ACC.14: Dana Carvey, not your everyday opener

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Wasn’t that special? Dana Carvey, of Saturday Night Live fame, treated attendees at the American College of Cardiology (ACC) scientific session in Washington, D.C., to an acceptance speech that was part roast and part comedy show on March 29.

Carvey, who had several angioplasties and double bypass surgery, received the ACC’s Patient Advocate Award during opening ceremonies in recognition of his cardiovascular educational activities and fund-raising benefits. “I wanted a triple, but I didn’t have the money,” Carvey quipped.

Carvey recounted his experiences with cardiologist Prediman K. Shah, MD, of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, introducing the term “restenoser” into the medical lexicon. He gave an imitation of the lilting accent of Shah, a native of India. “No matter what you say, it sounds good. 'Oh, my goodness, you are totally … Your prognosis is not particularly good.’”

In reality, Carvey had a harrowing experience unrelated to his care under Shah from a bypass that involved the wrong artery. He initially sought about $7 million for loss of income over the two-year ordeal and eventually settled the case. He reportedly gave the award money to charity.

His comedic targets included world politics with an exchange via an interpreter between Russia’s Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Barack Obama, a spoof of his pharmacist doling out a cornucopia of prescriptions, and parents’ dilemma about punishing a child for visiting a sadomasochistic website. “You can’t spank him.”

On a serious note, Carey said he was the beneficiary of scientific advancement and reiterated the importance of preventive care to reduce the risk of stroke and other cardiovascular diseases.