Comedy Special Review: In his new special, Dana Carvey is a very ordinary Straight White Male, 60

Dana Carvey’s infamously short-lived sketch show is rightly lauded as both a launching pad for a shocking number of original comedy minds and an ahead-of-its-time conceptual comedy machine. It’s really not surprising that the show’s daring blend of absurdity and outrageousness wasn’t embraced by either its network or audience. What’s most surprising in retrospect (and part of why viewers and advertisers felt like victims of a bait and switch) is that it was built around Carvey himself, one of the most amiable comics in Saturday Night Live‘s history.

With his enthusiastic impressions and affection for big, broad types, Carvey was always a people-pleaser on SNL. In that respect, he’s the model for later Saturday Night Live alum Jimmy Fallon (though Carvey’s hammy adorableness came yoked with a lot more performing discipline and professionalism). On The Tonight Show, Fallon found the perfect vehicle …

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