The Dana Carvey Show: Episode 2 - VIDEO
(S01E7) Originally aired on April 30, 1996.
It's easy to forget just how funny this show was. It's not just that it had a bunch of funny material and a talented cast (including Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, and Robert Smigel), it's that the batting average for each show was damn good. There's more funny stuff in each 30 minutes of a Dana Carvey Show episode than in 90 minutes of Saturday Night Live or even SCTV. No dead moments to sit through. I'm not sure why this show was so short-lived (other than the fact that the first episode featured Carvey as President Clinton, suckling a bunch of cats on his teats). And ratings, ratings, blah, blah, blah.
It was actually kinda hard to pick a standout episode since so many episodes have a lot of great stuff. But I think the video after the jump has some classic moments.
The first six episodes of the show were sponsored by various companies, even in the title. So Episode 2 is actually called The Mug Root Beer Dana Carvey Show. I think this is something that could be done today and probably will be, with product placement and integration increasing. This is a rather retro strategy (shows in the '50s and early '60s did this all the time), and the whole show seems a little retro, from its opening theme song, the shot of the studio where it was filmed (actually CBS, but an ABC sign placed over CBS because the show aired on ABC), and the opening Mug Beer song to open the show. Carvey also does an opening Q and A with audience, a la Carol Burnett.
The sketches in this episode range from cute (Marcia Clark and Chris Darden falling in love and running around a playground - hey, it was the '90s) to a takeoff of celebrity blooper shows. You also get a satire of ABC's milking of the Beatles legacy, a takeoff of a Comedy Central special featuring standup comics under five years old, and even an "Ambiguously Gay Duo" cartoon (the cartoon started here before moving to SNL). Carvey's Charles Grodin impersonation is hysterical, and Steve Carell gets so into his "guy playing hockey alone" sketch that it just gets funnier and funnier.
I think Dana Carvey's name was mentioned at one point as taking over one of the late night talk shows; I can see that.
You can watch all of the episodes at Hulu (the show isn't on DVD yet), but below is Episode 2, which I think gives you a great idea of what the show was like (here are a couple of sketches from other episodes).