Chris Elliott Biography

Actor, Writer, Comedian (1960–)
Actor and writer Chris Elliott wrote for and appeared on the David Letterman Show, winning four Emmy Awards for writing. He also starred in the cult comedy series Get a Life.


Chris Elliott was born on May 31, 1960, in New York City. Son of Bob Elliott, of the successful comedic radio show "Bob and Ray." Elliott got a break when he met David Letterman, who hired him a year later. Elliott began appearing in and writing for the David Letterman Show and won four Emmys for writing. He went on to write the sitcom Get a Life and has made multiple television and film appearances.

Early Life

Born Christopher Nash Elliott on May 31, 1960, in New York City, Chris Elliott is the son of Lee and Bob Elliott, a Boston-born actor and comedian, formerly part of the successful comedy duo Bob and Ray. Growing up, Elliott would visit his father at the Graybar Building and observe the makings of the Bob and Ray radio program, where his father and partner would joke back and forth, order pastrami sandwiches, and then record something and go home.

Elliott did not go to college, but instead got a job as a tour guide at Rockefeller Center. David Letterman visited one day with his mother. Elliott joked with him, giving him a child-price ticket, and name-dropped his dad. A year later, Elliott was hired as a runner on the David Letterman Show.

Commerical Success

Elliott’s funny antics at work caught Letterman’s eye, and he began making appearances on the show as recurring characters like "The Fugitive Guy" and "The Guy Under the Seats." He then became one of Letterman’s writers and earned four Emmy Awards for Outstanding Writing in a Variety, Comedy or Music Program over the course of the next 11 years. Elliott went on to write, produce and star in his 1990 sitcom Get a Life. The show came out at the same time as Seinfeld, and Elliott remembers sitting next to Jerry Seinfeld on a plane and discussing how their shows would pan out. (Elliott’s was off the air by 1992.) Elliott then co-wrote and starred in the 1992 film Cabin Boy, which had an unsuccessful two-week run but got him noticed for other small parts on films like Groundhog Day and There’s Something About Mary. He joined the ensemble cast of Saturday Night Live in its 1994-1995 season.

Other television credits include the voice of Dogbert on the show Dilbert and the role of Peter in the last three seasons of Everybody Loves Raymond. Elliott has had multiple guest appearances on shows like King of Queens, According to Jim and How I Met Your Mother, and has starred in the Adult Swim series Eagleheart since February 2011. Also an author, Elliott co-wrote with his father the book Daddy’s Boy: A Son’s Shocking Account of Life with a Famous Father, published in 1989.

Personal Life

Elliott married Paula Niedert, a talent coordinator, on March 8, 1986. They have two daughters, Abby and Bridey. Abby decided to follow in the family footsteps to pursue a career in comedy. After just one semester at college, she dropped out and moved to Los Angeles, taking classes at the Groudlings and performing sketch comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. She has appeared as a cast member on Saturday Night Live since November 2008, becoming the third generation of Elliotts to appear on the show. Chris's second daughter, Bridey, also hopes to enter comedy one day.

The Elliott family lives in Old Lyme, Connecticut, and has a home in Maine.

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