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Bud Abbott and Lou Costello.

Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy.

Harvey Korman and Tim Conway.

It's a rare chemistry-laden connection that brings two clever comedians together. I remember watching Harvey Korman doing his absolute best to keep from bursting out with laughter during his scenes with Tim Conway on The Carol Burnett Show. The Dentist Sketch is still making the rounds as an email attachment, over 30 years later. Half of the laughter generated by the audience was from watching Tim try to get Harvey to break out of character.

Born Harvey Herschel Korman on February 15, 1927, he grew up in Chicago, Illinois during the depression era. He began college, but left for service in the U.S. Navy during World War II. After the war, he resumed his studies at the Chicago Art Institute. When he graduated, he headed for Broadway.

He couldn't catch a break, so he began to work menial jobs to support himself. Frustrated, he teamed up with another gent to form a comedy duo. They were fired between the first and second show.

Disillusioned, he went west to Hollywood, where Harvey quipped he could at least he would be warm if he were homeless. He finally got a break, getting hired by Danny Kaye in 1964. He played an excellent straight man, and stayed with Danny until the show was cancelled. That same year, he was picked up by Carol Burnett.

Once Harvey and Tim were together, the hilarity ensued. Even Carol could be seen crying, willing herself not to laugh out loud during the skits, especially since they were filmed live before a studio audience.

Eventually, Harvey went on to host his own short-lived show. Mel Brooks ended up snagging Harvey for a few of his films, which includes Harvey's most famous film role as Hedley LaMarr in Blazing Saddles. I personally thought he did an amazing job playing Bud Abbott to Buddy Hackett's Lou Costello in Bud and Lou.

Sadly, Harvey Korman passed away on May 29th, 2008. He was survived by his wife and four children, two from his previous marriage.

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