Chris was a cast member of Saturday Night Live from 1998-2006 where he got to work with some pretty amazing people. He was a part of many memorable sketches and commercial parodies including “The Cowbell Sketch,” “The Centaur,” “Wade Blasingame: Dog Attorney” and one of the first viral videos, “Lazy Sunday.” He was also known for his “Weekend Update” raps, several recurring characters including ‘Merv the Perv’ and ‘Tyler’ from “Appalachian Emergency Room,” as well as many impressions including Tom Brokaw, Senator Joe Lieberman and Eminem.
Currently, Chris plays ‘Dr. Leo Spaceman’ on NBC’s award-winning 30 Rock and is a series regular on the ABC sitcom Suburgatory, as ‘Fred Shay.’
On the big screen, Chris recently appeared in the Judd Apatow/Universal Pictures feature The Five Year Engagement, as well as Columbia Pictures21 Jump Street. Past film work includes Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Hot Rod, The Grand and Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. Chris made his feature film debut in 1996 in Jingle All the Way, playing a toy store salesman opposite his future governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Chris got a degree in drama from the North Carolina School of the Arts, did summer stock with the Berkshire Theatre Festival in Stockbridge, Massachusetts and performed with the Alley Theater in Houston. After moving to Los Angeles and taking many improvisation and sketch writing classes at The Groundlings Theatre, Parnell became a member of the company in 1997.