One of the longest-running cast members in the 41-year history of “Saturday Night Live,” versatile comedian Tim Meadows crafted some of the series’ most memorable characters during his 10 years on the popular late-night show. Such characters included Leon Phelps, the Ladies Man and Lionel Osbourne, host of the fictional public affairs show “Perspectives,” as well as uncanny impressions of OJ Simpson, Ike Turner and Sammy Davis Jr.
Also, Meadows played the school principal in the hit comedy film “Mean Girls” and co-starred with Adam Sandler and Chris Rock in the blockbuster comedies “Grown Ups” and “Grown Ups 2.” Most recently, Meadows co-starred with Andy Samberg in “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping” for Universal Pictures and also appeared in the new Fox hybrid live-action/animated comedy from Chris Miller and Phil Lord, “Son of Zorn,” alongside fellow “Saturday Night Live” alum Jason Sudeikis. Meadows is a frequently recurring cast member on ABC’s hit comedy series “The Goldbergs.”
Born in Highland Park, Mich. and raised in Detroit, Meadows studied television and radio broadcasting at Wayne State University before performing improvisational comedy at the Soup Kitchen Saloon. In 1985, Meadows relocated to Chicago, where he first joined Improv-Olympic and then the legendary comedy troupe Second City. During his three years at Second City, he wrote and starred in productions of “The Gods Must Be Lazy,” with Chris Farley; “It Was Thirty Years Ago Today”; and “Flag Smoking Permitted in Lobby Only,” gaining a loyal following with his sharp comedic talent. In 1991, Meadows achieved the dream of comics nationwide when producer Lorne Michaels asked him to join “Saturday Night Live” as a featured player. Nominated for an Emmy as part of the show’s writing team that same month, he later made the transition to cast member status two years afterward.
Several years after appearing in a string of films based on “Saturday Night Live” sketches, including “Coneheads” and “Wayne’s World 2,” Meadows was offered his own chance at features. The 2000 release of Paramount’s “The Ladies Man” gave the eponymous hero Leon Phelps the opportunity to bring his Courvoisier-drinking romantic adviser to the big screen. That same year, he left “Saturday Night Live” to join NBC’s primetime line-up as a regular cast member on “The Michael Richards Show,” and in 2002 he joined the cast of the NBC sitcom “Leap of Faith.”
Also, Meadows co-starred in the Sony Pictures comedy “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story” with John C. Reilly. Other films include “Jack and Jill,” “Benchwarmers,” “Semi-Pro” with Will Ferrell and “Aliens in the Attic” with Kevin Nealon and Ashley Tisdale. Meadows was a series regular on “The Bill Engvall Show” and “Glory Daze” on TBS, and was a regular correspondent on “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” on CBS and “The Colbert Report” on Comedy Central. Some of his other television credits include the NBC series “Marry Me,” starring as Casey Wilson’s father, “The Office,” “The New Adventures of Old Christine” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” Additionally, Meadows lends his voice to the animated hit comedies “The Life & Times of Tim” and “Bob’s Burgers.”