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November 27, 2014

The Dana Carvey Show: Episode 2 - VIDEO

by Bob Sassone, posted May 14th 2008 3:04PM

(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).

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Max

This show was hysterical! I remember watching it thinking "there is no way this will last. To cutting edge, and they're making fun of their sponsor?!?" Sadly, I was right. :(

"Who am I now? Who am I now? Who am I..."

May 15 2008 at 8:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
MIke

I loved this show and was angry when it got canceled. How about the guys who thought they were ripping off the fast food attendant by paying them and then spinning out without the food. Brilliant!!

May 15 2008 at 12:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Peter Lynn

Dana Carvey was NBC's first choice to succeed David Letterman on Late Night after he left for CBS. NBC assumed they had Carvey in the bag all along, but when they actually finally asked him, he turned them down. That led to a scramble to come up with a host, which is how Conan O'Brien got the job.

May 14 2008 at 8:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ben Watson

The episodes are also on Netflix!

May 14 2008 at 6:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Karen

"EH" looks like a precursor to Carell and Walls in "We Love Showbiz!" on the Daily Show.

Man, I barely recognized Stephen Colbert as Oliver Stone.

I couldn't watch this all the way through, though. Carvey's a funny guy, but all the impressions seemed to be ones he'd done before. By the time he got to Paul McCartney, I was done.

Great to see Ace and Gary, though!

May 14 2008 at 6:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Paul

I started a petition to get the show on DVD last year some time, and I believe it now has a whopping 14 signatures! :P

http://www.petitiononline.com/dcsdvd/petition.html

Seriously, though, it's an absolutely brilliant comedy show that failed mostly because it was a late night/cable show in spirit that aired in primetime on network television. The comedy writers on that show are all amazing (you forgot to mention Louis C.K., Spike Feresten, Dave Chappelle, the great Charlie Kaufman, and Jon Glaser) and the actors totally brought it every episode.

May 14 2008 at 5:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Leota

No Hulu in Canada. :'(

May 14 2008 at 3:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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