On this day in comedy on February 5, 1961 Comedian, Actor, Timothy “Tim” Meadows was born in Highland Park, Michigan.
A student of radio and television in college, Meadows got started in improvisational comedy at the Soup Kitchen Saloon and in show business performing in The Second City troupe. Chris Farley was also a member; which was Meadows first contact with his destiny. A short time later he became a cast member on NBCs long running hit sketch show, Saturday Night Live and went on to be its longest running cast member for a record 9 seasons (until Darrell Hammond broke that record years later). Meadows played a lot of characters: Michael Jackson, O. J. Simpson, Erykah Badu, Tiger Woods and Oprah Winfrey, but it was his signature persona that got made into a film.
The Ladies Man was extremely popular on a sketch show like SNL. In the theater it bombed. Even though the character of Leon Phelps: a horny radio talk show host prone to say whatever inappropriate thing he wants seemed a natural for audiences always on the hunt for shock value, this flick didn’t jolt them enough. Regardless, it was but a minor setback for Meadows. He’d made a lot of friends at Saturday Night Live over the years and they showed it by keeping their alumni buddy working. He made appearances in Mean Girls (a Tina Fey film), The Coneheads (Dan Aykroyd, Jane Curtin, and Larraine Newman), It’s Pat (Julia Sweeney), Wayne’s World 2 (Mike Myers), The Benchwarmers (Rob Schneider), Trainwreck (Bill Hader) and Grown Ups 1 & 2 (Adam Sandler).
Meadows let friends pay him any time to perform, but he also worked for others. No need to feel bad for the guy because over his career Meadows was a regular on The Michael Richards Show, Lil Bush, The Bill Engvall Show, Glory Dance, and Mr. Box Office. He co-starred on the NBC sitcom, Marry Me. He appeared in Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. Meadows had recurring roles on Help Me Help You, Living with Fran, The New Adventures of Old Christine, The Life & Times of Tim, Suburgatory and Bob’s Burgers. He’d pop up on The Colbert Report and guest starred on One on One, Everybody Hates Chris, The Office, Reba, According to Jim, Lovespring International, Funny or Die Presents, 30 Rock, The Venture Bros, Comedy Bang! Bang!, The Goldbergs and The Spoils Before Dying.
Like most dedicated entertainers, when not in front of the camera Tim Meadows returns to his roots and continues to perform improv on stages all over the world.
By Darryl “D’Militant” Littleton
Take a look at this clip: