In January, 2016, Dave and co-writer Matt Negrin released this article/blog on Time-Out.com. It pins each candidate for president in the 2016 election up against their Simpsons doppleganger and argues the cae for each. Enjoy:
This is a 50 second clip from a recent show I did at the Tampa Improv, in which I catch the audience up on the news of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
I was really excited to book a weekend performing with Kevin Nealon.
Firstly, it wasn't easy. Kevin is particular about who performs in front of him, which I respect. Before the booking, his management requested I email a link to a set of mine, so that Kevin could view it before approval.
Some national headliners don't care who is front of them. They write it off as "I can follow anyone". Others consider it a gesture to the audience that is coming to see them - they want a comedian who might compliment their style - someone whom "a fan who likes Kevin Nealon's humor" might also enjoy.
There are black comedians that prefer a white opener. There are male comedians that prefer female. It's pretty common that filthy comedians prefer clean as to not take away from their shock value. Everyone's different and there's no "proper" call.
When I headline, I prefer... 'funny' in front of me. I'm less concerned about other details or demographics. I heard a story recently about a very well known comedian literally asking a friend of mine not to be so funny.
Back to Mr. Subliminal Man. I got the "approval" from Kevin upon viewing my set, which was flattering and, I'm a little embarrassed to say, validating, coming from someone I grew up admiring.
I always liked Kevin's ability on SNL to play both the straight man and the butt of the jokes. *Phil Hartman was a master in comedy diversity. It's an underrated comedic talent and the sign of good actor, which has seemingly translated into success for Kevin in a role like his on 'Weeds'.
He had his well known characters like 'Hans & Franz,' the aforementioned 'Mr. Subliminal Man' and of course he was the face of Weekend Update for years. I was fond of the lesser known, 'Politically Incorrect P.I.' whose interrogation of witnesses would always sway towards the somewhat inappropriate and borderline racist. I remember P.I. P.I. questioning a doctor witness played by Ellen Kleghorn (who happens to be black) about her field of study and guessing that it was a PHD in Jazz History.
He had a quirk on SNL that he definitely exhibits in his stand-up and it's uniquely delightful.
Kevin does a bit that is almost like pseudo game of Nealonian Mad Libs where he starts a story and early on seems to be grasping for details that he can't quite place. In this situation the story took place right outside the comedy club. He was "at a loss" for the name of the street. The audience, being none the wiser, helps him out by yelling out "18th street!" Kevin says "Right, right, 18th" and the story continues. But it slowly streams into the ridiculous as he keeps "blanking," the audience catches on and starts yelling out outrageous things. But he just incorporates them into the clearly-at-this-point fictional story. He also stops in the middle after all the suggestions start coming in and barks at the audience, "Hey, whose telling the story here???" I loved it! So weird, funny and different.
He got me into the bit too. Literally seconds before his second show of the weekend, in the brief moment between my set and Kevin's set, he asked me if, during that bit, when/if he scratched his ear, if I can yell out "Soooo I... ahhhh". It was weird because I could quite place what he was going for but of course I agreed. Sure enough, a minute or two into that "Mad Lib" bit Kevin takes a loooong pause, to the point where it appears as if he's lost his train of thought and he scratches his ear. I wait a beat (as per request) and yell out "Soooo I.... ahhh" and Kevin immediately "snaps to" on stage and continues, "So I ahhh... went up to hm and just said..." and so on with the story. It got a huge laugh both times we did it.
I have never seen a bit like it before and that's saying a lot for someone whose been around as much comedy as I have for the last dozen years.
I didn't get much personal time with Kevin. He arrived in Tampa pretty late and left before the Sunday show, as he is shooting a pilot in LA. *But this allotted me the headlining spot. The brief encounters that I did get with him were a pleasure. He was incredibly friendly, warm and complimentary to me.
After each show, Kevin sets up a table in the lobby and takes a picture with any fan who wants one as he sells his DVD. Some headliners don't want their opening acts selling merchandise or "honing" in on their customers. I'm always sensitive to this and try to ask each comedian I with whom I work if they mind if I hand out my cards (just a little business card with my social media info). I approached Kevin and asked him but literally before I even finished the sentence, he said "You do whatever you need to do," and made some space for me at his table.
*Side Note: There was a doorman/security guard helping Keving align and organize the photo-seeking-fans after each show. Kevin thanked him and handed him $20 after each session.
Kevin NeLon; good actor, a hilariously unique comedian and gentleman.
I hope I get to perform with him again.
I was performing at Cobb's Comedy Club in San Francisco this past weekend with David Alan Grier. There was a party of about six hearing impaired people in the crowd at one of the shows. They had hired a sign language interpreter to be on stage with the comedians to "sign" the comedy.
I got to meet them afterwards. It was a truly incredible experience and they had conveyed to me that is was their first time seeing a comedian perform.
Luckily Kiley was not just an awesome signer, but she also had a great sense of humor… because I had some fun with the whole experience.
Here's clip of some of the moments from that set: