JUST ONE OF THE GUISE AFTER FOUR YEARS AWAY FROM THE SPOTLIGHT, DANA CARVEY RE-ENTERS THE RANKS OF COMEDIC FILM ACTORS.Byline: Evan Henerson Staff Writer
BY CONSERVATIVE estimates, Dana Carvey takes on some 15 different characters in the new comedy ``The Master of Disguise'' with another 20 ``on deck'' for extra footage, a lengthy end-credit sequence and, if need be, a sequel.
Flash, he's Al Pacino's Tony Montana of ``Scarface,'' boom, now Carvey's the shark hunting Quint (played by Robert Shaw) from ``Jaws.'' Carvey plays a human cherry pie (trust us, you don't want to know), the already imitated Turtle Guy, even George W. Bush, the film's only real nod to Carvey's politico-skewering work for seven seasons on ``Saturday Night Live This article is about the American television series. For the show related to Big Brother (UK), see Saturday Night Live (UK).
Saturday Night Live (SNL .''
As if he could have avoided it.
President Bush was ``something the studio really wanted,'' says Carvey, who famously played the senior Bush and Ross Perot. ``I'd seen Will Ferrell (of 'Saturday Night Live') do him and I thought he was really great. So they let me give it a shot.''
With that, the 47-year-old comedian slips easily into the president's drawl drawl
v. drawled, drawl·ing, drawls
To speak with lengthened or drawn-out vowels.
v.tr. . `` 'Doin' Dubya. Fudgin' the numbers. Cookin' the books.' Now with the corporate scandals, it really makes me laugh.'' The mimicry mimicry, in biology, the advantageous resemblance of one species to another, often unrelated, species or to a feature of its own environment. (When the latter results from pigmentation it is classed as protective coloration. that powered Carvey through seven seasons of ``SNL'' - earning him six Emmys nominations - is still in high gear. Makeup man Kevin Yagher may have helped with the physical transformation, but it was Carvey who supplied the energy and stamina to bring those 15 oddballs
The Oddballs is a comedy act in the United Kingdom. It is best known for their "Naked Balloon Dance". It has caused controversy, including an attempt to ban the show from Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. to life.
``He was healthier than all the rest of us,'' says ``Master of Disguise'' director Percy Andelin Blake. ``It was a rough schedule and sometimes he'd have to be in makeup for three hours. Then we'd have night shoots and everybody would be dozing off. He'd be in high gear, hitting his stride at 4 a.m.''
``It took a lot of effort,'' Carvey agrees. ``I almost feel like doing a stand-up stand·up or stand-up
1. Standing erect; upright: a standup collar.
2. Taken, done, or used while standing: a standup supper; a standup bar. tour just to recover from all that time sitting in a makeup chair.''
Reports of a hail, hearty and quite droll droll
adj. droll·er, droll·est
Amusingly odd or whimsically comical.
[French drôle, buffoon, droll, from Old French drolle Dana Carvey should come as welcome news to the fans who haven't seen much of the comedian over the past half-decade. Aside from the occasional cameo (he played a referee in pal Adam Sandler's comedy ``Little Nicky'') Carvey's name has been linked mostly to reports of heart surgeries and malpractice lawsuits. Carvey is back, doing ``SNL''-like double duty as ``Master of Disguise's'' star and screenwriter. But be careful about labeling the project a comeback film.
``I might say that if I were a careerist ca·reer·ism
Pursuit of professional advancement as one's chief or sole aim: "Rampant careerism, which makes many a work place a joyless site, was in check" Mary McGrory. and had some kind of an agenda,'' says Carvey, who is friendly and refreshingly candid during a phone interview. ``Since having kids and since I had the botched botch
tr.v. botched, botch·ing, botch·es
1. To ruin through clumsiness.
2. To make or perform clumsily; bungle.
3. To repair or mend clumsily.
1. bypass, I honestly don't think in those terms. I just try to be as funny as I can be, and I wanted to do a film for my kids. This was like getting my feet back.''
And his health. It's been four years since a series of angioplasties and a bypass operation knocked Carvey off the performance circuit. To get back in front of the cameras - especially for a manic, multiple-character comedy like ``Master of Disguise'' - a fully recovered Carvey needed to go through a training regimen: running, hiking, rowing, Stairmaster and ``a perfect kind of diet.''
``A lot of my friends like Rob Schneider and Mike Myers are in their 30s, but they don't have kids, so they have a very different energy field,'' says Carvey, the father of 8- and 10-year-old sons. ``When the cameras are rolling, you can't afford to be tired. I can sleep when the movie is over.''
``Master of Disguise,'' in case you haven't guessed, is a comedy. Pistachio pistachio (pĭstăsh`ēō, pĭstä`shēō), tree or shrub (of the genus Pistacia) of the family Anacardiaceae (sumac family). The species that yields the pistachio nut of commerce is P. Disguisey, the film's sweetly clueless clue·less
Lacking understanding or knowledge.
Slang helpless or stupid
Adj. 1. hero played by Carvey, possesses his family's gift for transformation and impersonation Impersonation
wore the armor of Achilles against the Trojans to encourage the disheartened Greeks. [Gk. Lit.: Iliad]
Prisoner of Zenda, The . In the script, co-written by Carvey and Harris Goldberg, Pistachio needs every ounce of his creativity to rescue his parents and prevent a criminal mastermind from stealing the world's greatest treasures.
For Pistachio, Carvey took his inspiration from Danny Kaye, who took on a new persona with every daydream in ``The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.'' Like all of his Disguiseys ancestors (played by, among others, James Brolin and Harold Gould), Pistachio harnesses the ancient power of a force called ``energico'' to effect transformation.
``I wanted to make the movie like a little fable A Little Fable is a short story written by Franz Kafka between 1917 and 1923. The story, only one paragraph in length, was not published in Kafka's lifetime and first appeared in Beim Bau der Chinesischen Mauer (1931). , a fairy tale A Fairy Tale (AKA A Magic Tale) - Fantastic ballet in 1 Act, with choreography by Marius Petipa, and music by (?) Richter.
First presented by students of the Imperial Ballet School on April 4/16 (Julian/Gregorian calendar dates), 1891 in the , and I think Dana was feeling the same way,'' says Blake, a first-time director who previously served as production designer on many of Sandler's movies. ``We want kids to see it and love it but also feel like we're not playing down to them.''
Cerebral, `Master of Disguise'' is not. Aimed at the 6-and-older crowd, the film trades on the kind of messy, pratfall-laden humor that wouldn't be entirely out of place in ``Austin Powers in Goldmember'' - the just- released spy spoof starring Carvey's ``Wayne's World'' cohort, Myers.
Of course, as Carvey points out, ``Austin Powers'' is a $200 million juggernaut. ``Master of Disguise,'' ``Goldmember's'' summer competition, was meant to be ``a sweet little family film.''
``Even 'Spy Kids 2' is in the $40 (million)to $50 million range,'' says Carvey. ``Ours cost less than half of that.''
Still, there were benefits. While dressed in complete Robert Shaw makeup, Carvey met Barbra Streisand, who was visiting the ``Master of Disguise'' set. At the Kids' Choice Awards, while dressed in his Turtle Man costume, Carvey managed to startle startle /star·tle/ (stahr´tl)
1. to make a quick involuntary movement as in alarm, surprise, or fright.
2. to become alarmed, surprised, or frightened. actor Matt Damon.
``He kind of reared back, but he was very nice,'' recalls Carvey. ``That was also where the Crocodile Hunter (Steve Irwin) attacked me. 'Crikey, a turtle! And he's pretty strong!' ''
First heart trouble, then a botched bypass
The words ``botched'' and ``bypass'' should never be included in the same sentence, says actor/comedian Dana Carvey.
``They should never even be in the same room together,'' adds Carvey, tongue very much not in cheek.
For that matter, the words ``heart problems'' and ``42-year-old man'' probably aren't an ideal match either. You don't expect people under the age of 50 to have problems with their hearts.
Still coronary artery disease coronary artery disease, condition that results when the coronary arteries are narrowed or occluded, most commonly by atherosclerotic deposits of fibrous and fatty tissue. is the No. 1 killer of Americans, claiming more than 250,000 lives per year, according to the American Heart Association American Heart Association (AHA),
n.pr a national voluntary health agency that has the goal of increasing public and medical awareness of cardiovascular diseases and stroke, and thereby reducing the number of associated deaths and disabilities. .
And during a two-week period, Carvey, whose family had a history of high cholesterol Cholesterol, High Definition
Cholesterol is a fatty substance found in animal tissue and is an important component to the human body. It is manufactured in the liver and carried throughout the body in the bloodstream. , experienced a consistent burning in his chest while running. Some significant blockage of an artery led Carvey to undergo three unsuccessful angioplasties before having the bypass procedure in 1998.
But a Bay Area heart surgeon, Dr. Elias Hanna, performed the procedure on the wrong artery. Luckily, the mistake was discovered, and surgeons at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Cedars-Sinai Medical Center is a world-renowned hospital located in Los Angeles, California. History
Cedars-Sinai is the result of a merger in 1961 between two major Los Angeles hospitals, Cedars of Lebanon and Mount Sinai Home for the Incurables, with Steve Broidy as in Los Angeles corrected the procedure with another angioplasty.
Carvey filed a $7.5 million malpractice suit against Hanna. The suit was settled in May 2000, and Carvey donated the proceeds to charity. Although he was initially reluctant to take his battle - and his condition - public, Carvey moved ahead when the issue hinged on accountability.
``The doctor in question was in denial in denial Psychiatry To be in a state of denying the existence or effects of an ego defense mechanism. See Denial. . He said he didn't do it,'' says Carvey. ``I had no choice.''
Cedars cardiologist Dr. P.K. Shah said that Carvey was lucky the condition was discovered in time for doctors to take action. A significant number of people die of heart disease without ever experiencing symptoms.
``There are indications that the disease begins literally in childhood,'' says Shah. ``By the time they are 30 or 40, the people who are destined des·tine
tr.v. des·tined, des·tin·ing, des·tines
1. To determine beforehand; preordain: a foolish scheme destined to fail; a film destined to become a classic.
2. to have the disease already have it. We're trying to increase awareness within the public, so that people should be more vigilant about knowing what the risk factors are.''
Carvey, who says he keeps his condition under control through diet and medication, has participated in heart-disease-awareness campaigns and fund-raisers through Cedars' Heart Fund. And he praises Shah, whose research includes the development of a vaccine for coronary artery disease.
``He's a good guy to have in your corner,'' Carvey says. ``P.K. is like a movie star to me.''
5 photos, box
(1 -- 3 -- cover -- color) Who is that masked man?
After a long hiatus, Dana Carvey is back in your face in `The Master of Disguise'
(4 -- 5) no caption (Dana Carvey)
John J. Kim/Oakland Tribune
Carvey's ordeal (see text)