck of an Australian freighter. The story was inspired by a 1907 incident involving a race horse named Mai Faa, presumed lost at sea in a shipwreck until he came ashore on a South Pacific island. Daily Variety identified the equine star of the film as “Red Cloud.”

Actress Jean Willes, who formerly appeared with star Ernest Borgnine in FROM HERE TO ETERNITY (1953), augmented the predominantly male cast. Her character ejected Borgnine from a nitery in both films. The only other female roles went to French singer Claudine Longet in her first screen role, and Sandy Slavik, described as a “young receptionist in Universal’s press department.”

Claudine Longet and Tim Conway in McHALES NAVY

To enhance audience appeal, the feature film was shot in color, whereas the series had its run strictly in black-and-white. The island set used in both the film and the series was located on the Universal Studios back lot in Los Angeles. During production of the film, heavy rains washed away much of foliage planted by greensman Howard Cuff. Because the wet weather also prevented exterior shooting, the set was reconstructed on a soundstage. Days later, the company went on location to Catalina Island, off the Southern California coast. Edward J. Montagne directed the film, which had an unreleased score by Jerry Fielding.

The 2 April 1964 Daily Variety noted that the cast would appear in a series of television advertisements to promote the film, but would also appear in theatrical advertisements to promote the series. A reported fistfight between Borgnine and co-star Joe Flynn during production of a series episode resulted in both traveling “separate routes” on their promotional tours. Flynn, along with fellow cast members Tim Conway and Carl Ballantine, began a series of personal appearances in New York City and Detroit.

The film opened 10 July 1964 in New York City, and 26 August 1964 in Los Angeles. While Variety and the Los Angeles Times gave positive reviews, the New York Times questioned the taste of those who found the picture enjoyable. Box office returns were excellent for what was essentially an extended episode of a television series, coming in at $4.3 million.

 Posted:   May 19, 2019 - 1:02 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

After their series wrapped production on its fourth season in the spring of 1965, the cast of “McHale’s Navy” went into production of a sequel to its first theatrical film. Titled McHALE’S NAVY JOINS THE AIR FORCE, the film was marked by the absence of series star Ernest Borgnine.

Various explanations have been offered for Borgnine’s absence. One says that Borgnine was not asked to be in the film because the producers were trying to hold down the film’s budget. Another says that Borgnine declined to appear over a salary dispute. And a third says that Borgnine had a prior commitment to appear in the film FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX.

Regardless, with Borgnine not in the film, Tim Conway received top billing, and the plot focused on “Ensign Parker” (Conway) and “Captain Binghamton” (Joe Flynn). The story finds Binghamton taking over command of the PT-73 after his boat sinks, and Parker and the crew getting involved with some Russians who want to use the PT-73 to smuggle Australian whiskey. Some uniform mix-ups find Parker in an Air Force uniform and forced to impersonate the pilot son of an Army Air Force general.

Joe Flynn and Tim Conway in McHALE’S NAVY JOINS THE AIR FORCE

The film was directed by Edward J. Montagne and had an unreleased score by Jerry Fielding. The picture opened in Providence, Rhode Island on 16 June 1965. The film was almost as profitable as its predecessor, grossing $4.1 million. However, the cancellation of the “McHale’s Navy” television series ended any further feature films.

 Posted:   May 19, 2019 - 1:37 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Thomas/Spelling Productions bankrolled a starring television series for Tim Conway called “Rango”. Conway played the title character, a bumbling Texas Ranger stationed at Deep Wells Ranger Station in the late 19th century. His sidekick was the cowardly Indian scout “Pink Cloud” (Guy Marks). ABC debuted the series as a mid-season replacement for Milton Berle’s failed comeback series, “The Milton Berle Show”, on Fridays at 9 PM, beginning 13 January 1967.

“Rango” aired 17 episodes through the spring end of the 1966-67 television season, but it did not make a dent in the ratings of “The CBS Friday Night Movies,” which owned the night with its #17 ranking for the year. “Rango” failed to be renewed for a full season beginning in the fall of 1967. In 2002, TV Guide ranked the series number 47 on its list of the “50 Worst Shows of All Time.”

Tim Conway as “Rango”

 Posted:   May 19, 2019 - 2:05 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

The half-hour television series “Turn-On” was a multimedia presentation satirizing sex, politics, and everything else, splattered across the screen at blinding speed. The show was created by Ed Friendly and George Schlatter, the producers of “Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In.” Bristol-Myers contracted with them to develop the show, and provided it to ABC for a projected 13-week run after NBC and CBS rejected it. A CBS official confessed, "It was so fast with the cuts and chops that some of our people actually got physically disturbed by it." Production executive Digby Wolfe described it as a "visual, comedic, sensory assault involving animation, videotape, stop-action film, electronic distortion, computer graphics—even people."

The show featured Teresa Graves heading a small group of repertory players. The highest profile guest star on the first episode was Tim Conway, and the show’s failure has been inextricably tied to him.

The show premiered on February 5, 1969. “Turn-On” received enough immediate, negative reaction that two stations refused to air the rest of the first show after the first commercial break. The station manager of WEWS, Cleveland's ABC affiliate, pulled the show off the air after 15 minutes. The remainder of the time slot was a black screen with live organ music, an emergency procedure that hadn't been used in over 20 years.

Many West Coast affiliates received advance warning and refused to air the show. As to what caused audiences to “turn off,” some sources cited the show’s sexual content, which one executive described as "absolutely beyond belief ... awfully blue." TV Guide later quoted a source who lamented Turn-On's lack of a regular host or interlocutor: "(T)here wasn't any sort of identification with the audience -- just a bunch of strangers up there insulting everything you believe in."

Tim Conway remarked that the show's premiere party he attended was also the program's cancellation party, but ABC did not officially cancel the program for several days. Conway said in 2008 that “Turn-On” was "way ahead of its time. I'm not sure even if you saw it today that maybe that time has also passed."

 Posted:   May 19, 2019 - 2:39 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

“The Tim Conway Show” was a half-hour show that paired Conway with Joe Flynn of “McHale's Navy” in a sitcom as owner-pilots of a one-plane airline (a Beechcraft Model 18 named Lucky Linda) operated by the pair. This pressurized situation was ideal for the fast repartee of the lead actors.

CBS debuted the series on Friday, 30 January 1970 as a mid-season replacement for “The Good Guys”, a Bob Denver-Herb Edelman sitcom that had been cancelled mid-way through its second season. “The Tim Conway Show” aired 12 episodes, but did not make ratings headway against “The Brady Bunch” on ABC or “The High Chaparral” on NBC. The series was not renewed for the fall of 1970.

Tim Conway and Joe Flynn in “The Tim Conway Show”

 Posted:   May 19, 2019 - 3:04 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Rather than renew Tim Conway’s sitcom, CBS offered Conway a one-hour comedy-variety show for the fall of 1970. “The Tim Conway Comedy Hour” emphasized sketch comedy, musical production numbers and Conway's offbeat humor. The show also featured an impressive list of guest stars: Lana Turner, David Janssen, Joan Crawford, Audrey Meadows, Carl Reiner, Janet Leigh, Tony Randall, Imogene Coca, Shelley Winters, Carol Burnett and Mickey Rooney.

The show premiered on Sunday, 20 September 1970 at 10 PM. The 9-11 PM hours that night were dominated by ABC’s “Sunday Night Movie” (#28-ranked for the season) and NBC’s “Bonanza” (#9) and “The Bold Ones.” CBS counter-programmed with comedy-variety in that block, with “The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour” followed by Conway’s new show. While the Glen Campbell show would survive into a third season, Conway’s show was apparently so low in the ratings that CBS found it preferable to pull it off the air after 13 weeks and run a CBS News program in that hour until summer.

 Posted:   May 19, 2019 - 3:19 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

1973 was Walt Disney’s 50th year of production. The first of Disney’s four film offerings that year was THE WORLD’S GREATEST ATHLETE. The film was about a perennially losing college coach and his assistant, who on a trip to Africa, come across a Tarzan-like young man who is able to excel at any sport. They bring the young man back to campus, and the fun begins.

Tim Conway received top billing as the bumbling assistant coach, in his first of many films for Disney. John Amos was the coach, and Jan-Michael Vincent was the star athlete, each in his only Disney film. Roscoe Lee Browne played a Oxford-educated African witch doctor. Actress-comedian Nancy Walker, who had a brief comic role as a near-sighted landlady, had not appeared onscreen since Doris Day’s LUCKY ME, released in 1954. THE WORLD’S GREATEST ATHLETE marked the final film of character actor and comedian Billy De Wolfe (1907--1974), who appeared in the small role of "Dean Maxwell." Although De Wolfe had appeared periodically on television, he had not made a feature film since BILLIE, released in 1965. THE WORLD’S GREATEST ATHLETE marked the film debut of Canadian-born dancer and model Dayle Haddon, who played Jan-Michael Vincent’s college love interest, as well as the debut of the Bengal tiger "G.T." as "Harri."

THE WORLD’S GREATEST ATHLETE was one of only three features directed by Robert Scheerer, a long-time television director, who in a nearly 40-year career directed everything from Barbra Streisand’s TV concert “A Happening In Central Park” (1968) to “Dynasty” (1983) to “Star Trek: Voyager” (1997). Rather than being scored by Disney’s ubiquitous Buddy Baker, THE WORLD’S GREATEST ATHLETE instead had a sprightly score by Marvin Hamlisch. The score included a band number, the "Merrivale Fight Song," with music by Hamlisch and lyrics by screenwriters Gerald Gardner and Dee Caruso. A 45 RPM record was issued with two of Hamlisch’s themes.

The film was shot on location near Stockton, CA in Caswell Memorial State Park, which was used for some of the Zambia sequences, and at various sites throughout Southern California, including exteriors and interiors at the Hollywood-Burbank Airport in Burbank, CA (renamed the Bob Hope Airport in 2003), the athletic field at California State University, Los Angeles and Newhall, in Southern California, which was used as the location site for China. In addition to Caswell Memorial State Park, Lion Country Safari in Irvine, CA was also used for some of the Zambia sequences.

Production began on THE WORLD’S GREATEST ATHLETE in Stockton, CA on 24 April 1972. But on 28 April, actor-comedian Godfrey Cambridge, who was initially cast in the role of Coach, collapsed from exhaustion. The production closed for several weeks but resumed on 14 May, with John Amos taking over Cambridge's role. Production continued through early August 1972.

The film had a number of special effects sequences, ranging from the simple, like showing action in either slow or speeded-up motion to emphasize the athletic prowess of "Nanu" (Jan-Michael Vincent), to effects that were much more elaborate. Tim Conway, as "Milo Jackson," was featured alone in several sequences that highlighted his popular abilities as a physical comedian. One long sequence, which was periodically interrupted with scenes that advanced the plot, involved his character shrinking to three-inches tall and attempting to free himself from a cocktail glass and a woman's large purse.

Tim Conway, John Amos and Jan-Michael Vincent in THE WORLD'S GREATEST ATHLETE

THE WORLD’S GREATEST ATHLETE opened in New York on 1 February 1973 to lukewarm reviews. On the positive side were Roger Ebert, who found the film to be “a silly, funny, relaxed fantasy, and just about the best movie to come from Walt Disney Productions since BLACKBEARD’S GHOST” (1968). Charles Champlin of the Los Angeles Times praised the film’s integrated casting (with John Amos and Roscoe Lee Browne having prominent roles), praised all of the performances, and found in the script by Gerald Gardner and Dee Caruso “an uncommon in-ness amid the jollity.”

While no one seemed to hate the film, other critics were more mixed in their assessments. Newday’s Martin Levine imagined “that the picture’s intended audience of pre-teenagers will enjoy it; I can report that it is painless enough for adults.” And Ann Guarino of the New York Daily News agreed that “youngsters will find the mild comedy more entertaining than the rest of the family, for the film unfortunately has a seen-before quality.” One prediction that definitely was spot-on came from Variety’s “Murf” who opined that the film “looks good for boxoffice.” THE WORLD’S GREATEST ATHLETE became the ninth highest-grossing film of 1973, taking in over $11,600,000 at the North American box office. A 1981 re-release increased its total to over $22.5 million.

 Posted:   May 20, 2019 - 8:23 AM   
 By:   jackfu   (Member)

RIP and thank you for the laughs over the years!

I remember fondly when Tim and Ernest Borgnine debuted on SpongeBob Squarepants in '99 as Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy and how much my kids liked the characters.
They were so surprised when I showed them some of his skits on the old CBS, especially his stuff with Harvey Korman. Neat when you can connect the generations like that.

 Posted:   May 20, 2019 - 9:54 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Tim Conway’s second film for Walt Disney was THE APPLE DUMPLING GANG. The Old West story concerns three young orphans whose varmint uncle dumps them into the care of an irresponsible gambler (Bill Bixby), who in turn tries to dump the kids onto someone else until the moppets discover gold in a mine belonging to their family. When assorted disreputable types try to rip off the gold, seeing the children endangered causes Bixby to grow a conscience. Don Knotts and Tim Conway play “Theodore Ogelvie” and “Amos Tucker,” respectively, two blundering bandits who attempt to get their hands on the gold. Conway and Knotts are the main attraction, working as a comedy duo for the first time.

Norman Tokar directed the 1975 film, which has an unreleased score by Buddy Baker. THE APPLE DUMPLING GANG was a smash hit, grossing $50.2 million to make it the seventh highest ranked film at the box office that year.

Tim Conway and Don Knotts in THE APPLE DUMPLING GANG

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