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. Continue reading