Dana Carvey Biography (Personal Life, Career)

Dana Carvey is an American actor and stand-up comedian, best known for his work as a cast member on Saturday Night Live and for playing the role of Garth in the Wayne's World movies.

Personal Life

The stand-up comedian was born Dana Thomas Carvey on June 2, 1955 in Missoula, Montana. He is the son of Billie and William Carvey, both schoolteachers. The stand-up comedian is of Irish and Italian heritage, his mother's family is from Dublin and his father's family is from Rome.

The stand-up comedian got his name because his parents were hoping for a girl, that they were going to name Dana and they got a boy so they named him Dana anyway. Dana has three brothers: Scott Carvey, Mark Carvey, Brad Carvey and one sister younger sister Lori.

The stand-up comedian was raised in San Carlos, California in typical middle class surroundings. The stand-up comedian attended Tierra Linda Junior High in San Carlos, Carlmont High School in Belmont, California and College of San Mateo in San Mateo, California.

The stand-up comedian was married twice: to Leah Carvey (1979 - 1980) and to Paula Zwagerman (8 January 1983 - present) with whom he has 2 sons: Dex (born 1991) and Thomas (born 1993).The stand-up comedian underwent open-heart surgery for a blocked artery in 1997 but had the wrong artery operated on. The comic actor later sued for medical malpractice and was awarded 7.5 million dollars. He's had to undergo five operations in total to correct his heart problem.The stand-up comedian currently resides with his wife Paula and two son's Tom and Dex in San Francisco.


The stand-up comedian started to perform comedy while he was in College. The comic actor sought out the comedy stage doing standard impressions of well-known personalities. Within a few months the stand-up comedian was beginning to win stand-up comedy awards. In time, however, he replaced his impersonations with self-created characterizations starting to perform his own comedy style.

After his graduation (with a degree in communication arts), the stand-up comedian played at numerous comedy clubs in the Bay Area and then moved to Los Angeles in 1981 to develop his comedy career. The stand-up comedian is best known for his characters the Church Lady; Hans, of the Hans and Franz bodybuilding duo; Garth, Wayne Campbell's (Mike Myers) "Excellent Cohost" on the immensely popular sketch "Wayne's World," and Weekend Update's Grumpy Old Man.

In addition to these characters, the stand-up comedian has received widespread praise for his comedic impersonations of such political figures as Ex-President George Bush, H. Ross Perot, Jerry Brown, David Duke and Bob Dole. The stand-up comic also does impersonations of George Burns, John Lennon, George Michael, Johnny Carson, Jimmy Stewart, John McLaughlin, Mickey Rooney, Casey Casem, Regis Philbin.

The stand-up comedian had a minor role in Halloween II, and co-starred on One of the Boys in 1982, a short-lived television sitcom that also starred Mickey Rooney, Nathan Lane, and Meg Ryan. In 1984, Carvey acted in Rob Reiner's film This Is Spinal Tap, in which he played a mime, with fellow comedian Billy Crystal. He also starred in the short-lived movie-based action show Blue Thunder.

The stand-up comedian won an Emmy Award in 1993 for Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program. He has received a total of six Emmy nominations. The comic actor was also honored with the American Comedy Award as Television's Funniest Supporting Male in 1990 and 1991.

In 1986 the stand-up comedian joined the repertory company of "Saturday Night Live", and the result was spectacular, helping to reverse the show's decline in popularity at the time. An important part of the comedy show's revival was the stand-up comedian's breakout character, The Church Lady.

In 1992, the stand-up comedian acted in Wayne's World movie. A sequel, Wayne's World 2, was filmed and released in 1993. The fallowing year, the stand-up comedian starred in the film Clean Slate. The stand-up comedian also appeared in the fallowing comic movies: The Road to Wellville(1994), Trapped in Paradise (1994), The Shot(1995), Little Nicky(2000), The Master of Disguise(2002). In 1995, the comic actor filmed his first HBO stand-up special, Critic's Choice. The last film in which the stand-up comedian has appeared was in 2011, Jack and Jill.

In 2008, the stand-up comedian filmed a second HBO stand-up special, the first in 13 years, entitled Squatting Monkeys Tell No Lies. In 2010, the stand-up comedian appeared in the Funny or Die original comedy sketch, "Presidential Reunion."

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