Garth is 60. It may be hard for fans of Dana Carvey to fathom, but the “Party on!” teen is almost eligible for Social Security.
The veteran “Saturday Night Live” cast member brings his stand-up comedy back to the Gallo Center for the Arts on Thursday, March 3. His sons, Dex and Tom, who are both comics and actors, will open for his Modesto show.
On “Saturday Night Live” in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Carvey created some of that show’s most memorable characters, including Garth from “Wayne’s World” with Mike Myers; one-half of Hans and Franz with Kevin Nealon; and the eternally judgmental Church Lady.
“Wayne’s World” later was made into two successful movies with Myers and Carvey. A sketch variety show, “The Dana Carvey Show,” didn’t fare as well when it aired on ABC in 1996.
Last year, Myers and Carvey reprised “Wayne’s World” for the “SNL” 40th anniversary show.
Carvey spoke about his life recently in an interview from Los Angeles:
Q: You turned 60 in June. Is that a sore or happy subject?
A: I love it. Emphasize that. In fact, your headline should be: “Carvey turns 60.”
Q: You’ve been largely out of the public eye the past few years. Catch us up on your career.
A: Both of my sons, surprisingly, want to be and are in show business. I raised them up in the woods in Northern California to keep them out of show business, ironically. So, I’ve moved back to L.A. and (I’m) dedicating myself to mentoring them in show business. That’s the primary thing that I do.
Q: What do they do?
A: They do online videos and stand-up with me and stand-up separately and are organizing a podcast. My oldest son was in “Joe Dirt 2,” which is premiering on Crackle.
Q: You are considered one of showbiz’s best impressionists, probably because your impressions are always funny. Do you think some impressionists are more interested in the skill aspect and forget to make them funny?
A: There are people that are so comprehensive with their impressions. I can be accurate, but I try to make them funny. But I know what you mean. I would prefer to see something less accurate if it was really entertaining and funny and says something about the person you’re doing – not just a copycat. With George Bush senior, I said things he never said. I just made stuff up.
Q: President Bush started doing impressions of you doing an impression of him. Was that a surreal moment for you?
A: The whole thing is surreal – the relationship we have. I … recorded something for Barbara’s (Bush) 90th (birthday). I saw them both in Houston last year for lunch. Barbara said George really loves impressions and fancies himself an impressionist. That was part of their delight in (Carvey’s impression). He started doing a pretty decent James Cagney.
I would say my whole existence on the planet is surreal. If you would have seen me at 20 years old – I wasn’t going anywhere fast, living near the airport, playing Risk, being a busboy and waiter.
Q: Impressions aside, you created several original characters that have long endured in pop culture: Garth, Hans, Church Lady. But were those impressions as well?
A: Basically, Garth was an impression of my brother Brad, which was exaggerated. But it was a character. Church Lady was a lot of different authority figures that we have in our childhood. I’m not quite sure where that rhythm came from, but when people hear it, they recognize it.
Q: It’s disappointing that Church Lady didn’t get a movie.
A: I think part of the reason Wayne and Garth blew up is because they seemed real.