Too Funny to Fail

Watch Too Funny to Fail

  • TV-MA
  • 2017
  • 7.7  (1,860)

Too Funny to Fail is a 2017 documentary that takes a look at the short-lived sketch comedy show called The Dana Carvey Show, which aired on ABC in 1996. The show was groundbreaking in many ways, pushing the boundaries of what was considered acceptable for network television and featuring a talented cast of comedians who would go on to become some of the biggest names in entertainment.

The documentary, directed by Josh Greenbaum, features interviews with many of the key players involved in the making of The Dana Carvey Show, including Carvey himself, showrunner Robert Smigel, and cast members Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, and Robert Carlock, among others. Through these interviews, as well as archival footage from the show itself, the documentary tells the story of how the show came together and ultimately fell apart, despite its quality and potential.

The Dana Carvey Show was born out of Carvey's desire to produce a sketch comedy show that was different from what was currently on television. He had enjoyed great success on Saturday Night Live in the 1980s and early 1990s, and wanted to translate that success to his own show. He teamed up with writer Robert Smigel, who had previously worked on SNL and Late Night with Conan O'Brien, to create a show that would be edgier and more irreverent than anything else on television.

The show featured a cast of up-and-coming comedians, including Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, and Louis C.K., as well as veteran performers like Heather Morgan and Bill Chott. The sketches they produced were wild, inventive, and frequently controversial, with topics ranging from the absurd to the absurdly offensive. In one sketch, for example, Carvey played the character of the "Church Lady" interviewing celebrities like Tom Hanks and Demi Moore, while in another Carell played a character who dressed up like Adolf Hitler to sell hot dogs.

Despite the talent involved and the quality of the sketches themselves, The Dana Carvey Show struggled from the beginning on ABC. The network was uncomfortable with the show's edgy content, and frequently censored or edited sketches to make them more palatable for audiences. The show was also given a prime time slot on Tuesdays at 9:30 PM, which put it up against ratings juggernauts like Home Improvement and NYPD Blue.

Despite these challenges, The Dana Carvey Show continued to produce quality sketches, including a hilarious parody of the film Forrest Gump titled "The Humping Pals," which featured Carell and Colbert as two idiots who kept accidentally ruining historical events. The show also introduced the world to the character of the "Ambiguously Gay Duo," a cartoon sketch that would later be popularized on Saturday Night Live.

In the end, though, The Dana Carvey Show was cancelled after only eight episodes. The final straw came when the show aired a sketch featuring Carvey as President Bill Clinton breastfeeding puppies, a sketch that was deemed too tasteless for network television. Despite the show's failure, many of the cast members and writers went on to have wildly successful careers in the entertainment industry, with Carell becoming a household name thanks to shows like The Office and movies like The 40-Year-Old Virgin.

Too Funny to Fail is a fascinating look at the making of a show that was ahead of its time, featuring interviews with some of the biggest names in comedy today. It's a must-see for fans of Carvey, Smigel, Carell, and the rest of the cast, as well as anyone interested in the creative process behind sketch comedy. So give it a watch and see for yourself why The Dana Carvey Show was, in many ways, too funny to fail.

Too Funny to Fail is a 2017 documentary. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.7.

Too Funny to Fail
Where to Watch Too Funny to Fail
Too Funny to Fail is available to watch, stream, download and on demand at Hulu. Some platforms allow you to rent Too Funny to Fail for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
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    7.7  (1,860)