Emmy-award winning comedian Dana Carvey has maintained an illustrious career. Dana was born in Missoula, Montana. While a student at San Francisco State University, Dana won the San Francisco Stand-Up Comedy Competition. After his graduation and with a degree in communication arts, he played at comedy numerous clubs in the Bay area and then moved to Los Angeles in 1981 to pursue his career.
In 1986, Dana became a household name when he became a repertory cast member of Saturday Night Live. Carvey left the series in 1993 after seven seasons. He along with newcomers Phil Hartman and Kevin Nealon helped to reverse the show’s declining popularity and once more made SNL “must-see” television again. His breakout character was The Church Lady, the uptight, smug and pious host of Church Chat. Dana’s other original characters included Garth Algar from Wayne’s World, Hans from Hans and Franz and The Grumpy Old Man from Weekend Update appearances. Garth Algar is actually an affectionate caricature of Dana’s brother Brad Carvey, an accomplished electrical engineer who invented the Video Toaster.
In addition to these characters, Dana has received widespread praise for his uncanny 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, Mickey Rooney and Regis Philbin.
In 1992 Dana joined Mike Myers to bring their popular Wayne’s World sketch to the silver screen with Wayne’s World the movie. The film grossed over $160 million dollars. The public demanded a sequel and in 1993 Dana appeared in Wayne’s World 2, recreating his role of Garth alongside Mike Myers’ Wayne. The film was once again a huge success.
Dana’s transfer from the small screen to the large screen included roles in The Road to Wellville, Clean Slate and 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 and Tough Guys opposite Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas.
Dana 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 in HBO’s highly acclaimed Larry Sanders Show. He was also honored with The American Comedy Award as Television’s Funniest Supporting Male in 1990 and 1991.
In June of 2008, Dana premiered his second comedy special for HBO entitled Dana Carvey: Squatting Monkeys Tell No Lies.
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