Carvey at the 41st Annual Emmy Awards
|Birth name||Dana Thomas Carvey|
June 2, 1955 |
Missoula, Montana, United States
|Spouse||Paula Zwagerman (1983â€“present)|
Definitely for me, my personality, having children was a definite sea change. I found it very, very hard to balance show business and being a dad. The narcissism of show business and the complete, total focus of it was very difficult.
I enjoy pushing my characters to the limit. No matter how far out there I go, I look for things that make the characters human.
You just have to be very humble if America has really worked for you like it has for me. Most of my friends are poor. Most of my siblings are poor. I see how hard it is just to get money unless you've got some incredible luck or work incredibly hard. I want everyone to do well. I wish 'Wayne's World' money on you!
In maybe 1963, we had 'Collier's Encyclopedia,' and they sent us their yearly LP. I heard the Beatles talking on there. That was the first time I tried altering my voice, doing a Liverpudlian accent.
We didn't even think about it, you know? I used to collect laser discs, and you'd have some college professor analyzing It's a Wonderful Life or Citizen Kane, and now it is pretty funny – the idea of commentary for a silly kid's movie, you know?
It's almost like he's started to sound even more exotic the more people started doing him. I don't know why, but there's just something about Al Gore that makes me laugh.
The kind of money that show business will pay you, unless you need to have shoes made of diamonds, you can actually put it in the bank and sort of be okay.
I know it's a cliche, but the whole family is just whacked. I mean, we're all out of our minds. They're the funniest, most eccentric bizarre people I've ever met, my siblings.
There's always been a confusion about my sensibility. 'Is he kind of edgy, or is he Carol Burnett?' I'm a little bit of a hybrid. I like to please, but I like dark stuff, too.
I've never really worked on them. Just once in a while one hits me and makes me laugh. My Al Gore was sort of like a gay Gomer Pyle.
Well, I loved variety in television, I loved sketch comedy. At 'Saturday Night Live,' I stayed almost seven years.
Every celebrity in the world, if their movie bombs or whatever, they hold their kid up on a magazine and say, 'I'm really a dad.'
I'm from the old school – you go where the power is, and you try to make fun of it. When it becomes off limits to say or do certain things without being brutalized or censored or whatever, it's unfortunate.
I don't find biology as interesting as politics and humanism. I talk more about existential stuff.
There was no Groundlings or Upright Citizens Brigade where I was from. Looking back on it, I was trying to do sketch comedy in my stand-up, which is still kind of what I am doing now. To go full-circle here, it's kind of like one-man sketch.
Monty Python never directly said, 'We're liberals' – they just did their sketches, and you had to figure it out. Generally, they were anti-establishment, of course, making fun of the people in power. I think, comedians, that's their job – pointing out what other people might not notice and going, 'Yoo-hoo, over here.'
Corporate stand-up allowed me to make my own schedule and make money as if I was in show business.
If you just kind of live a regular life and make good 'Hollywood' money, you have a certain freedom.
If you live in New York or L.A., and you're liberal, and you're playing to a liberal crowd, it's almost like a rally… it's not edgy.
When people come to see my stand-up, they get a chance to see my characters interact with each other.
I think there's a big price to pay for consciousness, knowing that it's all going to end and we're mortal. I envy dogs. They don't know they're getting old! And they don't know it's towards the end. I mean, they never think, 'I used to get by on 16 hours of sleep a day. Now, if I don't get 19, I'm a wreck.'
I couldn't do any of my other characters, you know? But I could have done the lady. Church Lady's Malibu Beach party is an idea I have for a movie, too. Yes.
I had auditioned for 'Saturday Night Live' two or three times before and never really saw myself there. I looked up to Belushi and Bill Murray and Aykroyd and I never saw myself as in their world.
I think the Brexit vote in Great Britain informing this populist movement of nationalism is kind of a global thing, and I think it's no particular political party's fault. People have been left behind, and in America, we're used to going forward. It's always like we're going to be better; the next generation's going to be better.
After years of begging, I got my parents to get me a little Craig tape recorder, a reel to reel. Then I started recording voices, or recording Jonathan Winters off television and stuff like that.
I had written in another draft a completely different kind of fight, but they said they couldn't afford to shoot it. They needed a fight scene, though, so I was told to put a fight scene in, but not the one I had written.
I really enjoy being a dad, and maybe I took it too seriously, but I love being around my kids.
When people come to see my stand-up, they get a chance to see my characters interact with each other. I enjoy pushing my characters to the limit. No matter how far out there I go, I look for things that make the characters human.
I grew up middle class – my dad was a high school teacher; there were five kids in our family. We all shared a nine-hundred-square-foot home with one bathroom. That was exciting. And my wife is Irish Catholic and also very, very barely middle class.
I have no regrets. I wanted to raise the kids and be a present father. When I developed a movie, I was gone for a year. That didn't really work for me. That isn't fair to make these life-forms and then disappear.
While many comics have a secret persona, I fundamentally want to be myself.
I did a lot of ridiculous television. Between 1980 and '85 I had no confidence, so I did everything I was told to do.
This movie will actually increase the sex life of parents everywhere because they can put this on, with the 45 minutes of extras and they've got almost two hours to do whatever they've got to do while the kids watch the movie.
I got lucky. I won the San Francisco Stand-Up Comedy Competition in 1977 while I was still at San Francisco State.
The two things that can hurt you are if you need money or if you need fame. Those are the things that can be your Achilles heel. But if you don't need money and you don't need fame, then you're free.
I always tend to think of all of my shows as possibly my last show. I'm like a junior Springsteen, without the underbite.
I remember doing a comedy show with Jim Carrey once, and he was out there with his foot behind his neck and rubbing his face with it.
I tried to go out for theater or theater arts, but I was too scared or too intimidated. But I had a lot of friends on the cross country team that had great senses of humor.
I used to sneak up to the 8th floor and watch Eddie Murphy and Joe Piscopo rehearsing 'Saturday Night Live' and could only wonder if I would ever have the chance to be funny. It took me five years to go up the two stories, but it is such a sense of fulfillment to be able to show what I can do on national television.
I did a sitcom with Desi Arnaz Jr. in a pilot called 'Whacked Out.' We were bombing, and Lucille Ball grabbed the mic and started berating the audience.
I pretty much try to stay in a constant state of confusion just because of the expression it leaves on my face.
That's why modern corporate movie making has become so laborious that comedians are kind of kicked out by 50.
I have a theory that if you're famous more years than you're not famous, then you get a little nutty.
Now we're here in 2009. My boys are 16 and 18, one's going to USC film school, and the other seems to be a natural comedian. So now I have to go back into show business as a senior comedian. So I hope to get Walter Brennan-type roles, Gabby Hayes kind of stuff, be the old-timer. We'll see what happens.
I have this dream life where I get to be a celebrity but I get to navigate the world fairly easily because I'm always in character.
I think free speech is probably the coolest thing we have in this country, and again, you can label it hate speech and dismiss it, and then you're allowed to censor it.
I recently found out about this other super movie star. He only works from about 11:00 to 4:00, so all his movies take like 120 days. But this was a lot of stuff to do in 35 days.
Describing comic sensibility is near impossible. It's sort of an abstract silliness, that sometimes the joke isn't the star.
I wasn't very good as a puppet. A lot of times in a movie, you need a really good puppeteer: you're sort of a puppet, and you're doing what you can. But I always, from the beginning, was kind of making up my own stuff from stand-up and sort of directing myself, so I wasn't very good in movies where I didn't have control.