Tim Conway, the gentle, bumbling comedian whose comedy skills formed the backbone of “McHale’s Navy” and “The Carol Burnett Show,” died this week. As various publications were celebrating his long career, they also made it clear to me that he would have had no career at all if he had been born a few decades later.
The obituaries focused on three of Conway’s most best known and most popular characters. . One was Mr. Tudball, the inept middle manager in a bad toupee who spoke in a funny Scandinavian accent of indeterminate origin.
Accents, however, cannot be laughed at today: it has been decreed by the political correctness police that using exaggerated accents to make people laugh is really encouraging hate, racism and xenophobia. All of the great dialect comics and comic actors of the past, such as Sid Ceasar, Arte Johnson, Danny Kaye, Bill Dana, Jonathan Winters and more: they weren’t really funny. They were hate-mongers.
Then there was the Oldest Man, whom Tim played in a white fright wig. He barely could walk, you see—just inched along in absurdly small steps.
Of course, he was mocking the vulnerable and the marginalized, the elderly and the handicapped. The Oldest Man was obviously poor, too; why else wouled someone so old that he could barely walk or talk still be working? This was never funny; in fact, those skits were sad, tragic reminders of the kind of travails our elderly must endure under capitalism. Those who laughed at Conway were just being as cruel and insensitive as he was.
Perhaps the worst of all was Dorf, a hapless Little Person that Conway played with shoes attached to his knees.
This portrayal, our rising generations have been indoctrinated to understand, was never funny either. It simply was another cruel way to ridicule deformed people. Indeed, most of the time Tim Conway played various kinds of idiots, and mocking them is cruel too. He was never funny, come to think of it. Thank goodness progressives have become powerful and influential enough so we will never laugh at “comedy” like Tim Conway’s again.