Meadows, Tim 1961–

views updated

Tim Meadows 1961

Actor, comedian

At a Glance

Selected filmography


His wife, Michelle, described him to People Weekly as the perfect boy to bring home to meet your mother. His audiences on Saturday Night Live regularly found Tim Meadows hilarious. His nearly ten years on the show made him, along with Kevin Nealon and Phil Hartman, one of the longest running cast members in the shows 25-year history. However, in 2000, Meadows left the protective shield of SNL to forge a new career on television and in films, hoping his appreciative audiences would follow him. He began with a starring role in The Ladies Man as well as a supporting role on The Michael Richards Show.

Meadows was born in Highland Park, Michigan, and raised in Detroit. He was the youngest of five children born to Lathon, a janitor, and Mardell, a nurses assistant. Times were tough, and his family often required the assistance of welfare to make ends meet. The riots in the late 1960s when opposition to the war in Vietnam was growing and the streets were full of protestors made a powerful impression on Meadows as a child. I remember guys shooting guns in the air and cops beating up guys, he told People Weekly. Comedy and the theater became a refuge through the bad times for Meadows. Television was his escape from the all-too-real world around him. His favorites were Bill Cosby and Richard Pryor and his favorite show was SNL. During high school, Meadows worked in a liquor store and the men who came in late at night asking for Courvoisier became the inspiration for his Leon Phelps character, the Courvoisier-drinking host of a talk show entitled, The Ladies Man.

After Meadows graduated from Pershing High School in Detroit, he attended Wayne State University, studying radio and television broadcasting. He also joined a local improv group. In 1986 he moved to Chicago and got work with the Second City, a top improvisational comedy troupe. During his five years in Chicago, he established a loyal following.

In 1991 Lorne Michaels, the producer of Saturday Night Live, hired Meadows. Tim was really understated, Michaels told People Weekly, and brilliant in a quiet kind of way. He was the only African American in the cast during most of his years at SNL, but his roles were never stereotyped. Meadows told People Weekly that he wasnt going to do anything that Id regret later. Two years after his debut, he was nominated for an Emmy Award as part of the shows writing team.

At a Glance

Born Tim Meadows in 1967, in Highland Park, Ml; married Michelle, 1997; children: one. Education: Wayne State University.

Career: Second City, improv comedy troupe; television: Saturday Night Live, 1991-00; The Michael Richards Show, 2000; films: Coneheads, 1993; Waynes World 2, 1993; Its Pat, 1994; The Ladies Man, 2000.

Addresses: Agent Brillstein-Grey, 9150 Wi I shire Blvd., Suite 350, Beverly Hills, CA 90212.

Meadows played many characters on SNL. In addition to the popular Leon Phelps, he was Lionel Osbourne, host of the public affairs show Perspectives, DJ Chris Champagne Garnet, host of The Quiet Storm, and Pimpin Kyle, sidekick on Pimp Chat. He was also a popular impersonator, portraying such well-known personalities as Michael Jackson, Don King, Johnny Cochran, Oprah Winfrey, and the late Sammy Davis, Jr.

Meadows left SNL in 2000 for a starring role in The Ladies Man and a supporting role on The Michael Richards Show. He knew he was taking a gamble, both on the sitcom and on the movie. But the actor and comic was philosophical. Ive been lucky, he told People Weekly, but the movie could bomb, the television show could be canceled, and I could be out looking for work in two months.

Indeed, The Ladies Man, which opened in October of 2000, did not receive enthusiastic reviews. The character of Leon Phelps, is a stuck-in-the-1970s dude who lisps, swills Courvoisier, and gives truly obnoxious love advice. Critics generally felt that Leons naughty humor was better suited to the small screen. Robert Koehler of Variety noted that the characters lisp is funny in TV sketch form but grows wearisome after about 20 minutes. And The Michael Richards Show was cancelled.

Meadows has also appeared in the Coneheads (1993) and Waynes World 2 (1993). In addition to writing numerous SNL sketches and the screenplay for The Ladies Man, Meadows also wrote the 1998 television special Saturday Night Live Remembers Chris Farley. Farley, who also joined SNL in the early 1990s, was a close friend to Meadows, and his death from a drug overdose affected the comedian deeply, so much so that he went into therapy. Former SNL cast member Dana Carvey told People Weekly, The headline on Tim should be The Nicest Guy in Show Business. Meadows and his wife Michelle, who were married in 1997, live in Venice, California, and have one child.

Selected filmography


Saturday Night Live, 1991-00.

The Michael Richards Show, 2000.


Coneheads, 1993.

Waynes World 2, 1993.

Its Pat, 1994.

The Ladies Man, 2000.



Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television, vol. 26, Gale, 2000.

Entertainment Weekly, Oct. 20,2000.

Knight-Ridder/Tribune News Service, Oct. 12, 2000.

People Weekly, Nov. 6, 2000.

Variety, October 9, 2000.


Corinne J. Naden

Meadows, Tim 1961–

views updated

MEADOWS, Tim 1961


Born February 5, 1961, in Highland Park, MI; son of Lathon (a janitor) and Mardell (a nurse's assistant) Meadows; married Michelle, July, 1997; children: Isaiah Crosby. Education: Attended Wayne State University, Detroit, MI.

Addresses: Agent Jim Hess, Paradigm, 10100 Santa Monica Blvd., 25th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90067. Manager Geoff Cheddy, BrillsteinGrey Entertainment, 9150 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 350, Beverly Hills, CA 90212.

Career: Actor, comedian, and writer. Appeared with Second City improvisational comedy troupe and with ImprovOlympic group, both Chicago, IL; also worked as a standup comedian in Chicago.

Awards, Honors: Emmy Award nomination, outstanding individual achievement in writing for a variety or music program (with others), 1993, for Saturday Night Live.


Television Appearances; Series:

Saturday Night Live (also known as NBC's Saturday Night, Saturday Night, SNL, and SNL 25 ), NBC, 19912000.

Kevin Blakeley, The Michael Richards Show, NBC, 2000.

Lucas, a recurring role, Leap of Faith, NBC, 2002.

Television Appearances; Specials:

Dexter, Higher Goals, PBS, 1992.

Clarence Thomas, Saturday Night Live's Presidential Bash, NBC, 1992.

The Second Annual Saturday Night Live Mother's Day Special, NBC, 1993.

NBC's New Year's Eve with "Friday Night, " NBC, 1995.

The Bad Boys of Saturday Night Live (also known as Saturday Night Live: Bad Boys ), NBC, 1998.

Saturday Night Live: The Best of Phil Hartman, NBC, 1998.

Saturday Night Live: The Best of Chris Farley, NBC, 1998.

Saturday Night Live: 25th Anniversary Primetime Special, NBC, 1999.

Saturday Night Live: The Best of Steve Martin, NBC, 1999.

Saturday Night Live: The Best of Dana Carvey, NBC, 1999.

Saturday Night Live: The Best of Chris Rock, NBC, 1999.

Saturday Night Live: The Best of Adam Sandler, NBC, 1999.

Voice of Richard Stands, Olive, the Other Reindeer (animated), Fox, 1999.

Eddie Adams and Leon Phelps, Canned Ham: The Ladies Man, Comedy Central, 2000.

VH1/Vogue Fashion Awards, VH1, 2000.

NBC 75th Anniversary Special (also known as NBC 75th Anniversary Celebration ), NBC, 2002.

Night of Too Many Stars, NBC, 2003.

Television Appearances; Movies:

Lionel, Three Days, ABC, 2001.

Miles McDermott, The Even Stevens Movie (also known as The Stevens Get Even ), The Disney Channel, 2003.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

Percy Kittens, "Let Freedom Ring," Strangers with Candy, Comedy Central, 1999.

Leroy Watkins, "Exposing Faith," Third Watch, NBC, 2001.

Jay J. Jacobi, "St. Augustine, Florida," The Sweet Spot, Comedy Central, 2002.

J. J. Aldezzy, "King & Bear Golf Course World Golf Village," The Sweet Spot, Comedy Central, 2002.

Appeared in Late Night with Conan O'Brien, NBC; and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, NBC.

Film Appearances:

Athletic Cone, Coneheads, Paramount, 1993.

Sammy Davis, Jr., Wayne's World 2, Paramount, 1993.

Radio station manager, It's Pat, Buena Vista, 1994.

Himself, Free Tibet, Shooting Gallery Pictures, 1998.

Leon Phelps (title role), The Ladies Man, Paramount, 2000.

Dave, Wasabi Tuna, Genesis Films, 2003.

Mr. Duvall, Mean Girls, Paramount, 2004.

The Cookout, Lions Gate Films, 2004.

Stage Appearances:

Truth, Justice and the American Way, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, DC, 1996.

Also appeared in Flag Smoking Permitted in Lobby Only, The Gods Must Be Lazy, and It Was Thirty Years Ago Today, all with Second City, Chicago, IL.



Saturday Night Live: Game Show Parodies, NBC Studios, 1998.

Saturday Night Live Christmas, Trimark Video, 1999.


(Contributor) They're All Gonna Laugh at You, by Adam Sandler, Warner Bros., 1993.


Television Series:

Saturday Night Live (also known as NBC's Saturday Night, Saturday Night, SNL, and SNL 25 ), NBC, 19912000.

Television Specials:

The Second Annual Saturday Night Live Mother's Day Special, NBC, 1993.

Saturday Night Live Remembers Chris Farley, NBC, 1998.


The Ladies Man, Paramount, 2000.

Stage Material:

Author (with Chris Farley) of Flag Smoking Permitted in Lobby Only, The Gods Must Be Lazy, and It Was Thirty Years Ago Today, all for Second City, Chicago, IL.



Contemporary Black Biography, Volume 30, Gale, 2001.


Entertainment Weekly, October 20, 2000.

People Weekly, November 6, 2000, p. 165.

About this article

Tim Meadows

All Sources -
Updated Media sources (1) About content Print Topic Share Topic