Tim Kazurinsky

March 11th, 2013

Timothy J. Kazurinsky, born March 3, 1950, is an American actor, comedian and writer best known as a cast member on Saturday Night Live and for his role as Carl Sweetchuck in the Police Academy films. He is known for playing mousy, sheepish characters.


Life and career
Kazurinsky was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, but spent most of his childhood in Australia, where he lived until the age of 16. At age 11, Kazurinsky attended the Huntley Evans School of Performing Arts, where he studied the creative arts for six months before quitting due to intense hazing.

Kazurinsky worked in St. Louis, Missouri, as an advertising executive and copywriter for a department store chain. He moved to Chicago to start a comedy career and joined the Second City mainstage in 1978. He was discovered by Saturday Night Live and joined SNL as a writer and cast member in 1981. A producer at SNL, who was also a friend of Kazurinsky’s, bumped Paul Reubens (later known for his character Pee-wee Herman), from the line-up and put Kazurinsky in his place.

On Saturday Night Live, Kazurinsky played various characters and was known for his celebrity impersonations. There were reports that he often clashed with then-executive producer Dick Ebersol regarding the show’s creative direction. In 1984, he decided to leave SNL due to creative differences with the producers.

Recurring characters on SNL

  • Dr. Jack Badofsky, supposedly the science editor of “Weekend Update,” a doctor who appeared on the Weekend Update segments with a list of humorous disease names
  • Mr. Landlord from “Mr. Robinson’s Neighborhood” with Eddie Murphy
  • Father Timothy Owens, an Irish priest
  • “Enlightened Master” Havnagootiim Vishnuuerheer, a Hindu wise man who answered audience questions (his name was a corruption of “having a good time, wish you were here”)
  • Wayne Huevos, a suave Latin-American businessman who appeared on Weekend Update with ideas on how to clean up New York City
  • Worthington Clotman, SNL’s resident network censor, based on real-life network censor Bill Clotworthy, who would interrupt sketches and point out objectionable material
  • The husband of a chimpanzee on “I Married a Monkey”

Celebrity impressions on SNL

  • Mahatma Gandhi (in a movie trailer parody called “Gandhi and the Bandit”)
  • Billie Jean King 
  • Adolf Hitler
  • Ozzy Osbourne 
  • Klaus Barbie 
  • Gary Hart
  • Douglas MacArthur
  • Deng Xiaoping 
  • Franklin Roosevelt 
  • Henry Thomas (as his character Elliott from E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial)

Other work
Kazurinsky was cast in the 1980 film Somewhere in Time as the photographer who takes the portrait that woos Christopher Reeve’s character back in time. He had a role in the 1981 Belushi/Aykroyd comedy Neighbors, and played the role of Carl Sweetchuck in three of the Police Academy films. In the 2000s, Kazurinsky guest-starred on popular comedy series such as Curb Your Enthusiasm and According to Jim.

Kazurinsky has written screenplays and television episodes. Shortly after departing SNL, he co-wrote About Last Night…. He also penned the 2001 film My Beautiful Son, starring Paul Reiser, Julie Walters, and Olympia Dukakis.

In 2011, Kazurinsky played a supporting role in Zombie Army Productions “The Moleman of Belmont Avenue”, which also featured Robert Englund.

Personal life
Kazurinsky lives in Evanston, Illinois with his wife, Marcia. He has a son, Pete, and a daughter, Zoe.

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