I had nearly forgotten about Dana Carvey. He was definitely one of the funnier actors in the cast during his seven year stint on the show, but can you name a single significant movie, TV show or anything in between that he's done in the years since? He's been practically invisible, and while I'd be lying if I said that "The Master of Disguise" wasn't a guilty pleasure movie I turn to in times of great sadness, he hasn't done anything to warrant attention. However, his return makes me forget all that.. it was a fun show filled with nice cameos (and one particularly lame one) and some callbacks to classic skits.
The show definitely started off strong, with a slew of entertaining skits, monologues and classic characters. The cold open with Mike Myers and Dana Carvey as their Wayne's World characters was perfect, and tying the old in with the new by having them analyze the Oscar nominations was awesome. The monologue didn't really do it for me, but it was cool to see Jon Lovitz, a fellow cast-mate, pop out of nowhere to help out with the song.
For me, the strongest sketch was definitely Carvey as Church Lady. Whenever he adopted the roles set up for him by the new SNL cast, he seemed to struggle a little bit. However, jumping back into comfortable roles such as Church Lady and Garth found Dana Carvey being as classic as ever. Even though I knew it was coming, hearing Dana Carvey say "Well isn't that special?!" was just as funny as the other times I've heard it.
As I said before, the moments when Dana Carvey stepped away from his comfort zone was where his discomfort was noticeable. When he was doing Mickey Rooney, it seemed to fall a little flat, and his Regis, despite being spot on, was marred a bit by some mistakes he made in the delivery. In a way, Kristen Wiig outshone him when she entered as Kathie Lee Gifford (Wiig pouring Chardonnay into the cup via her microphone was just awesome).
Not a bad episode by any means, especially considered some of the trash we've gotten as of late.