The Dana Carvey Show aired on ABC when I was a teenager. You know how people are always talking about the huge impact The Ben Stiller Show had on them? That’s how I felt about The Dana Carvey Show.
At the time, I didn’t know who Robert Smigel, Steve Carrel, Stephen Colbert, Louis CK, Dino Stamatopoulos, Spike Feresten, Dave Chappelle, Jon Glaser or Charlie Kaufman were, but each of them were contributors to the show. What I did know was that Skinheads From Maine was one of the funniest things I’d ever seen. In fact, when I had a brief opportunity to gush to Stephen Colbert last year, that was what I gushed about.
Dana Carvey is an interesting performer. He can be fantastically funny, but like another Bay Area legend, Robin Williams, sometimes that humor can be overwhelmed by… I dunno… broadness and a whiff of desperation. Here, he’s surrounded by a spectacularly capable crew of writers and performers, and while he’s occaisionally a bit over-indulgent (do we need interstitials from the Church Lady?), he’s generally superb. The rest of cast, including the lesser-known figures like Bill Schott is uniformly excellent, as well.
The show has been astonishingly difficult to find for many years. Relatively recently it’s shown up in digital form (I spent college scouring the interwebs looking for it), and now, it’s in convenient digital form on the new multi-giant-conglomerate media site Hulu. I urge you to check it out.
One odd side note: for some reason, episode one, which featured the “controversial” opening sketch with Bill Clinton feeding a broad variety of barnyard animals at his teat, is not featured in the lineup.
Below, Skinheads From Maine, touchstone for 15-year-old Jesse.
“Nice sunset, there.”
“Yeeeauhh. Weathah’s the only thing the Jews don’t control.”