In a classic episode from the iconic Carol Burnett Show, which aired on its 10th season during episode 16, Tim Conway undergoes a transformation that left audiences in splits of laughter. Dated in 1977, the skit unfolds in a casual restaurant setting, where Tim Conway’s character, Percy Thornhill, finds himself in the middle of an unexpected metamorphosis.
Saturday nights in the 1970s often meant families gathering around their television sets, waiting in anticipation for the Carol Burnett Show. And this particular skit, with its witty lines and impeccable comic timing, was no exception. The live audience’s spontaneous reactions, from roaring laughter to heartfelt applause, often became an integral part of the show’s charm.
The scene kicks off with a congratulatory atmosphere. Doctors Newberry, Horlick, and Percy Thornhill, played by Conway, are in a restaurant. The talk of the evening is Percy’s brave endeavor of volunteering for an experimental vaccine to cure swine flu. With a total of 52 shots inside him, Conway jests, “you can’t kiss me without a prescription,” setting the tone for the comedic brilliance that ensues.
Carol Burnett, with her signature comedic discretion, turns her head and covers her mouth, trying to contain her laughter. Meanwhile, Harvey Korman, known for being unable to resist Conway’s antics, predictably breaks out laughing. This organic chemistry between the actors, especially between Conway and Korman, added a unique touch to the show, making the skits all the more memorable.
As the skit progresses, Conway’s character exhibits some strange behavior, making remarks about “eating like a pig” and expressing a sudden craving for a “bushel of corn.” The twist comes when Percy, looking into what he believes is a picture, is met with his reflection, revealing a pig’s face, a side effect of the experimental vaccine.
But the laughter doesn’t end there. Conway, now realizing his peculiar appearance, throws in line after line of pig-related humor, like “I was just in hog heaven,” and wonders aloud about the prospect of his wedding now that he’s taken on this new appearance. The final blow is delivered when someone suggests wearing a paper bag over his head.
Growing up, many of us can remember watching this particular skit with family members, young and old, all laughing in unison. The shared experience of such comedic moments, courtesy of the Carol Burnett Show, has become an integral part of our collective memory.
For those who haven’t had the pleasure or for those wanting a trip down memory lane, watching this skit is highly recommended. It not only offers a wave of nostalgia but guarantees to leave you with hearty laughter.