Dana Carvey keeps act sharp
August 1, 2008
Though comedian Dana Carvey joked about getting older (“You get hurt doing nothing ” answering the phone so fast”) the comedian has found ways to keep his act fresh.
Carvey still characterizes his comedy as looking for humorous combinations of sounds and rhythms.
“That was kind of what I grew up with more than jokes,” Carvey told Lake Tahoe Action by telephone.
The combination of sounds is the principle behind his uncanny impersonations ” such as former President George H.W. Bush and Ross Perot ” to the characters he created on “Saturday Night Live” ” the Church Lady, half of Hanz and Franz and Garth Algar, later one of the starring roles in “Wayne’s World.” Carvey also continues to write and play music for his act and for experimentation. One of the ways he’s keeping his act fresh is recording music at home digitally, and he plans to put the clips on MySpace. He’s also working with his brothers ” Scott Carvey records music videos, and Mark is an artist.
And he’s still doing standup, including an appearance at 9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 2, at MontBleu (“I dare anyone to say ‘MontBleu’ and not sound French Canadian,” Dana Carvey said) Resort Casino and Spa in Stateline.
“I never stopped doing standup,” Carvey said. “I’ll always do 20 to 30 dates a year because it keeps your mind sharp.”
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“It’s the toughest thing to do in show business, an hour and a half of standup.”
Larry “Bubbles” Brown will open for Carvey.
“Dana Carvey is a comedic favorite nationwide,” Duane Suttor, MontBleu’s director of entertainment, said in a news release. “His hilarious stage presence always draws a large turnout of guests and locals.”
Yet for all the innovation Carvey has injected into his act, the comedian still finds if flattering when fans mention an old bit.
“It’s totally flattering,” he said. “Totally, totally flattering.”
“There’s only one thing worse than being asked to play your old stuff ” it’s having no oldies to play,” Carvey said.
Carvey’s impression of the elder President Bush famously earned him an invitation to the White House.
“I’m not going to say that my wife and I had sex in the Lincoln Bedroom, but my son’s middle name is Abe,” Carvey joked.
After a ceremony honoring Bush, Carvey did his impression for the president.
“He asked me to do him for him, and it was a little awkward, but I did a little bit for him,” the comedian said, adding that he’ll reunite with the former president at a benefit in Houston in October.
Carvey also incorporated an impression of the younger President Bush into his act over the past few years, but he indicated that it might be time to let both Bushes off the hook.
“We’ve (comedians) had a lot of fun with those guys, but it’s time to move on,” he said.
The comedian, who called himself as a “radical moderate,” has done just that, and he’s not confining himself to one side of the aisle. Carvey’s developed killer impressions of both presidential candidates, John McCain and Barack Obama.
“I find in general, the Republicans, the far right, seem to have a little more sense of humor than the far left.”
Carvey’s career also has moved forward. He has a new standup special, “Squatting Monkeys Tell No Lies,” and “Down In Front,” his commentary on classic movies, is available on NetFlix.
Carvey is working with Fred Wolf on writing a movie for Paramount, and he plans to stay sharp by doing more standup. Carvey, who knows Tahoe well, had an even more extreme plan for staying alert.
“I may even swim in the lake the next time I’m up,” he said.
Dana Carvey is quite familiar with the Lake Tahoe Basin, cracking several jokes about a town he’s visited and performed in many times.
“I just like getting up in this environment,” Carvey said. “Tahoe rocks. It’s pretty much one of the prettiest places on the globe.”
Carvey grew up in San Carlos, has been backpacking in Yosemite a number of times and is an alumnus of San Francisco State University. He said the last time he played the MontBleu it still had the Caesars name.
And he had to be joking about jumping into Lake Tahoe.
“I get drunk by the pool, and then I jump in the lake and I’m completely sober in one second.”
” Dan Thomas