Tim Meadows Biography

Film Actor/Film Actress, Television Actor (1961–)
Tim Meadows is an Emmy-nominated screenwriter and comedic actor known for his long stint on 'Saturday Night Live' as well as films like 'Mean Girls.'


Born on February 5, 1961 in Highland Park, Michigan, Tim Meadows went on to work in improv in Chicago before landing a role on Saturday Night Live in 1991, staying with the cast until 2000. He established a film career as well been involved in projects like The Ladies Man, Mean Girls, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story and Semi-Pro. He has also starred in other TV shows like Glory Daze and The Goldbergs.

Background and Early Career

Tim Meadows was born on February 5, 1961 in Highland Park, Michigan to Mardell and Lathan Meadows. The youngest of five siblings, he and his family relocated to Detroit, where Meadows grew up and took to watching comedic icons like Bill Cosby and Richard Pryor during a tumultuous era.

Meadows went on to attend Wayne State University, studying broadcast media and honing his improv skills off-campus before relocating to Chicago, doing further work in comedy with ImprovOlympia and the troupe Second City. There he also befriended and worked with fellow actor Chris Farley.

Saturday Night Live

Upon meeting with producer Lorne Michaels, Meadows started to be featured on Saturday Night Live in 1991, with Farley already having joined the cast. Known for his affable manner off-screen and for having a more subtle comedic approach, Meadows was able to create original characters such as program host Lionel Osbourne, 1970’s-outfitted seducer Leon Phelps and DJ Chris “Champagne” Garnet. He also highlighted his work with an array of impersonations that included the likes of General Colin Powell, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jackson, Erykah Badu, Tiger Woods and Sammy Davis Jr.

Meadows received a 1993 Emmy nomination in the category of writing for a variety or music program. 

Varied Film and TV Roles

He stayed with SNL until 2000, and was thus the cast member with the longest run on the show until Darrell Hammond broke the record a few years later. Having already appeared in film projects like Wayne’s World 2 and The Coneheads (both 1993), Meadows made his movie lead debut in the film take on his Leon Phelps persona—The Ladies Man (2000), directed by Reginald Hudlin.

Other comedic projects followed over the years that included The Cookout (2004), Mean Girls (2004, written by and co-starring Tina Fey), Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007), Semi-Pro (2008) and Aliens in the Attic (2009). Meadows was also a featured player in the ensemble comedy Grown Ups (2010) and its 2013 sequel. Meadows has also lent his voice to the character of Mike the Mailman in the animated comedy series Bob's Burgers.

Meadows maintained his television work as well, acting in The Michael Richards Show and later co-starring or making guest appearances in series such as Curb Your Enthusiasm, Glory Daze and 30 Rock. Along with doing standup, Meadows continued his TV work in early 2014, appearing with the cast of ABC comedy The Goldbergs as educator Mr. Glascott. 

In 2016, he was back on the big screen with fellow SNL alum Andy Samberg in the comedy spoof, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping.

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