World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Dana Carvey


Dana Carvey

Dana Carvey
Dana Carvey, September 1987
Birth name Dana Thomas Carvey
Born (1955-06-02) June 2, 1955
Missoula, Montana, U.S.
Medium Film, television, stand-up
Nationality American
Years active 1978–present
Genres Character comedy, improvisational comedy, observational comedy, satire/political satire
Influences Ross Martin, Billy Crystal[1]
Influenced Frank Caliendo,[2] Jimmy Fallon[3]
Spouse Paula Zwagerman (1983–present)

Dana Thomas Carvey (born June 2, 1955) is an American actor and stand-up comedian, known for his work as a cast member on Ross Perot on Saturday Night Live.

Early life

Dana Carvey was born in Missoula, Montana, the son of Billie Dahl, a schoolteacher, and Bud Carvey, a high school business teacher.[4] Carvey is the brother of Brad Carvey, the engineer/designer of the Video Toaster. The character Garth Algar is a loosely based portrayal of Brad. Carvey has Irish and Norwegian ancestry, and was raised Lutheran.[5][6][7] When he was three years old, his family moved to San Carlos, California, in the San Francisco Bay Area. He received his first drum kit at an early age. He attended Tierra Linda Junior High in San Carlos, Carlmont High School in Belmont, California (where he was a member of the Central Coast Section champion Cross Country team),[8] College of San Mateo in San Mateo, California, and received his bachelor's degree in broadcast communications from San Francisco State University.[9]


Early career

He had a minor role in Halloween II, and co-starred on One of the Boys in 1982, a short-lived television sitcom that also starred Mickey Rooney, Nathan Lane, and Meg Ryan. In 1984, Carvey had a small role in Rob Reiner's film This Is Spinal Tap, in which he played a mime, with fellow comedian Billy Crystal (who tells him "Mime is money!"). He also appeared in the short-lived film-based action television series Blue Thunder.

Saturday Night Live

In 1986, Carvey became a household name when he joined the cast of NBC's Saturday Night Live. He, along with newcomers Phil Hartman, Kevin Nealon, Jan Hooks, and Victoria Jackson, helped to reverse the show's declining popularity and made SNL "must-see" TV once again. An important part of the show's revival was Carvey's breakout character, The Church Lady, the uptight, smug, and pious host of Church Chat.[10] Carvey said he based the character on women he knew from church while growing up, who would keep track of other churchgoers' attendance. He became so associated with the character that later cast members like Chris Farley referred to Carvey simply as "The Lady".

Carvey's other original characters included Garth Algar (from "George H. W. Bush, he was the designated impersonator of the president, making him the lead actor of the regular political sketches on SNL.

During the Bill Clinton, played by Phil Hartman. As Perot—prerecorded and timed to give the appearance of interacting with the live Bush and Clinton—Carvey eschewed the show's signature "Live from New York" opening line, telling Bush "Why don't you do it, live-boy?" Carvey left SNL in 1993.

In 1992, Carvey joined Mike Myers in Wayne's World, the film. A sequel, Wayne's World 2, was filmed and released in 1993.

Carvey's SNL work won him an Emmy Award in 1993 for Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program. He has a total of six Emmy[12] nominations. Carvey has returned to host SNL four times, in 1994, 1996, 2000, and 2011.

Celebrity impersonations

After SNL

NBC executives hoped to get Carvey to take over the 12:30 a.m. (ET) weeknight spot in the network's lineup in 1993 when David Letterman left his show, Late Night with David Letterman, for an 11:30 p.m. (ET) show on CBS. The 12:30 spot eventually went to Conan O'Brien.

In 1994, Carvey starred in the film Clean Slate. The following year, in 1995, Carvey filmed his first HBO stand-up special Critic's Choice. The show featured Carvey doing many of his SNL impersonations, as well as making fun of the premium channel's name, pronouncing it "hobo".

He had to turn down a role in Bad Boys because he felt overwhelmed as a new father.[11]

He reprised many of his SNL characters in 1996 for The Dana Carvey Show, a short-lived prime-time variety show on ABC. The show was most notable for launching Robert Smigel's cartoon "The Ambiguously Gay Duo" as well as the careers of Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert.

In 2002, he returned to films in the spy comedy The Master of Disguise. Released a week after former colleague Mike Myers' successful (and similar) film Austin Powers in Goldmember, most critics compared the movies and panned Carvey's effort. However, the movie did manage about $40 million at the North American box office. In March 2007, aggregate review website Rotten Tomatoes ranked the film as the 18th worst-reviewed movie of the 00's decade, with a 1% fresh rating.[13] Comedian and former Mystery Science Theater 3000 host Michael J. Nelson named the film the third-worst comedy ever made.[14] Carvey did not appear in a film again until 2011's Jack and Jill. It too is considered one of the worst comedies of all time.[15][16]

He is number 90 on Comedy Central's list of the 100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time.[17]

Carvey eventually withdrew from the limelight to focus on his family. He later said in an interview that he does not want to be in a career in which his kids would already be grown with him having neglected spending time with them.

At the January 2, 2007, funeral of Chevy Chase made Ford the object of impressions. Bush cited this as a valuable lesson in learning to laugh at one's self as a part of public life. "I'd tell you more about that," Bush continued, "but as Dana Carvey would say, [imitating Carvey imitating him] 'Not gonna do it! Wouldn't be prudent!'".

Carvey made an appearance at the 2008 MTV Movie Awards, reprising his SNL character Garth Algar with host Mike Myers for a "Wayne's World" sketch. On June 14, 2008, Carvey filmed a second HBO stand-up special, the first in 13 years, entitled Squatting Monkeys Tell No Lies.

In 2010, Carvey appeared in the Funny or Die original comedy sketch Presidential Reunion. He played the role of President George H. W. Bush alongside other current and former SNL president impersonators.

In early 2010, Carvey and comedian/writer Spike Feresten created and starred together in Spoof, a sketch comedy pilot for Fox. This included a sketch of a trailer for "Darwin", a mock film in which he played the evolutionary biologist, as well as a spoof of the hit TV series Lost. Both of these sketches can be seen on the video website YouTube.[18][19] On the animated TV series The Fairly OddParents, Carvey voiced Cosmo Cosma's con artist brother Schnozmo.

Personal life

In 1979, while performing at The Other Cafe in San Francisco, Carvey met Paula Zwaggerman. They were engaged in 1980. They have two sons together, Dex (born 1991) and Thomas (born 1993). Carvey votes independent. He enjoys playing basketball, as well as the guitar and drums. He also enjoys painting.

In 1997, Carvey underwent heart bypass surgery for a blocked coronary artery, but the surgeon operated on the wrong artery. The blocked artery was deeply buried in muscle and thus hard to find; another artery, though not blocked, was clearly accessible, so the surgeon bypassed it. Carvey, later suffering from angina pectoris, sued for medical malpractice and was awarded $8 million in damages. He donated the money to charity.[20] He has had to undergo additional surgery to correct his heart problems. He told Newsday that, while he was in the hospital for his final angioplasty, Frank Sinatra died in the room adjacent to his.[11]



Year Title Role Notes
1981 Halloween II Assistant
1984 This Is Spinal Tap Mime Waiter
1984 Racing with the Moon Baby Face
1986 Tough Guys Richie Evans
1988 Moving Brad Williams
1990 Opportunity Knocks Eddie
1992 Wayne's World Garth Algar
1993 Wayne's World 2 Garth Algar
1994 Clean Slate Maurice L. Pogue
1994 The Road to Wellville George Kellogg
1994 Trapped in Paradise Alvin Firpo
1995 The Shot Dana Carvey
1996 Fire on the Track: The Steve Prefontaine Story Himself Interviewee
2000 Little Nicky Referee
2002 The Master of Disguise Pistachio Disguisey Writer
2010 Presidential Reunion George H. W. Bush Short film
2011 Jack and Jill Crazy Puppeteer[21]


Year Title Role Notes
1982 One of the Boys Adam Shields 13 episodes
1984 Blue Thunder Clinton "JAFO" Wonderlove 11 episodes
1986–1993 Saturday Night Live Various Roles 134 episodes
Primetime Emmy Award for Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program
4 Other Nominations for Primetime Emmy Award for Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program
Hosted episodes in 1994, 1996, 2000, and 2011
1988 Superman 50th Anniversary Special Himself 1 episode
1992–1997 The Larry Sanders Show Himself 3 episodes
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series
1996 The Dana Carvey Show Host
Various Roles
8 episodes
Executive producer of 1 episode
1998 Just Shoot Me! Oskar Milos 1 episode
1998–1999 LateLine Senator Crowl Pickens 2 episodes
2003 Power Rangers Ninja Storm Additional Voices 1 episode
2009 The Fairly OddParents Schnozmo Cosma Voice
1 episode
2010 Spoof Various Unaired pilot for Fox Network
2011 The Oprah Winfrey Show Himself 1 episode
2011 Live with Regis and Kelly Himself 1 episode
2012 Live with Kelly Himself Guest host
3 episodes
2013 Rick and Morty Leonard Voice
1 episode
2014 The Birthday Boys Laurence Eastman 1 episode

See also


  1. ^ Pollak, Kevin; Carvey, Dana (May 31, 2009). Kevin Pollak's Chat Show. Interview with Kevin Pollak. 
  2. ^ Miller, Dennis; Carvey, Dana (2009-02-13). The Dennis Miller Show. Interview with Dennis Miller. 
  3. ^ Fallon, Jimmy; Carvey, Dana (September 2011). Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Interview with Jimmy Fallon. 
  4. ^ "Dana Carvey Biography (1955-)". Retrieved September 3, 2011. 
  5. ^ "CNN Transcript – Larry King Live: Dana Carvey Lives to Tell About Mistaken Bypass Surgery – June 29, 2000". CNN. 
  6. ^ Pearlman, Cindy (1990-04-13). "'"Dana Carvey grabs at an 'Opportunity. Chicago Sun-Times. 
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ "CCS Finals – 1971". Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  9. ^ "Dana Carvey". Montana Kids. Montana Office of Tourism. Retrieved August 6, 2011. 
  10. ^ "Saturday Night Live Backstage". 2011-02-20. NBC.
  11. ^ a b c "Dana Carvey does stand-up at the Paramount" Newsday May 2, 2013
  12. ^ "Dana Carvey Emmy Nominated". Retrieved 2012-07-17. 
  13. ^ "Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2012-07-17. 
  14. ^ Nelson, Michael J. "Inoperable Humor: The 5 Worst Comedies of All Time".  
  15. ^ Carbone, Nick (February 25, 2012). "And the Worst Film of the Year Is Officially …".  
  16. ^ Germain, David (April 2, 2012). "Adam Sandler sets worst-movie record as Jack and Jill wins awards in every category at Razzies".  
  17. ^ "Comedy Central's 100 Greatest Stand-Ups of all Time". 2004-04-18. Retrieved 2012-07-17. 
  18. ^ """Dana Carvey is "DARWIN. YouTube. 2007-06-16. Retrieved 2012-07-17. 
  19. ^ "Dana Carvey's LOST Spin-off". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-07-17. 
  20. ^ Henerson, Evan (2002-08-04). "Carvey not laughing - this time". Houston Chronicle (2 Star edition ed.). p. 12. Retrieved 2012-07-17. 
  21. ^ "Dana Carvey to Make His Comeback in Jack and Jill?". Retrieved 2012-07-17. 

External links

  • Dana Carvey at the Internet Movie Database
  • Dana Carvey fansite
  • Maxim Rated Top SNL performer
  • Interview on FOX News Radio (6 mins.)
  • Dana Carvey at
Preceded by
Arsenio Hall
MTV Video Music Awards host
Succeeded by
Christian Slater
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.