Tim Conway, the middle America comedian who was a core member of the “The Carol Burnett Show” troupe, a co-star of the 60’s television comedy “McHale’s Navy” and who starred in a string of Disney film comedies in the 1970s, died this past Tuesday morning in Los Angeles. He was 85 and apparently suffering from dementia; according to an article in the online magazine Variety he died from water on the brain.
Mr. Conway’s accomplishments have been widely reported: he was nominated for 13 Emmy Awards and won six; for “The Carol Burnett Show,” he was nominated six times as a supporting performer in a variety or comedy series, winning in 1973, 1977 and 1978. He was also nominated as part of the writing staff for the show, drawing three nominations and winning in 1978. In addition to those four Emmy wins, he won another in 1996 for outstanding guest actor in a television comedy, “Coach,” and in 2008 he won for guest actor in a comedy for “30 Rock.” What isn’t getting as much press is what a profound impact Tim Conway’s “gentle comedy” had on wannabe comics like me…how Conway could have you doubled over laughing just by describing the antics of a circus elephant through the eyes of an overgrown child (see video). How many “clean” comics REALLY made you laugh? Tim Conway influences me to this day, as I attempt to make people chuckle in the morning with nothing more profane than the (very) occasional fart sound effect. RIP to one of the greats 🙂