Happy Birthday Dana Carvey: Celebrating the ‘Wayne’s World’ and ‘Saturday Night Live’ Funnyman’s 66th

by Jennifer Shea

Dana Carvey is turning 66 years old today, and the former “Saturday Night Live” cast member and “Wayne’s World” star is still going strong.

The comedian appeared on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” this spring to debut his Joe Biden impersonation. Carvey said his Biden is “like the gentle father to the country and he looks like the alien who came off the space ship in ‘Close Encounters [of the Third Kind].'” He proceeded to mimic a rambling, sometimes incoherent but folksy Biden.

Carvey also offered his take on National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci, who he voiced as an Italian tough guy. “Look, I didn’t want this job, you know,” he declared, being Fauci. “It was Birx, Trump and me. Guess who’s still standing? Me.”

Watch the “SNL” alum’s impersonations (at 7:10 and 4:50, respectively) here:

Dana Carvey Showed an Early Knack for Comedy

Dana Carvey grew up in San Carlos, California and attended San Francisco State University. He had already been a class clown as a youngster, but he really took to stand-up comedy while in college. In 1981, he decided to move to Los Angeles, where he promptly secured a deal with NBC to play Mickey Rooney’s grandson in “One of the Boys,” according to IMDb. In 1986, he signed on to “SNL” and soon received six Emmy Award nominations for his performances – his most memorable ones included his George H.W. Bush impersonation and the Church Lady character – before ultimately winning the award in 1993.

“SNL” led to film roles, most memorably “Wayne’s World” and “Wayne’s World 2.” After that, the short-lived “Dana Carvey Show,” hosted by Carvey, highlighted future stars like Steve Carrell and Stephen Colbert. It was “Wayne’s World,” though, where Carvey’s role as Garth resonated the most with fans.

These days, Carvey has his own podcast, “Fantastic! With Dana Carvey,” on which he offers bits, riffs and impersonations of public figures, all of it free of network censors.

Carvey Took a Break from Hollywood for Family and Health Reasons

Carvey has two adult sons, Dex and Thomas, with his wife, Paula Zwagerman. And he said once the boys arrived, he realized he needed to “make some adjustments” to his life. That meant taking a step back from Hollywood.

“I turned down ‘Madagascar’ and I turned down ‘Ratatouille.’ I was very, very busy raising kids at that time,” the comedian told People in 2019. More recently, he accepted a role as the dog Pops in “The Secret Life of Pets 2.”

Plus, in the late 1990s, Carvey had to have four angioplasties in under a year and a double bypass surgery. He says he’s been feeling 100% since 1998.

Carvey told People he prefers podcasting to film work. All the same, that year he worked with his sons on a short horror film. They starred. He co-wrote and directed.

Looking back on his Hollywood career, Carvey can only marvel at the fact that it even happened in the first place.

“It’s all surreal,” he said. “Like, did I make a goofy movie with Mike Myers and people know about it 30 years later? Am I actually in show business? Is that my voice in the cartoon? It’s all completely surreal.”