This talented writer contributed to Tim Conway's iconic dentist sketch
Watching The Carol Burnett Show's dentist sketch will have you saying, "that was the best nine minutes of my life." After you wipe away tears of laughter, applauding the fantastic actors who brought the sketch to life, don't forget to praise the writers, too.
Of course, Tim Conway and his ability to be a hilarious mastermind turned the skit into comedic history. Yet, a talented writer, Gail Parent, also contributed to the masterpiece.
Parent revealed to the Television Academy that Conway hired her and another writer to help him with six sketches, one being the dentist sketch.
"Tim, in the beginning, was a guest star, and then he was asked to bring in his own material," she said. "And he hired Kenny and me to write six sketches for him, knowing that we were on the show and that we would probably know what would be good for him. One of those sketches was the dentist sketch."
She said that whenever the sketch is mentioned, people tend to forget about her, but she was grateful to collaborate on the opportunity. "He added to [the sketch]. It was about 50/50, or maybe even a 60/40 type of proposition," Parent revealed. "Cause the dentist sketch had the premise of a dentist on his first day of work."
The writer believed the idea was typical and funny because of the mistakes made on the first day at a new job. "I think it was just supposed to be novocaine on the hand. The way we pictured it, it was going to happen pretty quickly," she said. "I mean, Tim made it go on for 20 minutes."
When Tim Conway stepped into the scene, adding a personalized touch, the crowd's laughter was uncontrollable. Harvey Korman, the patient in the chair, tried his best to hold in his laugh.
"Harvey lost it. He was a patient in the dental chair," she added. "And then Tim went on from there. He did improvise and was the only one on the show who did, and he did it to make Harvey laugh or Carol at times, but mainly Harvey."
Parent described Conway as a brilliant and excellent writer. She was happy to get it on record that she helped with that legendary moment in television history.
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