Back in the 80s when Saturday Night Live was still not as funny as it was in previous heydays, Dana Carvey was a staple cast member — and for some reason, his “Choppin’ Broccoli” skit was one of those bizarre, random jokes that stuck.
Okay, Dana Carvey’s SNL tenure was, like all are, beset with lamentations that the show then wasn’t as funny as it was during the Belushi era, and kids today often hear that this incarnation is not nearly as funny as when Carvey, Mike Myers, and Chris Farley graced the stage.
Such is the curse of Saturday Night Live, it’s only ever really funny in the past. And for kids, who are too young to be out late but too old to go to bed.
Before Dana Carvey skipped off to do films with Mike Myers, he did a lot of SNL stuff that was pretty legendary. And perhaps most of all was the song “Choppin’ Broccoli,” which my mom subsequently sang every time she prepared broccoli, I think up and until today.
Or, as people on Twitter said well before Dana Carvey’s performance last night:
Because I am *exactly* the age I am, I cannot cook broccoli without singing the Choppin’ Broccoli song in my head just a little bit.
— Nasty Canasta (@nasty_canasta) January 4, 2014
Like most adults, I’m incapable of chopping broccoli without hearing Dana Carvey singing “choppin broccoli” in my head… Carvey!!!!
— Christopher Phipps (@lousylinguist) February 10, 2012
References to the song are made relatively often:
Derek Stevens’ Comeback: Choppin’ Broccoli | Saturday Night Live – https://t.co/ADft2wfFoG via
— Steve Urban (@SteveUrban) May 24, 2014
I have never once chopped broccoli without thinking of the Dana Carvey “She’s Choppin’ Broccoli” song.
— lanyard (@lanyardigan) July 3, 2012
It’s just one of those things that sort of wormed its way into the public consciousness for people of a certain age.
For its time, it was so absurdly funny, and Dana Carvey was so 80s ballad serious about it… and there was no YouTube to post the clip and forget it.
You had to sing it. And like Carvey, you had to sing it with all the heartfelt meaninglessness of a person singing a really intense song about a person chopping broccoli.
Last night, Dana Carvey appeared on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, and not only did he reprise the song in all its totally straightly performed glory, but he did it with a backing orchestra. Watch above.