Dana Carvey brought his beloved character Church Lady back to Saturday Night Live this week with a surprise cameo appearance in the cold open. It was his first time doing the character on SNL since 2011.
In the cold open, Church lady talked about the Met Gala Ball, noting that Madonna had her six decade old puns pushed straight to heaven, and Beyonce was wrapped in a giant latex condom “all wrapped up and ready to fornicate.” Church Lady welcomed several guests, including Satan himself, well actually Ted Cruz played by Taran Killam, and accused him of being just a little preachy. She welcomed her second guest, the “presumptive tangerine tornado Donald J. Trump” and remembered the time when “Gary Gusey didn’t sell enough pancakes” and got fired. All the catch phrases showed up, including “we like ourselves don’t we”, “well isn’t that special” and “could it be Satan” before Ted Cruz returned as the demon himself before delivering the signature “Live From New York” along with Carvey. The sketch was introduced using the original voice over clip by Phil Hartman.
Carvey first joined Saturday Night Live in 1986 and quickly became one of the most beloved cast members in the show’s history with recurring characters including Garth Algar (Waynes World), Hanz (of Hanz and Franz), Lyle the effeminate heterosexual, Weekend Update character Grumpy Old Man, as well as many impersonations including Ross Perot, Johnny Carson, Regis Philbin, Tom Brokaw and most famously his impression of George Bush making the phrase “not gonna do it” as unforgettable as the phrase “Live From New York it’s Saturday Night.”
Carvey remained a castmember through 1993 sharing the stage with a stellar cast of SNL supercastmembers like Mike Myers, Dennis Miller, Phil Hartman, Jon Lovitz, Adam Sandler, and Kevin Nealon.
In a recent interview with SiriusXM host Ron Bennington during a Town Hall event, Carvey told Bennington that the Church lady was the first character he ever performed at SNL, also during a cold open, and was literally a life changer for him. “I had never done sketch comedy in my life, I had only done stand up,” he said. “My first time of doing sketch comedy was the first time I premiered on SNL. And I had to stop myself from looking at the audience, caused I’d get a laugh and go woahhh. But I’m in a sketch. And I was in the cold opening with Jan Hooks and Phil Hartman, and I didn’t even know I was in the cold opening. And I did the Church Lady Sketch which was….And it just changed my life.”
Carvey returned to SNL with his popular “Church Chat” segment to help promote his new USA network series, “First Impressions”, a reality/competition series where amateur Impressionists will show off their skills.
Dana told Bennington he didn’t want to be a judge, and says his role in the show will be “just be off to the side riffing.” Carvey, who is considered one of the best celebrity Impressionists on the planet, will mentor and comment throughout the show. Carvey’s first impression he ever did was at the age of 8 or 9, doing Beatles impressions, soon followed by a Jimmy Stewart impression performed for the first time at the drive in window of a Jack in the Box. At the SiriusXM Town Hall event, Carey confessed that he considers his brand as a celebrity impressionist to be “a little bit of an illusion” finding other impressionists like Frank Caliendo and Kevin Pollack to be the real deal. “I’m literally frightened, like I’m kind of scared” he said about hearing Caliendo’s Morgan Friedman impression, whereas he considers his brand to be more fun or absurd. He also revealed that he’s taped a brand new stand up special coming soon to Netflix.
First Impressions premieres on May 10th at 10:30pm et on USA and you can hear Dana Carvey talking about his career on SiriusXM’s Town Hall premiering on Friday May 13 at 2pm on Rawdog 99.
Hey @nbcsnl can Church Lady open every show?
— Dakota long (@DakotaLong31) May 8, 2016
— Greg Seitz (@gseitz) May 8, 2016
— Jose Ramon Marquez (@joseramonmarmtz) May 8, 2016