Tim Conway Delivers Laughs Without An Apology

Legendary comedian Tim Conway i i

Tim Conway at a taping of the public TV series BackStage With... At 78, the comedian is still touring. Courtesy WVIZ/PBS ideastream hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy WVIZ/PBS ideastream
Legendary comedian Tim Conway

Tim Conway at a taping of the public TV series BackStage With... At 78, the comedian is still touring.

Courtesy WVIZ/PBS ideastream

When he was young, Tim Conway says, his dyslexia made people laugh.

"I thought, 'Well this is a good way to make a living,' " he tells Weekend Edition host Scott Simon at a recent taping of the public TV series Backstage With... "I'll just go downtown and read and have people laugh."

Conway says he was destined to become a comedian.

"When you're small, you either are funny or you get beat up a lot," he says.

Conway's career stretches from sitcoms in the 1960s to a dozen Disney films and 11 years on The Carol Burnett Show. He is the voice behind Barnacle Boy on SpongeBob SquarePants, and last year he won his sixth Emmy for a guest spot on 30 Rock.

Now 78, he still looks a bit like a bank clerk — short, bald and bespectacled. But he continues to make people laugh and is currently on tour with a stage show.

Conway says he's not capable of doing anything else. He enjoys being funny — a clean, family-friendly kind of funny.

"I avoid all the language and nudity and violence and everything," he tells Simon. "I have enough of that at home."

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