Chris Elliott

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Chris Elliott
Chris Elliott by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Elliott at the San Diego Comic-Con International in July 2011.
Born Christopher Nash Elliott
(1960-05-31) May 31, 1960 (age 53)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actor, comedian, writer, director, author
Years active 1983–present
Spouse(s) Paula Niedert Elliott (1986-present)
Children Abby and Bridey Elliott
Parents Bob and Lee Elliott

Christopher Nash "Chris" Elliott (born May 31, 1960) is an American actor, comedian, and writer best known for his comedic sketches on Late Night with David Letterman, starring in the cult comedy series Get a Life and for his recurring roles as Peter MacDougall on Everybody Loves Raymond and as Mickey Aldrin on How I Met Your Mother. He is also known for appearing in movies such as Cabin Boy, There's Something About Mary, Scary Movie 2 and Groundhog Day. Elliott currently stars in the Adult Swim series Eagleheart, which started its third season on November 14, 2013.

Early life[edit]

Elliott was born in New York City, New York, and is the youngest of five children of Lee and Bob Elliott, who was part of the successful comedy team Bob and Ray.[1][2] He grew up on the Upper East Side.[3] He attended the National Theater Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in the spring of 1979.

Career[edit]

Elliott became known in the mid-late 1980s, when he was a writer and performer on Late Night with David Letterman, playing an assortment of recurring oddball characters. His characters on the show included:

  • "The Regulator Guy" – a parody of the The Terminator films. The Regulator Guy spoke with a vaguely Germanic accent and claimed to be "from the future". The Regulator Guy segments were usually pre-taped and presented by Letterman as the trailer for an upcoming television series. The font used for the title was similar to the font used for the then-popular American television series The Equalizer. In the Regulator Guy's only live, on-stage appearance, Elliott, carried by wires, "flew" over the audience via jet pack onto the Late Night set. The "jet pack" prop appeared to malfunction, which the Regulator Guy then blamed for ruining his dramatic appearance.
  • "The Fugitive Guy" – a parody of the TV series The Fugitive
  • "The Panicky Guy" – Elliott would pretend to be an audience member, who panics and runs from the studio at the slightest threat of danger (similar to doomed characters in disaster movies). Once in the hallway he would be run over and crushed by an advancing floor waxer, with his hands raised in terror. In one variation, he played a German Panicky Guy in Lederhosen, who was run over by a hand dolly full of cheese wheels.
  • "The Guy Under the Seats" – a short character-comedy bit followed by Elliott as himself (living under the seats, that is) who eventually becomes angry at Letterman and threatens him with some metaphorically articulated comeuppance in the future and always closing with the line "But until that day, I'm gonna be right here, making your life...a living hell."
  • "The Conspiracy Guy" – During staged audience "question and answer" sessions with Dave, Elliott would approach the microphone and begin accusing Letterman of various plots and schemes, after which "security" would wrestle Elliott to the ground and drag him out of the studio while Elliott yelled threats to Dave.
  • "Marlon Brando" – a parody of Brando, whom Elliott portrays as a semi-deranged man who performs a "banana dance" to the tune of "The Alley Cat".
  • "Chris Elliott, Jr." – a spoof of talk-show host Morton Downey, Jr.
  • "A Television Miracle" – During one Late Night special focused on short films, Elliott was the star of a short about himself, alluding that he was actually an animatronic being that was created for the TV show. The "miracle" was the behind-the-scenes work needed to bring his character to life and others.

In 1986 Elliott starred in the Cinemax special FDR: A One Man Show, a spoof comedy about the life and times of the president. He looked and sounded nothing like the man; he portrayed events from Roosevelt's life that never happened, such as a Japanese bombing of the White House, and his crossing the Potomac in a rowboat. By the end of the show, he had performed Gallagher's shtick of smashing watermelons and other soft fruits on stage.

Chris Elliott at the 41st Emmy Awards in 1989

Many of Elliott's early film roles were as a supporting actor in non-comedies such as Michael Mann's Manhunter and James Cameron's The Abyss.

In 1990, Elliott created and starred in his own sitcom, which was called Get a Life, about a 30-year-old paperboy named Chris Peterson who lived at home with his parents. Elliott's real-life father, Bob Elliott, appeared in the show as Chris' father. The January 1999 issue of TV Guide called the "Zoo Animals on Wheels" episode the 19th funniest TV moment of all time.

In 1993, Elliott teamed up with producer Brad Hall and directed a series of critically acclaimed short films that Elliott showed when appearing on Late Show with David Letterman.

Elliott became a cast member of Saturday Night Live in 1994. Also that year, Elliott starred in his first movie—entitled Cabin Boy—which also featured a short appearance by Elliott's old boss, David Letterman, and was produced by Tim Burton. It was nominated for a Razzie Award for Worst New Star.

In 2007 Elliott began reappearing on the Late Show with David Letterman with fellow former Letterman writer Gerard Mulligan. On average, these bits appear once per month.

His other television credits include the chowder taster on Throwdown with Bobby Flay, airdate 09/02/09, and the voice of Dogbert on the short-run show Dilbert for UPN. He played a serial killer in the series Third Watch in episodes 5, "The Hunter, Hunted," and 6, "Greatest Detectives in the World" from season six. He played the role of Peter in the last three seasons of Everybody Loves Raymond and a role in a semi-autobiographical sitcom pilot for CBS, entitled You've Reached the Elliotts, playing a man who tries to balance a modest show business career with his home life. As of 2009, Elliott has played the estranged father of How I Met Your Mother character Lily Aldrin, whose relationship has strengthened as the show has progressed. As well as multiple appearances on King of Queens, Elliott made guest appearances on the Late Show, That '70s Show episode "2000 Light Years From Home", and According to Jim. Since February 3, 2011, Elliott has starred in the Adult Swim series Eagleheart, produced by Conan O'Brien's production company, Conaco.

Elliott also appeared in a series of commercials for Tostitos tortilla chips in the late 1990s.

Author[edit]

Elliott has written three books spoofing history or pseudo-history. Daddy's Boy: A Son's Shocking Account of Life with a Famous Father is a comedic fictionalized biography about growing up with his famous father, spoofing Christina Crawford's Mommie Dearest. The Shroud of the Thwacker is a historical novel about Elliott's investigation of a serial killer in 1882 New York City, spoofing London's infamous Jack the Ripper case. Into Hot Air tells the story of Chris climbing Mount Everest with a group of celebrities tagging along to underwrite the trek as he investigates his Uncle Percy's failed Everest expedition.

Personal life[edit]

Elliott has been married since 1986 and has two daughters: Abby and Bridey. Abby was a cast member of Saturday Night Live from 2008 until 2012, making Chris Elliott the first SNL cast member to be the father of another. His father Bob Elliott of the popular comedy duo Bob & Ray co-starred on a SNL Christmas episode in the 1978-1979 season fourth season,[4][5] making for three generations of Elliotts on SNL.

In the summer of 2008, Elliott and his family returned to Connecticut, purchasing a home in Old Lyme.

Favorite song is "Philadelphia Freedom" by Elton John.

Filmography[edit]

Year Film Role Notes
1983 Lianna Lighting Assistant
1984 Hyperspace Hooper
1985 My Man Adam Mr. Spooner
1986 Manhunter Zeller
FDR: A One Man Show Franklin Delano Roosevelt TV Film
1987 Action Family Chris
1989 The Abyss Bendix
New York Stories Robber
1992 Medusa: Dare to Be Truthful Andy TV Film
1993 The Travelling Poet Alan Squire Directed by Chris Elliott
CB4 A. White
Groundhog Day Larry
1994 Cabin Boy Nathanial Mayweather Razzie Award for Worst New Star
Poolside Ecstasy The Pool Boy Directed by Chris Elliott
Housewives: The Making of the Cast Album Chris the Diva Directed by Chris Elliott
1995 The Barefoot Executive Jase Wallenberg TV Film
1996 Kingpin The Gambler
1998 There's Something About Mary Dom Woganowski
2000 The Sky is Falling Santa Claus
Nutty Professor II: The Klumps Restaurant Manager Cameo
Snow Day Roger (The Snow Plow Guy)
2001 Osmosis Jones Bob
Scary Movie 2 Hanson
2006 Scary Movie 4 Ezekiel
2007 Thomas Kinkade's Home for Christmas Ernie Trevor
I'll Believe You Eugene the Gator Guy
2009 Dance Flick Ron
2010 Speed-Dating Inspector Green
2012 The Dictator Mr. Ogden
The Library Himself
TBD Untitled Marc Lawrence film Jim Filming

Television[edit]

Awards[edit]

Primetime Emmy Awards[edit]

  • 1984 Outstanding Writing in a Variety, Comedy or Music Program
  • 1985 Outstanding Writing in a Variety, Comedy or Music Program
  • 1986 Outstanding Writing in a Variety, Comedy or Music Program
  • 1987 Outstanding Writing in a Variety, Comedy or Music Program

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Chris Elliott Biography (1960-)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 2014-03-07. 
  2. ^ "Brooks Maine - Pilley House Donation - Bangor Daily News Article". Brooks.govoffice2.com. 2005-06-03. Retrieved 2014-03-07. 
  3. ^ Koepp, Stephen. "Off-the-Wall Comedy Lands Chris Elliott on TV, and His Dad, Bob (of Bob and Ray), Is Hooked Too". People.com. Retrieved 2014-03-07. 
  4. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (November 12, 2008). "'SNL' taps Abby Elliott, Michaela Watkins". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  5. ^ Zuckerman, Ed (November 24, 2009). "A Professionally Funny Family". New York Times. 

External links[edit]