AP Television Writer
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Kevin Nealon comes across as a mellow guy, which makes the title of his new Showtime comedy special a proper fit.
"Kevin Nealon: Whelmed But Not Overly," debuting 10:30 p.m EDT Saturday, is the actor-comedian's examination of his phobias that range from inoculations to cell phones to chimpanzees.
"It's things I'm not overwhelmed with, just contemplating," Nealon said.
For instance, he said, the "whole flu shot thing."
"Nowadays it seems like anybody can give you a flu shot. You don't know if they're ex-junkies," he said. His advice: "If they wrap a belt around your arm, get out of there."
The stand-up special, taped in February in Denver, is Nealon's second for Showtime. He also plays errant politician and family man Doug Wilson on "Weeds," the drug comedy that stars Mary-Louise Parker and ends its eight-season run Sept. 16.
"It's always bittersweet to say goodbye," Nealon said. "But we all had a pretty good run. ... When something ends you hope you don't get too depressed about it but look forward and be optimistic about what's ahead."
For the former "Saturday Night Live" cast member, that includes challenging himself.
"About two years ago, I woke up and said I'd like to live outside my comfort range," Nealon said. That led him to guest on the politically and socially daring "Real Time with Bill Maher" on HBO.
"For me it was a thrill I don't get doing a lot of other talk shows because they're more `safe.' Going on `Bill Maher' was exciting because it was outside my comfort box," he said.
The other test was Howard Stern's radio show.
"I knew his interviewing format and he likes you to talk about other people, which I don't like to do. But he caught me by surprise," proving both respectful and a sharp interviewer, Nealon said.
"I think he's underrated as one of the best comedians of our generation," he said of the shock jock.
Nealon also puts his energies into helping animals, including taping a public service announcement for a no-kill initiative for Los Angeles animal shelters.
Has he adopted a pet for his 5-year-old son, Gable?
"He just got five caterpillars. All rescues," Nealon said.
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