“Corpsing” is one of those things that happens when you’re recording a comedy sketch in one take and one (or more) of the actors in the sketch switches from fully participating to just trying to keep it together to keep from laughing.
While it’s exceptionally easy to do this sort of thing poorly (I’M LOOKING AT YOU, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE ERA JIMMY FALLON!), there are a handful of sketches remembered fondly decades later in which the participants lose it and, well, it’s awesome. They lose it, we lose it, everybody loses it.
Tim Conway sketches were notorious for this. We can argue for days about which one was the best one but the two that get mentioned all the time are the Dentist sketch:
And the Elephant Story:
I know that watching Saturday Night Live, my attitude is some variant of “come on, guys… keep it together… be professional…”, my attitude towards Harvey Korman was “holy cow… how did you make it to six minutes?”
So… what are you reading and/or watching?