During a recent episode of his Fly on the Wall podcast, which he co-hosts with David Spade, Carvey revealed that he was afraid that Williams’ energy would take away from his signature character in the segment.
“He was a really good friend, but he really wanted to do ‘Church Chat,’” the comedian recalled when talking with Spade and podcast guest Jason Sudeikis about the difficulties of breaking into SNL. “And this was in the early days, this was my golden ticket and I was very careful. I thought if Robin got so excited … I was just afraid of it.”
Carvey’s church lady, an elderly woman who went by the name Enid Strict, made her debut in 1986, during his first season on the sketch comedy show. The comedian continued to reprise the character throughout his time as an SNL castmember and even returned to reprise the role several times after signing off in 1993.
During the sketches, Enid Strict hosted her own talk show, “Church Chat,” where she would interview guests – typically that week’s host. But it was really only a guise to be able to call the celebrities out for their supposed sins.
Carvey even recalled when the Oscar-winning actor called him one Saturday morning, asking to be included in the sketch one of the weeks he was hosting. But Carvey said he had to decline, which was difficult for him.
“It was heartbreaking, but you know we got past that and we were [friends],” he said. “But in those days, your thing [character] was very precious. I wanted to keep it quasi-real, in a sense.”
Williams, who died in 2014, hosted SNL twice, in 1986 and 1988.