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Paul Andrew "Andy" Richter (born October 28, 1966) is an Americanmarker actor, writer and comedian. He is best known for his sidekick role on Late Night with Conan O'Brien between 1993 and 2000. He is also known for his work with the Madagascar films, and for the sitcoms Quintuplets, Andy Richter Controls the Universe and Andy Barker P.I. Richter has returned to O'Brien's side as the announcer on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien, which began airing on June 1, 2009.

Early life and career

Richter, the second of four children, was born in Grand Rapids, Michiganmarker. His mother, Glenda Swanson, was a kitchen cabinet designer, and his father, Laurence R. Richter, taught Russian at Indiana University, for more than 32 years. Richter was raised in Yorkville, Illinoismarker. In high school, Andy Richter was elected Prom King and voted "Best Sense of Humor". (MI-Y-HI 1984, Yorkville High School Vol. XLVI)

In the late 1980s Richter attended Columbia College Chicagomarker, as a film major. While at Columbia, he learned the basics of comedic acting and writing by starring in numerous student films and videos. After leaving Columbia in 1988, Richter worked as a production assistant on commercial shoots, in Chicago. In 1989, he began taking classes at Chicago's Improv Olympic. His quick wit and acting skills catapulted him from student to "House Performer" within a year. Richter branched out working with "The Comedy Underground" and the Annoyance Theater.

Richter's reputation earned him a writing job on the short-lived Jonathan Brandmeier television show.

In the early 1990s, the Annoyance Theater hit gold when producer Jill Soloway staged The Real Live Brady Bunch with live, word-for-word performances of the '70s sitcom. The show was so popular that it attracted national attention and moved to New York Citymarker. Richter was not an original member of the cast but the actor who played "Mike Brady" in the Chicago cast opted not to go to New York. Richter asked Soloway if he could play "Mike" in New York and since Soloway hadn't cast a replacement, she agreed.

At the same time The Brady Bunch was playing in New York, two fellow Annoyance members were cast on Saturday Night Live. With friends on SNL, Andy was able to get into the after-show parties where he met SNL head writer Rob Smigel. Two years later, Smigel hired Richter for a new show he was producing, Late Night with Conan O'Brien. Originally hired as a writer, Richter was cast as Conan O'Brien's sidekick just weeks before the show aired in 1993.

Richter departed from Late Night in 2000. He later said of the decision, "After seven years of being on the show, I got itchy. I have a philosophy that if you enjoy good fortune, rather than sit there and say, "Oh, that's fine, this amount is good enough for me," you should try and push it. You should see how much you can stretch your good fortune. And I was curious."

Television work

Series leads

Richter left his post at Late Night in 2000. His first major venture, Fox's Andy Richter Controls the Universe, was canceled after two mid-season runs. His next Fox sitcom, Quintuplets, lasted one season. His most recent television series was Andy Barker P.I., which was co-written and executive produced by Conan O'Brien. In the series Richter played an accountant who could not attract clients. After a woman comes to his office thinking he is the former tenant, a private investigator, she asks him to find her husband who she thinks faked his death. Barker decides to pursue this job and becomes a private detective in earnest, and continues to do his accounting job, which seems to pick up as the series goes on. The series played on NBC, with all six episodes in the first season on The series was canceled after very poor ratings.

He also provides the voice for the character Ben on the TV show The Mighty B! and the voice of the character Mort on the TV show The Penguins of Madagascar, both of which air on Nickelodeon.

Notable guest appearances

  • He appeared in a single episode of the sitcom Malcolm in the Middle as a family psychologist.
  • He provided the voice of the character J.F. Amarth in an episode of Adult Swim's Metalocalypse.
  • He appeared as a special guest judge in the Miss Rumble 2000 Swimsuit Competition held at Royal Rumble 2000.
  • In 2002, he played a priest in The True Meaning of Christmas Specials.
  • He appeared in several episodes of Arrested Development as himself, notably the episode "S.O.B.s" where, in addition to himself, he appears as three of his identical quintuplet brothers (the fifth has his face blurred out because he "would not sign a release", a joke related to the faux-documentary style of the show).
  • He voiced a recurring character (Nelson/"Bong Bong", a panda) in the short-lived animated TV series Father of the Pride.
  • In the CBS series, The New Adventures of Old Christine, he guest starred as Stan the Sad Dad.
  • He appeared in the TV show Monk in the Mr. Monk Makes a Friend episode.
  • He appeared in a single episode of the sitcom Just Shoot Me, where he played an alcoholic motivational speaker that had spread a nasty rumor about Maya Gallo in high school.
  • In 2007, he appeared on 30 Rock as Liz Lemon's brother, who suffers from short-term memory loss caused by a skiing injury that causes him to believe he is still a teenager in the 1980s, even though he's 40 years old.
  • In 2009, he made a one-episode appearance on Bones as the leader of a travelling circus.
  • In 2009, he made a one-episode appearance on Chuck as a Fulcrum agent posing as a resident of a suburban development.

In addition to his recorded roles, he appeared on the very first episode of Talkshow with Spike Feresten. He was also the final guest of Late Night with Conan O'Brien as the show concluded its 16-year run on February 20, 2009.

In July 2009, Richter played for the American League as a first baseman in the 2009 Taco Bell All-Star Legends and Celebrity Softball Game. Representing the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Richter hit a home run in the game.

On September 17, 2009, Richter appeared on Celebrity Jeopardy!, winning against Wolf Blitzer and Dana Delaney, earning a total of $68,000 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospitalmarker in Memphismarker. It would have tied him as the second highest single-day earner in the show's history with Jerome Vered ($34,000 in 1992 before 2001 clue values doubled), behind only Ken Jennings ($75,000), but Jeopardy! rules state official records for single-game and regular winnings records must take place in non-tournament civilian play.

The Tonight Show

On February 24, 2009 it was announced that Richter would be joining Conan O'Brien once again as the announcer for The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien in Los Angeles. Richter frequently appears in comedy sketches on the show and often comments and interacts with Conan during the opening monologue; he is also part of the show's writing staff. Richter said he enjoyed having a steady paycheck again and not having to deal with production companies while developing television shows. Richter said, "Now I'm so happy to be back and making TV every night, not asking permission from somebody and waiting six months to get their sparklingly clear and cogent notes. And then wait another month for them to get back from Hawaii and say, 'Yes, now we can go make television.' I felt like a plumber who kept going into the building and saying, 'Can we put some pipes together?' and watching my wrenches gather dust."

Film work

In addition to his television work, Richter has appeared in motion pictures such as Big Trouble, Elf, Seeing Other People, New York Minute, Madagascar, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, My Boss's Daughter, Scary Movie 2, Cabin Boy, Frank McKlusky, C.I, Pootie Tang, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Blades of Glory, Semi-Pro, and Dr. T & the Women.

Richter appeared in the 2009 movie Aliens in the Attic, starring Ashley Tisdale and Robert Hoffman.

Personal life

Richter is married to comedic actress and writer/author Sarah Thyre, they have two children, William and Mercy. Thyre was part of the cast of the cult comedy series Strangers with Candy, on which Richter made frequent cameo appearances. Richter and Thyre also appeared together playing Hansel and Gretel in an episode of the Upright Citizens Brigade sketch comedy series on Comedy Central in 1998.


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