Dana Thomas Carvey (born June 3, 1955 in Missoula, Montana) is a stand-up comedian and comedy actor.
Dana Carvey was with Saturday Night Live during its second Golden Age (1986-1993) after Lorne Michaels returned and his plans on making celebrities of his new "Not Ready For Primetime" cast (the 1985-1986 season) fell through and nearly got the show cancelled, resulting in the cast overhaul that would bring the show back from the dead. Carvey's recurring characters include: Ching Change (a Chinese laundry worker), The Church Lady (a Bible thumping old woman who hosts a public access show called Church Chat where she shames public figures who have sinned), Derek Stevens (a musician who had a hit singing "Choppin' Broccoli"), Garth Algar (from Wayne's World), Grumpy Old Man (a Weekend Update commentator who complains about modern conveniences), Hans (the German bodybuilder and co-host of Pumping Up with Hans and Franz), and Lyle Billup (a Camp Straight man who is often Mistaken for Gay). Carvey's notable celebrity impressions include: George H.W. Bush (whose impression is more well-known than the actual man) and his VP, Dan Quayle (making it the first time one cast member played both a U.S. President and a Vice President simultaneously. Darrell Hammond from the mid-to-late 1990s cast would play both Bill Clinton and Al Gore, as well as be one of the cast members to play George W. Bush after Will Ferrell left the show and Dick Cheney); fellow cast member at the time Dennis Miller (in Weekend Update point-counterpoints where the real Dennis Miller debates himself over current events), Robin Leach, Paul McCartney, Jimmy Stewart, Keith Richards, George Michael, John McLaughlin (from The McLaughlin Group), Jacques Cousteau, and Johnny Carson. A full list of Carvey's celebrity impressions and recurring characters can be found here.
After he left SNL, he starred in both Wayne's World films and The Master of Disguise with Jennifer Esposito. In 1996, he hosted The Dana Carvey Show, a Variety Show which was critically liked but had poor ratings. It also had among its writing staff future comedy stars Louis C.K., Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, and (almost) Jimmy Fallon. He also appeared in the film Little Nicky with SNL castmate Adam Sandler.
His impersonations and their tropes:
- George H. W. Bush: Carvey's Cloud Cuckoolander was a sort of Trope Codifier for other impersonators.
- He's impersonated almost every presidential candidate from the past thirty years. Of the ones in that video, his George HW Bush and Ross Perot were used on SNL.
- "A Grumpy Old Man": A... well.. Grumpy Old Man who reminisced about A Good, Old-Fashioned Paint Watching and When I Was Your Age... with the tag line "...and we liked it!"
- Lyle The Effeminate Heterosexual: essentially a highly Justified Mistaken for Gay.
- The Church Lady: a takeoff on fundamentalist Christians — she runs a talk show — that was quite successful despite (or because of) invocations of Poe's Law. She also drums.
- Garth Algar of "Wayne's World": a nerdy metalhead. (It should be noted Carvey based his portrayal of Garth off his own brother Brad Carvey, one of the co-creators of the Amiga-based VFX machine Video Toaster; correspondingly, Garth wears a T-shirt with a Video Toaster test card on it during Wayne's World 2.)
- Whitey Duvall in Little Nicky: A basketball referee character made by Adam Sandler.
- Hans of "Hans and Franz" ("Ve vant to pump [clap] you up!")
- John McLaughlin of The McLaughlin Group: WRONG!
His works include:
- Halloween II (1981): His first film.
- This is Spın̈al Tap
- Tough Guys
- Saturday Night Live: From which many of his characters come.
- Wayne's World: A recurring skit on SNL and two movies — he played Garth.
- Dana Carvey: Critic's Choice Carvey's first full-length stand-up special.
- The Dana Carvey Show: The Eponymous Show. The show also had a different sponsor each week with their name forced in as an homage to the shows of old e.g. The Taco Bell Dana Carvey Show.
- Clean Slate
- The Master of Disguise: Clearly trying to take advantage of Carvey's loads and loads of impersonations.
- Little Nicky: As Whitey Duvall.
- Dana Carvey: Squatting Monkeys Tell No Lies, Carvey's second full-length stand-up special.
- The Secret Life of Pets as Pops, the resident Grumpy Old Dog