Kevin Nealon’s new stand-up comedy CD and DVD or MP3 album is called “Whelmed … But Not Overly.” Up front, I need to admit that I have never been a fan of Nealon’s stand-up comedy.

I liked him on Saturday Night Live, but his stand-up always fell flat for me and I did not enjoy his last stand-up comedy album “Now Hear Me Out.”  I realize this is not a popular opinion, and that Nealon has many fans, but I am just one man and this is my opinion.  In light of that opinion, however, I went into this album with the notion that I would not enjoy it.  I began toying with the album’s title to figure out a clever way to frame my review around how underwhelmed I was with Whelmed.

But, alas, all of that was for nothing, because Whelmed has completely changed my opinion of Nealon’s stand-up comedy.  While I can tell you that Whelmed will definitely not make my list of the top 10 stand-up albums of 2013, I was surprised and genuinely liked it.

Nealon’s strongpoint is his natural likeability.  He comes across as the “every man” saddled with fears, yet someone who is trying to make the most out of life.  Many of his bits are personal, and he invites the listener into the details of his neurosis.  This makes up a good portion of the hour-long performance, and features bits about not wanting to get sick, his stress levels, sleeping, using frozen peas to relieve pain, natural disasters, and the operating room.

Nealon mixes it up and includes some silly bits such as bits about messing with the cops, his fear of chimps (and delivers a solid joke that manages to link together chimps, sharks and North Korea), and crop-dusting celebrities (just Google it).  He then closes with the cleanest bit about enemas I have ever heard.

All in all, while I would not call this stand-up comedy album a laugh riot, it was certainly funny enough to flip my opinion of Nealon’s stand-up, and did so strongly enough that I now actually await his next MP3 album.

Whelmed But Not Overly
Kevin Nealon
Stand-up Comedy CD and DVD set
New Wave Dynamics 2013

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