The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions." --American Statesman Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

Friday, November 29, 2019

Tim Conway and the "Elephant" Skit.

I am doing a repeat blogpost, I am still recovering from the Thanksgiving Food Coma.  We did go see "Ford Vs Ferrari", an excellent movie.

I have this saved in my favorites on "YouTube", I ran across this a few years ago, the infamous "Elephant Story" from Tim Conway.  I can watch that clip and bust out a laughing everytime.  To try to see everyone try to hold their composure and not let on that they are laughing so hard.  I don't know if they can do humor like this anymore.  They didn't use any bad words except for "Momma", Vicki Lawrence's character,, she said one word toward the end.  

 the final season of The Carol Burnett Show during the Password sketch. Cast member Tim Conway ad-libbed a story about elephants and cracked up his cast mates during both the dress rehearsal and the final taping. In the first one he talks about seeing an elephant with a dwarf trainer and mentioning that there was a rumor going around the circus that the elephant and the trainer were lovers, pushing Burnett, Lawrence, and Van Dyke to a breaking point and hiding their faces from the audience. At one point the camera focuses on Burnett and Lawrence staring at him in exasperation. Finally, Burnett started swatting at Conway with the game card to get him to stop. In the second one he talks about seeing a pair of Siamese elephants during a trip to a freak show, describing in detail how they were connected at the trunk and the sounds they made. The audience was in hysterics the entire time while Burnett, Lawrence and Dick Van Dyke desperately struggled to maintain composure, and even Conway is seen trying to stifle his laughter numerous times. At one point Lawrence looked at Burnett, started to look away, then did a quick look back at her and had to turn away, breaking character and laughing. Several times when Conway would stop, the rest of the cast would collect themselves, at which point Conway would continue with his ad libbing, pushing them again to the edge of breaking up. When Burnett managed to gain her composure one last time, she turned to Lawrence to help get the script moving again, to which Lawrence quipped (in character), "You sure that little asshole's through?" At that point chaos ensued with the entire cast breaking up and the audience was screaming with delight. Conway and Van Dyke both fell off the ends of the couch to the floor laughing, with Conway rolling around and Van Dyke lying flat on his back and eventually sitting up. Burnett fell back onto the couch and can be seen muttering to herself while shaking with laughter. Lawrence herself managed to keep it together for only a few seconds after everyone fell apart before cracking up herself. In an interview, Lawrence talks about the famous sketch, recalling that it was her husband's suggestion to "get" Conway when she found out between tapings that the elephant story part of the sketch was being changed but was not given any details. The director's only advice on it was "good luck". She also noted that it was one of the rare occasions when she really cut loose on the show.


  1. Real comedy. Never see that on TV in these evil times.

    Always loved watching the CB show and seeing the cast crack up.


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