Thomas Christopher "Chris" Parnell (born February 5, 1967) is an American comic actor best known as a cast member on Saturday Night Live from 1998–2006 and currently for his recurring role as Dr. Leo Spaceman on NBC's Emmy Award-winning comedy series 30 Rock. Parnell also co-starred in the short-lived 2008 sitcom Miss Guided and is currently one of the lead voices on the FX animated comedy Archer. Parnell most recently starred alongside his former SNL castmate Horatio Sanz in the Comedy Central series Big Lake.

Early life

Parnell was born and raised to a Southern Baptist family in Memphis, Tennessee and graduated from Germantown High School and later attended the University of North Carolina School of the Arts where he received his BFA in Drama. After graduating, Parnell moved back to Tennessee and taught acting and film at his former high school. He still had a strong passion for performing and eventually moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. While in Los Angeles he began performing with The Groundlings where he was eventually discovered by Saturday Night Live.


After performing as a company player with The Groundlings for a number of years, Parnell was hired to join the cast of Saturday Night Live as a featured player on September 26, 1998, and was promoted to repertory player the following season. In the summer of 2001, budget cuts and hiring four new cast members required Lorne Michaels to dismiss two cast members; he chose to lay off Parnell and Jerry Minor over Horatio Sanz, Rachel Dratch, and Maya Rudolph.

After returning to SNL, Parnell appeared in numerous sketches, and commercial parodies, and performed memorable impressions of various celebrities. One of his most popular sketches is Lazy Sunday, a rap video he shot with Andy Samberg about buying cupcakes and going to see The Chronicles of Narnia. He has also performed raps about hosts Jennifer Garner, Britney Spears, Kirsten Dunst and Ashton Kutcher.

In the summer of 2006, Lorne Michaels announced that four cast members would be fired due to budget cuts, but he did not say who.[1] On September 22, 2006 it was announced that three cast members had been fired: Parnell, Horatio Sanz, and Finesse Mitchell. This effectively made him the only SNL performer to have been fired twice by Lorne Michaels, though Parnell did say in a 2008 interview with The Sound of Young America podcast that he was okay with being let go this time, because he was considering leaving after that season anyway, but added that he probably would have stayed one last season if he was asked back. He had been with SNL for eight seasons; at the time only four people (Darrell Hammond, Tim Meadows, Kevin Nealon, and Al Franken) have been cast members longer. He has since made uncredited cameo appearances on the show, most recently in 2008 parodying newscasters Tom Brokaw, Jim Lehrer, and Bob Schieffer.

Parnell and his former SNL castmate Horatio Sanz recently starred together in Big Lake, a 2010 sitcom on Comedy Central from executive producers Will Ferrell and Adam McKay.

Recurring characters on SNL

  • Alan "Sticks" McRae, one of Deandra Wells's drummers
  • Daniel, a student from Jimmy Fallon's "Jarrett's Room" sketch who lived in the dorm next to Jarret and Gobi and always falls for their bogus tricks to get girls (because of Parnell's short-lived termination, Parnell's Daniel was replaced by Jeff Richards's character, Jeff, a jock whose gross habits are always caught on Jarret's webcam)
  • Jeph, a member of the boy band 7 Degrees Celsius
  • Kevin Aquarius, a dancer covered in silver paint who does the robot on the talk show "Veronica and Co."
  • One of the Lundford Twins' Feel Good Variety Hour dancers
  • Merv "The Perv" Watson, a sleazy man who hits on women with equally sleazy double-entendres. Has a British cousin named Steve the Skeev (played by Colin Farrell) and a twin brother named Irv (played by Johnny Knoxville).
  • Sean DeMarco, a wannabe dancer who auditions to be an interpretive dancer for SNL's musical guests.
  • Tato, the strange manservant to bizarre art dealers Nuni and Nooni
  • An eyepatched Telemundo actor from Besos Y Lagrimas
  • Terrye Funck, a wannabe talk show host who creates his own show in the basement of his mom's house
  • Thad from Gays In Space
  • Tyler, a frequent patient from the recurring sketch Appalachian Emergency Room who always tells Nerod (Seth Meyers) the receptionist tall tales about how he got an object (can of Axe body spray, jar of cotton balls, a plastic bowling pin, a Native American rainstick, his car keys, etc) stuck up his rectum (and in one case, how he got a watermelon stuck to his penis).
  • Warren Kirney, a married man who always convinces the hired help in his family to have a three-way with him and his wife (Ana Gasteyer)
  • Wayne Bloder, a barfly who always hits on the women there, along with his brother, Kip (played by Jimmy Fallon)
  • DJ Intro, a DJ who can sing every action. ("SNL, On "Deep House Dish")

Celebrity impersonations on SNL



Music appearances

See also


External links

pl:Chris Parnell

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