Comedian Tim Meadows was one of Saturday Night Lives longest-running cast members. Twelve years later, the former Ladies Man is focusing on stand-up comedy between improv, film, and TV work, and performs at The Comedy Zone through Saturday.
Q. What drew you to comedy growing up?
It was dominant on television. I just had a natural interest in comedy, whether it be Monty Python or SNL or Second City or Mad Magazine or National Lampoons.
Q. How did you get your start?
I started out doing improvisational comedy in Chicago. You learn about working in front of an audience. The past three years I started doing stand-up more and writing for myself more and getting comfortable on stage, which was a major difference from improv, when you have a bunch of people on stage. In the beginning, (stand-up comedy is) really scary because I dont have anybody else to help me out if I get into a tough situation. You learn in improv to face the fear of performing and failing. If I were to fail, it wouldnt be the end of the world.
Q. You also got back into improv fairly recently, didnt you?
I didnt ever stop doing it. I just didnt do it as much. Three or four years ago, I started doing it more steadily. I mainly wanted to get comfortable on stage.
Q. Do you ever miss SNL, especially during an election season?
No. I dont miss it at all. There was a time when I wasnt doing stand-up and wasnt performing on stage when something would happen in the news, when I didnt have that outlet. When you have that outlet, you dont miss SNL as much. The other day I was watching a newscast of a press conference with (New York City) Mayor (Michael) Bloomberg, and he was talking about relief and damages after the storm. I noticed his sign-language interpreter was doing these exaggerated movements and I thought, Oh, they should do something on this on SNL. Then this weekend, I heard that they did.
Q. Who makes you laugh out loud?
When I watch Jason Sudeikis. I think that whole cast, I laugh loud when I watch that show. Parks and Recreation. 30 Rock, The Office. And Sasha Baron Cohen.
Q. I know you were on the ABC sitcom Suburgatory and the new syndicated sitcom Mr. Box Office. Do you have anything else in the works that youre excited about?
I sort of just work. Im not like in Spider-Man 4. Im excited equally about everything I do. I dont get overly excited. When people ask me I dont know, its been a long year. I dont even keep track.