Too Funny to Fail: The Life & Death of The Dana Carvey Show

Comedic great Dana Carvey (40 then) recruits future stars Steve Carell (33), Stephen Colbert (32)) and Louis CK (29) as they create this funny flop of a TV show.

Now they go back to the scene of this comedic crime in “Too Funny to Fail: The Life & Death of The Dana Carvey Show”.

It’s currently #2 on my List of Funniest Focumentaries (up to 30 now and all ranked!).

Trailer for the Dana Carvey Documentary

Watch “Too Funny to Fail”

I watched it on Hulu at

A bunch of people have asked me if the Dana Documentary will be on Netflix. I’m sure they’d love to get the Dana Doc on their platform (but, if you want some Dana Carvey on Netflix, they do have “Straight White Male, 60” (standup show) and the “The Master of Disguise” movie).

Check back here for any changes to streaming options for “Too Funny to Fail”:

Check here for the latest streaming options:

And YouTube is full of skits/episodes from The Dana Carvey Show. Watch 5 episodes here:

You can also stream the entireThe Dana Carvey Show series if you’re a subscriber of Fubo here:

Too Funny to Fail Ratings:

  • My Rating: 95/100
  • IMDB Rating: 7.7/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes Ratings: 93/100 (User); 100/100 (Critics)

Review of “Too Funny to Fail”

“Hulu’s 2017 doc ‘Too Funny to Fail’ chronicles the rapid rise and fall of The Dana Carvey Show, a short-lived sketch comedy series that aired on ABC for an extremely brief stint in the spring of 1996.

Assembled by comedy heavyweights like Robert Smigel, Charlie Kaufman, and a fresh-faced Stephen Colbert, the show boasted a killer writing staff yet bombed in spectacular fashion—getting axed after just 8 episodes despite a dream cast starring Carvey and Steve Carell.

Weaving together behind-the-scenes footage and present-day interviews, the doc reveals how this flop was lightning in a bottle, crammed with edgy, innovative sketches that would go on to influence comedy for decades.

Like Carell’s chipper weatherman character getting gradually more upset as the broadcast goes off the rails, or a McLaughlin Group parody with Janet Reno as the host.

And there’s Nicolas Cage paying homage to the sanatorium weirdness of Johnny Cash.

But the network apparently didn’t find their avant-garde style so gut-busting, cowed by dismal ratings and turned off by an offensive cold open where Carvey played Bill Clinton breastfeeding puppies and kittens.


While a bit deeper of a dive into the actual sketches rather than just the drama behind-the-scenes would’ve been nice, overall Too Funny to Fail captures all the nutty genius of a tragically mistimed series ahead of its time.”

Thanks for reading!

Rob Kelly, Chief Maniac, Daily Doc