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We were just three minutes into the interview when former "Saturday Night Live" star Dana Carvey started doing impressions.

First a drawled George W. Bush voice: "You think I'm gonna git any credit for bin Laden?"

Then the first President Bush: "No, probably not, didn't happen on your watch."

W to his father in a whiny voice: "But, I put in the apparati."

"Doesn't matter -- on his watch," replies Bush Sr.

That's just a taste of what Carvey, 56, plans for his show next Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center.

"The act is 90 percent new," he said by phone last month. "But, sometimes I'll come out for an encore and people will just yell out stuff. Once I do my act, I don't mind doing all the old (characters). I just riff on them."

So if you're hoping to hear the Church Lady, musclemen Hans and Franz, or Wayne and Garth (yes, he does both characters from "Wayne's World"), you probably won't go home disappointed.

But expect to hear a Carvey you haven't seen on TV.

"Mostly I'm just a frustrated and angry baby boomer, so it will be a little edgy," he said. "Those characters I did a couple of decades ago are not what I am thinking about now. People are suffering; my number one thing is to make people really laugh their ass off."

Carvey also likes a challenge, and one of his toughest tests has been trying to find the humor in the "Spock"-like -- by his description -- Obama.

"With Obama, it took about two years for the audience to accept satire," Carvey said. "We (comedians) had to be very careful initially, but now people are more loose about it."

Then Carvey becomes Obama, talking in deep voice with a preacher's rhythm about his Republican adversaries: "They don't want clean air, they want dirty air. And, they want dirty water ... They want everybody fending for themselves. They want anarchy. They want the whole world on fire and people murdering each other. So you have to ask yourself, who are you gonna vote for?"

Though Carvey's politics tilt a bit to the left, Obama is far from safe from the comedian's rapier wit.

"I think his campaign slogan could be: 'I might be incompetent, I might be in over my head and don't have a clue, but they are insane. So you gotta choose between a nutball and someone who might not know what he's doing.' "

Carvey says he reads the editorial pages of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal to get both sides.

Then he distills the left and right: "The Republicans say, 'You can own a gun but you can't kill a fetus,' while the Democrats say, 'You can kill a fetus but you can't own a gun.' "

It's been almost two decades since Carvey's fame peaked, doing Church Lady on SNL and playing Garth in the "Wayne's World" movies.

People wonder what happened to him, but it's no mystery: He settled down in Mill Valley and became a devoted father.

"I really enjoyed being the father that I always wanted to have," said Carvey, who grew up in San Carlos. "It was very cathartic for me."

While his kids were young in the mid-1990s, Carvey made some forgettable movies and had a memorable, if short-lived, variety show that helped launch the careers of Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert.

"The Dana Carvey Show" was "obviously an ignoble failure," Carvey says. "It was a little bit ahead of its time."

So Carvey was home as his kids grew up, occasionally flying to Vegas to do a couple of shows.

"I love standup," he said, "because it's so much fun to be able to say what I want into a microphone."

Carvey said he isn't like most comedians who desperately crave attention. He simply likes to make people, including himself, feel good.

By the end of the interview, when Carvey slipped back into doing the Church Lady, his laughter showed he was enjoying his impressions as much as his soon-to-be-skewered listener.

"Well, well, well," Carvey said in his sanctimonious Church Lady voice. "We write our little articles, don't we. Isn't that special."

Michael Shapiro writes little articles for the Press Democrat. Contact him at michael.shapiro@ pressdemocrat.com or visit www.michaelshapiro.net.

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