Harvey Korman quotes – Hollywood’s great second banana and straight man
I got canceled in the middle of making the pilot.
(on sketch comedy) You asked what is the secret of a really good sketch. And it is a sketch is a small play. It’s got a beginning, and a middle and an end. It should have a plot; it should have the characters, conflict. It is a little play. And in it, will be funny stuff.
You have to have a certain persona to be a star, you know, and I don’t have that. I’m a banana.
And I’ll tell you somebody else who was a straight man and considers himself a straight man and describes himself as one, Cary Grant.
Although in Abbott and Costello, and straight man was first. That’s a very interesting concept.
And I went to New York and died; for 10 years I walked those pavements. I can’t think of New York without feeling uncomfortable and feeling like a failure.
And it’s tough traveling. You know, the hotels and the airports and all that. That part, eating and getting around to the hotel room and then going on.
But there’s a lot of 50’s and a lot of boomers and a lot of kids in their 30’s that grew up with us.
Don’t … those writers used to love us. They would write these little plays, and we would take care of the comedy. It really seldom was joke jokes.
Funny is when you’re serious.
I mean, we had on our show, we had marriages, divorces and other stuff going on. And that was just me.
I played Hamlet, I played Chekhov and Ibsen and all the classics.
I went to the Goodman School of Drama in Chicago.
I wish there was something that … I get all those wonderful letters and wonderful acknowledgments, and I wish I could be more appreciative of what I do. But it’s hard for me.
I’m not a star.
It’s not so much the club as we kind of make it into, like, theater. It’s kind of like revue, like cabaret. It’s like, you know, doing our show.
Then I got out of the service, and I was going to be a Shakespearean actor.
They say it’s good but I didn’t know what I was doing until I got into the suit and they put the mustache on me, and somehow, when I got all the drag on, it came out. It was the most amazing thing. I’m truly extraordinary.
We were an ensemble, and Carol [Burnett] had the most incredible attitude. I’ve never worked with a star of that magnitude who was willing to give so much away. … on the success of The Carol Burnett Show
It takes a certain type of person to be a television star. I didn’t have whatever that is. I come across as kind of snobbish and maybe a little too bright. … Give me something bizarre to play or put me in a dress and I’m fine.