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Chris Elliott
Chris Elliott by Gage Skidmore (cropped).jpg
Elliott at the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con
Christopher Nash Elliott

(1960-05-31) May 31, 1960 (age 64)
  • Actor
  • comedian
  • writer
  • director
  • author
Years active 1982–present
Paula Niedert
(m. 1986)
Parent(s) Bob Elliott (father)

Christopher Nash Elliott (born May 31, 1960) is an American actor, comedian, writer, director, and author. He appeared in comedic sketches on Late Night with David Letterman (1982–1988), created and starred in the comedy series Get a Life (1990–1992) on Fox, and wrote and starred in the film Cabin Boy (1994). His writing has won four consecutive Primetime Emmy Awards. His other television appearances include recurring roles on Everybody Loves Raymond (2003–2005) and How I Met Your Mother (2009–2014), starring as Chris Monsanto in Adult Swim's Eagleheart (2011–2014) and starring as Roland Schitt in Schitt's Creek (2015–2020). He also appeared in the film Groundhog Day (1993), There's Something About Mary (1998), Snow Day (2000) and Scary Movie 2 (2001).

Early life

Elliott was born in New York City, and is the youngest of five children of Lee (née Peppers), a model and TV director, and Bob Elliott, who was part of the successful comedy team Bob and Ray. He grew up on the Upper East Side. He attended the National Theater Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center for a semester.


Elliott was hired as a production assistant on Late Night with David Letterman, and was with the show from its very beginning in February 1982. Over the first year of the show, he was seen on camera irregularly and usually in small sketch roles. In the spring of 1983, Elliott became a writer on the show and his on-camera appearances became more frequent. He became known in the mid-to-late 1980s for playing an assortment of recurring quirky, oddball characters on Late Night. His characters on the show included:

  • "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.
  • "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 Fugitive Guy": a parody of the TV series The Fugitive
  • "The Laid Back Guy": When the studio changed his name on the West Coast to Pierce, Chris portrayed the laid back guy based on his observations of the differences between the West and East Coast. Laid back guy only appeared during West Coast interviews, and stayed around to make sure that Dave "kept things cool."
  • "The Regulator Guy": a parody of 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. Chris in fact appeared on an episode of The Equalizer playing a peeping Tom mildly assaulted by 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.
  • "Skylark": an obnoxious, generic, Las Vegas lounge lizard with similar flamboyant features and characteristics as Rip Taylor (including throwing confetti). Skylark debuted when Late Night went to Las Vegas for a week of shows.
  • "Marlon Brando": a parody of Brando, whom Elliott portrays as a semi-deranged man who performs a "banana dance" to the tune of "Alley Cat".
  • "Chris Elliott Jr.": a spoof of talk-show host Morton Downey Jr.
  • "Johnny Graham": a cabaret musician who hosted the Johnny Graham Piano Request Show in the style of John Wallowitch.

During one Late Night special focused on short films, Elliott was the star of a short about himself entitled "A Television Miracle", in which he alluded 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.

As his career on Late Night blossomed, Elliott also took small movie roles, often as a supporting actor in non-comedies such as Michael Mann's Manhunter and James Cameron's The Abyss. He also has a small supporting role in an episode of Miami Vice.

In 1986, Elliott co-wrote and starred in the Cinemax special FDR: A One Man Show, a spoof comedy about the life and times of the president. Elliott 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
Chris Elliott at the 41st Emmy Awards in 1989

Elliott left Late Night in early 1990, though he would return as a guest interview subject many times on Late Night and Letterman's subsequent talk show The Late Show with David Letterman.

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's 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. That year he also appeared as a news cameraman in the Harold Ramis film Groundhog Day.

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. He was nominated for a Razzie Award as Worst New Star.

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

His other television credits include the chowder taster on Throwdown with Bobby Flay, airdate 9/2/09, and the voice of Dogbert on the short-run show Dilbert for UPN. ..... 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. From 2009 to 2014, Elliott played the estranged father of How I Met Your Mother character Lily Aldrin, whose relationship strengthened as the show progressed. As well as multiple appearances on The King of Queens, Elliott made guest appearances on Late Show, That '70s Show in the episode "2000 Light Years From Home", and According to Jim. From February 3, 2011 to January 16, 2014, Elliott starred in the Adult Swim series Eagleheart, produced by Conan O'Brien's production company, Conaco.

In 2015, he had a guest role on an episode of NBC's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and began a starring role as Roland Schitt in Schitt's Creek. In 2016, he co-starred with Amy Sedaris on the Sony Crackle series Thanksgiving. Elliott was also in an Avocados from Mexico commercial in February 2018.

In 2021 he was cast in Maggie, an ABC sitcom pilot starring Rebecca Rittenhouse that was subsequently picked up by Hulu, and he voiced the character of Rocket in Marvel New Media/SiriusXM's radio drama podcast series Marvel's Wastelanders: Star-Lord, appearing alongside Timothy Busfield, Patrick Page, Vanessa Williams and Danny Glover.


Elliott has written four 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. ..... 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. And The Guy Under The Sheets is an "unauthorized autobiography" that tells a comedically fictional version of Elliott's life in which Elliott "reveals" that he is the son not of comedian Bob Elliott, but, rather, of playwright Sam Elliot and actress Bette Davis.

Personal life

Elliott has been married to Paula Niedert since 1986. Niedert worked as a talent coordinator on Late Night with David Letterman when they met. They have two daughters: Abby and Bridey. Abby was a cast member of Saturday Night Live from 2008 until 2012, making her the first SNL cast member to be the child of a previous cast member. His father Bob Elliott, of the popular comedy duo Bob & Ray, co-starred on an SNL Christmas episode in the 1978–1979 (fourth) season, making for three generations of Elliotts on SNL.



Year Film Role Notes
1983 Lianna Lighting Assistant
1984 Gremloids Hopper
1985 My Man Adam Mr. Spooner
1986 Manhunter Zeller
1989 The Abyss Bendix
New York Stories Robber
1993 The Travelling Poet Alan Squire Short film; also director
CB4 A. White
Groundhog Day Larry
1994 Cabin Boy Nathanial Mayweather Story by (with Adam Resnick), Razzie Award nominee for Worst New Star
Poolside Ecstasy The Pool Boy Short film; also director
Housewives: The Making of the Cast Album Chris the Diva Short film; also director
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 "Snowplowman" Stubblefield
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
2014 The Rewrite Jim
2016 Better Off Single Angela's Dad
2017 Sandy Wexler Mr. Buttons
Frat Star Eugene Cooper
2018 Clara's Ghost Ted Reynolds
2021 Christmas vs. the Walters Dr. Tom


Year Title Role Notes
1982–1988 Late Night with David Letterman Various roles Also writer
1986 FDR: A One Man Show Franklin Delano Roosevelt Television film
1987 Action Family Chris Television film
1987 Miami Vice Danny Allred Episode: "Down for the Count: Part II"
1987 The Equalizer Rags Maloney Episode: "Coal Black Soul"
1987-1988 Friday Night Videos Host, various 3 episodes
1989 Tattingers Spin 3 episodes
1990–1992 Get a Life Chris Peterson 36 episodes
1992 Medusa: Dare to Be Truthful Andy Television film
1994 The Adventures of Pete & Pete Meterman Ray Episode: "Sick Day"
1994–1995 Saturday Night Live Various roles 19 episodes
1995–1996 Murphy Brown Steve 2 episodes
1995 The Larry Sanders Show Himself Episode: "Larry's Sitcom"
1995 The Barefoot Executive Jase Wallenberg Television film
1996 Wings Steve Episode: "...Like a Neighbor Scorned"
1997 Duckman Dr. Reamus Elliott (voice) Episode: "All About Elliott"
1997 Sabrina the Teenage Witch Warren Episode: "Mars Attracts!"
1997–1998 The Naked Truth Bradley Crosby 10 episodes
1998 Hercules Triton (voice) Episode: "Hercules and the Son of Poseidon"
1998 The Nanny Chris Malley Episode: "Oh, Say, Can You Ski?"
1999 Tracey Takes On... Gilbert Bronson Episode: "Books"
1999–2000 Dilbert Dogbert (voice) 30 episodes
2000 The Outer Limits Jack Parson Episode: "Judgment Day"
2000–2001 Cursed Larry Heckman 17 episodes
2001–2006 The King of Queens F. Moynihan / Pete 2 episodes
2001 Ed Chet Bellafiore Episode: "The New World"
2002–2004 According to Jim Reverend Pierson 3 episodes
2002 Still Standing Jeff Hackman Episode: "Still Spending"
2003–2005 Everybody Loves Raymond Peter MacDougall 10 episodes
2003–2008 King of the Hill Chris Sizemore / Ed Burnett / Rob Holguin (voice) 5 episodes
2004 Third Watch Jeffrey Barton 2 episodes
2005 That '70s Show Mr Bray Episode: "2000 Light Years from Home"
2006 Minoriteam Space Drifter (voice) Episode: "Space Driftin'"
2008 Code Monkeys Chris (voice) Episode: "Benny's Birthday"
2008–2015 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Anton Thibodeaux / Pete Matthews 2 episodes
2009–2014 How I Met Your Mother Mickey 11 episodes
2010 Futurama V-Giny (voice) Episode: "In-A-Gadda-Da-Leela"
2011–2014 Eagleheart Chris Monsanto 34 episodes
2011 SpongeBob SquarePants Captain/Lord Poltergeist (voice) Episode: "Ghoul Fools"
2011 Bored to Death Fishman Episode: "Forget the Herring"
2012 Metalocalypse Klokateer / Dr. Commander Vermin Chuntspinkton (voice) 2 episodes
2014 Community Russell Borchert Episode: "Basic Sandwich"
2014 Hot in Cleveland Luke Episode: "Elka Takes a Lover"
2014 The Birthday Boys Dr. Gerard Loudon Episode: "The U.S. Healthcare System"
2015–2020 Schitt's Creek Roland Schitt 79 episodes
2015 The Good Wife Adrian Fluke Episode: "Hail Mary"
2015 Nurse Jackie Vigilante Jones Episode: "Vigilante Jones"
2015 The Knick Port Authority Officer Episode: "There Are Rules"
2016 Graves Thomas Nash 3 episodes
2017 Friends from College Mentalist Episode: "A Night of Surprises"
2017 Difficult People Rick Episode: "Rabbitversary"
2017 Fresh Off the Boat Adam 2 episodes
2017 The Last Man on Earth Glenn 2 episodes
2017 At Home with Amy Sedaris Rich Uncle Episode: "Entertaining for Peanuts"
2020 The Shivering Truth (voice) Episode: "The Diff"
2022 Maggie Jack 13 episodes
2023 Agent Elvis Timothy Leary (voice) 3 episodes


Primetime Emmy Awards

  • 1984 Outstanding Writing in a Variety, Comedy or Music Program for Late Night with David Letterman
  • 1985 Outstanding Writing in a Variety, Comedy or Music Program for Late Night with David Letterman
  • 1986 Outstanding Writing in a Variety, Comedy or Music Program for Late Night with David Letterman
  • 1987 Outstanding Writing in a Variety, Comedy or Music Program for Late Night with David Letterman

Canadian Screen Awards

  • 2016 Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Supporting Role or Guest Role in a Comedic Series for Schitt's Creek

Screen Actors Guild Awards

  • 2020 Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series for Schitt's Creek

See also

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