Some moments in television history, much like fine wine, seem to only get better with time. The comedic sketch “The Dentist” from The Carol Burnett Show is a perfect example of this. It continues to elicit laughter from fans across generations, solidifying its reputation as one of the funniest television moments ever.

The Carol Burnett Show garnered an impressive array of accolades, including 25 Emmy Awards and eight Golden Globes, propelling many comedians to fame during its eleven-year run. Even today, it remains one of the most distinguished shows in television history.

One of its most iconic and hilariously memorable sketches, “The Dentist,” featuring comedians Tim Conway and Harvey Korman, continues to bring laughter to audiences. Conway and Korman struggle to stifle their laughter as they witness the uproarious performance unfold before them.

In “The Dentist,” Korman’s character grapples with a severe toothache and seeks relief at the dentist’s office on a Sunday, only to find Conway, the nephew of his regular dentist, filling in for him. Conway’s character, a recent dental school graduate, nervously attempts to convince his first patient to either leave or settle for a simple cleaning, resorting to humorous lies about his academic performance and experience. However, Korman’s character is in too much pain to pay attention to the excuses, leading to hilariously chaotic interactions between the two.

Conway, portraying the inexperienced dentist, resorts to consulting a handbook to navigate the tooth extraction process, leading to the accidental injection of Novocain into his hand. The resulting numbness leads to a series of comical mishaps that ensue. Korman, attempting to maintain his composure amidst the absurdity, often shields his face to avoid breaking character during the sketch.

In a later revelation, Conway shared that Korman had been laughing so hard during the performance that he soiled his trousers, adding to the hilarity of the situation. Conway also disclosed that the sketch was inspired by a real-life encounter with a military dentist, providing insight into its origins.

Indeed, the sketch leaves almost everything in disarray by its conclusion, except for the laughter of the audience and the suffering patient’s lips. While the primary goal of the comedy is to elicit laughter, viewers will have to watch to discover whether or not the patient’s tooth is successfully extracted.

Many can relate to the discomfort associated with a challenging dental experience, adding to the humor of the sketch. The Carol Burnett Show, which aired from 1967 to 1978, offered audiences non-partisan, family-friendly, and authentic humor. It’s no wonder that this cherished piece of television history continues to entertain viewers of all ages.