Q&A: Comedian Kevin Nealon makes maiden voyage to San Antonio Feb. 22 & 23
Someone warn the Daughters of the Republic of Texas. Comedian Kevin Nealon, 59, is on his way to San Antonio for the first time in his 30-year career and has his sights on infiltrating the Alamo. Nealon, best known for his stint on Saturday Night Live from 1986 to 1999 and for his role on Showtime’s Weeds, will be in the Alamo City Feb. 22 and 23. He will perform four stand-up shows at the Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club.
This will actually be the first time I’ve been there. My agent calls me with offers from clubs and I like to try to go to places I’ve never been before to experience them.
So, you’ll have some time to tour the city while you’re here?
Yeah, I’m going to try to see as much as I can. This trip I’m bringing my son with me. He’s six years old. We’re reading about the Alamo before we come. We’re going to hole up in the Alamo for a while. We tried to get a room at the Alamo, but apparently it isn’t a hotel yet.
You’ve never really stopped doing stand-up comedy over the course of your career. What is it about the craft that has kept it part of your life for so long?
It’s just something I have a passion for. I did it during my years with Saturday Night Live. I did it while I was doing Weeds. It’s what I did even before any kind of acting work.
Is stand-up still as fun as the first time you did it or have you managed to squeeze all the enjoyment out of it over the years and get it down to a science?
I’ll never have it down to a science. It’s a lot more fun in a different way because it’s not as angst ridden. I’m not pacing and sitting on the toilet an hour before I go on.
Will you be watching the Oscars this weekend?
Yeah, I will be. I love watching the Oscars. I’ll probably be Twittering during it.
You’ve starred in a couple of movies with Oscar winners – Jack Nicholson in Anger Management, Nicole Kidman in Just Go With It. Did you ever think Jonah Hill, the guy who sucked on a breast for the duration of his screen time in another of your movies Grandma’s Boy, would now be labeled an Oscar nominee for his role last year in Moneyball?
(Laughs) You know, I never did. When he was in Grandma’s Boy I had just met him. I had never heard of him before. He went on to do a lot of great work from there. It’s great to see that.
Since leaving Saturday Night Live in 1999 the show has gone through a lot of changes. Do you still watch?
I watch it once in a while. I’ll DVR it and then fast forward through it, especially if I hear it was a good show.
I do the same thing. I rarely watch it live anymore. I’ll just get on Hulu and flip through the skits.
Yeah, I don’t think anybody watches it in real time anymore. It doesn’t have to be live.
Where do you think the show registers in today’s TV landscape now that cable is such a big player when it comes to original content?
The thing about Saturday Night Live is that it’s such a unique show and has held up for so long. It’s had its peaks and valleys. Certainly now there is more competition with cable. But I think Saturday Night Live is sort of a mainstay for certain people and generations. It has just about everything you need. It’s topical. It has music, comedy, and the hottest hosts. It still has a winning formula, I think.
In the entertainment industry, we are seeing a lot of actors who are getting older come back to what they know best. For example, Bruce Willis just did another Die Hard movie. Arnold Schwarzenegger is back to doing action movies. From your class at SNL, who do you think could successfully make a comeback to the show today? Or has the comedy evolved too much?
I think from my original cast probably Dana Carvey or Adam Sandler or Mike Meyers or David Spade.
Is it interesting to see when people leave that show how some of them find success in the film industry and some just can’t seem to break through?
You never know who’s going to come out of that show with heat on them. It’s something that is still so unpredictable. But you know who the likeable people are and who is talented and who has a pretty good chance of going further.
The last Saturday Night Live-based movie was MacGruber in 2010, which didn’t do very well at the box office. Before that was in 2000 with The Ladies Man. Do you think SNL-inspired movies are a thing of the past now?
It’s hard to know because they’re taking a sketch and trying to make a movie out of it. We had actually written a movie for Hanz and Franz called The Girly Man Dilemma. Arnold [Schwarzenegger] was co-producing it and co-staring in it. Sony paid us to write it. I wrote it with Conan O’Brien and Robert Smigel and Dana Carvey. It was a really funny movie. It was actually a musical. It never got made because Arnold got cold feet. He had just come out with Last Action Hero, which kind of parodied himself. He had six other movies on the docket he had to choose between. I think it could have done well.
Since it would’ve been Hanz and Franz’s first foray into feature films, were you and Dana willing to work out and give your characters some natural muscle mass or did you still plan to stuff your sweatshirts?
(Laughs) Oh, we would’ve totally stuffed.
Have you started to have any Weeds withdrawals now that the show is over?
(Laughs) Not yet. I’ll probably show up at the studio later this spring and be like, “Oh, that’s right. It’s over.” It was a good run and really fun to hang out with all the people there. But I think it ran its course. You can only smoke so much pot.
8pm, 10:15pm Feb. 22 & 23
Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club
618 NW Loop 410