Andy Richter
Andy Richter at the 2013 Final Four in Atlanta Georgia 02 (cropped).jpg
Richter at the 2013 Final Four in Atlanta, Georgia
Paul Andrew Richter

(1966-10-28) October 28, 1966 (age 55)
Alma materColumbia College Chicago
  • Actor
  • comedian
  • writer
Years active1988–present
Notable work
(m. 1994; div. 2019)
Comedy career
  • Television
  • film

Paul Andrew "Andy" Richter (born October 28, 1966) is an American actor, comedian, writer, and talk show announcer. He is best known as the sidekick for Conan O'Brien on each of O'Brien's talk shows: Late Night and The Tonight Show on NBC and Conan on TBS. He voiced Mort in the Madagascar film franchise and Ben Higgenbottom in the Nickelodeon animated television series The Mighty B!.

Early life

Richter, the third of four children, was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to mother Glenda Swanson (née Palmer), a kitchen cabinet designer, and father Laurence R. Richter, who taught Russian at Indiana University for more than 32 years.[1][2][3] Richter was raised in Yorkville, Illinois. He graduated from Yorkville High School in 1984, where he was elected Prom King.[4][5] His parents divorced when he was 4 and his father later came out as gay.[6]


Andy Richter as "Pope" of the "Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus" 2015 New Orleans Mardi Gras parade.
Andy Richter as "Pope" of the "Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus" 2015 New Orleans Mardi Gras parade.

In the late 1980s, Richter attended the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign and Columbia College Chicago 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. He went from student to "House Performer" within a year. Richter branched out working with "The Comedy Underground" and the Annoyance Theatre. Richter wrote for the short-lived Jonathan Brandmeier television show.

In the early 1990s, the Annoyance Theatre hit gold when producer Joey 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 City. 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 had not cast a replacement, he agreed.[citation needed]

Late Night with Conan O'Brien

At the same time The Real Live Brady Bunch was playing in New York, two fellow Annoyance members (Beth Cahill and Melanie Hutsell, who played Marcia and Jan Brady in the "Real Live Brady Bunch" stage show) were hired as cast members on Saturday Night Live. With friends on SNL, Richter attended after-show parties, where he met SNL writer Robert Smigel. Two years later, Smigel hired Richter as a writer for a new show he was producing, Late Night with Conan O'Brien. Smigel sent Richter to join Conan O'Brien on stage during a practice run-through when the production staff was testing lighting angles and sound, and noticed the two had a strong rapport. He became O'Brien's sidekick just weeks before the show began airing in 1993.[7]

Richter departed from Late Night after the show on May 26, 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."[8]

After Late Night

Richter left his post at Late Night in 2000 to pursue a career acting in films and television. 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 2007 television series, Andy Barker P.I., was co-written and executive produced by Conan O'Brien. In the series, Richter played an accountant who could not attract clients.[9] 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 aired on NBC, with all six episodes in the first season on The series was canceled after very poor ratings despite being named by Entertainment Weekly as one of the Top Ten Shows of 2007.[10]

The Tonight Show

On February 24, 2009, it was announced that Richter would rejoin O'Brien as the announcer for The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien in Los Angeles.[11] Richter frequently appeared in comedy sketches on the show and often commented and interacted with Conan during the opening monologue; he was also part of the show's writing staff. In mid-December 2009, Richter also began joining Conan on the couch during the celebrity interviews, much like he did in his former sidekick role on Late Night. 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."[8]


When Conan O'Brien returned to the air as host of Conan on TBS in 2010, Richter followed and resumed his roles as announcer, writer, general sidekick and participant in comedy sketches.[12]

The Three Questions with Andy Richter

Since June 2019, Richter has his own podcast on the Earwolf network.[13]

Game shows

In 2010, Richter was considered to be a potential host of the classic Pyramid game show that was being developed for CBS, but was ultimately not picked up by the network.[14] Had the series been picked up, it would not have affected Richter's role on Conan. On May 18, 2011, TBS announced development of a possible new version of Pyramid, again to be hosted by Richter.[15]

In June 2010, Richter hosted the Team Coco Presents the Conan Writers Live comedy special for TBS at the Just for Laughs festival in Chicago. He hosted in place of O'Brien, who was prohibited from hosting any television program until fall 2010.

In July 2013, Richter signed up to host a game show called Step Up, which was ordered by Fox.[16]

Richter holds the record for all-time highest one-day score on Celebrity Jeopardy!, winning $68,000 during a first-round game of the 2009–10 season's "Jeopardy! Million Dollar Celebrity Invitational". His earnings were donated to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.[17][18]

In January 2017, he began hosting the ABC game show Big Fan.[19]

Other television appearances

In April 2002, Richter appeared in the Fox series Malcolm in the Middle. In "Clip Show", he played a psychiatrist giving therapy to Malcolm, Reese, and Dewey.

In October 2005, Richter appeared in the NBC sitcom Will & Grace. In "The Old Man and the Sea", he played an annoying blind date that was teased and misled by Grace Adler, who only dated him to prove she was not a snob.

Richter appeared in Monk as a murderer posing as Adrian Monk's best friend in the episode "Mr Monk Makes a Friend".

Richter appears in the Fox series Arrested Development in the 2006 episode "S.O.B.s." He plays every member of a fictional group of identical Richter quintuplets: Donnie, Chareth, Rocky, Emmett, and himself. He reprises the roles in several episodes of season 4, which aired in 2013 on Netflix.

From 2006 to 2008, Richter had a recurring role as "Sad Dad" Stan in the TV show The New Adventures of Old Christine.

He also provided the voice of Ben on the animated series The Mighty B!, played Simon Cristini on True Jackson, VP, and reprises the voice of Mort on The Penguins of Madagascar and All Hail King Julien.


In addition to his television work, Richter has appeared in motion pictures such as Aliens in the Attic, Big Trouble, Elf, Seeing Other People, New York Minute, Dr. Dolittle 2, Madagascar, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, My Boss's Daughter, Scary Movie 2, Frank McKlusky, C.I., Pootie Tang, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Blades of Glory, Semi-Pro, Lenny the Wonder Dog, Dr. T & the Women and Cabin Boy.

Other appearances

In 2008, Richter appeared in composer Marc Shaiman's satirical mini-musical called "Prop 8 — The Musical".[20] The three-minute video was distributed on the internet at In addition to Richter, the cast includes Jack Black, John C. Reilly, Craig Robinson, and many other celebrities, directed by Adam Shankman. The video won the 2009 Webby Award category Comedy: Individual Short or Episode,[21] and won a GLAAD media award.[22]

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.[23]

After the end of The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien, Richter joined O'Brien on his Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour, a stage show touring the United States and Canada over the spring of 2010. Richter served in his usual role as announcer and sidekick. Due to performing with O'Brien, Richter was forced to drop out of the Jeopardy! Million Dollar Celebrity Invitational, in which he was a semifinalist. Isaac Mizrahi replaced Richter in the tournament.[24] Richter also made an appearance on the Disney Channel sitcom The Suite Life on Deck as a non-religious hooded brother, Brother Theodore in the episode "Silent Treatment".

In May 2021 Richter appeared on the Gus and Eddy Podcast hosted by comedy duo Gus Johnson and Eddy Burback.,[25]

Personal life

Richter was married to comedic actress and author Sarah Thyre from 1994 to 2019, and they have two children, a son born in 2000 and a daughter born in 2005.[26] Thyre was part of the cast of the 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. On April 13, 2019, Richter announced on his Twitter account that he and Thyre had separated and had begun divorce proceedings.[27]

Richter is a supporter of Planned Parenthood. At a fundraiser in 2016, he referenced abortion services provided in 1992 for Thyre when the couple had split and were each undergoing great personal difficulties. He stated that although they were very sad about the situation, they both knew it was the right decision for them. He also said that he is "eternally grateful" to the organization for allowing them to care for themselves and also for the ability to choose the time to bring children into their lives. The couple had been married 22 years at the time of his statements.[28][29]

Richter is a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. After leaving Late Night with Conan O'Brien, he moved to Los Angeles.

Richter's younger half brother from mother Glenda's 2nd marriage, Victor Swanson, a teacher at Glenbard East High School, was a Democratic candidate in the 2018 election in Illinois's 14th district.[30]

On April 15, 2019, Richter joined other writers in firing their agents as part of the WGA's stand against the ATA and against packaging, which they believed to be an unfair practice.[31]



Andy Richter film work
Year Title Role Notes
1994 Cabin Boy Kenny
1996 Good Money Happy
1998 The Thin Pink Line Ken Irvine
1999 Barenaked in America Himself Documentary
2000 Dr. T & the Women Eli
2001 Dr. Dolittle 2 Eugene Wilson
2001 Pootie Tang Record executive
2001 Scary Movie 2 Father Harris
2001 Kids in the Hall: Same Guys, New Dresses Himself Documentary
2002 Gigantic (A Tale of Two Johns) Himself Documentary
2002 Run Ronnie Run! Network executive #2
2002 Martin & Orloff Maitre 'D
2002 Big Trouble Jack Pendick/Ralph Pendick
2002 Frank McKlusky, C.I. Herb
2002 God Hates Cartoons Drinky Crow Voice
2002 The Cat Returns Natoru Voice
2003 End of the Century Himself Documentary
2003 My Boss's Daughter Red Taylor
2003 Elf Morris
2004 Death and Texas Congressman Jack Levant
2004 New York Minute Bennie Bang
2004 Seeing Other People Carl
2005 The Aristocrats Himself Documentary
2005 Madagascar Mort Voice
2005 Lenny the Wonder Dog Lenny Voice
2006 Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby Gregory
2007 The Procedure T. J. Short film
2007 If I Had Known I Was a Genius Game show host
2007 Blades of Glory Mountie
2008 Semi-Pro Bobby Dee
2008 Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa Mort Voice
2008 Prop 8 — The Musical Gay California man Short film
2009 Aliens in the Attic Uncle Nathan Pearson
2011 Conan O'Brien Can't Stop Himself Documentary
2012 Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted Mort Voice
2013 The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Himself
2014 Penguins of Madagascar Mort Uncredited voice cameo
2014 Jason Nash Is Married Himself
2016 Donald Trump's The Art of the Deal: The Movie Pete Rozelle
2017 Girlfriend's Day Harold Lamb
2021 Marcel the Shell with Shoes On Mario


Andy Richter television work
Year Title Role Notes
1993 The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom Police officer Television film
1993–2000 Late Night with Conan O'Brien Himself (co-host) 1,247 episodes; also writer
1995 Mr. Show with Bob and David Himself Episode: "The Cry of a Hungry Baby"
1998 Upright Citizens Brigade Hansel Episode: "Story of the Toad"
1998 Saturday Night Live Drinky Crow (voice) Episode: "Cameron Diaz/Smashing Pumpkins"; uncredited
1999 LateLine Himself Episode: "Pearce on Conan"
2000 Strangers with Candy Various roles 3 episodes
2000 Just Shoot Me! Alan Episode: "Choosing to Be Super"
2000 DAG Himself Episode: "Pilot"; uncredited
2002 Ed Barney Sticuzo Episode: "Youth Bandits"
2002–2003 Andy Richter Controls the Universe Andy Richter 19 episodes; also producer
2002 Malcolm in the Middle Dr. Kennedy Episode: "Clip Show"
2002 Primetime Glick Himself Episode: "Andy Richter / Alec Baldwin"
2003 The Lyon's Den Kelly Robbins Episode: "Ex"
2004 Happy Family Clerk Episode: "The Headboard"
2004 It's All Relative Dr. Bob Episode: "Philip in a China Shop"
2004–2005 Crank Yankers Lloyd (voice) 3 episodes
2004–2005 Quintuplets Bob Chase 22 episodes
2005-2006, 2013 Arrested Development The Richter brothers 9 episodes
2005 Will & Grace Dale Episode: "The Old Man and the Sea"
2006–2019 American Dad! Various voices 12 episodes
2006–2008 The New Adventures of Old Christine Stan 4 episodes
2006–2012 Metalocalypse Various voices 3 episodes
2007 The Naked Trucker and T-Bones Show Mayor William Q. Lefawn Episode: "Key to the City"
2007–2008 Monk Hal Tucker 2 episodes
2007 Andy Barker, P.I. Andy Barker 6 episodes; also producer
2007 Clark and Michael Jerry Lillard Episode: "DA Dad and the Break-Up"
2007 30 Rock Mitch Lemon Episode: "Ludachristmas"
2008–2011 The Mighty B! Benjamin Higgenbottom (voice) 16 episodes
2008–2011 Robot Chicken Various voices 2 episodes
2008 The Sarah Silverman Program Potential adoptive parent Episode: "Fetus Don't Fail Me Now"
2008–2015 The Penguins of Madagascar Mort (voice) 82 episodes
2008 King of the Hill Wesley Cherish (voice) Episode: "Straight as an Arrow"
2009 Bones Henry Simon Episode: "Double Trouble in the Panhandle"
2009 True Jackson, VP Simon Christini Episode: "The Rival"
2009 Chuck Brad Episode: "Chuck Versus the Suburbs"
2009 The Goode Family Fred Ridley (voice) Episode: "Public Disturbance"
2009 Merry Madagascar Mort (voice) Television special
2009–2010 The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien Himself (co-host) 145 episodes; also writer and announcer
2010 The Suite Life on Deck Brother Theodore Episode: "The Silent Treatment"
2010 Running Wilde Dan Thorngood Episode: "The Junior Affair"
2010 Glory Daze Priest Episode: "Hungry Like Teen Wolf"
2010–2021 Conan Himself (co-host) Also writer and announcer
2011 Jon Benjamin Has a Van "Celebrity Parkour" competitor Episode: "The Van Scheme"
2011–2015 China, IL Agent Green (voice) 4 episodes
2012 Hot in Cleveland Father Brian Episode: "Claus, Tails & High-Pitched Males: Birthdates 3"
2012–2014 Comedy Bang! Bang! Himself / Narrator 3 episodes
2013 Happy Endings Roy Episode: "Bros Before Bros"
2013 Madly Madagascar Mort (voice) Television special
2013 Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja The Disciplinarian (voice) Episode: "Escape from Detention Island"
2013 Deon Cole's Black Box Cameo Episode: "Deon Discovers the Wettest in the Building"
2013 Brooklyn Nine-Nine Doorman Episode: "The Vulture"
2014 Sean Saves the World Larry Episode: "The Joy of Ex"
2014 Review Auctioneer Episode: "Celebrity; Batman"
2014 The Millers Douglas Marie Dascal Episode: "Walk-n-Wave"
2014–2017 All Hail King Julien Mort / Ted (voice) 78 episodes
2014–2015 Maron Himself 2 episodes
2015–2018 Bob's Burgers Wayne (voice) 2 episodes
2016 Bajillion Dollar Propertie$ Art Gordon Episode: "Inside Joke"
2016 The Jim Gaffigan Show Mitch Gaffigan Episode: "My Brother's Keeper"
2016–2019 The Stinky & Dirty Show Brave (voice) 10 episodes
2016 Andy Richter's Home for the Holidays Himself Television film
2017 Big Fan Himself (host) 4 episodes
2017 Life in Pieces Julius Black Episode: "Musical Motel Property Bingo"
2017–2018 Santa Clarita Diet Carl Coby 5 episodes
2017 Michael Bolton's Big, Sexy Valentine's Day Special Himself Variety special
2017 Portlandia Larry Episode: "Passenger Rating"
2017 Animals. Prisoner (voice) Episode: "Humans"
2017 Justice League Action Chronos (voice) 2 episodes
2017–2019 Big Hero 6: The Series Globby / Dibs (voice) 8 episodes
2018 Mr. Pickles (voice) Episode: "S.H.O.E.S"
2018; 2021 Final Space Gatekeeper (voice) 2 episodes
2019 Black-ish Mr. Schatz Episode: "Relatively Grown Man"
2019 Corporate Himself Episode: "The Tragedy"
2020 Fresh Off the Boat Himself Episode: "Commencement"
2020 Love, Victor Coach Ford 2 episodes
2020 Earth to Ned Himself Episode: "Late Night Ned"
2021 Big City Greens Mayor Hansock (voice) 2 episodes

Video games

Andy Richter video game work
Year Title Role Notes
2012 Halo 4 Marine Voice


  1. ^ "Statement on the retirement of Laurence R. Richter", ""
  2. ^ "Andy Richter Biography (1966-)". Retrieved October 6, 2018.
  3. ^ "Life as a Late-Night Sidekick". Andy Richter’s Firearms Emporium. September 17, 1998. Archived from the original on March 5, 2012. Retrieved October 12, 2010.
  4. ^ "Andy Richter - Biography". All Movie Guide.
  5. ^ "Andy Richter Replaces Denny Hastert As The Star Of Yorkville, IL". TeamCoco. June 2, 2015. Retrieved June 3, 2015.
  6. ^ Greg Fitzsimmons (November 27, 2012). "The Greg Fitzsimmons Show" (Podcast). Event occurs at 51:05. Retrieved January 2, 2017.
  7. ^ Aisha Tyler (January 23, 2012). "Girl on Guy with Aisha Tyler 31 with Andy Richter". MyLibsyn. Retrieved February 4, 2012.
  8. ^ a b Sicha, Choire (May 31, 2009). "Andy Richter: 'I got itchy'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 2, 2009.
  9. ^ Adalian, Josef (April 9, 2007). "NBC cancels 'Andy Barker, PI'". Variety.
  10. ^ Flynn, Gillian (March 9, 2007). "Andy Barker, P.I." Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 7, 2017.
  11. ^ "Andy Richter named announcer for NBC's 'The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien'". WFMJ-TV News. February 24, 2009.
  12. ^ Smith, Ryan (February 4, 2022). "Andy Richter reveals plans to work with Conan O'Brien again". Newsweek. Retrieved March 28, 2022.
  13. ^ "Introducing The Three Questions with Andy Richter". Earwolf. Retrieved August 2, 2019.
  14. ^ Flint, Joe (May 27, 2010). "Andy Richter wrapping deal to host new version of 'Pyramid' for CBS". Los Angeles Times.
  15. ^ "TNT and TBS Announce Extensive Slate of New Projects from Top Talents". The Futon Critic. May 18, 2011. Retrieved May 25, 2011.
  16. ^ Eames, Tom. "Andy Richter game show ordered by Fox". Digital Spy. Retrieved July 16, 2013.
  17. ^ "Million Dollar Celebrity Invitational, Game 1 (Andy Richter vs. Dana Delany vs. Wolf Blitzer)". Jeopardy!. September 17, 2009. Syndicated.
  18. ^ Yahr, Emily (May 17, 2016). "A look back at Wolf Blitzer's infamous 'Jeopardy!' downfall". Washington Post. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  19. ^ Prudom, Laura (February 8, 2016). "ABC Orders Game Show 'Big Fan' from Jimmy Kimmel and Banijay Studios". Variety. Retrieved January 10, 2017.
  20. ^ "Prop 8 - The Musical" starring Jack Black, John C. Reilly, and many more...". Funny or Die. December 2, 2008
  21. ^ "Webby Nominees: 13th Annual Webby Awards Nominees & Winners". The Webby Awards. Archived from the original on December 2, 2009. Retrieved March 19, 2013.
  22. ^ "Shaiman's 'PROP 8-THE MUSICAL' Wins GLAAD Award Honors". Broadway World. April 21, 2009. Retrieved April 25, 2009.
  23. ^ "Clouds give way to stars for softball game", Doug Miller,, July 12, 2009
  24. ^ Bierly, Mandi (April 19, 2010). "Neil Patrick Harris Among Celebs In Million Dollar Jeopardy Semifinals". Entertainment Weekly.
  25. ^ "Andy Richter is on the Podcast!", The Gus & Eddy Podcast, archived from the original on December 22, 2021, retrieved June 2, 2021
  26. ^ King, Larry (November 19, 2014). "Andy Richter" (Video interview). Larry King Now. Retrieved December 6, 2014.
  27. ^ Andy Richter [@andyrichter] (April 13, 2019). "Some personal news" (Tweet). Retrieved April 13, 2019 – via Twitter.
  28. ^ Williams, Maxwell (September 20, 2016). "Andy Richter Shares Personal Story of Abortion at Planned Parenthood Fundraiser". The Hollywood Reporter.
  29. ^ Shepherd, Ken. "Comedian Andy Richter 'eternally grateful' for wife's 1992 Planned Parenthood abortion". The Washington Times.
  30. ^ Richter, Andy [@AndyRichter] (April 26, 2017). "EXCITING FAMILY NEWS! My brother, Victor Swanson @electvswanson is running for Congress in Illinois' 14th district!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  31. ^ "Damon Lindelof, Hart Hanson Among Top Showrunners Posting Termination Letters In Wake Of Failed WGA-ATA Negotiations". Deadline. April 13, 2019.
Media offices Preceded byJohn Melendez The Tonight Show announcer 2009–2010 Succeeded byWally Wingert