LOS ANGELES — When Dana Carvey was approached to host an online celebration of popular movies, the comedian couldn't resist adding a few flourishes.
Working in what he describes as a "miniature TV studio" set up in a spare bedroom of his Northern California home, Carvey taped comic riffs on films including "True Lies" with Arnold Schwarzenegger and "The Exorcist."
"Down in Front with Dana Carvey," which plays online Friday and Saturday at movie rental service Netflix.com, gives Carvey the chance to show off the impersonation chops he displayed on "Saturday Night Live" and indulge his love of movies.
"I'm a movie fanatic," Carvey said. "I occasionally watch movies on my cell phone, but how are you supposed to be afraid of King Kong when his head is the size of a Chiclet?"
Although he's remained busy doing standup gigs, Carvey has been largely off the movie and TV scene for several years. He wanted to join his wife in rearing their two sons, he said.
"I know people whose kids have British and French accents from the nanny," he said, dropping into an imaginary conversation between a parent with a thick Brooklyn-style accent and a child speaking in haughty English tones.
Then he turned serious. "Some people can go full-bore with their career and still be there for their kids. I wasn't very good at that. I needed to back off," Carvey said.
He fondly recalled a visit one of his boys, then about 2, paid to the set of "Wayne's World," the hit movie he made with Mike Myers. Seeing Carvey as slacker Garth in his shaggy blond wig, the toddler burst into tears and exclaimed, "Daddy, no funny hair!"
Now that his children are teenagers Carvey, 52, is starting to sign up for more time-intensive projects, with a standup special in the works and a movie in development. A "Tonight Show" appearance is set for Wednesday.
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