One of the longest-running cast member in the history of Saturday Night Live, easygoing funnyman Tim Meadows crafted some of the series' most enduring characters in his nine-year stint on the popular late-night comedy staple. Whether sipping Courvoisier as self-proclaimed Ladies' Man Leon Phelps or posing clueless questions to irritable guests as early morning talk show host Lionel Osborne, Meadows and his memorable collection of characters endured even during the more critically panned years of SNL and proved an important component of keeping the show on its feet during those dark days.
Born in Highland Park, MI, and raised in Detroit, Meadows studied radio and television broadcasting at Wayne State University before performing improvisational comedy at the Soup Kitchen Saloon in nearby Ferndale. Quickly finding his stride on-stage, Meadows relocated to Chicago where he would join the ImprovOlympia team and later become associated with the Second City troupe. Gaining a loyal following during his three-year stint with the legendary comedy troupe, Meadows was soon courted by SNL producer Lorne Michaels and in 1991, he achieved the dreams of comics nationwide when he joined the SNL cast as a featured player. Nominated for an Emmy the same month he made the transition to cast member status two years later, Meadows was fired from the show in 1994 only to be hired back at the insistence of Michaels. Although he did little film or television work during his SNL years, Meadows prepared for his own departure from the series by appearing in the features of such former cast members as Dan Aykroyd (Coneheads ), Mike Myers and Dana Carvey (Wayne's World 2 [also 1993]), and Julia Sweeney (It's Pat ). Predictably, Meadows' segue into his post-SNL career began with the quickly dismissed Ladies Man feature, though he continued to grace the small screen with roles in such sitcoms as The Michael Richards Show and Leap of Faith.