Chris Elliott Biography


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Birth Name: Chris Elliott
Born: 05/31/1960
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA


Born on May 31, 1960 in New York City, Elliott was the son of venerable humorist and performer Bob Elliott, one half of the celebrated whimsical duo Bob and Ray, and Lee Elliott, his father's second wife. Elliott got his start as an NBC tour guide at the RCA building in New York City, where the quick-witted youth managed to impress late night host David Letterman. A few years later, Elliott was working as a gofer for "Late Night with David Letterman" (NBC, 1982-1993) and worked his way up to auditioning animals for the "Stupid Pet Tricks" portion of the show. He eventually established a rapport with Letterman and became a writer in 1985, gleefully writing himself into as many sketches as he could. Elliott soon became a regular in numerous sketches, usually playing smarmy eccentrics and borderline psychics - most notably The Fugitive Guy and The Guy Under the Seats - while also offering baroque impersonations ranging from Marlon Brando to Morton Downey, Jr. Elliott earned a following by playing against his average guy looks, going on to frequently portray characters ranging from the oddly creepy to flat-out maniacal to the unbearably obnoxious - all to great comic effect.

Not relegating himself to late night television, Elliott began making appearances on the big screen, which were always greeted with hearty laughter by his numerous fans, a disconcerting fact for directors like Michael Mann and James Cameron who had more serious aims. He made his feature debut in an autopsy scene for Mann's psychological thriller "Manhunter" (1986), which he soon followed with his first small screen dramatic guest spot on "The Equalizer" (CBS, 1985-89). He went on to pen and star in two comedy specials, "Action Family" (Cinemax, 1987) and "Chris Elliott's FDR - A One-Man Show" (Cinemax, 1987), before appearing in Francis Ford Coppola's segment of "New York Stories" and James Cameron's undersea thriller "The Abyss" (1989). Elliott gained a small but devoted following as the creator, producer, writer and star of "Get a Life" (Fox, 1990-92), a groundbreaking and often wildly funny sitcom in which he played a perpetually stupid 30-year-old paper boy living at home with his put-upon parents (Elinor Donahue and real-life father Bob Elliott). Both surreal and unconventional, the show - which on several occasions featured Elliott actually dying - was cancelled by the network, which, despite its loyal audience, found the show too disturbing for primetime. Still, the show earned a large number of fans and remained one of the creative highpoints of Elliott's career.

Elliott's feature career resumed with substantial supporting roles in the hip-hop spoof "CB4" (1993) and the acclaimed Bill Murray vehicle, "Groundhog Day" (1993), playing a snide and cynical cameraman to Murray's pompous weatherman, who becomes doomed to living the same day over and over until he learns humanity and compassion. He finally became a feature lead while also writing the script for "Cabin Boy" (1994), an amiably stupid, albeit mean-spirited comedy co-produced by Tim Burton and featuring old friend David Letterman in a cameo. While certainly no Oscar contender, "Cabin Boy" became a punch line among detractors and critics, though his fans helped the movie achieve cult status. Elliott followed up the disappointment with an equally lackluster stint on "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975- ). As a member of cast in the wayward 1994-95 season - which featured Janeane Garofalo and marked the exits of old favorites like Adam Sandler, Chris Farley and David Spade - Elliott was given few onscreen opportunities and had even fewer laughs in a format that simply failed to foster his unique comedic talents.

He fared better with series guest work, including stints on the sitcoms "Murphy Brown" (CBS, 1988-1998), "The Simpsons" (Fox, 1989- ), "Wings" (NBC, 1990-97) and "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch" (ABC/The WB, 1996-2003). In 1997 he joined the cast of the troubled Téa Leoni sitcom "The Naked Truth" (ABC/NBC, 1995-98) as an eccentric photographer for a sleazy tabloid and failed to make much of a mark on this series which, by his own accounts, was a rather unpleasant experience. Elliott returned to form with a supporting role in the Farrelly Brothers' comedy hit "There's Something About Mary" (1998), playing Ben Stiller's terribly creepy friend Dom, a man with a nervous skin condition that leaves him with a rash whenever he is around Cameron Diaz. Turning to animated television, Elliott lent his voice to power-crazed Dogbert on UPN's animated series "Dilbert" (UPN, 1999-2000) while earning greater exposure as the unlikely pitchman for Tostitos chips. Before embarking on his next role as the doctor pal of Steven Weber on the short lived sitcom "The Weber Show/Cursed" (NBC, 2000-01), Elliott took a co-starring role as a lunatic snow plow operator in the family comedy "Snow Day" (2000), while appearing as a restaurant manager in the hit Eddie Murphy comedy, "The Klumps" (2001).

After playing the malformed caretaker of Hell House in the comedy sequel "Scary Movie 2" (2001), Elliott reunited with the Farrelly Brothers for the part-animated, part-live action comedy "Osmosis Jones" (2001), starring Bill Murray. Taking a break from film, Elliott became a regular guest star on several popular series, including "The King of Queens" (CBS, 1998-2007), "Ed" (NBC, 2000-04), "King of the Hill" (Fox, 1997-2010) and "Still Standing" (CBS, 2002-06) while also playing the recurring role of Reverend Gaylord Pierson on "According to Jim" (ABC, 2001-09). Elliott landed a memorable recurring stint as an oddball comic book fan on the hit sitcom "Everybody Loves Raymond" (CBS, 1996-2005), which he started in 2003 and played through till the series finale in 2005. Following a return to the horror-spoof franchise for "Scary Movie 4" (2006), he made a rare foray into dramatic territory with an episode of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (CBS, 1999- ). Back to comedy, he had small roles in "I'll Believe in You" (2007), the musical spook "Dance Flick" (2008) and "Speed-Dating" (2010), before returning to regular series programming with "Eagleheart" (Cartoon Network, 2011- ), a parody-comedy co-produced with Conan O'Brien's Conaco production company in which he played a Texas Marshal who has his own unique way of dispensing justice - usually with over-the-top violence.




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