Alynda Wheat
May 06, 2009 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Dana Carvey Show

type
TV Show
Current Status
In Season
performer
Dana Carvey
broadcaster
ABC

We gave it an B-

After The Dana Carvey Show premiered to middling reviews and ratings, ABC yanked the Saturday Night Live vet’s sketch-comedy show after just seven episodes. But in hindsight, it’s become a comedy milestone, with its before-they-were-stars cast and crew: Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert were part of the ensemble, while the writers’ room housed Charlie Kaufman (Adaptation), comedian Louis C.K., and SNL‘s Robert Smigel (who chats with Carvey in the scant extras, which also include the unaired episode 8). You can see why Carell and Colbert became famous, watching them pull off random sketches like ”Waiters Who Are Nauseated by Food.” But just as clear is that Carvey was too wildly hit-or-miss to work. Whether it’s Hillary Clinton snarling like a rabid dog, her husband Bill suckling puppies, or Carvey as Prince Charles decapitating Princess Diana, many jokes fall painfully flat — and don’t improve with age, no matter who wrote them. B-

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