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Tim Conway reveals joke that made Harvey Korman wet his pants on 'The Carol Burnett Show'

The duo had the audience in stitches as Harvey Korman played a nervous patient and Conway played the role of the dentist.

Tim Conway reveals joke that made Harvey Korman wet his pants on 'The Carol Burnett Show'
Cover Image source: The Carol Burnett Show Official

Editor's note: This article was originally published on July 13, 2022. It has since been updated.

They don't make comedians like Tim Conway and Harvey Korman anymore. The duo was a laugh riot every time they were on screen and the best example of that was "The Dentist" sketch on "The Carol Burnett Show." Conway revealed to Conan O’Brien that Korman wet his pants from laughing. Conway played the role of the dentist while Korman played a nervous patient that had the audience in stitches. The sketch starts with Korman arriving at the dentist's place to find out that the regular dentist isn't available. The nurse insists the new dentist is qualified but adds that he just graduated. 

The Dentist
The Dentist/The Carol Burnett Show

Conway is equally, if not more, nervous about attending to a patient. He musters the courage and decides to pull out Korman's tooth as requested. What follows is a comedy of errors, starting with the incompetent dentist sticking the novocaine needle into his own skin, briefly paralyzing his right hand. Conway insists on going through with the procedure and Korman begs to be relieved of his toothache. Conway then accidentally jabs his right foot and is comically trying to go through with the procedure with a briefly paralyzed right hand and foot. Halfway through the sketch Korman can't hold a straight face anymore and starts to laugh. He has simply given up as he watches Conway deliver a lesson in physical comedy. The audience is roaring with laughter throughout the sketch. 


Conway maintains a straight face, breaking only at the end, sharing a nice moment with Korman. The skit has gone on to be a part of comedy folklore and you can hardly blame Korman if he peed his pants just a little. Conway later revealed that the skit was actually based on true events. Conway was a soldier prior to becoming a comedian and he recalled going to see a dentist in the final weeks of his service. Conway said the dentist wanted to administer novocaine but the needle went straight through Conway and into the dentist’s thumb, leaving the dentist numb. Just like in the skit, the dentist insisted on performing the procedure, said Conway. 

Dentist/The Carol Burnett Show

"The Carol Burnett Show" has helped establish many a comedian and has, through the years, won eight Golden Globes and 25 Emmy Awards. Conway recalled how he often pranked Korman. “Harvey never saw what I was going to do until he was actually doing the sketch,” said Conway, reported The Hollywood Reporter. “As a matter of fact in the dentist sketch, you can actually see Harvey wet his pants from laughing.” Conway is also known for voicing Barnacle Boy for the series "SpongeBob SquarePants."


After working in the military, Conway worked at a local station in Cleveland. “I had no professional training. I had a sense of humor and had been in front of a microphone,” said Conway about his beginnings, reported PEOPLE. He appeared as a guest star on "The Carol Burnett Show" for eight seasons and turned regular in 1975. “They used to do 33 shows a year on Burnett,” he said. “She said why don’t you just be a regular on the show? I said I will tell you what. I will do 32 shows and leave one week open at the end, so I can guest on somebody’s show. I always guested on her show, but I did have the right to go somewhere else. My job on every show was to break everybody up.”

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