Too Funny to Fail: The Life & Death of The Dana Carvey Show is an American documentary film that premiered on Hulu on October 21, 2017. Creators, cast and network executives recount the strange and, frankly, tragic history of the Dana Carvey Show. The irreverent prime time sketch comedy show aired for eight episodes on ABC, following its star’s meteoric run on Saturday Night Live.
So, I wasn’t even aware of what The Dana Carvey show was until I watched this. I watched it because I saw it had names like Steve Carrel, Stephen Colbert, and Louis CK attached to it. The fact that I knew nothing and still laughed my ass off is great and laughs are pretty rare in docs. The documentary is interviews with multiple people, including Dana, Steve, and Stephen cut together with clips of the sketches they preformed with the show. They talk about how the show came to be and all the little decisions they made along the way that made the show crash and burn is such a spectacular way that a documentary is made about it twenty years later…Just as a side note, I watched a few episodes of The Dana Carvey show after watching this doc and though it was great. It was a style of comedy that was ahead of its time, and if they put it on HBO (like they pointed out they were offered) it probably would have succeeded!… I imagine if these people did this doc even ten years ago they’d feel a bit different about how it all unfolded and failed. It was definitely something that needed to be made when it was… The only thing I wish they would have done is interview some people that loved the show and hated the show when it first came out. Hear what they thought at the time and think now.
It’s rare to find a doc that makes me laugh while also making me feel like I learned something. On top of that, I love all the people in it and it was cool getting a more personal look and conversation with them. The cherry on top is that it actually convinced me to watch a failed TV show. So, I’d have to say I recommend it.