Carvey was born in Missoula, Montana, the son of Billie, a schoolteacher, and William Carvey, a high school business teacher.
When he was three years old, his family moved to San Carlos, California, in the San Francisco Bay Area. He received his first drum kit at an early age.
In 1979, while performing at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, he met Paula Zwaggerman, who would later become his wife.
He had a minor role in Halloween II, and co-starred on One of the Boys in 1982, a short-lived television sitcom that also starred Mickey Rooney, Nathan Lane, and Meg Ryan.
In 1984, Carvey had a small role in Rob Reiner's film This Is Spinal Tap.
In 1986, Carvey became a household name when he joined the cast of NBC's Saturday Night Live.
Carvey's other original characters included Garth Algar (from "Wayne's World"), Hans (from "Hans and Franz"), and The Grumpy Old Man (from Weekend Update appearances).
During the 1992 US presidential election campaign, he did an impression of independent candidate Ross Perot; in a prime-time special before the election, Carvey played both George H. W. Bush and Perot in a three-way debate with Bill Clinton, who was played by Phil Hartman.
Carvey won an Emmy in 1993 for "Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program." He has a total of six Emmy nominations.
He held the record for having said "Live from New York, it's Saturday Night!" most often, until Darrell Hammond surpassed him.
100 Year Old Man