Want to hear Fred Willard relate an *NSYNC member's most embarrassing moment? Jay Mohr recount David Cassidy's first taboo mash session with his Partridge Family sister? Julie Brown rehash Madonna's first time with a teenage boy? Bravo's new comedy special, Celebrity Autobiography: In Their Own Words (premiering tonight at 10 pm/ET), offers up those unlikely reenactments and more, as some of today's funniest folk read straight from actual published tell-alls. (One of the spoofed authors, Star Trek's George Takei, is even on hand to hear his tome taken for a riotous ride.) Occupying a spot on the lineup for the event is Saturday Night Live alum Kevin Nealon, who had this to say about his recitations, the hazards of bunk skunk and his favorite commercial spoofs ever.
TVGuide.com: Hey, weren't you supposed to be on the roster of Dancing with the Stars 2 contenders?
Kevin Nealon: That was a rumor.... They had asked me if I wanted to do it and I thought about it briefly but decided not to put myself through that. [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: I really enjoyed the Celebrity Autobiography special. The idea is such a natural!
Nealon: Oh, yeah, yeah... I got a call to do it and I was asked if I wanted to read some excerpts. I don't know how [executive producer Eugene Pack] dreamed up the idea.
TVGuide.com: Were you given a choice of whose bio to read, or were they all assigned?
Nealon: They pretty much gave me a selection. I was just their puppet.
TVGuide.com: What drew you to Kenny Loggins' bio?
Nealon: That was one of the ones they selected for me. It really doesn't matter whose you read, they're all kind of funny taken out of context like that. We all take ourselves so seriously sometimes.
TVGuide.com: In Kenny's list of things he wants his wife to know, he makes it uncomfortably clear that he wants to make love to her "without birth control — and not get pregnant — once a day."
Nealon: [Laughs] Yeah.
TVGuide.com: Whose do you read from besides Kenny's?
Nealon: I read one of the *NSYNC boys, and I read one of the people in the Elizabeth Taylor bio.
TVGuide.com: Out of them all, which reading was your favorite?
Nealon: I'm trying to remember, there were so many of them....
TVGuide.com: Kathie Lee Gifford's was pretty ironic. "Frank once told me, 'I will never ever be unfaithful to you. Cheating is out of the question.'"
Nealon: Yeah, that was pretty good!
TVGuide.com: I want you to know that I'm a huge fan of Weeds. The Showtime publicist almost took out a restraining order on me, because I was asking so often if it had been picked up yet.
Nealon: Oh, I'm glad you like it! That's cool. Unofficially, I've heard that it's picked up. [The day after this interview, Showtime announced Weeds would return for a second season in the summer of 2006.]
TVGuide.com: I couldn't imagine what the holdup would be, unless Mary-Louise Parker was asking for, like, billions.
Nealon: Yeah, I don't know why they take so long to figure those things out.
TVGuide.com: Did you jump at the Weeds opportunity when it came your way?
Nealon: Well, I auditioned for it, and when I didn't hear back from them for a while, I pretty much forgot about it. And then I got a call saying that I got the role as a guest star. Once the pilot aired and it was picked up for the season, they made me a regular.
TVGuide.com: I imagine it has to be a very fun set and cast.
Nealon: Yeah, it's a lot of fun and talented people. I like the way the characters kind of mesh together.
TVGuide.com: How badly does the "not pot" affect your throat after a day of pretend puffing?
Nealon: I've got to tell you, after filming the pilot I woke up that next night and my throat was killing me! I don't know what that stuff is — it's not pot, but some herbal tobacco that makes you light-headed if you're not used to smoking. I couldn't walk straight!
TVGuide.com: You also can be seen later this month on the Funniest Commercials of the Year special.
Nealon: That's right, Funniest Commercials 2005, which is going to air on TBS Dec. 28. This is the second one I have done. It's all voted on at tbs.com; the audience decides what they like best.
TVGuide.com: What was your all-time favorite SNL commercial parody?
Nealon: Um, I like the Change Bank — it's very subtle but very funny. Some of the others I liked were Colon Blow, Schmidt's Gay Beer and the Love Toilet.
TVGuide.com: You were an SNL player for nine years, anchoring Weekend Update for many of them. How difficult was the decision to leave?
Nealon: Well, I was ready to move on to something else, and I had a pilot offered to me by DreamWorks called Champs, with Timothy Busfield. I was ready to try something else.
TVGuide.com: And you have never hosted in the 10 years since?
Nealon: I have not, not yet. I went back once for a Weekend Update guest spot.
TVGuide.com: You were one of the comedians who appeared in the controversial film The Aristocrats. What special spin did you put on the fantastically off-color title joke?
Nealon: I told the joke and, to be honest with you, I didn't get the joke. Maybe I was out of sorts that day?
TVGuide.com: What's the skinny on your next feature, Grandma's Boy, due out Jan. 6?
Nealon: That's an Adam Sandler production with Allen Covert, who's done a lot of Sandler films. He wrote it along with Nick Swardson [and Barry Wernick]. I play the head of this video-game company who is kind of... did you ever see Happy Gilmore? I played a character there who was kind of a spiritual advisor; this is the job he would have 20 years later. [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: Lastly, Tina Fey choked up a bit when she reported Richard Pryor's death on last Saturday's Weekend Update. Can you talk about the influence Pryor had on other comedians?
Nealon: Well, he obviously had a large influence. He was more of a storyteller than a joke guy, and he really kind of told the truth. That, I think, opened up a whole new avenue for comedians. I was never a fan of Richard Pryor's until I saw him on one of those concerts — the one done in Long Beach, where he's wearing all red — and it was then that I realized what a genius he was, how he'd mix a lot of soulful feelings with the comedy, and that's really where comedy comes from — from pain.