Dana Carvey Biography

Comedian, Television Actor, Talk Show Host, Film Actor, Actor (1955–)
Dana Carvey is an Emmy Award-winning actor and comedian who was a cast member of Saturday Night Live and played "Garth" in the film Wayne's World.


Dana Carvey was born on June 2, 1955 in Missoula, Montana. After college he performed stand-up comedy and moved to Hollywood. His early tv roles failed to hit but Lorne Michaels asked him to join the Saturday Night Live cast in 1986. Carvey made the leap to the big screen in the 1992 hit Wayne's World. He won an Emmy Award in 1993 when he departed SNL after seven years on the show.

Early Career

Actor, comedian. Born on June 2, 1955, in Missoula, Montana. A cast member of Saturday Night Live for a number of years, Dana Carvey is best known for his characters and impersonations of famous figures. He grew up in California and attended San Francisco State University. After college, he started performing stand-up comedy.

Moving to Hollywood, Carvey's first television efforts failed to capitalize on his comedic talents. In the 1982 sitcom One of the Boys, he starred as a college student who invites his grandfather to leave his retirement home to live with him and his roommate. Carvey ended up as the straight man to Mickey Rooney who played his grandfather. The cast also included Meg Ryan as his girlfriend and Nathan Lane as his roommate. Despite the show's talented performers, it was canceled after nearly eight months on air.

Saturday Night Live

Carvey tried his hand at action with the television adaptation of the hit film, Blue Thunder, in 1984. He played a young electronics expert in this short-lived police drama. Taking a break from television, Carvey returned to doing stand-up comedy. It was at a show that he was discovered by Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels. He joined the cast of the late-night comedy series in 1986.

For seven years, Carvey delighted audiences with such characters as the Church Lady and bodybuilder extraordinaire Hans, part of the Hans and Franz duo. He also excelled at impersonation - taking on such personalities as President George Bush, Ross Perot, and more. In fact, President George Bush liked Carvey's version of him so much that he invited Carvey to perform at the White House.

Big Screen Roles

One of Carvey's characters, Garth, made the leap to the big screen in Wayne's World (1992). Garth was the shaggy heavy-metal sidekick to his friend Wayne played by Mike Myers, and the two appeared together on Wayne's cable access show. The comedy proved to be a box office hit and led to a sequel Wayne's World 2 the following year.

In 1993, Carvey left Saturday Night Live, and finally won an Emmy Award for his work on the show after four previous nominations. He kept himself busy with a number of film projects. He appeared in Clean Slate (1994), The Road to Wellville (1994), and Trapped in Paradise (1994). He returned to television in 1996 with The Dana Carvey Show. Early on, the show encountered difficulty when it made fun of some of its advertisers, which led them to withdraw their support for the program. The gutsy sketch comedy show lasted less than two months.

Personal Life

Carvey faced a personal crisis in the late 1990s. He had heart surgery, but something went wrong. Carvey later sued the surgeon for operating on the wrong artery and had to go through several more surgeries to correct the problem. The suit was settled in 2000 and Carvey said that the funds he received would go to charity.

Returning to acting, Carvey appeared in the 2000 Adam Sandler comedy, Little Nicky. He also starred in the 2002 box office flop The Master of Disguise. Since then, Carvey has been keeping a low profile, choosing to focus on his family.

Dana Carvey has been married to Paula Zwaggerman since 1985. The couple has two children.

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