How Dana Carvey's Sons Dex And Thomas Followed In Their Father's Footsteps

For most of us, Dana Carvey is the lovably goofy comedian and "Saturday Night Live" alum behind memorable characters like Garth from "Wayne's World" and the "SNL" Church Lady. But for Dex (pictured right) and Thomas (left) Carvey, Dana was far more than a caricature with a signature crooked smile — he was a father, friend, and professional inspiration.

Dex and Thomas Carvey, the only sons of comedian Dana Carvey and his wife, Paula Zwagerman, both chose to follow in their father's footsteps by pursuing careers in comedy. The brothers' approach to comedy and fame differed slightly, with younger brother Thomas opting for a lower profile career than his older brother, Dex, whose comedy credits include "Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser" and opening for his father's Netflix comedy special "Dana Carvey, Straight White Male: 60." 

However, the siblings collaborated often. Dex and Thomas had a since-deleted Twitch channel in 2017 titled The Carvey Brothers, per Instagram. Five years later, in 2022, the Carvey family embarked on another joint comedic adventure with a sci-fi comedy podcast inspired by "The Twilight Zone" titled "The Weird Place."

Dana Carvey was the executive producer of his sons' last project together

In a November 2022 episode of "Literally! With Rob Lowe," comedian Dana Carvey described the creation of the collaborative project between him and his two sons, Dex and Thomas Carvey. He explained that he had bought a box set of "Twilight Zone" DVDs for him and his sons to enjoy once they reached a certain age, saying, "They would watch it and fall in love with it, which was so much fun because it's such sophisticated storytelling." 

Dana said the inspiration for a podcast with a similar style came from his youngest son, Tom, who suggested they do a skit where a heavy metal band summons Satan with their music and lyrics. The Carveys shot a 20-minute short film in a single location that would eventually become the basis for their episodic show, "The Weird Place," which was produced in conjunction with Conan O'Brien's multi-platform media company, Team Coco.

"I'm having so much fun. I love doing it so much," Dana said of the project while visiting the "Conan O'Brien Needs a Friend" podcast. "Riffing these characters out and working with my sons closely like that." Indeed, the trio proved to be a comedic force of nature until tragedy struck the Carvey family in mid-November 2023.

Dex Carvey followed in the same tragic footsteps as his father's co-star

Sadly, the collaborations between Dana Carvey and his two sons, Thomas and Dex, were abruptly brought to a halt following the tragic death of Dex Carvey on November 15, 2023. The "SNL" alum shared the news in an Instagram post, revealing that his 32-year-old son's cause of death was an accidental overdose. "Dex packed a lot into those 32 years," the comedian wrote. "He was extremely talented at so many things — music, art, filmmaking, comedy — and pursued all of them passionately. It's not an exaggeration to say that Dex loved life."

TMZ reported that first responders arrived at the Los Angeles home of Dex and his girlfriend around 10 pm on Wednesday, November 15. Though paramedics attempted life-saving measures, Dex was pronounced dead on the scene. Dex's premature death is gut-wrenchingly similar to the death of Carvey's former colleague, Chris Farley, who died of a drug overdose when he was just one year older than Dana's son. 

Days after announcing his son's passing, Dana announced he would be stepping away from social media and future professional projects to grieve. "Trying to figure out what life looks like now that we are a family of three," he wrote on Instagram. "We will heal the best we can and carry on. Our darling Dex would have wanted it that way."