Laraine Newman

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Laraine Newman
Laraine Newman at Comic-Con 2011 Cartoon Voices II Panel.jpg
Newman in 2011
Born (1952-03-02) March 2, 1952 (age 68)
  • Actress
  • voice actress
  • comedian
  • writer
  • editor
Years active1975–present
Known forSaturday Night Live
Problem Child 2
Chad Einbinder
(m. 1991)

Laraine Newman (born March 2, 1952) is an American actress, voice actress, comedian and writer, who was part of the original cast of NBC's Saturday Night Live and played the main villain Lawanda Dumore in the 1991 film Problem Child 2.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Newman was born on March 2, 1952, in Los Angeles, California,[2] the granddaughter of a cattle rancher from Arizona. Her family is Jewish.[3] She is the youngest of four children and a twin (brother Paul). Her sister, Tracy Newman, is an Emmy Award-winning television writer. Newman attended Beverly Hills High School in Beverly Hills, California and graduated from there in 1970. Newman married actor-writer-director Chad Einbinder (born 1963) in 1991. They have two children, Spike[4] (born 1991) and Hannah (born 1995).[5]

The song Never Let Her Slip Away, written and recorded by Andrew Gold, was about Newman. The two were a couple at the time. The song hit #5 on the UK charts in 1978.

Early life and career[edit]

Newman took her first Improvisational theatre classes when she was 15. After finishing high school she auditioned for four acting schools in England including Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and Bristol Old Vic. She was not accepted after the second round of auditions for all four schools, so she went to Paris to study mime with Marcel Marceau for a year.[6]

By the age of 19, Newman returned to the United States, and moved to Los Angeles, where she did a brief stint at a secretarial school. Committed to continue performing, she was a founding member of the pioneering comedy improvisational group The Groundlings.[7] At the same time, Newman was working for a booking agent who worked with rock bands, typing up contracts.[8]

Newman cites Eve Arden, Madeline Kahn and Richard Pryor as her first major influences, saying “They led me into my life of comedy, they led me into understanding ‘The Art of Play’."[9]

Saturday Night Live[edit]

In 1974, Lorne Michaels hired 22-year-old Newman for a Lily Tomlin special, impressed with her work as founder and original member of The Groundlings. A year later, she became an original cast member on NBC's Saturday Night Live, appearing on the show from its inception in 1975 through 1980.

During her five years on SNL she became a close friend of co-star Gilda Radner, although there was also a degree of rivalry between them.[10] The instant success of SNL propelled her to stardom very quickly. Newman recalled being stopped in the street in New York City by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, who introduced themselves to her.[11]

Newman admits that she was "never a good improviser," but when in character, like an angry Jewish poet, a flight attendant, an eccentric chef or a British groupie, she was "free."

Commenting on her early experiences during Saturday Night Live she said: "When I first performed (my characters) and the audience responded, I felt like crying, I mean the idea that what I saw—what other people saw—(meant) I wasn't so alone in my perspective. I hope this doesn’t sound too overblown, but it really did feel like a Communion."[12]

However, by her own account, Newman was unhappy for much of her time with the show. She disliked living in New York, and during her years on SNL, Newman had developed serious eating disorders, as well as heroin addiction. She spent so much time in her dressing room playing solitaire that for Christmas 1979, castmate Radner gave her a deck of playing cards with a picture of Newman on the face of each card.[13]

Recurring characters on Saturday Night Live[edit]

Newman is best known for her roles as Connie Conehead, proto-Valley girl Sherry, and Christie Christina, the ditzy co-host of E. Buzz Miller (Dan Aykroyd)'s public-access television cable TV show. Using her own name, Newman also played a TV news reporter for Weekend Update when the segment was hosted by Chevy Chase (1975-1976) and Jane Curtin (1976-1980). Newman generally decided not to repeat her characters, and so she has far fewer signature characters remembered as well as those played by some of her other fellow cast members on SNL (such as Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, and Gilda Radner). Still, Newman created many important SNL characters and helped, as part of the whole ensemble cast, to shape the early years of SNL.[14]

Newman states when asked about her favorite Saturday Night Live character: "My favorite character that I created at Saturday Night Live, which, I think, only pleased me and no one else, was Lina Wertmüller (based on the actual Lina Wertmüller)."[15]

Later life and career[edit]

Newman's post-SNL film career has been in both leading and supporting roles, as well as a voice artist on television and features.

Newman dated Mark Mothersbaugh of the new wave band Devo after the band did a guest spot in the fourth season of SNL, and later played Donut Rooter in the band's We're All Devo VHS release (1984).


Prior to leaving SNL, Newman appeared in American Hot Wax (1978) and did a cameo in Mr. Mike's Mondo Video (1979).


Newman continued to appear in film and television productions during the 1980s. Among these were Wholly Moses, Voltar The Invincible and Invaders from Mars. She also had a small role in Woody Allen's Stardust Memories (1980). In 1986 she starred in the syndicated B-movie comedy series, The Canned Film Festival, playing the lead role as Laraine the usherette. Additionally, she made appearances on such programs as Laverne & Shirley, E.T. and Friends (1983), in which she reprised her role as Connie Conehead, Steve Martin's Best Show Ever (1981) and Amazing Stories.


Newman played the antagonist in Problem Child 2 (1991) and had a minor role in 1993's Coneheads (in which Michelle Burke played Connie Conehead, the character Newman had played in SNL). Newman further appeared in episodes of Friends, The Tick, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Histeria!, CatDog, Sonic the Hedgehog, Rugrats (in "All Growed Up", an episode which would form the basis of the spinoff All Grown Up!, for which she also provided voice work), 7th Heaven, and in The Flintstones movie. During this time she started to focus on voice acting.


In the 2000s Newman lent her voice to many characters in animated movies and television productions. Among these were Danny Phantom, As Told By Ginger, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Metalocalypse and Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius. She further provided voice work for WALL-E, Battle for Terra, Ponyo, Jungle Junction, Cars, Up!, Finding Nemo, Monsters, Inc., Barnyard, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Happily N'Ever After, and Horton Hears a Who!.

Newman also appeared in episodes of Entourage, Brothers & Sisters, and Curb Your Enthusiasm.


She continues to provide her voice for movies like Dr. Seuss' The Lorax and Wreck-It Ralph. Newman made guest voice appearances in SpongeBob SquarePants (as Plankton's grandmother), Doc McStuffins, and Harvey Street Kids . She also voices Queen Jipjorrulac, the mother of Mark Chang, in The Fairly OddParents.

She voiced the Wicked Witch of the West in Tom and Jerry and the Wizard of Oz, an animated direct-to-DVD film set during the events of the original 1939 film.

On July 9, 2014, Newman appeared on Ken Reid's TV Guidance Counselor podcast.


Newman also works as a writer and editor. She is a contributing editor for the online magazine One For The Table, and she is an occasional contributor to the Huffington Post.[16] She has contributed articles for the Los Angeles Times, The Believer, and McSweeney's. She wrote the foreword to the book version of the UCB Production Worst Laid Plans.




Year Title Role Notes
1976 TunnelVision Sonja
1978 American Hot Wax Teenage Louise
1979 Mr. Mike's Mondo Video Herself Cameo appearance
1980 Stardust Memories Film Executive Uncredited
Wholly Moses Zoey / Zerelda
1985 Perfect Linda
1986 Invaders from Mars Ellen Gardner
1991 Problem Child 2 Lawanda Dumore
1993 Coneheads Laarta
Witchboard 2: The Devil's Doorway Elaine
Revenge of the Red Baron Carol Spencer
1994 The Flintstones Susan Rock
1996 Jingle All the Way First Lady
1997 Demolition University Professor Harris
1998 Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Frog-Eyed Woman
1999 Baby Huey's Great Easter Adventure Minnie Direct-to-video
2014 Ready or Knot Joanne
2016 The Late Bloomer Noema Willcoxen


Year Title Role Notes
1975-80 Saturday Night Live Herself Cast Member. 106 episodes
1982 Laverne & Shirley Sheba 2 episodes
St. Elsewhere Jane Zontell 3 episodes
1986 Alfred Hitchcock Presents Periwinkle Episode: "The Jar"
The Canned Film Festival Laraine the usherette 13 episodes
1988 Monsters Episode: "Rouse Him Not"
1996 3rd Rock from the Sun Guidance Counselor Episode: "World's Greatest Dick"
Friends Mrs. Buffay Episode: "The One With the Bullies"
2000 Curb Your Enthusiasm Wendy Prager / Gwendolyn, director of the play, "The Vagina Monologues" / Incest Survivor Episode: "The Group"
2002-04 7th Heaven Rosina Glass
2006 Brothers & Sisters Lyla
2012 Easy to Assemble The Neighbor 2 episodes
2013 The Birthday Boys President of the Network
2014 Trophy Wife Juniper

Voice roles[edit]


Year Title Role Notes
1985 Voltar The Invincible Wondra / Mrs. Lawrence Uncredited
2001 Monsters, Inc. Mother / School Teacher
2003 Finding Nemo Additional Voices
Charlotte's Web 2: Wilbur's Great Adventure Gwen
2004 Shrek 2 ADR Group
The Incredibles Squeaker's Owner Uncredited
2006 The Wild Girl Monkey
2007 Happily N'Ever After Additional Voices
Surf's Up Female Penguin #3
2008 Horton Hears a Who! Glummox Mom
Ponyo Woman in the boat
WALL-E Beauty Bot / Paramedic Bot / Announcer Bot
2009 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs French Newscaster
Up Dogs/Additional Voices
2010 Shrek Forever After ADR Group
Tangled Additional Voices
Toy Story 3 Additional Voices
2011 Tom and Jerry and the Wizard of Oz The Wicked Witch of The West
2012 The Lorax Woman
Wreck-It Ralph Various Nicelanders
2013 Despicable Me 2 Woman
2014 Tom and Jerry: The Lost Dragon Elf Elder's Wife
The Boxtrolls Female Townsfolk 1 / Female Townsfolk 2
2015 Inside Out Jill Andersen's Fear
Minions Additional Voices
2016 The Secret Life of Pets
Nerdland Old Woman
Sing Meena's Grandmother / Additional Voices
2017 Despicable Me 3 Additional Voices
The Emoji Movie
The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature Daredevil Chipmunk
2018 The Grinch Additional Voices
2019 The Secret Life of Pets 2 Cow


Year Title Role Notes
1998 The New Batman Adventures Baby Doll Episode: "Love is a Croc"
1999 Detention Ms. Treacle Episode: "The Contest"
2000 The Oblongs Ms. Hubbard 8 episodes
2000-06 As Told by Ginger Lois Foutley 43 episodes
2001-03 Oswald Madame Butterfly 22 episodes
2001-13 The Fairly OddParents Alien Queen Jipjorrulac / Mother Nature 9 episodes
2003 What's New, Scooby-Doo? Wor-El
2004-07 Danny Phantom Pam / Mrs. Tetslaff 6 episodes
2005 The Buzz on Maggie Lacey Ladybug
2006 Avatar: The Last Airbender Lily
2006-12 Metalocalypse Pickles' Mom / News Anchor / Dory McClean / Additional Characters 15 episodes
2009-13 Jungle Junction Carla 14 episodes
2010-18 SpongeBob SquarePants Ella Plankton / Crab Lady 3 episodes
2011 The Garfield Show Aunt Ivy / Chicken / Winona 4 episodes
Beavis and Butt-head Biology Teacher 3 episodes
2011-13 Winx Club Queen Ligea Seasons 3-5
2012-14 Doc McStuffins Aurora / Professor Hootsburgh / Southwest Sal 25 episodes
2012 Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated Granny Snaggletooth
2013 Turbo FAST Queen Invicta Episode: "Ants Ants Revolution / Clamsquatch"
Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness Yan Fan
2015 The Adventures of Puss in Boots Pajuna / Piper 37 episodes
Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! Professor Salazar / Running Girl
2015-17 Dawn of the Croods Gran/One-Eyed Amber / Mosh / Pram 52 episodes
2016 Milo Murphy's Law Ms. White
2016-18 Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia Nana / Ms. Janeth 27 episodes
2017 Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz Wicked Witch of the West 6 episodes
Vampirina Norcisa 1 episode
2017-18 Talking Tom and Friends Ms. Vanthrax 5 episodes
2018 The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants Ms. Tara Ribble
2018-19 3Below: Tales of Arcadia Nana / Ms. Janeth 18 episodes
2019-20 Harvey Girls Forever! Ryan Ninaman 3 episodes
2019 Summer Camp Island Hedgehog's Mother 1 episode
2020 Apple & Onion Banana Episode: "Apple's Formula"
2020 Bob's Burgers Dove Shannon Episode: "Local She-ro"

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2000 Stupid Invaders Additional Voices
2003 The Fairly OddParents: Breakin' da Rules Alien Queen Jipjorrulac
2005 Madagascar Queen Bee / Grandma
True Crime: New York City Additional Voices [17]
2007 Bee Movie Game
Spider-Man 3
Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer Sheva Whitefeather / NPC (Wise Woman)
2008 The Rise of the Argonauts Additional Voices
2011 Star Wars: The Old Republic
2013 Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII
2016 Let It Die Mother Barb (voice) [18]
2019 Dota 2 Snapfire (voice)


Newman has been nominated for awards numerous times, most notably for an Emmy in 1979 as a writer for Saturday Night Live.[citation needed]

Awards and nominations
Year Association Category Work Result
1979 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Writing in a Comedy – Variety or Music Series
(shared with the other writers)
Saturday Night Live Nominated
2016 Annie Award Outstanding Achievement in Voice Acting in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production (Voice of "Amber" for the episode "The First Picture Show") Dawn of the Croods Nominated
2012 Behind the Voice Actors Awards Best Vocal Ensemble in a TV Special/Direct-to-DVD Title or Short
(shared with the other cast)
Tom and Jerry & The Wizard of Oz Nominated
2017 Best Vocal Ensemble in a New Television Series
(shared with the other cast)
Milo Murphy's Law Nominated
Best Female Vocal Performance in a Television Series in a Supporting Role
(Voice of "Miss Janeth")
Trollhunters Nominated


  1. ^ "Laraine Newman - About This Person - Movies & TV -".
  2. ^ "California Birth Index, 1905–1995 (Laraine Newman)". United States: The Generations Network. Retrieved May 5, 2009.
  3. ^ "Live From Hillel—It's Laraine! - Arts". Jewish Journal.
  4. ^ @larainenewman (June 11, 2019). "So excited to be in an episode of this great show. Acting with my firstborn Spike Einbinder and the wonderful Fred Armisen and Julio Torres. Thanks for the gig guys. xx" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  5. ^ Samantha Maffucci (November 7, 2019). "Meet Hannah Einbinder — A Comedian To Watch In 2020". Your Tango. Retrieved March 7, 2020. Einbinder’s mother is none other than Laraine Newman, who was an original cast member on Saturday Night Live! Lorne Michaels hired Newman in 1974 after seeing her work with The Groundlings, an improv and sketch group. Following in her mom’s footsteps!
  6. ^ "SNL Reunion".
  7. ^ "Laraine Newman Biography".
  8. ^ "Finally ready for prime time: Newman closes week with laughs".
  9. ^ "Finally ready for prime time: Newman closes week with laughs".
  10. ^ Shales, Tom; Miller, James Andrew (June 4, 2008). "It's Saturday Night!". Vanity Fair. New York City: Condé Nast.
  11. ^ "Laraine Newman".
  12. ^ Prosser, Maggie (July 12, 2018). "Finally ready for prime time: Newman closes week with laughs". The Chautauquan Daily.
  13. ^ Lev Grossman. "And They All Hate Chevy". Time.
  14. ^ Megh Wright. "Saturday Night's Children: Laraine Newman (1975-1980)".
  15. ^ Comcast Interactive Media (June 6, 2009). "SNL's Laraine Newman: Where Is She Now?".
  16. ^ Laraine Newman – The Huffington Post
  17. ^ Luxoflux. True Crime: New York City. Activision. Scene: Pause menu credits, 4:30:37 in, VOICE TALENT.
  18. ^ "Meet the deadly cast of Suda51's new PS4 action game, Let It Die: Mark Hamill, Verne Troyer, Billy Dee Williams and Traci Lords provide voices". PlayStation. November 3, 2016. Retrieved June 10, 2018.

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