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Nelson began doing stand-up in comedy clubs while a theater student at Nassau Community College. Nelson specializes in rubber-faced comedy characters. His most popular originals include Jiffy Jeff, a punch drunk prizefighter with a Gym in NYC; Eppy Epperman.
Bob Nelson was Rodney Dangerfields opening act for eight years of Mr. Dangerfields career. Bob was featured in two of Rodneys HBO stand-up comedy showcases, alongside Jerry Seinfeld, Rosanne Barr, Rita Rudner and Bob Saget. That led to two HBO specials starring Bob Nelson, including Nelson Schmelson. Bob considers Rodney his Comedy Godfather. Nelson was also in a comedy group called The Identical Triplets with Eddie Murphy and Rob Bartlett.
Nelson has appeared several times on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and various other talk shows, such as David Letterman. While he formerly incorporated profanity into his act, Nelson now works clean. He cites a meeting with Red Skelton, in which Skelton convinced him to stop using swear words. Since that meeting, Nelson claims he hasnt sworn while performing.
Bob won an Emmy Award in Philadelphia for a childrens show he wrote and starred in, called Double Muppet Hold the Onions. He also had supporting roles in Nora Ephrons directorial film debut This is My Life with Julie Kavner and Ivan Reitmans Kindergarten Cop with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Bob also starred in the Zucker Brothers films Airplane!, The Naked Gun, and Brain Donors, the 1992 update of the Marx Brothers comedy A Night at the Opera. In the latter film, Nelson plays what would have been the Harpo Marx part.