Veteran comedian and actor finds humor and pathos in parenthood—just like everybody else.
Former Saturday Night Live player and current Weeds star Nealon and wife Susan began thinking about having a kid when he was 52—not, some might say, the best age to embark upon the road to fatherhood. But embark the happy couple did, and along the way they encountered fertility doctors, meddling friends and family, Kegel classes…you know, the usual stuff that contemporary parents-to-be have to deal with. The entire process forced Nealon to reconsider his previous life and figure out if he would be a good father. Fortunately for readers of his debut memoir, he’s relatively funny about the whole thing. Over the last few years, there has been a spate of books from new and/or reluctant parents detailing how having a baby alters and/or improves one’s life: Neal Pollack’s Alternadad: The True Story of One Family’s Struggle to Raise a Cool Kid in America (2007); Jim Lindberg’s Punk Rock Dad: No Rules, Just Real Life (2007); and Rebecca Woolf’s Rockabye: From Wild to Child (2008). Each of these works has its merits, as does Nealon’s, but since every new parent has to deal with delivery-room meltdowns, dirty diapers, sleep deprivation and, of course, a complete life overhaul, the question arises: How many of these books do we need? Nealon is a sharp observer and often very funny; for instance, among the baby names put up for discussion were Firecracker, Florida Coastal Waterway, Prayin’ Wyle and Conan Meconium. However, he’s picked a subject that has been recently mined for all it’s worth, so there’s a good chance that his periodically charming, periodically draggy meditation-on-fatherhood/autobiography will get lost in the baby-book shuffle.
A cute little missive about the joys of parenthood that’s slightly cuter than most of the other recent cute little missives about the joys of parenthood.