Harvey Korman takes on slow checkout lanes in a laughter-filled skit

Ah, the good old days of comedy sketches, where the performers had the power to make you double over in laughter with just a simple exchange. The Carol Burnett Show was one of those gems, consistently presenting sketches that evoked not just chuckles but genuine belly laughs. One particularly memorable sketch was “Supermarket Checker.”

Imagine Harvey Korman, a man in the throes of romantic aspiration, determined to prepare a delightful dinner for his date, Trixie. Ah, Trixie, who seemed so close to enjoying a lovely evening. The entire premise is set in a supermarket, and Korman’s character is eager to check out swiftly to get back to his waiting date. Oh, if only it were that easy!

As he rushes to purchase his groceries, the banter with the cashier showcases a comedic tug-of-war between a customer desperate for speed and a store employee bound by her job’s bewildering rules and protocols. This sketch wonderfully captures the frustrations of everyday life that every one of us can relate to, coupled with a level of absurdity that only The Carol Burnett Show can pull off.

Every item Korman places on the conveyor belt becomes an invitation for a comedic interlude. From a simple question about caviar to a drawn-out discourse on the various methods of categorizing products, Korman’s character becomes increasingly exasperated. It’s a delight to see how simple tasks like identifying incense or figuring out change can become hilariously convoluted ordeals.

One can’t forget the highlight of the sketch, the line about the “purple passion of Persia.” Such lines have a lasting legacy, popping up in conversations and serving as inside jokes among show fans. In fact, Ruth Carson and I sometimes toss it into casual conversation, much to the amusement of my friends who are in on the joke.

While this is undeniably a standout sketch, many others from the show have left a lasting impact. “Went With the Wind!” is another fan favorite. The impeccable wordplay and comedic twists! These sketches are like little morsels of humor that, once tasted, linger deliciously in the memory.

The Carol Burnett Show was a combination of timeless comedians crafting timeless comedy. Harvey Korman, alongside the incomparable Tim Conway, often had the audience and their fellow cast members in stitches. Their spontaneity and knack for making each other “lose it” on stage added an extra layer of authenticity and hilarity to the performance. And how can we forget the amazing Vicki Lawrence, who I’ve always held close to my heart?

It’s heartening to know that generations old and new find joy in these sketches. Just the other day, I had the pleasure of rewatching some of them with my neighbor’s young couple. Their infectious laughter reminded me of how comedy transcends age.

So, if you need a hearty laugh or perhaps want to reminisce about the golden era of television comedy, take a stroll down memory lane with The Carol Burnett Show. And after you’ve had your fill of laughter, be sure to share these gems with others. After all, laughter is a joy best shared.

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Harvey Korman takes on slow checkout lanes in a laughter-filled skit