Kevin Nealon: Actor, Comedian, Banjo Player

December 8, 2011

Kevin Nealon stopped by to promote some upcoming standup gigs at Caroline’s this weekend and immediately had to answer for his friendship with Steve Martin: “I think the guy’s a genius. Everything he does, he does great.”

Kevin said they became friends on the set of “Roxanne,” as they share “common interests and started playing the banjo together.” Howard asked if Steve was the only reason Kevin played, so Kevin laughed: “I would’ve stopped playing it a long time ago.”

On His Days At “SNL”

Asked about his time on “Saturday Night Live,” Kevin said he was still surprised that Lorne Michaels liked his audition: “I don’t do sketches. I don’t do characters. So I really didn’t have high hopes.”

So even though he hasn’t been the most successful former castmember, “I don’t have a lot of jealousy. I never thought I’d be here to begin with…typically, the sketches I wrote would be very dry. They were subtle. So they’d be on five minutes of one.”

Asked to name his favorite sketch, Kevin recalled one in which he played a bathroom attendant in a minuscule men’s room that featured a single, door-less stall. Harvey Keitel was his co-star in the bit and when he came in to take a dump, Kevin stood over him and asked a million questions.

On Filming with Adam Sandler

Kevin said he was loathe to accept acting roles these days because he’s a busy father–and no one wants to pay anyone more than the next guy: “Everyone’s crying poor. Every time I get a film, they’re like, ‘You know this is favored nations’…everyone gets the same amount. But they don’t tell you about the bonuses everyone else is getting.”

Howard asked if Kevin, who frequently guest-stars in Adam Sandler’s films, would ever tell Adam if he thought one of the movies wasn’t any good. Kevin shook his head: “I wouldn’t tell him it was bad. I would tell what parts I liked. Here’s the thing: every Adam Sandler movie I’m in, it’s usually a humiliating and embarrassing role. I honestly think that he thinks of something that will humiliate me and then writes a film around it.”