Don’t go into Dana Carvey and Jon Lovitz’s team-up expecting a sketch to answer the question, “What would The Liar say to The Church Lady?”
“I don’t know,” Lovitz says of the hypothetical he had just floated to explain what his shows with Carvey won’t be. “I’m just not good at that. I can do improv, but I’m not really good at it.”
There is, however, another “show” beyond “Saturday Night Live” that gives a better idea of what the two comedians hope to achieve on Friday and Saturday, when they launch 20 dates together over 10 weekends at The Foundry inside SLS Las Vegas.
That one is a podcast: Lovitz interviewing Carvey for The Laugh Factory.
“The thing is, Dana and I are very close friends and we have a very funny relationship,” Lovitz says. “We’re constantly trying to one-up each other and tease each other. I think if we can get that onstage it will be very entertaining. It’s quite silly and ridiculous and it makes us both laugh.”
Podcasts bring out a side of comedians not seen when they do stand-up, and comedians Adam Carolla and Kevin Smith have sold tickets to podcasts on the Strip. “(People) like to hear the real person talk and be honest,” Lovitz says. He even called his former comedy club at Universal Studios the Jon Lovitz Comedy Club & Podcast Theatre, before it closed in 2014 amid litigation between Lovitz and his club partner.
Lovitz says Carvey also was inspired by the recent tour of “Monty Python” alumni Eric Idle and John Cleese. Their pairing, which played Las Vegas last month, was a genre-bending mix of reminiscence, scripted sketches and song parodies.
The two decided that after their separate stand-up sets, they should should field audience questions and talk about their “Saturday Night Live” days.
Carvey, 61, fueled some of the best-remembered “Saturday Night Live” seasons from 1986 through 1993. Memorable characters from The Church Lady to “Wayne’s World” sidekick Garth shared seasons with Lovitz, now 59, as the compulsive liar Tommy Flanagan and the Master Thespian when he was on from 1985 through 1990.
Carvey has been a regular at The Orleans since 2007 and references his “SNL” characters in his stand-up. In fact, Lovitz points out, “Dana does an impression of me.”
“He’s good at doing that. I’m not. I’m just not. I tried doing my characters in the beginning and it just didn’t work. I was kind of glad because I realized I would just be repeating the same thing that I did 30 years ago. It probably would have driven me nuts,” Lovitz says.
“My stand-up is not about commenting on things through characters. It’s me and my personality, who I am. And I have a really strong personality, so it’s that and how I really feel about things that are going on in the world.”
The new venture at The Foundry is well-timed to this week’s debut of “The New Celebrity Apprentice.” Lovitz is a contestant playing for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital on the NBC contest once synonymous with Donald Trump but now overseen by Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Las Vegas-based rocker Vince Neil is also a competitor on the previously taped competition. Lovitz says he and Neil have been friends for years, and it was Neil’s introduction to Food & Beverage magazine founder Michael Politz that got the ball rolling on the Foundry residency.
Lovitz says everyone got along so well on “Apprentice” that “when they had to fire somebody, it really took a long time. Because nobody wanted to get rid of anybody” or call anyone else out as the weakest link.
When tempers do flare, it’s only because “they would work you to the bone, and you’d get so tired that at some point everyone would get upset about something.”
“I learned a lot about branding,” he adds. “But the one thing I learned is that I don’t like being on reality shows with the cameras there all day. I don’t know how people do that. I found it extremely annoying.”
Read more from Mike Weatherford at reviewjournal.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow @Mikeweatherford on Twitter.
Who: Dana Carvey and Jon Lovitz
When: 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Where: The Foundry, SLS Las Vegas, 2535 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Tickets: $49-$89 (800-745-3000)