"Now go do/that voodoo/that you do/so we-e-e-e-e-e-ell!"
According to the Associated Press, comic actor Harvey Korman has died at UCLA Medical Center after suffering complications from the rupture of an abdominal aortic aneurysm four months ago. This report comes from a statement released by the hospital from his family.
For people of my generation and older, Korman will probably be best remembered as part of the comic troupe that graced, and sometimes barely made through attacks of on-stage laughter on The Carol Burnett Show (1967-1978). But for me Korman will always be Hedley Lamarr, the oily, corrupt businessman who masterminds the destruction of the town of Rock Ridge by installing a black sheriff, in Mel Brooks’ lunatic TNT blast to the western genre, Blazing Saddles.
Some great moments from Hedy (“That’s Hedley!”) Lamarr as he begins hatching his nefarious plan:
Lamarr: “All right, I'm through being Mr. Goodbar, the time has come to act and act quickly!”
Taggart (Slim Pickens): What do you want me to do, sir?
Lamarr: I want you to round up every vicious criminal and gunslinger in the west. Take this down.
[Taggart scrambles for a pen and paper.]
Lamarr (increasing in intensity): I want rustlers, cut throats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperados, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, halfwits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, con men, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggerers, bushwhackers, hornswogglers, horse thieves, bull dykes, train robbers, bank robbers, ass-kickers, shit-kickers… and Methodists!
Taggart (finding pen and paper): Could you repeat that, sir?
To the motley band of troops assembled to rape and pillage the town at the movie's climax: “You will be risking your lives, whilst I will be risking an almost-certain Academy Award nomination for the Best Supporting Actor.”
Lamarr's tongue (used purtier than that of a $20 whore) at work: “My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives!”
And who could forget this exchange Black Bart (Cleavon Little), masquerading as a Klansman and describing his qualifications for villainy:
Bart: Stampeding cattle.
Lamarr: That's not much of a crime.
Bart: Through the Vatican?
Lamarr: Kinky! Sign here.
Thanks, Mr. Korman, for this great comic creation and all the other laughs you gave us over your 40-year career in movies and TV.
(And thanks to Ray Pride for the YouTube tip.)