TBS likes Tim Meadows. He was Bill Engvall’s best friend on that comic’s run on TBS from 2007 to 2009.
Soon after “The Bill Engvall Show” was canceled, Atanta-based TBS approached Meadows to join another comedy but not a traditional 30-minute sitcom. Rather, it’s an hour-long single camera comedy focused on four freshmen entering a Midwest college in 1986 and joining a fraternity.
Meadows is not the main star, but he’s arguably the only known name. He plays a very liberal professor who is a bit lonely after getting divorced and bonds with some of his students, eventually helping out the frat in question.
“I actually get advice from the students,” he said.
Meadows own college experience was brief. He dropped out and ended up working as an assistant manager at a Kentucky Fried Chicken. “I promptly quit,” he said, “after I realized I was an assistant at Kentucky Fried Chicken.”
“I moved back to Detroit and started improv. The rest is on Wikipedia,” he said.
Era-explicit humor is less pronounced (and at times, virtually ignored) compared to films such as “The Wedding Singer” or “Hot Tub Time Machine.” “It’s not a parody of the ‘8o’s,” Meadows said. “It’s real people in the ’80s. It hits closer to the bone than big jokey characters.”
Even the clothing isn’t exaggerated to any effect. The music of the era is pushed hard, though, mostly of the new wave variety such as Talking Heads and Duran Duran.
But the show will feature plenty of guest stars including Michael McKean, Kevin Nealon, Cheri Oteri, Brad Garrett, D.L. Hughley and Andy Richter.
His real-life teaching experience is limited to doing an improv class at Upright Citizen’s Brigade, filling in for the regular teacher. “I felt I was too critical of the people doing it,” he said. “They never asked me back.” He thinks he’d be too tough on kids, too, since he’s tough on his own kids. “I understand why teaching is such a tough job,” he said.
Meadows plays a recurring character on “The Colbert Report” as P.K. Winsome and showed up on video during the “Rally to Restore Sanity” in D.C. with Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart. Winsome pushed folks to buy lots of souvenirs. He wasn’t sure he would be able to make the rally from shooting the TV show but in the end, he actually showed up. “I wish I could have done it live,” he said. “It was fun.”
“Glory Daze” 10 p.m. on Tuesdays on TBS