A while back, I wrote a feature about what Saturday Night Live’s producers and writers could do to save the show from the annual cries of “How is this still on TV?” and “Another low point in the show’s history” by people like me. While most people raised their ham fists and scoffed at my suggestions, a lot of us agreed with one of my ancillary points – that Chris Parnell was the most underrated cast member in the show’s storied history. And he proves that point to this day as the actor behind two of our favorite characters on two of our favorite TV shows.
We’ve celebrated our love of Archer plenty across the various UPROXX sites, and it’s justifiable because Archer is one of the greatest shows in recent TV history. Parnell, of course, provides the voice of Cyril Figgis, the well-endowed but socially inept comptroller of ISIS. But I’d argue that Cyril is Parnell’s second best character behind the hilariously misguided and misogynistic Dr. Leo Spaceman on 30 Rock.
Dr. Spaceman (pronounced Spuh-cheh-men) has only appeared in 21 of the show’s 124 episodes, which is criminal. But I can’t be mad at Tina Fey for anything ever, so I’ll assume that it was all part of a brilliant plan to keep Parnell’s appearances limited so we would simply love him more. Wise strategy or not, Dr. Spaceman is one of those great second- or third-tier characters that makes a show so much better – like Randy from South Park, Pam on Archer, Jillian on Workaholics, almost anyone on Seinfeld, etc. – and Parnell will undoubtedly never receive the credit he deserves for playing this simplistic goof of a “doctor” for the maddeningly poorly-rated show.
30 Rock will soon debut its final season, and I will probably respond to the series finale with a great deal of depression, as it is my favorite show on TV, and the majority of that sadness and those shouts of rage at humanity will be for the sake of Dr. Leo Spaceman. Celebrate him with me today, for tomorrow he will be as silent as a woman in the 1970s.