Kevin Nealon is BACK with his second one-hour stand-up special and it is not short of funny. On Whelmed… But Not Overly, the veteran comedian gives his light-hearted take on just about everything from politicians and the economy to Casey Anthony and the time he crop-dusted Jack Nicholson.
It’s no secret that Nealon has been in the funny business since the mid-eighties. As a cast member on NBC’s Saturday Night Live from 1986 to 1995, he championed such roles as the Weekend Update anchor, Mr. Subliminal, and Franz from Hans and Franz.
If you’re younger, it’s likely you’ve seen Nealon in such films as Happy Gilmore, Anger Management, and Grandma’s Boy. Or from TV shows like Curb Your Enthusiasm and Showtime’s Weeds.
Let’s first look at the album cover: Nealon is chilling at a table with a book while a tsunami is taking place outside his window. This man is taking things lightly. In particular, he’s taking natural disasters lightly. It’s hard to think of a better visual representation for the tone of the album than that. There are serious things going on outside, but Nealon’s there to be a comedian and have fun.
There’s no need for Nealon to get pretentious or showy on stage and he knows it. The guy is humorously “out of touch,” modestly hilarious, and just as boggled by underwater tunnels as anyone. Statements like, “Nobody uses a pay phone anymore do they?” and “You mean I could’ve been with all the ladies from The View? Are they still pretty hot? I haven’t seen the show in a while” demonstrate my point here.
Something positive to note is that there are few, if any, lulls. Nealon comfortably and quickly deals out joke after joke after joke, demonstrating the comic prowess of a man who’s been in the business for years. There’s a fun energy on stage that so many comedians try to capture, and for Nealon, it’s second nature. A catchphrase he sports throughout the show and eventually turns into a joke is: “We’re gonna have a good time tonight.”
A highlight of the album is when Nealon mentions the idea of switching his phone from the iPhone to a blackberry and the crowd groans with disdain, at which point he goes off into a bit about suicide and hybrid cars that’s a must hear.
Bottom line, Kevin Nealon is a funny guy and a seasoned veteran of the comedy world who deserves a listen. I recommend the album to anyone, but especially to those who are fans of Nealon’s previous work. I’ll also recommend more than one listen for the fact that the album grew on me after I picked up the nuances throughout it.