“He always carried like, $5,000 with him in cash and he’d put it under my face and go, ‘Think I can afford lunch?,'” the comedian recalls of his One of the Boys costar.
The Saturday Night Live alum recalled the time the late actor taunted him with wads of cash on set of the short-lived 1982 NBC sitcom in the latest episode of Fly on the Wall, his podcast with David Spade, that welcomed guests Steve Martin and Martin Short. At the time, Carvey said in the interview conducted prior to the actors’ strike, Rooney had been starring on the Broadway production of Sugar Babies, which brought in a handsome sum on top of the sitcom royalties.
“He got flushed. He was doing Sugar Babies on Broadway getting $50,000 a week, and then the TV show, they were giving him $50,000 a week, and he’d been broke for decades,” Carvey recalled. “So he always carried like, $5,000 with him in cash and he’d put it under my face and go, ‘Think I can afford lunch?'”
Rooney died in 2014 from natural causes at the age of 93. But in his 60s, Rooney “had an incredible amount of energy,” Carvey said. “‘I was the number one star in the world. You hear me? Bang. The world.’ That’s what he said every day, every 45 minutes, down the hallway, ‘number one star,'” Carvey recalled. “Mickey was 62 when I worked with him, had an incredible amount of energy, and he was very, very bitter and he lived to 95. So bitterness won’t kill you.”
ONE OF THE BOYS, Dana Carvey, Mickey Rooney, 1982
Mickey Rooney and Dana Carvey on ‘One of the Boys’
| Credit: NBC/Everett
The sitcom followed Rooney as an energetic grandfather who moves out of his retirement home and into his college-aged grandson’s (Carvey) pad. Nathan Lane, Scatman Crothers, Francine Beers, and Meg Ryan also starred in the series, which ran for just one season.
Carvey has previously called Rooney “the craziest person I’ve ever met,” claiming to Jimmy Kimmel last year that the late star had even brandished a gun on set of the sitcom. “I mean, he was brilliant, but he had a .38 revolver and he’d wave it around,” Carvey said, adding that Rooney would yelp, “They’re not gonna get me. They come for me, I’ll plug ’em!”
Listen to Carvey recount his experiences with the star in the podcast above.
With additional reporting by Emlyn Travis.