In Memoriam: The Story Behind Tim Conway's Famous 'Dentist' Skit

Tim Conway The Dentist In Memoriam
December 15, 2020 - 18:15 / Rachel Johnson

Tim Conway's The Dentist skit may have first caught the attention of audiences in 1969 but it still remains one of the most iconic comedy sketches today. When Tim Conway passed away in May of 2019, the comedy world was saddened to hear of the loss of a legend. Join us in taking a look back at the comedy king's famous The Dentist skit, and the event that inspired Tim Conway to write it.

Tim Conway's The Dentist is among his best comedy skits. The talented comedian was born December 15, 1933 in Willoughby, Ohio and after majoring in television and radio would begin his comedy career in Cleveland. 

Throughout the late 50s and 1960s, Tim Conway would work for a number of television stations before gaining prominence following a stint on The Steve Allen Show. Soon Conway would land a number of other spots on shows like McHale's Navy before landing his very own show, The Tim Conway Show (1970;1980-81)! 

Tim Conway The Dentist

Tim Conway in 1965

Tim Conway's The Dentist skit would come in 1969 while he was a guest on The Carol Burnett Show. Starring with comedian Harvey Korman, the skit is lauded as one of the funniest sketches ever made. Conway plays the part of an incompetent fresh out of college dentist who botches his first patient's dental procedure terribly!

Funny enough, Conway actually got the idea for the skit from a real-life experience! While Conway's real-life dentist was much more competent, the part about Conway's dentist accidentally jabbing his own thumb with novocaine holds true. 

Tim Conway In Memoriam

Tim Conway attends the 16th Annual Mark Twain Prize For American Humor in 2013

Tim Conway will forever be remembered for his The Dentist skit and his time as a regular on The Carol Burnett Show from 1975 to 1978. Other memorable skits of Conway's include:

  • The Fireman sketch 
  • Dog's Life sketch
  • Airline Security sketch
  • Tim as the Oldest Man sketch

While voicing his last project, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, Tim Conway was in failing health and would eventually pass away at the age of 85 in May of 2019. Saddened by his passing, the comedy world will forever remember Tim Conway and his contributions, especially The Dentist sketch.