‘Mayor’ Kevin Nealon Selected as Palisades Fourth of July Parade Grand Marshal

Selecting a grand marshal for the Palisades Fourth of July parade is somewhat of a mystical process. Some say conjuring goes on, others compare it to waiting word about a new pope, standing outside the Chamber of Commerce office and watching for white smoke signifying a new honoree.

The wait is over. After Honorary Mayor Kevin Nealon’s triumphant six-month fight to rid Pacific Palisades of crime, he was the unanimous selection for this year’s Fourth of July parade.

A popular Saturday Night Live star, comedian and actor, Nealon talked to the Palisades News from the Bonnaroo festival, a comedy and music event outside of Nashville that routinely draws 80,000 people. He felt honored by the unexpected parade title. “I don’t know what’s coming next,”Nealon said.“Honorary mayor, grand marshal—crossing guard?”

Honorary Mayor Kevin Nealon is the Fourth of July grand marshal. Photo courtesy Pacific Palisades Chamber of Commerce
Honorary Mayor Kevin Nealon is the Fourth of July grand marshal.
Photo courtesy Pacific Palisades Chamber of Commerce

He said he was stressed out about the law enforcement duties of being a marshal because “I’ll have to give out tickets and arrest people along the parade route.”

Nealon’s jam-packed Fourth of July weekend starts on July 2 when he will headline at the Ice House Comedy Club in Pasadena. The next day he will help judge PAPA’s Patriotic Home Decorating Contest.

On July 4, he will wield the starter pistol for the 5/10K Will Rogers Race and then ride in the parade with his wife, actress Susan Yeagley, and their son Gable.

Since his selection as honorary mayor in January (by the Chamber of Commerce), what have Nealon’s official duties included? “Fundraisers and helping clean out a few attics,” he quipped.

On the Conan O’Brien show in April, Nealon spoke about his life as honorary mayor and his pledge to fight criminal acts. For example: residents who take little sample cups of frozen yogurt at and keep re- filling them, without purchasing anything.

He also vowed to get tough on drugs in Pacific Palisades—specifically, the rampant use of botox. And he promised to rid the town of those who forget to bring their own

shopping bags from home and must purchase a paper bag.

Nealon is also working to stop our neighbors to the south from invading the Palisades and will ask Santa Monica’s honorary mayor to pay to put up a wall. (The O’Brien segment can be viewed on YouTube.)

Born in St. Louis, Nealon was raised in Bridgeport, Connecticut. His father worked for a helicopter company and Nealon, from the time he was six until he was 10, lived in Germany, where he learned to speak the language fluently.

“I learned how to swim in Greece, ski in Austria and argue in Italy,” Nealon said.

Growing up, “I always wanted to be a musician,” said Nealon, who plays guitar. After seeing the movie Deliverance, he also taught himself to play banjo. “I was too intimidated to sing on stage, but started going to clubs and telling jokes.”

After attending Sacred Heart University in Connecticut, Nealon moved to Los An- geles, hit the comedy-club circuit and soon appeared on Johnny Carson and David Letterman. He was a cast member on SNL from 1986-95.

Nealon made his film debut in the 1987 romantic comedy, Roxanne, with Steve Martin and has starred in more than two dozen comedies, including Happy Gilmore, The Wedding Singer and Daddy Day Care.

Visit: kevinnealon.com.

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