'chopping broccoli' by Dana Carvey

Is this song based on a real song, and if so what was the name of it.

I dunno. But every time I see the poster named broccoli!, I think of that song.

Listen to Styx’s ‘Suite Madame Blue’ and try not to think about "Choppin’ Broccoli.’ (At least I think that’s the song…anyway, I always thought Carvey was parodying Dennis De Young with ‘Broccoli!’)

I saw him “perform” this several times in stand-up, and he usually prefaces it by doing a routine about how most rock stars seem to be making up the words as they go. Then he sits down at the piano and starts the song.

It was also once in a throwaway SNL skit where it was basically the same type of deal: record industry types talk about needing “someone fresh, someone new” and in walks Dana Carvey as a stoner brit rocker. He sits down and starts making up this song and they all love it, of course.

I love how the entire song is basically the same 3 notes played over and over.

That song’s been driving me crazy. I have to stop eating broccoli, because every time I start chopping it I get that stupid song in my head.

I first heard the song in an SNL sketch featuring Dana Carvey as a stoned-out British rocker who’s being pressed by record company execs for a new album. The rocker obviously hasn’t written any new material, but he starts improvising at the piano, and making up lyrics off the top of his head. He eventually comes up with “Chopping Broccoli,” which the dim-bulb record execs LOVE.

Carvey later expanded the bit a little, and started using it in his standup comedy act. In the expanded version, “Chopping Broccoli” became a parody of rock “power ballads,” the kind of songs Journey and Bryan Adams specialized in- the kind where the singer belts out the most banal, trite lyrics as if they touched him to his very soul.

the piano keys sounds familiar and i think i’ve heard those notes on tv or movies before. i am mainly looking for the piano song (if there is one) that the broccoli song was lifted from.

Is it possible that it just sounds familiar because all rock ballads sound alike? :wink:

I don’t think it was lifted from any song in particular. Sounds like the standard circle of 5ths ballad stuff. I think it is A minor to E minor with E7 thrown in for flavor.

What I loved about the original sketch was the look on the face of the writer’s girlfriend (played by Sigourney Weaver), especially when contrasted with the enraptured exec (played by Phil Hartman).

There was a followup with Kirstie Alley, who was constantly frustrated by the songwriter’s constant habit of making any mundane, innocent thing she said into a song. Classic. :slight_smile:

I thought I heard him say it was a Randy Newman parody.

For whatever reason, I always think of that song when I hear The Stones’ “Angie”

Wasn’t there an SNL skit where they are trying to get him to use it for a jingle?

THANK YOU! I have been wondering what song that was for years.

Carvey also had a hilarious routine where he made fun of “intense & deep” folk rock musicians.

“There a point in every one of the songs when they sing live where they seem to suddenly get angry at the microphone!”

<steps back from mike with a disgusted look on his face>

Its mostly visual, but almost as hilarious as “Chopping Broccolli”.

He also talks about the faces they make when they get higher on the guitar (sorry, not a musician, I don’t know the technical terms). They always make faces like they are in pain whenever they get to the little strings on the guitar.

I remember seeing Chopping Broccoli in his routine before SNL. They used to show him on a nickelodean show called Turkey Television.

Chopping Broccoli is a cult classic in our house too.