Tim Conway – Timeless Comedy
Produced by Dan Schaarschmidt
starring Tim Conway
MPI Home Video
As a child, I remember Tim Conway as the sidekick on McHale’s Navy, then the sidekick on The Carol Burnett Show. His side-kicking career spanned decades, and he works regularly to this day. One of his claims to fame is the shortest TV series ever, Turn-On, which was canceled five minutes into its first show. Mr. Conway’s shtick hasn’t aged well, and this disk shows him as occasionally funny and typically a bit tortured. This collection of 12 kinescoped comedy scenes feature him awkwardly playing various specialist who really don’t know much about their field. He’s Dr. Hereford the Obstetrician, Dag Hereford the Race driver, Dag Hereford the Jockey … you get the idea. In each case, the joke revolves around his flimsy knowledge base and naivety as he’s interviewed by a series of 1950s stars, all much more entertaining than he.
Conway’s comedy quickly wears thin, and sitting through one of the skits hurts. Watching them all took me three nights. The best part of each skit was the celebrity introduction with the likes of Bing Crosby, Steve Lawrence, Phil Harris and even Kate Smith in their prime. For the real TV geek, there are nice shots of vintage TV sets. The DVD runs about an hour but feels much longer. You get some of the mandatory special features — an “extra scene” with Joan Crawford, English subtitles and, um, well, not much more. The entertainment value of this disk is rather low. Go get some McHale’s Navy instead.