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Nealon bringing constantly revised stand-up act to Pittsburgh Improv

| Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014, 9:07 p.m.

Kevin Nealon is relaxed these days, as he should be. He has a great combination of in-demand skills — writer, comedian, actor — that give his career variety.

Nealon will bring his constantly changing material to the Pittsburgh Improv on Aug. 29 and 30.

He is most familiar to American audiences for his years on “Saturday Night Live” (1986-95) and his career-invigorating role as the pathetic Doug Wilson on the popular Showtime show “Weeds” (2005-12).

He's methodical about working hard on his stand-up act. Nealon's current tour of the country is in an effort to hone material for a new TV special.

He says he recently pitched a series with his writing partner and wife, Susan Yeagley, that he's hopeful about.

He also has a new web series coming out on AOL called “Kevin Nealon's Laugh Lessons,” which he is producing with Ellen DeGeneres. “Laugh Lessons” features big-name comics like Drew Carey, Chelsea Handler, David Spade, Wendy Leibman and George Lopez who interact with kids. Nealon is excited about the series and thinks it will “surprise” a lot of people.

He was a big fan of absurdist comedy, like that of Jonathan Winters and Andy Kaufman, and that style is evident in his act. “Comedy is a lot like blues,” Nealon says. “You live a little and then you draw from that.”

He says he's fortunate to have realized this comedy thing is a long journey.

Question: Who are some comedians that make you laugh?

Answer: Anthony Jeselnick, Amy Shumer and Sarah Silverman, to name a few.

Q: What's your creative process?

A: I'm always thinking. I think most comedians are always thinking of new bits. They get bored and are always looking for something new. I make a lot of notes on my iPhone.

Q: Any advice for young comedians?

A: Get up as much as you can (onstage). Take some acting classes. Be original. And learn how to write scripts. Expand yourself.

Q: Any special memories of Pittsburgh?

A: Not really. I'm glad it's part of our country.

Matt Wohlfarth is a contributing writer to Trib Total Media.

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