Dana Carvey Biography

(Best Known for His Work as a Cast Member on TV Show 'Saturday Night Live')

Birthday: June 2, 1955 (Gemini)

Born In: Missoula, Montana, United States

Dana Carvey is an Emmy award winning American actor and comedian who featured as a cast member on the ‘Saturday Night Live’. He was born in Missoula but grew up in California as family moved there when he was three. With an inborn flair to become an artist, he performed as a stand-up comedian at several Bay Area clubs after graduating from San Francisco State University, and then moved to Hollywood to pursue a career in comedy. After the initial failure of his early television roles and minor appearances in a few movies, he joined the ‘Saturday Night Live (SNL)’ cast in 1986. Over the years, he performed numerous gigs in the show which gained him much praise for his impersonations of famous people and wide range of unforgettable characters. Subsequently, he pursued his ambition and made the leap to the big screen in the 1992 hit, ‘Wayne's World’. The following year, he received an Emmy Award when he departed from SNL after spending seven years on the show. Following his departure, he starred in several movies but failed to create an impact comparable to his stature as a stand-up comedian. In recent years, he has limited his appearances on entertainment platforms, both in television and films, but is still remembered for his immensely popular sketches on the SNL show

Quick Facts

Also Known As: Dana Thomas Carvey

Age: 68 Years, 68 Year Old Males


Spouse/Ex-: Leah Carvey, Paula Zwagerman

father: Bud Carvey

mother: Billie Carvey

siblings: Brad Carvey, Mark Carvey

children: Dex Carvey, Thomas Carvey

Born Country: United States

Actors Stand-up Comedians

Ancestry: Norwegian American, Swedish American, German American, British American, Irish American

U.S. State: Montana

More Facts

education: San Francisco State University

Childhood & Early Life
Dana Thomas Carvey was born on June 2, 1955 in Missoula, Montana, to William and Billie Carvey; both his parents were school teachers. He is the youngest boy in the family with three elder brothers, Scott, Mark and Brad, and one younger sister, Lori.
In 1973, he graduated from Carlmount High School and began to perform as a stand-up comedian in the San Francisco bay area.
In 1977, he won the San Francisco stand up competition after graduating from San Francisco State University with a degree in communications.
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In 1981, he moved to Los Angeles to make a fortune in Hollywood. The same year, he made his debut as an ill-fated EMT in the movie ‘Halloween II’.
In 1982, he landed a role in the NBC sitcom ‘One of the Boys’. Although the show did not receive positive response from the critics or the audiences, it provided him the much needed early exposure in the industry.
Thereafter, he starred in minor roles in movies such as ‘This is Spinal Tap’ (1984) and ‘Racing with the Moon’ (1984). The same year, he returned to television in the role of the computer-whiz sidekick to cop James Farentino, in the ABC sitcom ‘Blue Thunder’.
In 1986, Dana Carvey joined the cast of ‘Saturday Night Live’ (SNL) as one of its featured artists. He introduced characters such as the Church Lady, bodybuilder extraordinaire Hans, and the famous Grumpy Old Man. He was instantly recognized as one of the key factors in the show's revived status in the ratings.
In 1992, he joined Mike Myers in the American comedy film ‘Wayne's World’ which became a surprise hit of the post-Christmas season. However, its sequel ‘Wayne's World 2’ (1993) failed to reproduce its fresh humor and box office collections.
In 1993, he left ‘Saturday Night Live’ after seven years to pursue a career in the movies. His first lead role came in the film ‘Opportunity Knocks’, a generic comedy which failed to connect with audiences, as did his other films such as, ‘Clean Slate’ (1994) and ‘Trapped in Paradise’ (1994).
While starring on the big screen, he returned to television frequently, most notably with repeat appearances as himself on ‘The Larry Sanders Show’ (1992–98).
In 1996, his show ‘The Dana Carvey Show’ premiered on ABC and was expected to be a hit. Although the show's tone was praised by critics, it was not well-received by the audiences and was canceled after a few episodes within a month's time.
Eventually he withdrew from his ambition of becoming a film actor, preferring instead to work as a stand-up comedian. In 2002, he wrote ‘The Master of Disguise’, a sophomoric comedy which was universally panned by critics but received good response from the young viewers.

Over the next decade, he kept his appearances to a minimum which included a brief reprisal of the role of Garth, opposite Mike Myers, on the 2008 MTV Movie Awards.
Some of his recent appearances were in the ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ (2011), ‘Live with Regis and Kelly’ (2011), and as a guest host in ‘Live with Kelly’ (2012). He also appeared in a cameo in the 2011 American comedy movie ‘Jack and Jill’.
Recommended Lists:
Major Works
One of his most entertaining performances in the ‘Saturday Night Live’ (SNL) show was unarguably in the ‘Wayne's World’ skits, a hilarious spoof of public access programs, with Mike Myers as enthusiastic teen, Wayne, and Carvey as his nervous, bespectacled co-host, Garth. Dana Carvey also excelled at impersonation, taking on such personalities such as President George Bush and Ross Perot.
Awards & Achievements
In 1990 and 1991, he received the American Comedy Award for Television's Funniest Supporting Male.
In 1993, Dana Carvey won a ‘Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program’ for his performance in ‘Saturday Night Live’ (SNL).
Personal Life & Legacy
In 1979, he married Leah but the marriage lasted only a year.
In 1983, Dana Carvey entered into wedlock with Paula Zwagerman, and they have two sons, Dex and Thomas.

Dana Carvey Movies

1. This Is Spinal Tap (1984)

  (Music, Comedy)

2. Becoming Bond (2017)

  (Comedy, Biography, Documentary, History)

3. Racing with the Moon (1984)

  (Drama, Romance, Comedy)

4. Halloween II (1981)


5. Wayne's World (1992)

  (Comedy, Music)

6. Dana Carvey: Straight White Male, 60 (2016)


7. Tough Guys (1986)


8. Moving (1988)


9. Opportunity Knocks (1990)


10. Wayne's World 2 (1993)

  (Comedy, Music)


Primetime Emmy Awards
1993 Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program Saturday Night Live (1975)
MTV Movie & TV Awards
1992 Best On-Screen Duo Wayne's World (1992)

See the events in life of Dana Carvey in Chronological Order

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