Kevin Nealon spent the ‘80s and ‘90s on Saturday Night Live as a writer and cast member. Since then, Nealon's film and television career has spanned decades, from Happy Gilmore to Weeds to his current show, CBS’s Man With a Plan, which just got picked up for a second season. During his break from filming, he is touring and sharing his unique brand of comedy around the U.S. Here, the comedian chats with us about what viewers can expect at his show, what he thinks of SNL's comedic take on the current presidency, and who he keeps in touch with from his SNL days.
What drew you to come to DC and perform at the Kennedy Center? KEVIN NEALON: It is part of my tour, but the Kennedy Center has always had such a reputation for class and sophistication in my eyes. I love Washington, D.C. It’s one of my favorite towns to go to. I usually perform there and the audiences really come out to see me. We’re all on the same wavelength — I have a real connection with that crowd. I think they’re really a smart crowd, too. That’s really the primary reason.
Will you be telling any jokes involving the state of politics today? KN: I’m not that much of a political comic. It’s almost like you can’t help it now with the state of politics. I will be telling a few of those. Everyone wants to see Donald Trump’s tax returns, but I don’t really think we need to see them. We just need to find out if his accountant voted for him. I think that’s a pretty good indication right there.
Speaking of politics, how do you feel about SNL tackling the presidency and other social issues with success? KN: Anytime there’s an election year, it’s a banner year for SNL. When I was on the show, back when I did it during an election year, the ratings were the highest and people loved it because people needed an outlet for their frustration. SNL was the perfect outlet for that. With Trump in office and Alec Baldwin, it was kind of like when Tina Fey was Sarah Palin. It’s really one of the few outlets for people to enjoy poking fun at the candidates. I enjoy it just like everyone else and watch it probably more this year than any other year.
Do you still keep in touch with anyone from your SNL days? KN: I do. I see Dana Carvey a lot. He lives in Los Angeles, we’re good friends. I see Adam Sandler. I just did a film of his called Sandy Wexler. He lives down the street from me, so I see him a lot. [David] Spade I see. I run into Jon Lovitz once in awhile. I see some of the current ones, too. Bill Hader lives in my neighborhood. Marty Short lives just down the street from me.
If you could make a sequel to any movie you were in or reboot any TV show you’ve starred in, what would you most like to go back to? KN: I would go back to Weeds. I would do a prequel. It would be Weeds, but because pot is legalized in a bunch of places now, it wouldn’t have as much of a bang as it did back then. It would be Weeds but more of a prequel to Breaking Bad. I would be severely disfigured in a meth lab accident, get plastic surgery, and come back as the Bryan Cranston character in Breaking Bad, and it’s really me.
What’s next for you? Any new TV or movie roles on the horizon you’d like to share? KN: I’m doing a new show now with Matt LeBlanc called Man with a Plan on CBS Monday nights at 8:30 p.m. Just shot the first season that’s airing now and we got picked up for a second season that we’ll start taping in August. We had a great first year, the ratings were great, we earned a People’s Choice Award for Best New Comedy, so there’s a lot of great people behind that show.
Do you have any favorite places you like to visit in DC? KN: I have a few friends that live there. My oldest, longest friend, George, and I met each other in third grade when we lived in Germany. He’s Greek and used to teach at the University of Maryland. He’s retired now. Whenever I go down there I try to go down and hook up with his family and him. I haven’t been to the museums in a long time. I’d like to go to the Newseum. I just love Washington this time of the year, too.
Who is the one person who can always make you laugh? KN: My son, he’s 10. I think children have such an innate sense of humor and a lot of times they don’t even know they’re making you laugh. A lot of the time, the questions they ask are funny. Aside from him, I’d say Dana Carvey and Adam Sandler. Sarah Silverman also.
Are there any up-and-coming comedians that you enjoy? KN: I’m going to be performing with Kirk Fox. He’s a headliner himself, but we’re good buddies. We’re just going to travel together and have fun. He’s one of the guys I have my eyes on.