Harvey Korman, RIP

Harvey Korman lit up the stage, screen, and television with his comic talent for decades, but he has finally left us wanting more. Korman died today from complications of an abdominal aneurysm he suffered four months ago, at the age of 81. Best known for his work on The Carol Burnett Show and in Mel Brooks’ movies, he had spent the last few years touring with his friend and longtime comedy partner Tim Conway:

Korman was a regular on “The Carol Burnett Show” from 1967 through 1978, for which he won Emmy awards in 1969, 1971, 1972 and 1974. He also won a Golden Globe for his work on the series.
The lanky Korman also appeared in Mel Brooks‘ “Blazing Saddles” (as the sneering Hedley Lamarr), “High Anxiety” and “History of the World, Part 1.” …
He made dozens of appearances in other television shows and movies during his lengthy show-business career, including providing voices for several animated productions. Among those was The Great Gazoo, a helmeted space man who appeared in some episodes of “The Flintstones.”

I didn’t know that he voiced Gazoo, but he was a remarkably adept performer. His work on The Carol Burnett Show gave him an opportunity to stretch himself, and his Hedley Lamarr character was perhaps his most memorable role. Here’s Korman with the great Slim Pickens in one of the cleaner segments from Blazing Saddles (but still not quite safe for work):

Godspeed, Mr. Korman, and thank you for all of the laughs.