For every Saturday Night Live star who finds success post SNL (like Rob Schneider), there's an equal number who leave the cast only to embarrass themselves (Jimmy Fallon). Then there's the case of Kevin Nealon. After the longest stint of any SNL performer (nine years) and such memorable roles as the ultrapumped Franz (Rafael Palmeiro's role model), the Subliminal Man (a comic inspiration), and, of course, his run as the "Weekend Update" anchor (better than Dennis Miller), Nealon never exactly hit it big (read: character actor). Sure, Nealon's had a few small parts in movies like Joe Dirt (you'd miss him if you blinked) and Happy Gilmore (ditto), but he's failed to gain the notoriety some other SNL alums have achieved.
Nealon's luck could be about to change. His new role as pothead accountant Doug Wilson on the Showtime series Weeds has impressed more than just the stoner crowd. While the series is attracting attention, Nealon has returned to his roots on the standup stage. With more than 20 years' experience, a hilarious Comedy Central special, and spots all over the late-night circuit, Nealon is a true comedian's comedian.
In an age when the standup circuit is a veritable hodgepodge of acts that just fell out of the "tell it like it is" tree -- smacking of every vulgar cliché known to man -- Nealon's act is a departure. His trademark wit and deadpan delivery give him a style that is distinct and unique, even if it has made him a sort of one-trick pony in the eyes of Hollywood producers. Anyone who dug his shtick as a fake news anchor can appreciate Nealon's standup bit. Hell, anyone still hungover from watching Jimmy Fallon butcher "Weekend Update" should come out for the show; it's a good way to cleanse your comic palette.
Nealon performs Thursday through Sunday at the Improv Paradise Live (5700 Seminole Way, Hollywood). Tickets cost $21.20 to $23.32. Call 954-981-5653, or visit www.improvftl.com. --Paula A. Leone
A PLAY OF PROMETHEAN PROPORTIONS
The WASPy upper-crusters in Douglas Carter Beane's The Country Club may not be in touch with the real world. But like all good social climbers, they don't really care. That's quite the opposite of the actors of the Promethean Theatre, who bring the characters to life during Friday's fundraiser at Cinema Paradiso (503 SE Sixth St., Fort Lauderdale). Unlike their fictional counterparts, the local thespians live in the real world, where wealth and social standing aren't commensurate with how snooty one acts at cocktail parties. So when the actors decided to hold a fundraiser for their theater company, they knew it had to be more than some stuffy cocktail party at a swanky, er, country club. In addition to a reading of The Country Club (not a full production), the evening's many treats include an open bar, hors d'oeuvres, and an auction that offers anything from a trip to the Bahamas to items autographed by Gary Sinise and the cast of The O.C. (oh, so now you're interested). The event starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $25 advance and $30 at the door. Call 786-317-7580, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. -- Jason Budjinski
Richards is no dick
When Derek Richards hits the stage this weekend at the New York Comedy Club (8221 Glades Rd., Boca Raton), you can expect two things: One, he'll be hilariously funny, and two, his edgy routine will leave anyone who's easily offended puckered up tighter than a snare drum. If you're looking for politically correct laughs, you're barking up the wrong tree with this guy. Richards' act incorporates the comedy trifecta of clergy molestation, vaginal hygiene, and domestic violence -- a combo as well-matched as pizza, beer, and knoodling. And for good measure, Richards tops it off with a bit about why black guys don't drive NASCAR. The PC police might want to skip this show to stay home and watch reruns of America's Funniest Home Videos. West Palm Beach's resident comic performs four shows this weekend, from Thursday to Saturday. Tickets cost $5 to $12. Call 561-470-6887, or visit www.nyccboca.com. --Paula A. Leone
For all you non-Hessians out there, Soilent Green is not just the misspelling of an old Charlton Heston movie. As any member of the metal militia can tell you, this is one brutal band, having survived van wrecks, lineup changes, and even sharing a guitarist with the infamous Eyehategod. The New Orleans grind-metal outfit has been playing together in one form or another since 1988, and it's still on a mission to bring solace to the aching hearts of metal fans everywhere. Soilent Green puts forth songs that grind up and spit out just about everything in its path. The underground metal veterans soil the Culture Room (3045 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale) this Thursday. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. with Into the Moat, a Perfect Murder, and Watch Them Die. Tickets cost $10. Call 954-564-1074. -- D. Sirianni