BEIRUT

People

A Minute With: Kevin Nealon returning to stand-up comedy

  • Cast members Kevin Nealon (L) and Justin Kirk attend a panel for "Weeds" during the Showtime television portion of the Television Critics Association Summer press tour in Beverly Hills, California July 30, 2012. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)

LOS ANGELES:Ever since comedian Kevin Nealon made his television debut on "The Tonight Show" back in 1984 he's worked in arenas both familiar - nine seasons doing comedy "Saturday Night Live" - and unexpected - eight seasons acting on Showtime's "Weeds."

On Aug. 4, Nealon returns to his stand-up comedy roots with TV special, "Whelmed...But Not Overly." The TV funnyman spoke with Reuters recently about the show, the worst heckling from an audience member and a Los Angeles public service announcement that has people talking and laughing.

Q: Kevin Nealon TV specials seem to be rare events. Why now?

A: "When I began doing stand-up it took me a long time to get an hour's worth of material together. So about 20 years later I figured, I must have an hour by now. I did my first special two years ago, then I went on the road, which is how you really come up with new material. I find as I get older, I also gather more material as I think more about what's ahead and behind. When you're younger it's just about what's going on right now. A special validates you as a stand-up by documenting your material."

Q: But you've been at it a long time. Do you still like it?

A: "I love it. It's what I started doing, and the acting came secondary. I grew up watching stand-ups and thought it was so entertaining and unique - you didn't see that as a job description anywhere."

Q: Ever been heckled?

A: "Not usually, but I had one terrible time. I brought this friend of a friend to a club in Dallas. My friend couldn't make the show and asked me to pick up this woman who was her roommate. So I drove her to the club, and I guess she'd had some wine, and she sat right in front of the stage and kept drinking through the opening acts. By the time I got on she was pretty sloshed - and she immediately started drunk heckling me."

Q: Didn't the management throw her out?

A: "No, because they saw me arrive with her and assumed she was a friend - and I didn't even know her!"

Q: Talk about no good deed goes unpunished.

A: "Exactly! I actually drove my drunk heckler to my show and gave her a great seat and she passed out at the end. I had to carry her over my shoulder, get her in the car, take her home and wait 'til my friend got home. I was worried she was going to throw up and drown in her vomit. Not a great night (laughs).

Q: You're wrapping up the final season of "Weeds." Do you like acting?

A: "I do, but when I started I think I was too shy to admit I was interested in it. But I did a bunch of workshops and really got into it."

Q: How do you look back on "Weeds"?

A: "It's been a great time, and it's rare to lock into a long-running show that's so great. Your expectations are pretty low, so when it happens, you're pleasantly surprised. When I first began doing TV pilots, my expectations were high. I didn't understand that world. So when "Weeds" took off, I was so happy. Especially as I was just a guest star in the pilot. But once it got picked up, they made me a regular cast member. It was the same on "Saturday Night Live." I was initially hired as a writer and then for my second season they hired me as a full-fledged cast member. Maybe people are afraid to commit to me (laughs)."

Q: Fond memories of "Saturday Night Live?"

A: "Absolutely. I know a lot of people say it was horrible and so competitive, but so is Hollywood. It was so creative and to work with all these amazing guests and hosts - Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Steve Martin, Bill Murray - was pretty special for me."

Q: You have a very funny public service announcement for animal rescue initiative, No Kill LA (nkla.org). Did you write it?

A: They'd written a script with me in a kennel licking my crotch and talking about needing to find a home. I felt that was a little low-brow, so we came up with this idea, talking about all these wild diseases. Once you start on that, it's an endless list. It's a very serious issue, but I wanted to do something unique and entertaining, and everyone seems to love it.

 
Advertisement

Comments

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus

Advertisement

FOLLOW THIS ARTICLE

Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here