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One of SNL's most talented alumni, comedian Dana Carvey reigned supreme during his six-season run creating some of the show's most memorable characters, including "Church Lady", "Garth" of Wayne & Garth fame, Grumpy Old Man and bodybuilding "Hans" of Hans & Franz notoriety. This sharp and witty writer, actor and impressionist went on to hatch a modestly successful comedy career in films along with some of his SNL cohorts -- Mike Myers, Adam Sandler and Chris Farley did. The slightly-built, slightly dorky-looking funny guy was born on June 2, 1955 in Missoula, Montana, to Billie Dahl (McDonald) and Bud Carvey. He is of Norwegian, and smaller amounts of English, German, Swedish, and Irish, ancestry. Carvey was raised in San Carlos, California in typical middle class surroundings. His father taught high school business law and his mother, who was also a schoolteacher, had creative outlets as a painter and musician that inspired the young Dana. His gift for inducing laughter arrived at any early age. As young as 9 or 10, Dana was already mimicking characters he saw on TV, with one of his early icons being Jonathan Winters. His musical gifts came in the form of drums and guitar. While majoring in Communication Arts at San Francisco State, Dana sought out the comedy stage doing standard impressions of well-known personalities such as John Wayne, Howard Cosell and James Stewart. Within a few months he was beginning to win stand-up comedy awards. In time, however, he replaced his impersonations with self-created characterizations and such ripe forms as the Church ("Isn't that special!") Lady were the result.
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