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Dana Carvey Confessed He Was in a Turtle Suit During a Moment of Silence

Samantha Franco
Photo Credit: KMazur / WireImage / Getty Images
Photo Credit: KMazur / WireImage / Getty Images

During an episode of the Fly on the Wall podcast, co-hosts Dana Carvey and David Spade discussed a viral story that circulated the internet following the events that occurred at the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001. More specifically, Carvey revealed where he was, what he was doing, and what he was wearing when he was asked to participate in a moment of silence after the attacks.

‘The Master of Disguise’

Headshot of Dana Carvey as Turtle Guy in 'The Master of Disguise'
Dana Carvey played a number of characters throughout the film, but Turtle Guy might just be the most recognizable. (Photo Credit:
Columbia Pictures Revolution Studios / Happy Madison Productions / Sony Pictures Releasing / HarrisonFord / MovieStillsDB)

Carvey starred in a comedy called The Master of Disguise, which began filming in 2001. As the name suggests, the movie has Carvey dressing up in a variety of different costumes as his character, Pistachio Disguisey, followed his family’s legacy of becoming a “master of disguise.” The different ensembles include an old lady named Granny Num Nums, a rich bachelor named Terry Suave, and even former president George W. Bush, to name a few.

One of the most iconic and well-known disguises in the film is “Turtle Man.” It’s such an outrageous character and costume that it would be hard to forget. Carvey was put in a bald cap and given a prosthetic for his top lip to look the part. Then, he was dressed in a puffed-out green suit made to emulate a turtle shell. The entire get-up is highly unflattering but extremely memorable.

The movie started filming shortly after the tragedy

Smoke coming off of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center after they were struck on September 11, 2001.
Smoke pours from the twin towers of the World Trade Center after they were hit by two hijacked airliners in a terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, in New York City. (Photo Credit: Robert Giroux / Getty Images)

It was during filming for some scenes featuring Turtle Man that the cast and crew were asked to hold a moment of silence to acknowledge the tragic events that had occurred at the Twin Towers about two weeks earlier.

The film’s director, Perry Andelin Blake, gathered everyone so he could say a few words. “I’m the director, so I’m the leader of this group of people. I felt it was a little weird to be making this funny, silly kids’ movie in the wake of this huge national tragedy,” he said back in 2021. “So I felt like I needed to say something. I gave a little speech, I guess you would call it.

In his speech, Blake admitted that the nature of the film felt in light of the tragedy but that the movie was an opportunity to help others. As he paraphrased later, “I think if there’s some time that we maybe need a bit of humor in our society and in our country — and especially for the kids of our country, this is probably such a hard time for them — there’s something good about us coming together to make a movie that can make kids laugh and bring a little bit of happiness. So let’s try to do that,” he said to the cast.

Carvey was in full Turtle Man costume

Dana Carvey dressed as Turtle Guy, Jennifer Esposito on his arm in 'The Master of Disguise.'
Carvey revealed that he was able to get out of the clothing, but the prosthetics and bald cap were still on during their prayer. (Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures Revolution Studios / Happy Madison Productions / Sony Pictures Releasing / murraymomo / MovieStillsDB)

Following Blake’s speech, a moment of silence was held so everyone could pay their respects to those who died in the event. Carvey was already in the full Turtle Man costume – prosthetics and all. Unfortunately for him, he was unable to get out of the costume in time to join in the group prayer.

Rumors about this awkward moment of silence have circulated on the internet ever since. During the podcast, Spade wanted Carvey to talk about the viral story. “I was in [the costume] all that day and then they said, ‘We’re going to have a group prayer about 9/11,'” Carvey replied.

He continued, “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.'”

Spade then asked if they had at least been able to get him out of the shell-like suit that was part of the costume. “They might’ve gotten the shell off, but they didn’t get the turtle head or the turtle lip off,” Carvey said. “They couldn’t get it all off.”

More from us: Wait a Minute, Owen Wilson’s Character in ‘Paint’ Isn’t Bob Ross?

The Master of Disguise was finished and released in 2002.

Samantha Franco

Samantha Franco is a Freelance Content Writer who received her Bachelor of Arts degree in history from the University of Guelph, and her Master of Arts degree in history from the University of Western Ontario. Her research focused on Victorian, medical, and epidemiological history with a focus on childhood diseases. Stepping away from her academic career, Samantha previously worked as a Heritage Researcher and now writes content for multiple sites covering an array of historical topics.

In her spare time, Samantha enjoys reading, knitting, and hanging out with her dog, Chowder!