Emmy-award winning comedian Dana Carvey has maintained a tremendous career. Carvey was born June 2, 1955, in Missoula, Montana. Dana went on to college at the San Francisco State University where he won the San Francisco Standup Comedy Competition. After his graduation (with a degree in communication arts), he played at numerous clubs in the Bay Area and then moved to Los Angeles to pursue his career.
A repertory member of SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE since the 1986-87 season, Carvey left in 1992 after seven seasons. Carvey is best known for his characters the Church Lady; Hans, of the Hans and Franz bodybuilding duo; Garth, Wayne Campbell’s (Mike Myers) “Excellent Cohost” on the immensely popular sketch “Wayne’s World,” and Weekend Update’s Grumpy Old Man.
In addition to these characters, Dana has received widespread praise for his uncanny and exaggerated comedic impersonations of such political figures as Ex-President George Bush, H. Ross Perot, Jerry Brown, David Duke and Bob Dole. He also does impersonations of George Burns, Johnny Carson, Jimmy Stewart, John McLaughlin, Mickey Rooney, Casey Casem and Regis Philbin.
On television, he hosted the 1992 presentation of the MTV Music Awards, costarred in two pilots and was a member of the Showtime special SALUTE TO THE IMPROVISATION, with Billy Crystal, Robin Williams and Robert Klein. In 1995, Dana performed standup in his own one-hour comedy special on HBO aptly named CRITICS’ CHOICE.
In 1992, Carvey appeared in the blockbuster film WAYNE’S WORLD, based on the hit SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE sketch. The film grossed over $160 million and was produced by SNL creator Lorne Michaels. The public demanded a sequel, and in 1993, Carvey appeared in WAYNE’S WORLD 2, recreating his role of Garth, alongside Mike Myers’ Wayne. The film was hugely successful.
Carvey’s transfer from the small screen to the large screen included roles in Alan Parker’s THE ROAD TO WELLVILLE, for Columbia Pictures, Richard and Lili Zanuck’s CLEAN SLATE for MGM, and Twentieth Century Fox’s TRAPPED IN PARADISE. His early film work includes his debut in THIS IS SPINAL TAP, RACING WITH THE MOON, ONE OF THE GROUP, where he portrayed Mickey Rooney’s grandson, BLUE THUNDER with James Farentino, TOUGH GUYS, with Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas, and starring in the comedy OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS.
Carvey won an Emmy Award in 1993 for Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program. He has received a total of six Emmy nominations, one of which was for a guest appearance on HBO’s highly acclaimed LARRY SANDERS SHOW. Also, he was honored with the American Comedy Award as Television’s Funniest Supporting Male in 1990 and 1991.
(Side note: Dana’s brother Brad is an engineer and a pioneer in the video production field. He developed “Video Toaster”, an inexpensive setup for Hollywood quality video making. The character “Garth” from Wayne’s World is based on Dana’s brother.)