Comic Tim Conway on Why He Doesn’t Like Young Comedians
In “What’s So Funny? My Hilarious Life,” six-time Emmy Award winner Tim Conway (with co-author Jane Scovell) looks back on his 50 years in show business, which has included roles on “McHale’s Navy,” “The Carol Burnett Show” and, more recently, “Spongebob Squarepants.” We sat down with Conway to discuss what inspired him to write the book (it’s his first) and to get his thoughts on the next generation of comedians.
Bookish: What aspect of your book are you most excited about?
TC: I think the fact that it was originally printed on goatskin. I felt bad about so many goats being sacrificed. So I said, “Could you just make it paper?” And they did, and I’m very thrilled.
Bookish: Describe the moment when you decided you had to write this book.
TC: It was just before I pulled the typewriter out. I’ve never written a book, so...I said, “This will be the first book I have ever written.” And it took me about an hour to type that. And I said, “Screw it. I’m going to write this out by hand.”
Bookish: What’s the book you’ve recommended to people most often?
TC: Besides the phone book? The Bible.
Bookish: Any particular chapters people should read?
TC: Four, seven and nine.
Bookish: Who’s the funniest person you ever acted with?
Bookish: Second funniest.
TC: Harvey [Korman]. Not a very bright man, but certainly a funny man.
Bookish: What’s the funniest book you ever read?
TC: I think it was the Bible: guys walking around with goats and donkeys and other transportation. [No,] the funniest book I ever read was the one I’ve written. I haven’t read it all. My wife threw it away, so I’m going to have to buy another one.
Bookish: What new comics or actors are you most excited to watch?
TC: None of ‘em. There are very few funny people nowadays. I go back to the old school. I don’t understand these young kids who go out and stand in front of people with the language they [use]. I don’t approve of that at all. Though I swear quite a bit--just with my children at home. But, the punchline of a joke is not a swear word, in my book.