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Kevin Nealon at the Lobero

The SNL Star Brings His Standup Act to Santa Barbara


Best known as the longest-running cast member in the history of Saturday Night Live and for being the funniest thing about Showtime’s Weeds, Kevin Nealon performed standup comedy to a packed house at the Lobero Theatre Wednesday night (January 25). Nealon’s sense of humor is relatable and accessible, but also insightful. “We’re going to have a good time tonight,” he said as he walked up to the mic, sanitizing his hands and forearms. “Wouldn’t that be a creepy thing to say on a date? If you’re out with a guy, and he kept telling you, ‘Yeah, we’re going to have a good time tonight. We’re going to have a good time,’ and you aren’t having a good time.”

Nealon made his first of many TV appearances doing a standup routine on The Tonight Show in 1984, and he soon had a spot on SNL. You could see the influence the sketch comedy show had on his routine, as he would often repeat the same joke multiple times, such as his reaction to watching pornographic films, or how he would taunt police officers stopping him for traffic violations, adding slight changes with each iteration of the joke.

Another mark of his style was that jokes from earlier in the set would unexpectedly return later on, in the middle of another joke, and this is where Nealon was at his best. His range of subject matter varied from his desire to be in the middle of a tornado, to the merits of enemas versus suppositories, to the relative effectiveness of meditation, and to the various celebrities he has farted on.

Opening for Nealon was comedian and author Wayne Federman. Federman, who was formerly the head monologue writer for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. He began his set by mocking the introduction he was given, then the sparse set design, then an audience member arriving late. “Don’t worry, I’m just the opening act,” he quipped, “None of you have any idea who I am.” He then transitioned quite seamlessly between bits about his love for fast food, the morality of carpool lanes (in which he called non-carpool lane traffic “vehicular apartheid”), and Elton John’s Donald Duck costume.

All in all, it was an enjoyable evening of comedy.

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