For the second time in two years, Dana Carvey brought his antic stand-up comedy act to Napa and sold out every seat.
Two years ago, Carvey packed the Napa Valley Opera House with his 90-minute show featuring his impersonations of every U.S. president since Jimmy Carter.
On Saturday night, he filled the Uptown Theatre, a venue nearly twice as large, with top tickets going for $70.
Perhaps a third of his show was a carryover from 2010, but no less funny for the repetition. Carvey is a comic genius whose slightly goofy persona wins over an audience easily.
His celebrity impersonations and his own creation, “The Church Lady,” were a beloved feature of “Saturday Night Live” from 1986 to 1993, as was his Garth Algar character in two “Wayne’s World” movies in the early 1990s.
His Uptown show was as topical as last week’s presidential election, with Carvey riffing “on the Muslim in the White House” and Mitt Romney’s Mormonism.
His political humor tends to be absurdist rather than hard-edged, including his parody of the first George Bush. Indeed, when Bush later delivered a eulogy for President Gerald Ford, he borrowed lines from Carvey’s impersonation of himself.
Much of Carvey’s show focused on moments from everyday life, including raising teenagers and shopping for clothes at the Gap.
Carvey is now 57, but he’s still mop-haired with a lithe body. When he talks about the infirmities of getting older, it’s hard to believe him.
He urged his audience to “take the power back” so as better handle life’s hard situations and to go easy on themselves when they fall short. If Oprah can gain 100 pounds in a year, then us lesser mortals should not get funked when we fail to stick to our diets, he suggested.
Of ex-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenneger revelation that he fathered a child outside of his marriage, Carvey quipped, “He made a baby with the housekeeper. Who hasn’t?”
So what if our national debt is in the trillions, Carvey said. As a country with 50,000 nuclear-tipped missiles, “do we really have to pay it back?”
As with his Opera House show, Carvey wrapped up by strumming on a guitar and doing his Neil Young voice.
For the close, Mark Pitta, the opening comedian, came out and took audience questions for Carvey to slam for homeruns.
Carvey makes everything look easy. The audience loved him.