The Dana Carvey Show

The Dana Carvey Show
Departing Saturday Night Live is a risky endeavour. Since the '70s, popular SNL regulars have left the successful sketch comedy show either to a) become rich and famous film stars, or more likely, b) make a bad movie, followed by one or more unsuccessful TV shows and ultimately a return to stand-up (i.e., square one). Sure, Adam Sandler and Will Ferrell are multi-millionaires but when was the last time you heard from Jon Lovitz, or good old Norm McDonald? Dana Carvey was a mainstay of SNL for seven years, until he left in 1993. It was always kind of assumed he would be successful in other arenas as well. Unfortunately, Carvey's first leading big screen attempt, Clean Slate (which is actually pretty funny), failed at the box office. His next project, The Dana Carvey Show, was a mid-'90s primetime sketch show that was at times, hilarious and often surreal. The opening skit of the first episode features Carvey as Bill Clinton breast-feeding a baby. If that wasn't strange enough he opens his shirt further to reveal six more lactating nipples, to feed kittens and puppies. The bizarre style of the show came at a price: the second episode begins with Carvey jokingly apologizing for the strange skit, admitting that it frightened the sponsors. Eventually, after seven episodes, ABC cancelled the show. More than ten years later, The Dana Carvey Show is being released on DVD, no doubt due to the subsequent successes of the cast and crew. Not only does the show feature pre-Daily Show members Steve Carrell and Stephen Colbert but the writing staff includes insult comic dog puppeteer Robert Smigel and Being John Malkovich screenwriter Charlie Kaufman. Much of the show holds up and is extremely funny, although some of the political sketches are, understandably, dated. The show also features the debut of "The Ambiguously Gay Duo," which would be resurrected in Smigel's TV Funhouse segment on SNL. On the whole, the show's irreverent style truly was ahead of its time, and this DVD release should solidify its status as a cult classic. Special features include an interview with Dana Carvey and Robert Smigel, deleted scenes and best of all, an eighth episode of the show that was never aired. (Shout! Factory)