Dana Carvey’s Oscar Parody Was ‘The Most Racist Sketch Ever Committed to Tape’

‘The Dana Carvey Show’ had its ups and its downs. Way down…
Dana Carvey’s Oscar Parody Was ‘The Most Racist Sketch Ever Committed to Tape’

Although it was canceled after only a handful of episodes, Dana Carvey’s primetime sketch show, the aptly-titled The Dana Carvey Show, has maintained a cult following over the years, thanks in no small part to the talent that was involved with the show; the writing staff included future Oscar-winner Charlie Kaufman (as well as future comedy pariah Louis C.K.), and a cast that boasted Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Robert Smigel and Bob Odenkirk. 

In retrospect, it seems pretty wild that any network would cancel a show featuring these future mega-stars, not to mention objectively hilarious material like the recurring “stupid pranksters” sketches, in which Carvey and Carell bailed on people after either paying them or providing free labor. 

But The Dana Carvey Show was pretty much doomed from the start, as evidenced by how it kicked off the entire show with a memorably bizarre sketch in which Bill Clinton breastfeeds a baby and several adorable puppies simultaneously, thanks to his numerous lactating nipples. Oh and Clinton has also been “surgically fitted with a hen’s ass” to keep a nest full of eggs warm. Even David Cronenberg would be weirded out by this stuff. 

Today, the show is mostly remembered for being very funny, but ultimately too weird and daring for network television at the time. That being said, not all episodes were winners. One sketch in particular was shockingly, mind-bogglingly racist. Like, this show had a sketch called “Skinheads From Maine” and that’s not even the sketch we’re talking about.

Yeah, by far the worst sketch in the history of The Dana Carvey Show was themed around the Academy Awards. The “joke” is that the nominees for “Best Foreign Language Animated Short Subject” are from countries other than the U.S., and therefore, they’re total morons who don’t understand how award shows work.

In the two-minute segment that Carell likely wishes could be obliterated from the internet forever, the future star of The Office donned brownface to play a Pakistani filmmaker, while Carvey played a South Korean filmmaker with an accent so horrific, we’re surprised that Lorne Michaels didn’t burst through the set like the Kool-Aid man to immediately offer him an SNL hosting gig. 

The only reason we can think of as to why there wasn’t a massive backlash to this sketch is that nobody on Earth was actually watching The Dana Carvey Show. These days, the creatives behind the show seemingly understand that the sketch was totally unacceptable. In the 2017 documentary Too Funny to Fail: The Life & Death of The Dana Carvey Show, Colbert accurately noted that it was "possibly the most racist sketch ever committed to tape" and potentially “career-ending today.” 

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