Tim Meadows is no stranger to the highs and lows of parenthood.
The actor has two sons, Isaiah and Julian, with ex-wife Michelle Taylor. Since becoming a dad in the early 2000s, he’s shared glimpses into his parenting experience in various interviews.
In honor of his birthday, here are 10 quotes about fatherhood from Meadows.
On Work-Life Balance
“It’s not easy. When people say that time flies by when you have kids, it really does. What I try to do is when I’m gone to work I dedicate myself to the job but I still maintain communication with my kids, whether it’s FaceTime or texting or being on the phone. However, when I’m in Chicago, I just don’t work. Even though there are TV shows and things happening here, I never seek to be a part of those things because when I’m here I’m strictly in dad mode.”
On Going Through Divorce On And Offscreen
“If it’s an episode that does not deal with me being divorced, then I’ll watch it with my kids. I explain it to them cause they’re six and eight years old, so they understand that it’s just pretend and everything. But for me, it’s too personal to have to explain, ‘When that guy is talking about his ex-wife, I’m not talking about your mommy.’ I try to keep that aspect of it separated.”
On His Kids’ Interest In His Work
“They love ‘Bob’s Burgers.’ It was one of the first shows I thought we could watch together that I’m in. The first time I showed it to them my character, Mike the mailman, came in, did a scene, and then leaves. And I look at my kids and nothing. So I said, ‘Did you know who that was?’ And they were like, ‘No.’ Ugh! Rewind! They didn’t even recognize my voice.”
On Animated Movies
″[‘The Lego Movie’] was one of those movies that surprised me. Like I took my kids to see it and I’m thinking, ‘It’s Legos and they’re kids so they’ll like it’ and I ended up loving it! I thought it was amazing. They did such a great job with it and I was really caught off guard with how much I loved the movie. It was totally unexpected.”
On His Sons’ Comedy Tastes
“I don’t know, they never really ask about it. They’ve met a lot of my friends, so they’ve become fans. They didn’t even know who Adam Sandler was, and then I did the ‘Grown Ups’ movie and I took my kids to the set, so they got to meet all those guys in that movie. And then later they went back and watched some stuff and were like, ‘Holy cow! “Happy Gilmore” is really funny!’ I was glad they liked my friends’ comedy, it was a big relief!”
On Keeping Up With His Kids
“I was complaining to my kids because my back and legs were sore, and my son asked, ‘Well, what are you doing all day?’ I said, ‘I have to sit in a car all day.’ And he’s like, ‘And that’s what’s making you sore? Sitting in a car? Dad, you are weak!’”
On Being Single
“[My ‘Ladies Man’ character] Leon Phelps would tell my [‘Bill Engvall Show’] character [Paul] that you gotta try more. Leon would tell him to change his style of clothes, too. [Paul] is close enough to me in that I’m divorced, the only difference is that I have kids. We haven’t used anything from my personal life yet except for my own frustration and anger in dating. I find it as difficult as my character sometimes. He’s a divorced hair-replacement specialist who’s very frustrated about dating and he’s wondering how come chicks don’t dig him cause he’s rich.”
On Impressing His Sons
“Don’t laugh, but I actually saw the Justin Bieber film in theaters when it first came out. I have two kids, though. ‘Never Say Never.’ That was the first one, right? I saw it with my kids. And then... cool story... I was in New York when we saw it, and Justin Bieber was on ‘SNL’ as a guest. I think Dana Carvey was hosting. But I was up there in the back outside of (producer Lorne Michaels’) office with my kids right before the live show. Justin Bieber came up, and he walked around the corner, and he went ‘Oh wow! Tim Meadows!’ And I said ‘Hey, Justin! How ya doing?’ I said ‘These are my sons,’ I introduced him. And then he walked in and was like “Hey, it’s nice to meet you guys.” He talked to my kids for a second. Then he walked into the meeting with Lorne. And then my kids looked at me, and I was like [cool] ‘Yeah! Justin Bieber said Tim Meadows.’”
On Discouraging His Sons From Acting
“I tell my kids I don’t want them to become actors because of the amount of rejection involved. I’m not surprised when shows are canceled even if they do well. Of course, it hurts, and you want the work to continue. Rejection is nothing you ever get used to, but you learn to accept it.”
On People Who Criticize His Work
“It’s easy for people to say that. That’s their opinion, and everybody has them. That’s fine. But those people don’t have to put food on my table or clothes on my kids’ backs. I would love to only be doing David Mamet movies, but that’s not the career I have. I’m a journeyman.”