Remember “The Dana Carvey Show”? The former “Saturday Night Live” star’s 1996 sketch-comedy effort on ABC primarily got noticed for two things:
its controversial opening bit in which Carvey’s President Clinton breast-fed puppies, and its controversial decision to have a different sponsor each episode, who would get credit in the title (i.e. “The Mug Root Beer Dana Carvey Show”)
And that’s it. After seven episodes, it was history.
DVD, of course, preserves and expands that history, and “The Dana Carvey Show” is available once more on a two-disc set that includes the never-aired eighth episode. It will primarily be noticed for two things:
its before-they-were-stars use of Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert and Robert Smigel, not to mention the “Ambiguously Gay Duo” cartoon, and its instant datedness
Carvey was and is a rather gifted comedian, especially in terms of impersonations. But what he says often isn’t as funny as how he presents it, due to hit-and-miss writing. Or perhaps that’s just the nature of material far past its expiration date, as targets include the no-longer-timely O.J. Simpson, Paul Hogan, Bob Dole and Charles Grodin’s talk show. Worst is a now-unfortunate top 10 list delivered by Carvey’s Church Lady in which Princess Di is repeatedly called a “slut.”
I recall liking “The Dana Carvey Show” when it aired. Still do, but now I just like it less.