R.I.P. The Great Gazoo

Say what you will about the Great Gazoo, but Harvey Korman (who performed his voice) was a fine comic actor.

He passed away today at age 81.

In addition to his role as Gazoo on The Flintstones, Korman voiced characters on several other animated shows and movies, including Hey Arnold, The Wild Thornberrys and Buzz Lightyear. (The less said about his involvement with this, the better.) He’ll best be remembered by his appearances with Carol Burnett and Tim Conway. And as Hedley Lamarr in Blazing Saddles, he certainly won’t be forgotten. As a tribute, here’s a sample clip of Korman as Gazoo:

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  • http://educatedmetalhead.blogspot.com/ DanO

    “…thats Hedley…”

  • http://www.awprunes.blogspot.com/ Larry Levine

    RIP Harvey Korman

    Watching Mr Korman trying not to laugh at Tim Conway on “The Carol Burnett Show” will always be among television’s funniest moments.

  • Brad

    Aw man! What a great comic actor. Just looking at him sometimes would make me smile in anticipation of a laugh. I can only hope there is some kind of meaningful tribute to him somewhere. Comedians with actual talent and comic timing who don’t resort to vulgarity, profanity and toilet humor are a rarity these days. And I’m no prude — I LOVE the tasteful innuendo found in classic material like Mel Brooks or Gene Wilder movies.

  • Nathan Hale

    Tim Conway will STILL try to crack him up at the funeral.

  • Keith Paynter

    Second that, Brad.

    Thanks for everything, Heddy…

  • http://Incoherent-thought.blogspot.com Vincent

    Damn shame. Some folks really should get to live forever.
    We dumb dumbs have to try and carry on.

  • Paul N

    I saw Korman and Tim Conway do their nightclub act a year or two ago. It was worth dragging myself out of bed for, even with a 101-degree fever. They were hysterical, and it was a very memorable night. Another true master leaves us.

  • http://gavinscartoons.blogspot.com Gavin Freitas

    I didnt know that was “Hedy” as the great Gazoo. I loved him in Blazing Saddles! “Where’s my froggy??” RIP my friend…

  • http://www.frankpanucci.com FP

    An obscure Harvey Korman performance is available for free download in THIS MOVIE. Watch Harvery’s meat carving adventures.

  • http://www.youtube.com/jayxter Jake Anthony

    Korman was awesome in Blazing Saddles….
    He will be truly missed!

  • P.C. Unfunny

    I knew Korman from Flinstones and Blazzing Saddles. R.I.P old boy.

    Vincent: I ORDER YOU to find the fountain of Youth !!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.awprunes.blogspot.com/ Larry Levine

    Harvey Korman was also in the infamous “Star Wars Holiday Special”

  • http://www.perennialpictures.com G. Brian Reynolds

    When we did the O. Ratz cartoon, “Rat on a Hot Tin Roof” as part of the “What A Cartoon!” series, we were casting here in Indianapolis and Kris Zimmerman was casting in L.A. We were telling people who read on this end, “think Hedley Lamarr.” It was Fred Seibert who finally said, “why don’t we get Harvey Korman?” I guess it didn’t occur to us that he would be available – or willing. Turns out he was on both counts.

    We had a very enjoyable recording session. He and Marvin Kaplan worked off each other wonderfully. After we got through the dialogue, we had a bunch of screams – a BUNCH of them. In the middle of the helps, yelps and shrieks, Harvey stopped, said, deadpan, “Eight years of Shakespeare for this!” and then went right back to the screams.

    And I also remember him wondering if what he was doing was good enough – and whether we were happy with it. Questioning his own performance was probably one of the reasons he was as good as he was. You can check out Harvey’s performance here

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-j8Ftvu8v4s

  • Michael Rebain

    And he was the voice of Dr. Doom in the 1967 Hanna-Barbera Fantastic Four cartoon series!

  • http://andynortonuk.spaces.live.com/ Andy Norton

    I will probably remember him from Blazing Saddles rather than his work on The Flinstones and Hey Arnold… but that’s me.

  • http://tangoland.com Cynthia

    Thanks for posting this! I just wrote my own tribute on my journal last night when I heard he passed away. I always loved The Carol Burnett Show, and his roles in the Mel Brooks movies like Blazing Saddles and High Anxiety.

  • http://www.goldenagecartoons.com Matthew Hunter

    G. Brian Reynolds:

    I had no idea that was Korman as “O’Ratz”. I loved that cartoon, and I thought it was a lot better than some of the other stuff on “What-
    a-Cartoon”.

  • Bugsmer

    He played quite a few parts in the Star Wars Holiday Special. He singlehandedly increased the quality level from awful to mediocre.

  • http://geritopiablogspot.com Professor Widebottom

    Korman also played the High School Principal in the 60′s iconoclast anti-everything movie “Lord Love a Duck”, directed by George Axelrod. It’s a movie that has existed unfairly under the radar as a “cult” favorite but those who see it never forget it. Check it out!!! He’s very good and it’s a very early role.

  • http://inkwellimagesink.com Ray Pointer

    I had the privilege of animating on the last appearance of GAZOO in a Post Cocoa Pebbles spot. Gazoo sends Fred to the “Cocoa Cavern” where he can get all the cocoa he wants. Harvey Korman returned to do the voice, and it was one of the most satisfying commericals I had worked on. It was done 14 years ago, and I understand it may still be running as will all of Mr. Korman’s wonderful work.

  • Chris Sobieniak

    That’s quite interesting Ray, have to see if I can watch that again in case it’s one I may have seen way back then (YouTube also tends to be a good source for the classics)!