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Fame & Fortune: Kevin Nealon

Bankrate: But also, coming from a comedy background as you do, you blended a lot of comedy into the book. Were you and Judith looking at this as a self-help book, or a comedy book?

Kevin Nealon: It was a collection of comedic essays, I think, and a memoir of me coming to terms with having a baby at my age, and going through these different insecurities and anxieties.

Bankrate: Since it's so personal, were you checking with Susan (Nealon's wife) as you were writing this to see what she would be comfortable with you including?

Kevin Nealon: Yeah. I would write first, then have her read it to see if she would have a problem with it. Luckily, she was OK with a lot of the stuff, but there were some things she preferred I didn't include. I really learned about the art of negotiating from all that.

Bankrate: You balance the comedy in the book with serious moments, like your search for your ancestors, and your previous marriage, which ended in divorce. As someone whose sole job for the past 20 years or so has been to be funny, was it difficult dealing with the serious side of your life?

Kevin Nealon: I think most comedy comes from a serious place -- you really can't have comedy without the seriousness. I think the comedy hits harder when you come from the truth, and it was a little difficult exposing some of those areas because they're close to my heart. But I thought it would hit a little harder if I included all that.

Bankrate: Once Gable (Nealon's son) was born and you settled into fatherhood, what was the biggest surprise for you?

Kevin Nealon: I think how resilient a baby is. They're pretty durable. Not that we dropped our baby or anything, but they cry, they eat -- they survive. It's not such a big deal. I was also surprised at how much I could actually love something. I knew I would love the baby, but I never knew the extent -- how deep that love is.

Bankrate: "Weeds" has been a great success for Showtime. What has the show meant for your career?


Kevin Nealon: I was on "Saturday Night Live" for nine seasons, so that's what people know me from. Since I left the show, I was hoping to find something else that would be as important in my career as that, so that I just wasn't a one-note guy. Then "Weeds" came along, after a couple of other failed sitcoms I did, and it filled that void for me.

Now, most of the people who come and see my stand-up are "Weeds" fans. They assume I smoke pot because I do on the show, so after the show someone will come up to me with a joint and say, "Hey dude, you wanna smoke this?" And I'll thank them and say, "I don't really smoke pot, but thanks anyway." Then I started thinking -- I wonder if the actors from "The Sopranos," when they go out to dinner, if someone will come up to them with a .38 and say, "Hey dude, after dinner, wanna go out and whack some people?"

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