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Tim Meadows' return to the stage

Former 'SNL' star, and Ladies Man on upcoming projects, working with Chris Farley, and his own comedy

It's not every day that the Ladies Man himself is open for questioning.

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Yet Tim Meadows, star of the cult classic movie of the same name, made famous in sketches on "Saturday Night Live," has been on the up-and-up lately. Meadows has a handful of new projects being released within the next year, including a mockumentary with fellow former "SNL" cast member Andy Samberg and a scene-stealing part in IFC's new mini-series "The Spoils Before Dying." And he should know all about scene stealing; Meadows also supplies the voice to dry-humored Mike the Mailman in Fox's hit animated comedy "Bob's Burgers."

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Yet aside from his increasing amount of film and television gigs, Meadows is adamant about staying true to his first love: stand-up comedy.

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"I think I'll always prefer doing stand-up," Meadows says. "You know, it's really immediately rewarding. It's really nice to actually see people coming out to watch me perform."

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Meadows chatted with Creative Loafing about his Georgia roots, fond memories of best friend Chris Farley, and what he misses most about "SNL."

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How are you?

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I'm fine, thanks. I'm in Chicago right now and I'm getting my emissions testing done. I passed! Let everyone in Atlanta know I passed my emissions test.

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Yay! So you'll be performing in Atlanta soon. Have you spent much time here before?

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Yeah, I've worked there a few times. I worked there during the filming of Mean Girls 2, which is the horrible sequel to Mean Girls. Also, my mother was born in Valdosta, so I have a little bit of Georgia blood.

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You've been in a string of new projects lately, including the upcoming movie Nigel & Oscar vs. The Sasquatch. What can you tell me about your role?

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I play the villain. It's been one of the few times I've been asked to play the bad guy. In the movie there are two groups of researchers looking for Bigfoot. I'm a well-funded explorer and I'm trying to steal information from the other groups. It was fun! Being the bad guy, there wasn't a lot of weight on me to be charming or anything like that laughs.

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I actually realized not long ago that you supply the voice for Mike the Mailman in "Bob's Burgers." I can only imagine that working on that show is hilarious.

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Oh, thanks! Yeah it's really fun, and my kids love it, too. I never tell them when I'm on the show, because I like it to be a surprise for them. It's fun. In the studio we record separately. Basically I just go into the studio and they tell me what's happening in the scene, and I read the lines like how I feel Mike would react.

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You also have another upcoming movie, Conner4Real, where you star alongside Andy Samberg and the Lonely Island. How was filming, especially with another former "SNL" cast member?

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We just finished shooting a couple weeks ago. It's sort of a mockumentary about this boy-singing group and one of the lead singers leaves to become a star of his own. I basically play the manager of the Lonely Island guys when they're young singers. And then when Andy's character goes solo, I'm his manager, too. He's Connor, who's like a combination of Justin Bieber and Justin Timberlake.

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What was it like on set with the Lonely Island?

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There was a lot of improvising. Honestly it was one of the most fun projects I've gotten to work on. We actually got to a place where I would ask the director before the scene, "Should I know my lines in this?" Because there were some days where I'd come in and have the lines learned, and they'd be like, "Well we're just gonna do it with those lines once," and then they'd pull out a notebook full of alternative lines of dialogue. I really hit it off with the Lonely Island. The thing that was really cool was that they were big fans of The Ladies Man, and they'd quote lines and, you know, relate to that movie. That made me really happy that they were fans. It was nice to see.

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I can't go through this interview without asking about your stellar "SNL" career. You really made a name for yourself there. What, if anything, do you miss about being on the show?

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I really miss the Thursdays when we would do re-writes for the show at the writers' table. We'd be on the 17th floor in the conference room and we would have all the scripts for the week and we would read each one, and then we would pick new jokes or weed out weaknesses, stuff like that. We'd just do it all day, from 1 o'clock until midnight or 1 in the morning. That, to me, was the most fun that I had all week long. Sometimes I'll be watching repeats of %22SNL%22 now, and I'll see a sketch that I didn't write, but there will be a joke in it that I pitched in the writer's meeting. And I'll be like, "Wow, that's my joke! I remember coming up with that."

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Do you still ever find yourself creating ideas for skits in your head?

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Yeah, sometimes I do. Now that I do stand-up, a lot of ideas that I come up with, if I think it's really funny, even if it's a sketch-like idea, I try to find out a way to change it so I can do it on stage in my act.

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You began your comedy career alongside such greats as Chris Farley while in Chicago's Second City comedy troupe. Can you tell me a little bit about those days?

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Farley was my closest friend in comedy basically. We got started together. We got hired at "SNL" together. And like any close friend, we shared a lot of intimate secrets and conversations. There are a lot of memories that I have of Farley that are just great. He was my best friend.

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You've been doing stand-up comedy for most of your life. For someone who's never seen your stand-up, what should they expect?

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I guess the best way to think of it would be to imagine if Richard Pryor and Steve Martin had a baby. That combination would basically be my comedy act.

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You have extensive experience in both film and stand-up comedy. At this stage in your life, which do you prefer?

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I think I'll always prefer doing stand-up. You know, it's really immediately rewarding. It's really nice to actually see people coming out to watch me perform. And I always say to the crowd how much I appreciate them coming out.

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