Stiller wrote and appeared on Saturday Night Live as a featured performer in 1990. He went on to host and perform in a self-titled comedy sketch show on MTV and then The Ben Stiller Show on the Fox Network in 1992. The show lasted 12 episodes, but is considered by many to be one of the finest (if briefest) sketch comedy vehicles on television. The show also starred (and launched the careers of) his frequent collaborators Andy Dick, Janeane Garofalo, and Bob Odenkirk.
Stiller directed both Reality Bites and The Cable Guy, to generally mixed reviews. Another directorial effort, 2001's Zoolander was well-received, showing he could be a bankable star both behind the camera as well as in front of it.
In the parody self-help book they co-authored, Feel This Book, he and frequent co-star Janeane Garofalo claimed they briefly dated, but this is considered to be artistic license. During much of the 1990s, he was involved with actress Jeanne Tripplehorn.
In May 2000, Stiller married Christine Taylor, whom he met while filming a never-broadcast television pilot for Fox called Heat Vision and Jack, starring Jack Black. He and Taylor have a daughter, Ella Olivia, born April 10, 2002, and a son, Quinlin Dempsey, born July 10, 2005.
Princeton University's Class of 2005 inducted Mr. Stiller as an honorary member of the class during its "Senior Week" in April, 2005.
He suffers from manic depression, which typically results in dramatic mood swings.
- Madagascar (2005, voice)
- Meet the Fockers (2004)
- Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004)
- Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)
- Starsky & Hutch (2004)
- Envy (2004)
- Along Came Polly (2004)
- Nobody Knows Anything (2003)
- Duplex (2003)
- Legend of the Lost Tribe (2002, voice)
- Liberty's Kids, TV Series (2002, voice)
- Orange County (2002, uncredited)
- The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
- Zoolander (2001)
- Meet the Parents (2000)
- Keeping the Faith (2000)
- The Independent (2000)
- Black and White (1999)
- Mystery Men (1999)
- The Suburbans (1999)
- Nobody Knows Anything (1998)
- Permanent Midnight (1998)
- Your Friends & Neighbors (1998)
- There's Something About Mary (1998)
- Zero Effect (1998)
- The Cable Guy (1996)
- Flirting with Disaster (1996)
- If Lucy Fell (1996)
- Happy Gilmore (1996)
- Heavyweights (1995)
- Reality Bites (1994)
- The Nutt House (1992, uncredited)
- Highway to Hell (1992)
- Stella (1990)
- That's Adequate (1990)
- Elvis Stories (1989)
- Next of Kin (1989)
- Fresh Horses (1988)
- Empire of the Sun (1987)
- Hot Pursuit (1987)
- Stiller has played a fictionalized version of himself in the television shows The Larry Sanders Show, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Extras.
- Stiller was featured in Limp Bizkit's video for their hit song "Rollin'", in which he gives the keys to friend Fred Durst and tells him "Don't scratch the car".
- Stiller's name appears in Limp Bizkit's song "Fast Lane", in which Durst refers to Stiller as his "favorite motherfucker" (meaning that he's one of his favorite friends).
- Stiller appears in Jack Johnson's music video, "Taylor" where he ran over a chicken.
- Stiller struggles with bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression. After letting off unexplained mood changes of aggressivity and happiness during the making of Zoolander, he was quoted as saying " "I have not been an easygoing guy. I think it's called bipolar manic depression. I've got a rich history of that in my family".
- Stiller is left-handed.