Born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, Chris Parnell enrolled at Germantown High School where he took drama and auditioned for every play. In 1985, when he was a senior at Germantown, he was voted "Most Talented" by his classmates. Right after graduating high school, Chris attended North Carolina School of Arts in Winston-Salem, where he received his BFA in Drama. He later performed with the Berkshire Theatre in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and the Alley Theatre in Houston, Texas. Afterwards Chris moved back to Tennessee and taught acting, film, and video at his own Germantown High School. He became bored, however, with teaching and moved to Los Angeles. Once in LA, he got a job at FAO Schwartz in Beverly Center, where he eventually became Operations Manager. During that time, Chris began taking classes at The Groundlings Main Company, where many "Saturday Night Live" (1975) cast members are discovered. Fate would have it that talent scouts from "Saturday Night Live" (1975) saw him and asked him to fly to New York for an audition. Completely surprised by his chances, he took the offer. To his amazement soon after he joined "Saturday Night Live" (1975) and became a featured player in the 1998-99 season. Parnell has since performed many impressions as NBC News' Tom Brokaw, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Tom Hanks, Senator John McCain, and Eminem. Parnell has also appeared as a member of "Saturday Night Live" (1975)'s resident boy band "Seven Degrees Celsius," but his biggest claim to fame on the show was when he performed an unforgettable hardcore gansta rap fantasizing about a dream date with Britney Spears on Weekend Update. He spends most of his summers in L.A. where he owns his own car and apartment.IMDb Mini Biography By: Rod Reece
Often works with Andy Samberg
Has a sister.
Graduate of Germantown High School, Germantown, Tennessee. Performed in shows at the school's Poplar Pike Playhouse.
As of April 2002, has yet to break character on "Saturday Night Live" (1975).
His first appearance on "Saturday Night Live" (1975) was playing Kenneth Star.
Auditioned for every play in high school and was voted most talented in his class.
Worked at the FAO Schwartz in the Beverly Center in Los Angeles, California before finding work with the Groundlings.
Took over the impression of George W. Bush on "Saturday Night Live" (1975) after Will Ferrell left the show. He beat out fellow cast members Darrell Hammond, Jeff Richards, and Chris Kattan for the role.
Said "Live From New York, It's Saturday Night" for the first time on only his sixth episode of "Saturday Night Live" (1975).
Has gone on record that Julianna Margulies and Gwyneth Paltrow are two of his favorite hosts to work with on "Saturday Night Live" (1975). Ironically enough, he missed working with Paltrow for a second time since she returned to host the show during the twelve episode period when he was fired.
The first "Saturday Night Live" (1975) sketch that he wrote that made it on the air was a commercial parody of the musical "Cats.".
On some occasions, he will wind up doing more voice-overs for an "Saturday Night Live" (1975) episode than actual on-camera appearances.
Auditioned for the lead role for the NBC sitcom "Working" (1997) but lost out to Fred Savage. However, the casting director remembered him and cast him a few years later in an online comedic short-film called _Farm Sluts (2003)_.
Has performed hardcore raps about "Saturday Night Live" (1975) hosts Britney Spears, Kirsten Dunst, Jennifer Garner and Demi Moore/Ashton Kutcher. He writes them with the assistance of various "Saturday Night Live" (1975) writers and musical composers.
Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan tried to get him his job back shortly after he had been fired, but to no avail. It would later take Ferrell being off filming Old School (2003) and Darrell Hammond in rehab to get Lorne Michaels to change his mind.
His firing/rehiring has been a frequent running gag on "Saturday Night Live" (1975). In one sketch, it was said that "Will Ferrell had him fired so he could get his brother Patty Ferrell (Patrick Farrell) on the show!" In a song that Chris himself sang, he said, "Lorne liked me so much that he hired me twice!".
Contrary to popular belief, he did not swallow the food Will Ferrell "fed" him during the infamous "Saturday Night Live" (1975) sketch "The Regurgitating Family" (with host Julianna Margulies). The camera would quickly cut to someone else after the food entered his mouth and he spit it out into a towel on his lap.
An expert at stage-fighting, so he has frequently beaten up and killed in "Saturday Night Live" (1975) sketches. He has been beaten up by Dwayne Johnson, Paul Levesque, Mick Foley, Mick Foley, and Jackie Chan. He has been killed by Christopher Walken, Robert De Niro, and Will Ferrell, among others.
His first solo recurring character on "Saturday Night Live" (1975) was Merv the Perv, who debuted in 2002. However, it took over a year for Merv the Perv to make a return appearance.
His dream acting role is to play Edmund in a production of "King Lear."
Enjoys shopping at The Gap.
Is such a dedicated alumnus of Germantown High School that he recently chaperoned a theater trip to London.
Frequently wears plaid.
While in high school, he played one of the brothers in a production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat." He also announced football games and provided on-air reports.
Decided to pursue a career in comedy after performing in the play "Greater Tuna" while in high school. He and his friend Dan McLeary each played ten different comedic characters.
His dad, Jack Parnell, has been in the voice-over industry for 40+ years, and has worked as the "image voice" for local Memphis businesses (Kroger, Federal Express) and a local TV station, but has voiced countless TV/radio commercials and instructional video presentations throughout the US and internationally.
The character of Brick Tamland, the mentally retarded weather man, in 'Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy' (2004) was written by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay with Parnell in mind. Steve Carell ultimately took the role, so they gave Parnell the part of the overly-sensitive stage producer Garth Holliday instead.
Was roommates with actress Nadia Dajani during his early years on Saturday Night Live.
On staying in character: "Sometimes it's very hard, but hopefully you are in the moment as an actor and you are just trying to react as the character in the scene would."
What he learned from doing impressions on "Saturday Night Live" (1975): "The main thing is to be funny, whether people know (the impersonation) or not. You have to let go of the fact no one knows this person and just try to be funny, ultimately." On watching "Saturday Night Live" (1975): "When I was very little ... we'd go up to my grandmother's in Milan, Tennessee, and because we were there, we didn't go to church the next day. So me and my dad would stay up late and catch "Saturday Night Live" (1975) on her small black-and-white set."
When asked what project didn't live up to what he envisioned: "SNL, but only in the respect that I didn't envision getting fired."
(2001) Chris Parnell is back on SNL
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