There Are So Many Red Flags That This New Dana Carvey Podcast Is Gonna Be Awful
Let’s get this out of the way – Dana Carvey is a great comedic talent, and we would never wish for any of his projects to fail. However, the writing is on the wall that a scripted podcast series written by Carvey and his sons which satirizes The Twilight Zone might not be remotely listenable in 2022.
The podcast, titled The Weird Place, will debut this upcoming Halloween night on the Team Coco network of “Conan-approved podcasts for every mood.” The series will be a comedic spin on the Twilight Zone style, featuring tales of “manipulative aliens” and a “power-hungry madman with a magic globe.” Said Carvey about the partnership, “Conan O’Brien and Team Coco were the perfect partners on this project. They let us have total freedom to create whatever we wanted.”
So that’s red flag #1.
It’s not that Carvey isn’t talented – he created one of the best sketch shows of all time in The Dana Carvey Show. He was one of the best SNL cast members of the late ‘80s to early ‘90s. He was Garth, for goodness sake. But total creative control without any checks or balances is dangerous for any creator, let alone one who wrote and starred in – let’s face it – one of the worst comedy films of all time.
Master of Disguise is a contentious topic among Internet comedy fans – though the movie was universally panned by critics upon a release, boasting a rare 1% on Rotten Tomatoes, the commercial success and confusingly enduring cultural presence throughout the 2000’s has given the film cult status, with most mid-Millennials able to repeat at least one line from the film that’s basically just about how many costumes Sony Pictures can afford. To be clear, nostalgia is the only thing Master of Disguise has going for it. It really, really stunk.
Then, of course, there’s the issue of The Weird Place being a family business. Back in 1992, Carvey was famously in the running to become the next host of Late Night on NBC, a job that went to his new benefactor Conan O’Brien, but he turned down the gig because he was worried about such a demanding job turning him into an absentee father for his newborn son, Dex. Now, Carvey is bringing both Dex and Carvey’s youngest son Thomas with him on the newest entertainment adventure as the father and his two sons make up The Weird Place's development team, and the brothers serve as co-creators.
Everyone knows that nepotism is rampant in entertainment, but usually these stars just stick their kids in front of the camera and make the rest of us accept that Hollywood is basically a gated community. With Carvey’s two sons writing the podcast, The Weird Place is going to feel like a father-son trip that probably didn’t need the rest of us to third-wheel the bonding moment.
Finally, why are they doing a Twilight Zone parody in 2022? The nostalgia market for spooky sci-fi stories with gravelly narration dried up last year when the reboot series developed by Jordan Peele was canceled after two seasons. We’ve already mined every last bit of parody potential from a series that first ended almost sixty years ago – the comedy community should have outlawed any further Twilight Zone spoofs the moment Futurama introduced “The Scary Door.”
Nevertheless, Carvey and his supporters at Team Coco are all smiles going into the podcast’s launch. Said O’Brien about the upcoming series, “Dana Carvey is superhumanly funny and one of my comedy heroes. Getting to work with Dana is the comedy equivalent of being handed the keys to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.” And Carvey is no stranger to the podcast format – he and fellow SNL alumnus David Spade co-host Fly on the Wall a nostalgia-soaked behind-the-scenes story factory from their time at 30 Rock.
We hope to be proved wrong by the Carvey family when The Weird Place releases on Monday. We also hope that they show restraint with the inevitable pooping and farting sound effects – we don’t need another Devlin Bowman.