Emmy Award-winning comedian Dana Carvey — known for his “Saturday Night Live” characters the Church Lady and Garth of “Wayne’s World” — performs at 8 p.m. Friday in Grass Valley. The Center for the Arts brings Carvey to the Veterans Memorial Building for an evening of stand-up comedy with Larry “Bubbles” Brown opening.
It’s one of a sequence of comedy acts planned for the Center for the Arts in the coming year.
Carvey was part of the “Saturday Night Live” cast for seven years, a span that began with the 1986-87 season and ended in 1992. He is best known for his characters: the Church Lady; Hans, of the Hans and Franz body-building duo; Garth, Wayne Campbell’s (Mike Myers) “excellent co-host” on the immensely popular sketch “Wayne’s World,” and Weekend Updates with Grumpy Old Man.
During that time, “Saturday Night Live”’s cast included: Phil Hartman, Jon Lovitz, Dennis Miller, Nora Dunn, Jan Hooks, Adam Sandler, Chris Farley, Chris Rock, David Spade and Mike Myers.
“We had so many weapons that we’d sometimes have five hits in one show. So I think that was a unique period of time, right in there from ’90 to ’93,” said Carvey.
Carvey has received widespread praise for his comedic impersonations of political figures such as former President George W. Bush, H. Ross Perot, Jerry Brown, David Duke and Bob Dole. He is also known for his impersonations of George Burns, Johnny Carson, Jimmy Stewart, John McLaughlin, Mickey Rooney, Casey Casem and Regis Philbin.
He updates his impersonations with the times.
“I do Rudolph Giuliani, and I do McCain, and I’ve got a Fred Thompson, and I have a take on Hillary and some stuff on Barack Obama … I try to keep it really current. I don’t want to be an oldies act, but I think it’s okay to do riffs on some of the older stuff but with new material as long as you’re doing new stuff because I would just get completely bored,” Carvey said.
Carvey won the American Comedy Award as Television’s Funniest Supporting Male in 1990 and 1991.
In 1992 Carvey appeared in the blockbuster film “Wayne’s World,” based on the hit Saturday Night Live sketch. The film grossed more than $160 million and was produced by SNL creator Lorne Michaels. In 1993, Carvey appeared in “Wayne’s World 2,” recreating his role of “Garth” alongside “Wayne” played by Mike.
That same year, Carvey won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program. He has received a total of six Emmy nominations, including one for a guest appearance on HBO’s, “Larry Sanders Show.”
On television, Carvey hosted the 1992 presentation of the MTV Music Awards and was a member of the Showtime special “Salute to the Improvisation” with Billy Crystal, Robin Williams and Robert Klein. In 2008, Carvey recorded his second solo comedy special for HBO entitled “Dana Carvey: Squatting Monkeys Tell No Lies.”
Born in Missoula, Mont., Carvey attended San Francisco State University, where he graduated with a degree in communication arts. During that time, he won the San Francisco Stand-Up Comedy Competition and played at numerous clubs in the Bay Area. He moved to Los Angeles in 1981 to pursue his career.
There are still some tickets available for Friday’s show. General admission is $58 for members of the Center for the Arts, $65 for non-members and can be purchased at the Center Box Office or BriarPatch Co-op.
For information about the Dana Carvey show, visit http://thecenterforthearts.org/dana-carvey/
The Grass Valley Veterans Memorial Building is located at 255 S. Auburn St., Grass Valley.