Richard Laymer, who sits alone by the office copy machine, would be completely ignored by his coworkers if he didn't have this irritating way of getting their attention. "Steve!" he greets one colleague, then rattles off more variations on the name than Bach ever wrung from a fugue. "The Steveman! Steve-o-rama! Steve-o-ramo-vich! Steve-o! Steverino! Steve-oooooooo! Steverolo! The Stevemeister! The Stevenator! Steeeeeeeeve!"

Richard's officemates may not be crazy about him, but the rest of the nation is. Since Rob Schneider introduced the character on Saturday Night Live in January, every work-place seems to have unearthed a resident Richard. Appropriately enough, Schneider, an SNL writer and sometime on-air performer, came up with the gag at the show's NBC office. When fellow writer Adam Sandler would pass by on his way to the water cooler, Schneider recalls, "I'd say, "Adam! Adam-man! Adam-meister, going to get some water! Ad-amm!' He would say, "What? What do you want?' And I'd say it again."

The Schneider-meister, 27 and unmarried, grew up near San Francisco, the youngest of six children whose father, Marvin, is a real estate agent. He thinks his teacher mom, Pilar, still doesn't "get" Richard. Sting—who appeared in the first Richard sketch—does. His thank-you note to the SNL cast was signed, "Sting. Sting-meister. Der Stingle-hoffer, Sting-a-ling-a-ding-dong."