August 07, 2018
Kevin Nealon has had roles in dozens of movies. He’s been a regular on several TV shows, including an uncommonly long stint on "Saturday Night Live." He’s a respected member of the comedy fraternity, who’s a mainstay on nearly every major late-night talk show. He’s even an accomplished drawer, sharing doodles he’s done of his friends, co-stars and people he meets on the road, to his 1.4 million Twitter followers.
“It’s really my forte, and it’s what I moved out to L.A. to do. Acting was secondary.”
The 64-year-old Nealon has been doing stand-up long enough that he once performed on “The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson.”
But even during his time on SNL, his run on "Weeds," and various movie roles, Nealon kept going on stage, with a couple of Netflix hours under his belt in recent years.
What can we expect from the shows this week?
“I have a lot of areas I’m working on, so I’m excited about that,” Nealon said.
“My act has kind of evolved over the years – kind of like a blues musician. You evolve, you live your life, and you kind of [take off] from that. So now, I’m kind of talking about how I see certain things in life, whether it’s family, or what’s going on in the world, and I just put my spin on it, like most comics.”
Nealon added that he’s working on material for an upcoming special.
Among comedy fans of a certain age, Nealon is strongly associated with his time on "Saturday Night Live." His run on the show, from 1986 to 1995, was one of the longest in the history of the series, a tenure that included a stint on the "Weekend Update" desk.
Nealon came from the era of “Mr.” characters – he played recurring characters named Mr. Subliminal and Mr. No Depth Perception – and his time on the show overlapped with two distinct eras. He started on SNL along with the Dana Carvey/Mike Myers/Phil Hartman/Jan Hooks group, and stuck around through the heyday of Adam Sandler and Chris Farley. The latter connection has proved fruitful to Nealon’s career; he’s had bit parts in many of Sandler’s movies.
“The SNL stuff has always been about ‘what was it like working on there? Was it hard?” Nealon said of his SNL experience. His answer? “It’s as difficult as you make any job.
“Overall, it was a great experience with me. I loved the idea of having this outlet for topical material. It was a great opportunity to write. I never wrote sketches before. I was just a stand-up.”
He’s especially fond of his memories of Hans and Franz, the Austrian musclehead duo played by Nealon and Carvey in padded sweatshirts.
“The run we had with Hans and Franz – those guys were such knuckleheads,” Nealon recalled, calling them “kind of like the prelude to Trump.”