Turtle, turtle! Dana Carvey confirmed that he was dressed as Master of Disguise’s Turtle Man for an impromptu 9/11 prayer on the set.
There are a number of films that anecdotally have links to the tragedy of the September 11th attacks: Spider-Man’s teaser was pulled due to showing the Twin Towers; Spike Lee’s 25th Hour was the first film to even acknowledge the attacks; a True Lies sequel was outright canceled. And then, of course, there’s The Master of Disguise, the movie where Dana Carvey dressed up as a turtle.
On a recent episode of his and David Spade’s podcast Fly on the Wall (which we highly recommend for Saturday Night Live buffs and people who can’t get enough of Carvey’s 30+-year-old George Bush impression), the comedian confirmed that the cast and crew of The Master of Disguise held a moment of silence and prayer for the victims of 9/11…except Dana Carvey was still in his Turtle Man garb. “We took an appropriate time off and went back to shooting and I was playing–if you’ve seen the movie, kids–the Turtle Man, with a bald cap and a weird thing on my lip and a big green shell outfit…I was in [the costume] all that day and then they said, ‘We’re going to have a group prayer about 9/11.’ And I couldn’t get the thing–I would’ve held everyone for a half hour getting all that prosthetic makeup off–so, as I remember it, everyone else was [wearing] civilian clothes, I’m dressed as the Turtle Man, with a bald head, and I’m holding hands and I’m lowering my head and praying and I just thought at the moment: ‘This is very strange.’”
Stranger still is the Turtle Man’s legacy, if we want to call it that. The Master of Disguise may hold a 1% on Rotten Tomatoes and be considered one of the worst movies ever made, but Dana Carvey’s Turtle Man character is unforgettable. We’re not saying that’s a good thing, but if you saw the TV spots even once, you know the line, “Am I not turtley enough for the turtle club. Turtle, turtle, turtle!” Fortunately, Carvey would rather give us Wayne’s World 3 than The Master of Disguise 2.
Have you seen The Master of Disguise? Why do you think Dana Carvey’s turtle character has endured in its own strange little way?