With his dry wit and popular characters a mainstay of Saturday Night Live for his enduring, record-setting nine-year stint (1986-1995) on the equally enduring late-night comedy television staple, Kevin Nealon shattered the public's funny bone with such popular characterizations as Subliminal Man and over-muscled meathead Hanz (alongside Dana Carvey's Franz) in addition to his popular stint as anchorman for that series' satirical news segment, Weekend Update. Aside from Tim Meadows, Nealon holds the record for longest-running cast member to appear in consecutive seasons in the show's long-running existence.
Born and raised in Bridgeport, CT, Nealon took interest in sports and art in high school, gaining early attention as a performer in numerous local garage bands. Later attending Sacred Heart University and graduating with a degree in marketing, Nealon traveled the U.S. and Europe after completing his education. Capping his worldly exploits with a series of odd jobs, Nealon began performing as a standup comedian in the late '70s while working as a bartender at the Hollywood's Improv. Attempting to elevate his standup career to the next level, Nealon began making appearances on television commercials and talk shows. Joining the Not Ready for Primetime players in the 1986 season, the funnyman quickly shot to the front of the line with his likeable, smirky persona and memorable character creations, and he remained a member of the cast for nearly a decade. In addition to his Saturday Night Live duties, Nealon also began appearing in bit roles in such features as Roxanne (1987), All I Want for Christmas (1991), and, later, Happy Gillmore (1996). A curiosity among SNL alumni in that he didn't attempt a starring vehicle based on any characters he created for the show, Nealon instead opted for transferring his unique dry humor to the silver screen without lugging excess SNL baggage along for the ride.
Upon his departure from SNL in 1996, it seemed as if Nealon may have finally been ready for prime time. Joining the cast of Champs that same year proved a disappointment as the show was canceled after less than one season, but Nealon persisted and has since gone on to appear in several of his SNL cast mates' features including Adam Sandler's Little Nicky (2000) and David Spade's Joe Dirt (2001). In addition to his comedy career, Nealon is a dedicated and outspoken champion of animal rights through his association with PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).
He went on to appear in Master of Disguise, Anger Management, and Daddy Day Care before landing the part of Doug Wilson on the Showtime series Weeds, a show he stayed on for multiple seasons. During that time, he continued to appear in major motion pictures that usually starred other SNL alumni. Highlights include You Don't Mess With the Zohan and Just Go With It. He voiced the main character on the short-lived animated series Glenn Martin, DDS. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi