Comedian Dana Carvey opens up about son’s death as he returns to work


Comedian Dana Carvey has opened up about his 32-year-old son Dex’s sudden death, as he returns to work after two months.

He thanked his fans for the “outpouring” of love and support in the wake of his family’s loss, while acknowledging that healing from Dex’s death is “me and my wife and our son’s private journey”, during Wednesday’s episode (17 January) of the Fly on the Wall podcast.

The Saturday Night Live! alum, 68, and his wife Paula Zwagerman announced that their “beloved” son Dex had died from “an accidental drug overdose” in a statement last November.

The Los Angeles Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed Dex had died on 15 November.

Explaining his decision to return to work on the latest episode of Fly on the Wall, Carvey said “riffing with” his long-term friend and podcast co-host David Spade “is going to be very healthy for me as I recover”.

“I thought about this over the holidays and decided to come back to the podcast because I think, you know, it’s a long day when you’re not working and you get in your head,” he told Spade. “And I think it’s going to be a great break. And I think it’s really cool to laugh.

“Doing this and riffing with you is going to be very healthy for me as I recover, because I’m kind of on the pain train with millions of other people on this planet. And you don’t know how long you’re going to be on it or when it will stop or when it will get better.

“But in the meantime, all this kind of stuff is very healthy.”

Dana Carvey as Enid Strict on ‘SNL’ (Saturday Night Live YouTube)
Dana Carvey as Enid Strict on ‘SNL’ (Saturday Night Live YouTube)

Carvey also shared how his family was coping with Dex’s tragic death, explaining that it isn’t something anyone can help them with.

“We’re all together,” he said. “And we do a lot of fun things. We hike; we go to church. You just want to make sure you keep moving.”

In their statement announcing Dex’s passing, Carvey and Zwagerman said their “extremely talented” son had “packed a lot into those 32 years”.

“It’s not an exaggeration to say that Dex loved life. And when you were with him, you loved life too. He made everything fun,” their message read. “But most of all, he loved his family, his friends and his girlfriend, Kaylee.

“Dex was a beautiful person. His handmade birthday cards are a treasure. We will miss him forever.”

Carvey won an Emmy award in 1993 for outstanding individual performance on SNL.

He later shared a photograph of himself laughing with his son on Instagram, captioning it: “Dex and me working together. What a joy.”

Dex starred in a number of TV series alongside his father, including The Funster in 2013, Beyond The Comics a year later and Carpool Pandering in 2016, as well as opening his father’s TV comedy special titled Straight White Male, 60, in the same year.

Carvey said he would be taking a break from social media and work while “trying to figure out what life looks like now that we are a family of three” including his younger son Thomas Carvey, 31.

If you or someone you know is suffering from drug addiction, you can seek confidential help and support 24-7 from Frank, by calling 0300 123 6600, texting 82111, sending an email or visiting their website here.

In the US, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration can be reached at 1-800-662-HELP.

Additional reporting on wires.