Whatever Happened to Dana Carvey?

Cast your mind back to the dark days of 1992. The 1980s had gone out with a bang, the internet was a mystery, and the number one hit at the box office was a comedy about a pair of teenage metal fans entitled "Wayne's World".

It had its own language, its own soundtrack (making Queen cool again), and turned Mike Myers into an overnight celebrity.

But "Wayne's World" wasn't just about Myers. His sidekick was the eternally dweeby Dana Carvey, who played lank-haired metal nerd Garth to Myers' Wayne.

More than just a straight man, Carvey proved he could be as off-the-wall funny and as totally nerdish as his on-screen other half. It seemed like a partnership made in comedy heaven. Ker-ching!

Fast-forward a decade to 2002. Mike Myers has become one of the leading Hollywood comedians of his generation, turning "Shrek" and the "Austin Powers" series into box office smashes.

But where's Carvey?

Strangely enough, the answer isn't the usual cocaine-fuelled sex addiction burnout that Hollywood legends are made out of. No, it's something far more bizarre.

After a few disastrous attempts to make his own path through the Tinseltown jungle - including comedy flop "Clean Slate", where he played a private investigator who keeps losing his memory (the makers of "Memento" were obviously watching. NOT!) - Carvey fell back on his tried and tested pre-"Wayne's World" career as a stand-up comic.

As an alumni of American TV institution Saturday Night Live, Carvey was used to the small screen. Winning awards for his impersonations - favourites included the pious but misguided 'Church Lady', with her catchphrase "Might it be... SATAN?" and politicians like George Bush Snr - he was the toast of TV comedy during the early 90s.

Then it all went wrong. His TV series - the imaginatively titled Dana Carvey Show - was cancelled after just seven episodes. The SNL work started to dry up. And Carvey hit that twilight zone where comedians stop believing they're funny.

Retiring to the countryside to "spend more time with his family" (no, really), Carvey suffered another set back.

Diagnosed with high cholesterol, he went under the knife in a heart bypass operation. But the doctors bypassed the wrong artery! It was the kind of scare that was difficult to bounce back from.

Ironically, it was fellow SNL comic Adam Sandler who saved him, dragging him out of retirement to write and star in kiddie comedy "The Master of Disguise". Sandler used his Hollywood clout to bankroll the project, signing on as executive producer to give Carvey a second chance at the limelight.

Despite a credible performance at the US box office, we can't imagine Mike Myers losing any sleep over it, though.