Kevin James on Stand-Up Return: 'It's Nerve-Racking After a Break'

Kevin James is returning to his stand-up comedy roots

by Zain ul Abedin
Kevin James on Stand-Up Return: 'It's Nerve-Racking After a Break'
© Cindy Ord/Getty Images

Kevin James has come a long way since his early days in stand-up comedy, including a memorable gig at a bachelor party where he was mistaken for a stripper. "The stripper didn't show, so they put me on stage," James shared with Yahoo Entertainment.

"I had to stand on a chair in the middle of a bunch of guys and do my act. It was rough, but I left with a lot of tips that night." The King of Queens star is returning to his stand-up roots with his new show, "Owls Don't Walk," currently touring across the U.S.

until June, culminating in Salt Lake City. James admits that getting back on stage after a hiatus can be daunting. "It's nerve-racking when you haven't done it for a while. You have to oil the muscles and get everything working again.

After a few shows, you get your legs," he explained during the Jimmy Fund Day event at Fenway Park. "I wouldn't say I'm nervous anymore. I think it's more that I get excited. I just love doing stand-up." Growing up on Long Island, N.Y., James idolized comics like Steve Martin and Robert Klein.

He recalled his failed audition for Saturday Night Live as a turning point. "I bombed, but I'm so happy I did. It was one of the best things that ever happened to me."

Career Highlights and Future

James rose to fame alongside Leah Remini and Jerry Stiller in The King of Queens and found success in films like Paul Blart: Mall Cop and Here Comes the Boom.

His role in 2005's Hitch with Will Smith solidified his place in romantic comedies. Recently, Screen Daily reported that James would star in Solo Mio, a rom-com where he plays a groom left at the altar who goes on his honeymoon alone.

"I love those types of movies and haven't done one in a long time," James said. Additionally, James filmed Playdate, an action-comedy with Reacher star Alan Ritchson, where they play stay-at-home dads who find themselves in trouble.

"It was great working with Alan. He's an amazing talent," James remarked. James frequently collaborates with Adam Sandler, who he met during his early stand-up days. Their friendship blossomed during James's time on The King of Queens.

"He's one of my best friends and the greatest guy in the world," James said. With Sandler announcing a sequel to Happy Gilmore, there is speculation about James's involvement. "We'll see. We're talking about it. If it happens, I couldn't tell you anyway," James teased.