Events Carvey and Nealon will pump you up at the Iowa State Fair.

Carvey and Nealon will pump you up at the Iowa State Fair.

Think Hans & Franz were born in Austria? Try Des Moines

Published on July 25th, 2013 | by Joe Lawler

Dana Carvey and Kevin Nealon’s bodybuilding “Saturday Night Live” characters, Hans & Franz, weren’t shy about telling girlie men where they were from: Austria, just like the actor they were parodying, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

But the seed for the characters was planted in Des Moines. This morning I interviewed Nealon and asked if he had every been to Des Moines. He shared this:

“When Dana Carvey and I did our first tour in 1987 after our first year on ‘Saturday Night Live’ we were staying at some hotel in Des Moines. I was watching Arnold Schwarzenegger on Showtime, they were doing an interview, ‘Up Close & Personal,’ and were asking him about his routine of the day.

“He said (Arnold voice) ‘I check into the hotel and I slip into a nice light cotton shirt, then I go out on the town and I come back to the hotel and I slip into the nice white cotton sheets.’ I was watching this and called Dana and said ‘You gotta watch this.’ So we both watched it and for the rest of the tour we were talking like Arnold. We said we had to come up with a character for next season, and we came up with Hans & Franz watching that in Des Moines, Ia.”

Carvey, Nealon and Dennis Miller will perform stand-up Aug. 10 at Iowa State Fair Grandstand. My interview with Nealon will run in the Aug. 7 issue of Juice.

About the Author

Joe Lawler covers music and more for Juice Magazine. E-mail him at or follow his updates on Twitter @JoeLawler

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