Another Saturday Night Live alumnus to make a bid for big screen stardom, Rob Schneider got his first chance to carry a film with Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo (2000), a mistaken identity comedy that was as commercially popular as it was critically eviscerated. The diminutive Schneider, who was born to a Filipino mother and Jewish father in San Francisco on October 31, 1963, got his start in comedy in high school. He began writing sketches when he was 15 and also began appearing at local comedy venues. Inspired by such comics as Richard Pryor, Gene Wilder, Peter Sellars, and Monty Python, Schneider decided to try to make a career out of stand-up.
Following high school graduation, the fledgling comedian set off for Europe, where he traveled for a few months until he was robbed in Paris. Scraping together enough cash to make it back to the U.S., Schneider returned to San Francisco and renewed his determination to make it as a comedian. He quickly became active on the comedy circuit, opening for such luminaries as Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfeld, and Dana Carvey. Schneider got his big break in 1990, when he was discovered by SNL producer Lorne Michaels while performing on an HBO comedy special. He was hired on as a writer for SNL in 1991, but he soon began performing his own material as well as writing it. He earned great popularity and lasting fame for his characterizations of "Richard "the Richmeister" Laymer" and "The Sensitive Naked Man," as well as various celebrity impersonations. Schneider stayed with the show until the end of the 1993-1994 season, when he decided to quit in order to pursue his film career.