It had all the makings of a huge television success: a white-hot comic at the helm, a coveted primetime slot, and a pantheon of future comedy legends in the cast and crew. So why did The Dana Carvey Show—with a writers room and cast including then unknowns Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Louis C.K., Robert Smigel, Charlie Kaufman, and more— crash and burn so spectacularly? TOO FUNNY TO FAIL tells the hilarious true story of a crew of genius misfits who set out to make comedy history… and succeeded in a way they never intended.
The Dana Carvey Show was an American sketch comedy television show that aired on ABC during the spring of 1996. Dana Carvey was the host and principal player on the show while Louis C.K. served as head writer. The show's cast consists heavily of Saturday Night Live and Second City alumni including Carvey, Steve Carell, Bill Chott, Stephen Colbert, Elon Gold, Chris McKinney, Heather Morgan, Peggy Shay, Robert Smigel, and James Stephens III. The writing team also included Charlie Kaufman, Louis C.K., Jon Glaser, Dino Stamatopoulos, Spike Feresten, and Robert Carlock. The Dana Carvey Show aired for only seven of the planned 10 episodes. While the program was short-lived and featured controversial material, it has since been considered ahead of its time. The show is also recognized for providing early exposure to Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert, two comedians who would go on to have critical success many years later. In addition, The Dana Carvey Show served as a launchpad for Smigel's popular series of TV Funhouse cartoons.