Courtesy of John Ascuaga's Nugget

Comedian Dana Carvey hopes the next president is someone he can mimic.

Carvey set to leave an impression

Published: Friday, Nov. 2, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 27TICKET

Dana Carvey would talk about politics, he said, "but my wife would wrestle me to the ground – and she has done a lot of Pilates."

Not talking about politics to Carvey, though, just means he's not talking about the issues or who will get his vote. It does not preclude his dealing with personalities. After all, he nailed the first President Bush and Ross Perot pretty well back in his "Saturday Night Live" years. His audiences tonight and Saturday at John Ascuaga's Nugget are not likely to leave without a few impressions of politicians on the current scene.

"My Obama is getting pretty good," Carvey said by phone while on his current tour. "I think I'll vote for whoever makes my portrayal easier. It takes time to put together a comic impression. It takes time to recognize the tics. Right now, for instance, I could do a dead- on Paul Ryan and people wouldn't recognize it. Personalities take a while to sink in."

People who run and lose leave the public's consciousness quickly, Carvey said.

"Michael Dukakis – isn't he teaching school somewhere now? You just get a voice mastered, and whoosh, gone."

There is comedy inherent in politics, Carvey said.

"I suggested they take the entire vice-presidential debate and run it on 'SNL,' " Carvey said. "I don't mean do a sketch on it. Run the actual debate. It was sketch enough. The split-screen was terrific. Here is this deadly serious guy on the right, and the guy on the left is having a party."

Carvey has been back on the road since he famously left his career to concentrate on raising his two sons, now 19 and 21. He has no regrets.

"I hear guys say they would like to have children but they're a little inconvenient," Carvey said. "They get lost in their own ambition. I think of Kirk Douglas, who wrote that he lost so much time with his children while reading scripts. To work and balance having kids is so unusual."

During that time off, Carvey saw many changes. There are now viral videos, podcasts and so many other ways to deliver comedy.

"Comedy is evolving as we speak," he said. "My kids don't watch TV. They don't go to movies. They get their comedy in so many other ways. I could join that. I'd like to do a podcast. Free-form radio would be fun, too. ... We've sold out every show on this tour, without social media, but times are changing. ... There are so many different avenues."

For Carvey, Twitter is not one of them.

"I'm a friend of the CEO of Twitter and he showed me how to be on it, but it causes such an uproar if what you post is perceived in a negative light," Carvey said. "My insurance agent said if I went on it, I could expect a significant increase in rates" (9 p.m. today; $65; 800-648-1177 or

Another entertainer coming to Reno-Sparks this weekend, Wanda Sykes, is not at all reluctant to make political commentary.

"I will most likely be talking about the election," Sykes said. "So much is riding on it, and so much has changed. We have entered an era of fact checkers and cable-news networks which say they're not entertainment but truly are.

"I think that everything that comes out of candidates' mouths should be factual, especially if you're running to be president. People should be allowed to throw a rock or blow an air horn or something when a lie is told."

Sykes, who plays the Silver Legacy on Saturday, will co-host an evening on the Logo cable channel with the Rev. Al Sharpton encouraging people to get out and vote.

"Other than that, I'll be talking in my act about me and my family," said Sykes, who has two children with her wife, Alex. "I have a couple of 3-year-olds and right now, life is all about 'Sesame Street' and 'Dora the Explorer.' That Dora teaches a lot." (8 p.m. Saturday; $50, $67.50; or


Boomtown, Reno – Ballroom: Events Center: Little River Band, Nov. 17. (800) 648-3790.

Carson Valley Inn – Cabaret Lounge: Decades, through Saturday. (775) 782-9711.

Eldorado, Reno – Showroom: "Jersey Nights," through Nov. 13; "Aladdin and His Lamp," Nov. 20- Jan. 13. (800) 648-5966.

Harrah's Reno – Sammy's Showroom: The Magic of Eli Kerr, today-Saturday, Nov. 9-10, 16-17, 23-24, 30-Dec. 1. (800) 427-7247.

Harrah's Lake Tahoe – South Shore Room: the Dan Band, Nov. 10; Average White Band, Nov. 17; Beatles vs. Stones – A Musical Shootout, Nov. 23-24; Toad the Wet Sprocket, Dec. 1; Christmas with Aaron Neville, Dec. 15. (800) 427-7247.

Horizon, Lake Tahoe – Illusion Fusion starring Alex Ramon, Thursdays-Tuesdays. (775) 588-6211.

MontBleu Resort, Lake Tahoe – Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Nov. 17; Daniel Tosh, Dec. 15. (888) 829-7630.

Silver Legacy, Reno – Grande Exposition Hall: Wanda Sykes, Saturday; BB King, next Friday; Dennis Miller, Nov. 17; Rodney Carrington, Nov. 24; Ethan Bortnick, Nov. 30; Randy Travis, Dec. 1; Daniel Tosh, Dec. 14; Jay Leno, Jan. 25. Reno Events Center: Eric Church with Justin Moore and Kip Moore, Nov. 11; the Fresh Beat Band, Nov. 15. (800) 687-8733.

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