Reliving the All Too Brief Run of The Dana Carvey Show

"If we were doing it just so that we could be written about on years later, then we completely succeeded. I think our goal at the time was to stay on the air—so I think we f***ed up."
—Robert Smigel

Some of the most brilliant, hilarious and innovative comedic television shows of all-time are also some of the most short-lived. The Ben Stiller Show lasted just 12 episodes. Freaks and Geeks managed just one 18 episode season. More recently, rabid fans of Arrested Development and Party Down continue to keep hope alive for a big screen adaptation for the characters they miss so dearly.

Another show that belongs on this list is The Dana Carvey Show (Or, more accurately, The Taco Bell Dana Carvey Show, The Mug Root Beer Dana Carvey Show, The Szechuan Dynasty Dana Carvey Show, or one of the other weekly titles it was known by), which aired just 8 episodes during its brief run in 1996.

Despite such an abbreviated life, the show has gone onto claim a spot in the hearts of many comedy fans over the last 15 years—based in part on the fact that it contained the work of some many now-famous and well-accomplished comedians. The cast included Steve Carell (The Office), Stephen Colbert (The Colbert Report), Louis CK (Louie) and Robert Smigel (creator of Saturday TV Funhouse characters like the Ambiguously Gay Duo; Conan fans will also know him as the voice of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog).

To celebrate/mourn/dissect the 15-year anniversary of the show, GQ put together a fantastic piece called "Teats Out: An Oral History of the Rise and Fall (and Rise) of The Dana Carvey Show." The title of the article refers to the now infamous sketch that kicked of the show’s premiere episode, which featured Carvey as then-President Bill Clinton showing off his compassion by feeding a litter of puppies from a set of biogenetically grown breasts.

That sketch, coupled with the show’s position as the follow-up to the hit ABC family comedy Home Improvement, was the beginning of the end. Writer Robert Carlock offers his memory of the incident this way:

I had heard there was some pressure to not lead with that and Robert, Dana, and Louis said, "This is the show we want to do and this is what we promised you." And to sort of prove their point, ABC paid Nielsen extra to get a rating graph broken down minute by minute. At around that two-minute mark when the breast came out, like six million people changed the channel. I didn't know much about television, but I knew that was bad.

If you haven’t seen the sketch, feel free to take a look here in all its NSFTTSAHI (Not Suitable For The Time Slot After Home Improvement) glory:

The whole article is fantastic and offers some really funny and insightful thoughts on the show and the business of comedy in general – made all the more intriguing by the fact that nearly every single person involved with the show has gone on to be a huge success.

If you’d like to watch all eight episodes of the show, they are all available now on Hulu.

The Real Bay of Pigs: Big Major Cay in the Bahamas

When most people visit the Bahamas, they’re thinking about a vacation filled with sun, sand, and swimming—not swine. But you can get all four of those things if you visit Big Major Cay.

Big Major Cay, also now known as “Pig Island” for obvious reasons, is part of the Exuma Cays in the Bahamas. Exuma includes private islands owned by Johnny Depp, Tyler Perry, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, and David Copperfield. Despite all of the local star power, the real attraction seems to be the family of feral pigs that has established Big Major Cay as their own. It’s hard to say how many are there—some reports say it’s a family of eight, while others say the numbers are up to 40. However big the band of roaming pigs is, none of them are shy: Their chief means of survival seems to be to swim right up to boats and beg for food, which the charmed tourists are happy to provide (although there are guidelines about the best way of feeding the pigs).

No one knows exactly how the pigs got there, but there are plenty of theories. Among them: 1) A nearby resort purposely released them more than a decade ago, hoping to attract tourists. 2) Sailors dropped them off on the island, intending to dine on pork once they were able to dock for a longer of period of time. For one reason or another, the sailors never returned. 3) They’re descendants of domesticated pigs from a nearby island. When residents complained about the original domesticated pigs, their owners solved the problem by dropping them off at Big Major Cay, which was uninhabited. 4) The pigs survived a shipwreck. The ship’s passengers did not.

The purposeful tourist trap theory is probably the least likely—VICE reports that the James Bond movie Thunderball was shot on a neighboring island in the 1960s, and the swimming swine were there then.

Though multiple articles reference how “adorable” the pigs are, don’t be fooled. One captain warns, “They’ll eat anything and everything—including fingers.”

Here they are in action in a video from National Geographic:

Pop Culture
The House From The Money Pit Is For Sale

Looking for star-studded new digs? For a cool $5.9 million, reports, you can own the Long Island country home featured in the 1986 comedy The Money Pit—no renovations required.

For the uninitiated, the film features Tom Hanks and Shelley Long as hapless first-time homeowners who purchase a rundown mansion for cheap. The savings they score end up being paltry compared to the debt they incur while trying to fix up the house.

The Money Pit featured exterior shots of "Northway," an eight-bedroom estate located in the village of Lattingtown in Nassau County, New York. Luckily for potential buyers, its insides are far nicer than the fictional ones portrayed in the movie, thanks in part to extensive renovations performed by the property’s current owners.

Amenities include a giant master suite with a French-style dressing room, eight fireplaces, a "wine wall," and a heated outdoor saltwater pool. Check out some photos below, or view the entire listing here.

The real-life Long Island home featured in “The Money Pit”

The real-life Long Island home featured in “The Money Pit”

The real-life Long Island home featured in “The Money Pit”

The real-life Long Island home featured in “The Money Pit”

The real-life Long Island home featured in “The Money Pit”

The real-life Long Island home featured in 1986's “The Money Pit”

The real-life Long Island home featured in 1986's “The Money Pit”



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