The year was 1978. My daddy and I were nestled into the soft worn-out cushions of our favorite couch, the flickering lights from the black and white TV casting shadows on our faces. It was a simple yet special time for us to bond over the common ground of comedy. And when it came to comedy, one show stood out from the rest: The Carol Burnett Show. One particular skit, “The Oldest Man: The Hot Dog Vendor,” still makes me smile, even today.
That skit was a quintessential example of the comedic genius of Tim Conway and Harvey Korman. I still remember my daddy throwing his head back, laughter shaking his entire body as he watched Tim Conway as “The Oldest Man,” running a hot dog stand. Harvey Korman, the unsuspecting businessman, brought his unique comedic timing to the mix, making for an unforgettable skit.
The banter started innocently enough. Korman’s character asks for directions to the post office, only to be met with a series of nonsensical answers by Conway’s character, the hot dog vendor. The hilarity continued as Korman ordered a hot dog and a milkshake, simple requests that were humorously botched by the Oldest Man’s forgetfulness and mix-ups.
The audience laughed in less than 45 seconds, including my father and I. I can’t help but reminisce about how we shared those giddy moments, etching a memory into my heart forever. Conway and Korman were a brilliant duo, and their chemistry was undeniable. Their ability to crack each other up added an extra layer to the comedy, making it pure and authentic.
Comedy back in those days was clean and wholesome. There were no cheap shots or crude humor, just good old-fashioned fun. It was a joy to watch these two comedy icons deliver lines that kept us rolling with laughter.
In one part of the skit, Conway’s character claims that a hot dog without a bun is “lonely,” a line that caused another bout of hearty laughter from my dad. This skit wasn’t just a series of jokes but an immersive comedy experience that transported viewers to that quirky hot dog stand.
As I look back at those days, I realize how The Carol Burnett Show was a staple of our family. It brought laughter and joy, brightening up our lives in the late ’60s and ’70s. We adored watching Conway making Korman hysterical with his antics, and even now, it’s still priceless to watch.
The Carol Burnett Show and skits like “The Oldest Man: The Hot Dog Vendor” will always have a special place in my heart. They’ve given me and countless others joyful memories that’ll last a lifetime. So, sit back, relax, and let the good times roll. May the spirit of comedy continue to warm our hearts and bring us laughter. And if you enjoyed this memory as much as I did, don’t forget to share it with those you love.