This article is from the Conan O'Brien FAQ, by Joseph Gebis firstname.lastname@example.org with numerous contributions by others.
There are many, from the mundane to the downright spooky. The first
connection is that Dana Carvey was one of the people who passed up the
job at "Late Night" before Conan was hired. (See section 2.5) Secondly,
many of the writers on the "Dana Carvey Show" had worked with on Conan's
"Late Night" before, including first Conan head writer Robert Smigel,
and writers Dino Stamatapolous, Louis CK, and others. So, in effect, Dana
ended up with the writing staff that Conan started with, almost creating
a replay of what would have happened if Dana had taken the "Late Night"
job when offered it. Many of the writers like Smigel continued working
on Conan's show while developing and working on the Carvey show.
"The Dana Carvey Show" itself was a sketch comedy series on ABC.
Originally, ABC ordered 13 episodes of the show as a winter replacement
series. It ended up airing at 9:30 on Tuesdays. Each episode was to be
sponsored by a subsidiary of Pepsico, so the title for each episode
would be something like "The Taco Bell Dana Carvey Show." This
arrangement quickly fell apart as some of the more controversial material
on the show (President Clinton using hormones to grow artificial breasts
and then nursing puppies on-screen) and unflinching jabs at the sponsors
(a glass of Mountain Dew was compared to urine) caused Pepsico to back
out of the deal. ABC cut the order of episodes down to nine and pulled
the show during May sweeps, with one episode to be aired afterwards. It
is not renewed.
Reactions were split on the show. Many found it tasteless, unfunny,
and innapropriate for its time slot. A minority found it hillarious, but
concede it could not survive at that time period. Nevertheless, many
elements the writers brough to "Late Night" (weird political humor, costumes
and puppets, etc) can be seen in the show. Anyone interested in seeing
an episode should contact Steve Saunders (email@example.com), who has all
the episodes on tape and expressed willingness to share them.