Go ahead, blame it on the baby — Kevin Nealon does. Stress? Baby. Sleepless nights? Baby. Failure to succeed? You guessed it. And that’s before the kid’s even born. In “Yes, You’re Pregnant, but What About Me?,” the former “Saturday Night Live” regular and co-star of Showtime’s “Weeds” has written an entertaining book about the treacherous journey of a 53-year-old man stumbling toward fatherhood. Comic’s first tome is an amusing read from someone who considers helping out in the delivery room making sure the iPod is all tuned up.
From pregnancy brain, to irritability, to barely squeezing into the “fat jeans,” Nealon shares his tribulations (yes, his), while remaining perplexed at why his wife, Susan, becomes nauseated by the mere sound of his voice. The AARP Bulletin subscriber reflects on everything from his Irish Catholic background to his first trip away with the future mother of his child, which involved a cardiologist and electric shock paddles. The reflections sometimes veer into Too Much Information territory, especially when the reader is led into the bathroom, but for the most part, there is a method to his pre-paternal madness and the intimacies are not just gratuitous potty humor.
With a vet comic’s perspective, he weaves punchlines through stories and brings them back when you least expect them, adding to their, well, punch. Sometimes the jokes can wear thin — two-plus pages on the logistics of dog-earing books?! — and there are a few groaners, but comparing due-date projections to when the cable guy might arrive is knowing and fun. The author treks through unknown terrain with an innate sense of how to tell a good story, ultimately building to the big day and its accompanying miracle (no traffic on the way to the hospital!).
In the end, Nealon offers a down-to-earth — and often just earthy — take on impending fatherhood and the eventual birth of his son, Gable. When he allows himself to come to terms with the inevitable reality, he paraphrases something “SNL” producer Lorne Michaels used to say about going live every week, “I’m not ready, it’s just time.”
That time finally arrived, and according to his epilogue (titled “Afterbirth,” natch), in about nine months, it might be time for the sequel.