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Disarmingly real and hilarious: Kevin Nealon’s ‘Hiking With Kevin’

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Expect more laughter, candor and a little sweat, says actor and comedian Kevin Nealon about the second season of his web series “Hiking With Kevin.” New episodes are available every Thursday on YouTube and Twitter.

On “Hiking With Kevin,” we see the “SNL” and “Weeds” star strolling along Hollywood-area trails with a series of famous hiking companions, including Kate Beckinsale, Jack Black, Bobby Kennedy Jr., Rob Lowe, Adam Sandler, Jimmy Kimmel and Michael Keaton, to name a few.

The hikes themselves, Nealon explains, are typically an hour in duration and later edited to about 15 minutes. “That way they don’t feel rushed like they might on a typical talk show,” he said. “We don’t have a crew. I have a selfie-stick with a camera on the end of it, and it’s just me and the other person. It’s very disarming.”

Nealon directs the conversation on the hike by asking his famous guest whatever might pop into his head in the moment.

“I look at their career and ask them questions that I’m curious about, but they have no idea what I’m going to ask,” Nealon explains. “They’re not doing a six-minute segment in a studio talking to somebody at a desk which tends to be kind of officious. I didn’t want to do a show that was over-produced.”

Some of the show’s most significant moments arrive when Nealon’s guests reveal a part of their true self during the hike. These glimpses of authenticity are seldom found in a typical talk show environment. On separate hikes with Ray Romano and Conan O’Brien, both of the funnymen openly spoke about long-term struggles with anxiety.

“It’s interesting how people often open up when we’re out there,” said Nealon. “Conan told me that most of his family has had anxiety issues going back multiple generations. One of the nice things about this show is that there is no pre-interview. For example, I’m doing Jimmy Kimmel’s show tomorrow and I have a 4 p.m. call today with the segment producer to discuss topics for my appearance. I don’t do that with my hiking guests. They don’t have a clue what I’m going to ask them about and I like that.”

Future episodes of “Hiking With Kevin” will include another Saturday Night Live alum – David Spade, according to Nealon.

“I’m going hiking with David later today. I’ll edit that and put it up in a week or two,” he said. “You’ll also see me hiking with Kumail Nanjiani of ‘The Big Sick.’ It’s a good one but I had a little trouble pronouncing his name.”

About the trails themselves, Nealon makes it as convenient for his guests as possible by allowing them to choose a trail near their home. “Or if they don’t care where we go, I’ll pick it,” he said.

I asked Kevin if any of he or any of his guests have been injured on a hike.

“We haven’t had any injuries, but there have been a few deaths,” Nealon deadpanned. “You know what’s interesting? People say this to me a lot - ‘Kevin, I feel like you’re trying to push me off a cliff.’ The guest stays on my left side because I’m holding the selfie stick, which you can’t really see. Sometimes I bump into them and they will invariably suggest that I’m trying to push them off a cliff. There are some people I want to hike with because I like them and there are others I want to hike with because I disdain them (laughs) and they will never come back.”

Last modified on Wednesday, 31 October 2018 12:52

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