Show and Tell
Dino Stamatopoulos on the demise of The Dana Carvey Show (from here):
Carvey had one of the best writing staffs and casts I've ever worked with. Why didn't it work? I don't think the writing staff or the cast were perfectly suitable for the type of show it was trying to be. I know the majority of the writers were conceiving pieces that were more conceptual than character-based--the idea was what was funny, not what the actors were doing. So right off the bat, you have contrasting styles fighting against each other. Then, you have a strong ensemble cast working on the show with a star. Not to say that Carvey was a stage hog, he was more than willing to give over the spotlight, but I think the network wanted more of him. A lot of great sketches and performances were put on hold till later in the season when it was too late. Of course, no one really knew just how short the season would be (6 shows?), so putting off a sketch three or four weeks didn't seem too drastic. I mean, it did for me, because I had a sneaking suspicion that this show wouldn't last too long. Anyway, I think a lot of SNL-lly material got through first, and it seemed unexciting and out-of-place. Why did he leave SNL if it was the same old shit? Now you have to throw something else into the mix. Smigel's high standards. He was shooting a weekly show, but wanted it to look like a motion picture. of course, everyone wanted to please him, and they ran themselves ragged, and I wouldn't be surprised if the show went over budget. I remember him walking up to me sheepishly and in an embarrassed tone saying, "I thought of a great nickname to me, but it only would have been good if someone else thought of it." I asked him what it was. He prefaced it with: "It's about how I over-produce everything," then he told me the nickname. "Cecil B. DaBears." I had to admit it was funny, but agreed that I wish I had thought of it instead of Smigel himself. We sat in discontented silence for a moment then went on with our lives. I also think that his participation in performing in the sketches, although he was hilarious, hurt the show because he was spreading himself out too thin in regards to Executive Producing. I also remember Louis C.K. telling me he cried a lot during that show. How's that for comedy?