Tim Conway’s Elephant Story

Tim Conway Hijacks a “Mama’s Family” Sketch On Carol Burnett


The Carol Burnett Show was taped before a live audience, and the outtakes from those taping sessions contain some of the most hilarious bloopers and breakups ever recorded. Tim Conway and Harvey Korman were always competing to see who could break up the other, or Carol. Into this mix came Vicki Lawrence and the “Mama’s Family” sketches, and the famous evening of Tim Conway’s elephant story.

This particular evening, Dick Van Dyke was substituting for Korman who had suffered a heart attack and was recuperating. Carol had made a “special plea” that things stay “on track” so the taping could be done on schedule. At one point in the sketch, Tim Conway’s character was supposed to tell a short story about an elephant. As the taping went on, several takes were done, and each time the story got longer, more convoluted, and more hilarious. Conway left the others in stitches as he hijacked the entire sketch.

The funniest part of the entire thing is how Lawrence, a relative newcomer to the situation, put a “capper” on the entire proceedings literally sending the other actors to the floor with laughter. Though this couldn’t make it to the “final cut”, it’s one of the funniest segments in TV history.



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