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Pat McCormick

(Arley D. McCormick) July 17, 1934

Pat McCormick had a great influence on American comedy -- though few people are aware of it. As a writer for Jonathan Winters, Merv Griffin, Bill Cosby, Don Rickles "Hee-Haw" and  up with bizarre material that challenged the barriers of 50's and 60's comedy.

While "sick" comedy had been around in the 50's, and everyone from Jack Douglas to Lenny Bruce experimented with "hip" comedy, little of this material was heard by middle America. They began to hear it when Johnny Carson started to liven up his standard monologues with some of the McCormick "weirdness."

Samples of Pat's comic style in the 60's can be heard on his own album, "Pat McCormick Tells It Like It Is." It was similar to the humor on "The Tonight Show" at the time. McCormick did a bit on "Wrinkle City," a senior citizen home where they stage Olympic events like "the hop, skip and trip" competition and the "false teeth toss." That kind of thing became fodder for Carson's old "Aunt Blabby." And while Carson's "Karnak" answered unusual questions, McCormick invented for himself a parody of Tonto: "Why are you cleaning your rifle, Tonto?" "Dusty Springfield!" "I understand you had a date yesterday with both Doris and Evelyn. How did you arrange that?" "Doris Day. Evelyn Knight..." And if Carson sometimes brought out odd products to lampoon, Pat invented his own, like "a trained mouse to work as an operator for Cuban elevator shoes."

Not the master of voices that Jonathan Winters was, a somewhat odd and awkward sight (the mild-looking curly-haired blonde stood 6'6") McCormick never became a major stand-up performer, and for a time seemed consigned to the thankless role of Ed McMahon-like stooge for Don Rickles (on Don's TV variety show). But over the years, McCormick developed into a comedy character actor, using his imposing height and silly demeanor to play a variety of fierce but essentially harmless types. In "Smokey and the Bandit III" he was paired with tiny Paul Williams for some visual comedy, and found himself in similar circumstances surrounded by little people in "Under the Rainbow."

In 1990 McCormick turned up as a lawyer in Sam Kinison's rock video, "Under My Thumb." Among the ad-libs he threw at the be-wigged judge: "By the way, your honor, I think there's a sparrow loose in your hair!" After the song ended he declared, "Never eat in a restaurant where you see a cockroach bench-pressing a burrito!"

McCormick, a comedy legend off-screen as much as on, enjoyed letting his imagination loose for the fun of it. Writer Phil Berger reported a typical incident from the always-on McCormick: "To celebrate the baptism of his baby boy, McCormick had chums of his over for a sit-down dinner. After drinks, he disappeared a moment, returning with a silver platter that he set down on the table, revealing the wee McCormick surrounded by carrot and onion trimmings. Taking hold of the infant's member, he asked, "Who wants the Pope's nose?"

Retired after suffering a debilitating stroke that left him paralyzed and unable to speak.


The Don Rickles Show (1968) TV Series....Regular
The Phynx (1970)....Father O'Hoolihan
The New Bill Cosby Show(1972) TV Series....Regular
The Funnier Side of Eastern Canada(1974) (TV)....Chocolate Moose
Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson (1976) .... President Grover Cleveland
Shaggy D.A., The (1976) .... Harry, the Bartender
Smokey and the Bandit (1977) .... Big Enos Burdette
Chinatown Connection (1977).... Flynn
Wedding, A (1978) .... Mackenzie 'Mac' Goddard
Mr. Horn (1979) (TV) .... John Noble
Hot Stuff (1979) .... Man with Cigars
Scavenger Hunt (1979) .... Carnival Barker
Smokey and the Bandit II (1980) .... Big Enos
History of the World: Part I (1981) .... Plumbing Salesman
Under the Rainbow (1981) .... Tiny
Rooster (1982) (TV) .... Sweets McBride
"Gun Shy" (1983) TV Series .... Colonel Mound
Smokey and the Bandit Part 3 (1983) .... Big Enos
Likely Stories, Vol. 3 (1983) (TV) .... Doctor
Jerk, Too, The (1984) (TV) .... Dudley
E. Nick: A Legend in His Own Mind (1984)
Doin' Time (1985) .... Fallis
Wet & Wild River Days (1985) (V) .... Host
Bombs Away (1985) .... The Dispatcher
Playmate Playoffs (1986) (V) .... Event demonstrator
Best Chest in the West II (1986) (V) .... Emcee
Rented Lips (1988) .... Winky
Nerds of a Feather (1990)
Chinatown Connection (1990) .... Flynn
Ted and Venus (1991) .... Marcia's Elderly Boyfriend
Broadway Bound (1992) (TV) .... Announcer


"Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, The" (1962) TV Series (writer)
"Danny Kaye Show, The" (1963) TV Series (writer) (seasons 3 and 4)
"Get Smart" (1965) TV Series (writer)
Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mama's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feeling So Sad (1967)
Funnier Side of Eastern Canada, The (1974) (TV)
Bette Midler: Ol' Red Hair Is Back (1978) (TV)
Steve Martin: All Commercials (1980) (TV)
Under the Rainbow (1981) (screenplay)


If You Don't Stop It... You'll Go Blind!!! (1979) .... Himself - Awards emcee
Gong Show Movie, The (1980) .... Himself
Best Chest in the West (1984) (V) .... Himself (Judge)
Scrooged (1988) .... Himself (TV Ghost of Christmas Past)


"I've Got a Secret" (1952) TV Series (production assistant)
"Gun Shy" (1983) TV Series (executive story editor)


"Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, The" (1962) playing "Himself" 12 March 1970
"Bob Newhart Show, The" (1972) playing "Strange Man" in episode: "Bum Voyage" (episode # 1.23) 3 March 1973
"Sanford and Son" (1972) playing "Moose" in episode: "Superflyer" (episode # 3.8) 2 November 1973
"Laverne & Shirley" (1976) playing "Henry Wanda" in episode: "Lonely at the Middle" (episode # 2.22) 29 March 1977
"Love Boat, The" (1977) playing "Mr. Stockwell" in episode: "I Don't Play Anymore/Gopher's Roomate/Crazy for You" (episode # 5.15) 23 January 1982
"Trapper John, M.D." (1979) in episode: "South Side Story" (episode # 4.22) 3 April 1983
"Faerie Tale Theatre" (1982) playing "King Frederiko" in episode: "The Princess and the Pea" (episode # 3.2) 16 April 1984
"Pryor's Place" (1984) in episode: "Voyage to the Planet of the Dumb" (episode # 1.4) 13 October 1984
"Golden Girls, The" (1985) playing "Drugstore Clerk" in episode: "Valentine's Day" (episode # 4.15) 11 February 1989
"Golden Girls, The" (1985) in episode: "The President's Coming! The President's Coming!(1)" (episode # 5.25) 5 May 1990
"Golden Girls, The" (1985) in episode: "The President's Coming! The President's Coming!(2)" (episode # 5.26) 12 May 1990
"Cop Rock" (1990) playing "Norm Chauncey" in episode: "Cop-a-Felliac" (episode # 1.7) 7 November 1990
"Grace Under Fire" (1993) playing "Barry Leeds" in episode: "The Good Mother" (episode # 2.13) 3 January 1995



Pat Cuts up on Hee-Haw(1969) is it just me or does this photo scare the shit out of you.

"Best of  "CD" Let Loose". 

Pat cleans up good as Co-host of the Don Rickles Show.

Pat as Big Enos and his little buddy Paul Williams as Little Enos.

A big howdy from Everyone's Favorite Redneck? Stoned?

Pat with Carol Burnette in the film "A Wedding".

One of Pat's first films.

Pat is seen riding a nuclear bomb.




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