Stand-up guy

Comedian Kevin Nealon books a return engagement as Key Art host.

At the close of last year's Key Art Awards ceremony at the Kodak Theatre, host Kevin Nealon commented, "It was a good show; I was very funny." We couldn't agree more, and The Hollywood Reporter is proud to welcome back Nealon for a second stint as host of The Hollywood Reporter Key Art Awards.

During the intervening year, Nealon has been busy with numerous projects including his role on Showtime's critically praised comedy series "Weeds," which is set to return for a second season in the fall. Nealon plays a pot-smoking city councilman on the show.

Nealon, who earned a marketing degree from Sacred Heart University in his native Connecticut, found meeting the professionals in movie marketing an interesting experience last year. "I think I'd probably be just as happy doing that (as) I am doing what I'm doing," he says.

Nealon has attended several other recent events at the Kodak. "It has become quite the venue," he says. "The last time I was there was at the 'American Idol' finals, so I hope to find scraps of Katharine McPhee and Taylor Hicks onstage."

Nealon is best known to audiences for his work on NBC's "Saturday Night Live" and several spinoff movie projects. While at "SNL," he created the character of Subliminal Man and starred with Dana Carvey as workout gurus Hans and Franz, a spoof of the man who went on to become the current governor of California. Nealon's feature-film credits include 1996's "Happy Gilmore," 1998's "The Wedding Singer" and 2003's "Anger Management."

Viewers with good memories also might recall Nealon's appearance on "The Dating Game" when he first moved to Hollywood in 1980, though his name would not ring a bell. "I didn't want to use my real name, so 'Dirk Storm' was a marketing major from St. Louis, Missouri," he says. Nealon reports that he was Bachelor No. 3 and won the date -- while earning his AFTRA card to boot.

In addition to his time on the "Weeds" set and his stand-up work, Nealon recently recorded a comedy CD and is writing a book. "I'm excited about (the book); it'll be a collection of humorous essays ... a pseudo-autobiography," he says. "But I don't want to get in trouble like that guy Daniel Frey. What I'm going to do is put a star next to something that's slightly embellished, two stars if its plagiarized and three if it's completely made up and plagiarized."