HOLLYWOOD - Could the Church Lady be caught in a moral dilemma - or just a clever marketing ploy? Dana Carvey's famous Saturday Night Live character-in-drag - who chides the less pious for their errant ways - can now be seen in teaser trailers for Carvey's upcoming feature film Opportunity Knocks.
Through the wonder of special effects, the Church Lady even shares the screen with Carvey, trading barbs.
But don't expect to see the Church Lady in the film. The comedy, due out in late March, has Carvey as a two-bit con artist masquerading as a member of Chicago's upper crust. The Church Lady isn't remotely involved.
Marketing executives for Imagine Film Entertainment and Universal Pictures admit she's being used strictly as a come-on in the 3,500 trailers being shown around the United States.
"We wanted to let audiences know that Dana Carvey is the Church Lady," said Imagine marketing vice president Michael Rosenberg. He acknowledged that Carvey the actor "isn't as well known as Carvey the Church Lady."
Rosenberg said that within a few weeks, a new trailer will begin running - sans the Church Lady. "Because by then, the teasers will have created audience awareness."
Universal isn't apologetic about the strategy. "Dana Carvey as the Church Lady appears in a ... trailer currently in theaters," explained a studio spokesman. "She does not appear in the movie. Dana Carvey as George Bush appears in the movie, but not in the ... trailers. It's six of one, a half dozen of the other.
"Isn't that special?"