Could it be … Satan?
Nope, not even close.
It’s Dana Carvey.
The comedian and former Saturday Night Live star whose genius gave us such enduring characters as The Church Lady, Garth (of Wayne and Garth fame) Hans (of Hans and Franz) and Grumpy Old Man brings his standup comedy to WinStar World Casino at 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30.
Carvey’s gift for sketch comedy feels virtually limitless. He used his brother Brad as inspiration for “Wayne’s World” sidekick Garth Algar and transformed President George H.W. Bush into a parody of verbal confusion (“Nah gah dah it!”). On SNL, Carvey even managed to turn a song about “Choppin’ Broccoli” into a comic gem.
In 1996, his TV variety program, The Dana Carvey Show, lasted only seven episodes, but its influence extends to this day. From its opening skit, in which the star played a lactating Bill Clinton feeding a handful of infants, the show proved too, um … odd for mainstream audiences. Still, it helped launch the careers of such brilliant comic talents as Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Louie C.K., Robert Smigel and screenwriter Charlie Kaufman.
WinStar Spotlight recently caught up with the funny man via email.
Q: What do you enjoy most about standup? Least?
Carvey: I love standup because it is such a wonderful platform to explore all facets of human existence. The only thing I don’t like about it is when the audience laughs so hard that I worry for their personal safety.
Q: How did Church Lady come about?
Carvey: The Church Lady was created during a time when I enjoyed wearing dresses … They are practical and comfortable. With a sensible dress on, I just looked in the mirror and "became” The Church Lady. As I type this, I am wearing "her" wig.
Q: How often do people serenade you with “Choppin’ Broccoli”?
Carvey: At least twice a week I will be at the grocery store and someone will throw a big bunch of broccoli at me and scream, "Chop that!” I love it!
Q: Which of the Republican presidential candidates would be the best in terms of being fodder for impressions?
Carvey: Ron Paul would be awesome; he is hilarious! Donald Trump would have been great, too! He could play a Batman villain -- his nickname could be "TrumpCard.”
Q: Do you ever talk to the first President Bush?
Carvey: Yes, and I have done different charity events with him over the years. He has a great sense of humor and when people ask me to do him, I always say, "Na ga da it."
Q: I was a big fan of The Dana Carvey Show. Why do you think it didn’t last?
Carvey: I am very proud of my variety show, but it was a bit edgy for primetime. The world just wasn’t ready to see Bill Clinton breastfeed.
Q: The Dana Carvey Show had an amazing group of comedy writers. How did everyone come together?
Carvey: My partner, Robert Smigel, essentially assembled the writing staff. They were, and are, brilliant.
Q: So the character of Garth is famously based on your brother. What does he think of the character?
Carvey: My brother Brad loves that Garth was based on him. When I talk to him on the phone, he sounds exactly like Garth. It really cracks me up.
Q: As the father of two young men, do you ever find yourself sounding like Grumpy Old Man when relating something about your own youth?
Carvey: Being a parent is the most challenging thing you can do on the planet. I do get grumpy, but not exactly like the Grumpy Old Man because he was basically a masochist.
Q: How tired do you get of SNL questions?
Carvey: I am very proud to have been on SNL and I never tire of answering questions about it. I think the current cast is probably the best in the show’s history.
Catch him on stage this Friday!
Posted on Tue, September 27, 2011
by WinStar World Casino filed under