For two wonderful months in early 1996, the The Dana Carvey Show aired on ABC. It featured an absolute murderers’ row of talent, including Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Robert Smigel, Louis C.K. and Charlie Kaufman. Rarely in the history of comedy have so many brilliant minds come together. Its short lifespan happened to coincide with the rollout of The Beatles Anthology, which ate up a lot of time on ABC and was promoted by the network relentlessly.
In one of the many great Dana Cavey Show bits, he spoofed the documentary with a sketch called “Leftover Beatle Memories.” Carvey plays Paul McCartney, who reminisces about eating his first Snickers bar in America. “I bit into it and there were these peanuts in there,” he says. “I couldn’t bloody believe it. And I took another bite, right, and you can’t believe how many peanuts are in there. It was like there was a little man on the other end feeding peanuts into the candy bar I was eating.”
Ringo tells a rather vague story. “I remember one time I was playing me drums,” he says. “I looked over at George, he was playing guitar. I looked over at John and he was playing guitar as well. And Paul, he was singing a song. I’ll never forget that one.”
Stephen Colbert plays a note-perfect George Harrison, who tells a rather dark story. “I killed a man once,” he says. “I think he was a stagehand. He looked at me funny, so I had to. It was all taken care of by the record company, so nobody found out.”
Despite hilarious moments like this, ABC yanked The Dana Carvey Show after just eight episodes. Thankfully, the staff went on to create some of the most innovative movies and television shows of the past two decades. And Dana Carvey is still doing his Beatles impressions. He recently did an amazing bit about Paul McCartney talking about Kanye West with John Lennon in heaven. It sent Bill Hader into a fit of hysterics.