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David Koechner

David Koechner (left) and Adam McKay (right) performing on stage in Chicago
Born August 24, 1962 (1962-08-24) (age 47)
Tipton, Missouri, U.S.
Occupation Actor, comedian, musician
Years active 1995–present
Spouse(s) Leigh Koechner

David Koechner (pronounced /ˈkɛknər/; born August 24, 1962) is an American character actor (film, television and stage), comedian and musician.

Koechner began studying improvisational comedy in Chicago at the ImprovOlympic, under the teachings of Del Close, before moving on to joining the Second City Northwest. After one-year stints on Saturday Night Live and Late Night with Conan O'Brien, he began taking small parts in films such as Man on the Moon and Wag the Dog. While filming the country mockumentary Dill Scallion, Koechner befriended Dave 'Gruber' Allen, forming The Naked Trucker & T-Bones Show. The act became a hit at Hollywood clubs such as Largo, and the duo were invited to open for Tenacious D.

His role as Champ Kind in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy brought him many other films, including Talladega Nights, Waiting..., Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny and Thank You for Smoking, in addition to recurring guest appearances on The 40-Year-Old Virgin and co-star Steve Carell's The Office as Todd Packer. On January 17, 2007, Koechner's Naked Trucker & T-Bones Show premiered on Comedy Central, giving him a starring role and full creative control. David Koechner's first leading role as Coach Lambeau Fields in Fox Atomic's sports comedy, The Comebacks opened on October 19, 2007.

Contents

Early life and career

Koechner was born in Tipton, Missouri, to a family that ran a turkey coop manufacturing business.[1] He studied Political Science at Benedictine College and the University of Missouri, yet decided to pursue a career in sketch comedy and moved to Chicago. After studying at Chicago's ImprovOlympic, under famed improvisation instructor Del Close, Koechner joined The Second City comedy troupe in Chicago, graduating in 1994.[2]

In 1995, Koechner landed a year-long stint on Saturday Night Live, joining the show with fellow Second City friends Nancy Walls and Adam McKay. During his time at SNL, he befriended guest-writer David 'Gruber' Allen, and fellow castmate Will Ferrell. Some of Koechner's recurring skits included Bill Brasky, the British Fops (playing Fagan, opposite Mark McKinney), Gary MacDonald (the fictional younger brother of Weekend Update anchor/SNL castmember Norm Macdonald, based on "Jokey", a character he originated at Second City), Will Ferrell's "Get Off the Shed" sketches (playing his neighbor, Tom Taylor), and Gerald "T-Bones" Tibbons. On the show, Koechner also impersonated several celebrities, including Burt Reynolds, Mike Ditka, Charlie Sheen, Robert Shapiro, Willard Scott, Oliver Stone, Phil Gramm, David Kaczynski, and Pat Buchanan. After his one season on SNL, Koechner joined the 1996-97 sketch cast of Late Night with Conan O'Brien, where he was perhaps best remembered in the NBC Gargoyles recurring sketches, pairing Koechner with Conan regular Brian McCann as two obnoxious Gargoyle statues often perched outside Conan's desk window. In the late 1990s, Koechner took several minor acting roles in films such as Wag the Dog, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, and Man on the Moon.

Partnership with David 'Gruber' Allen

On the set of the 1999 country music mockumentary, Dill Scallion, Koechner struck a partnership with SNL friend David 'Gruber' Allen, joining Allen's improvisational comedy act, The Naked Trucker Show.[3] The two bonded while filming on a tour bus, sharing similar political views and midwestern upbringings.[4] Koechner joined the act as Gerald "T-Bones" Tibbons, a character he had been playing on comedy stages for a few years, including a recurring character bit on SNL. Gerald Tibbons dates back to 1995, when he filmed a short television pilot based on the character's misadventures.[5] The "Gerald" character, based on a real drifter named Four-Way George, became so popular that Koechner would go to auditions, only to find that directors were always demanding his stage persona.[4][6] The stage act, a mix of stand-up comedy and off-color country songs, became a hit on the Hollywood improv circuit, ultimately landing television performances on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Jimmy Kimmel Live and Real Time with Bill Maher. The Naked Trucker and T-Bones Show would eventually tour with fellow comedic musical duo, Tenacious D. Their popularity also lead to several offers to bring their act to television, though many early deals never came to fruition.[7]

Film and television success

In 2004, David Koechner landed his largest film role yet, as sports reporter Champ Kind in SNL-veteran Will Ferrell's Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. As part of the Anchorman ensemble, Koechner shared two MTV Movie Award nominations for Best On-Screen Team and Best Musical Performance. MTV's initial press release accidentally listed Fred Armisen instead of David Koechner, but eventually corrected the error on their website, crediting Koechner during the broadcast.[8][9] Following this role, Koechner found himself landing many small and supporting roles in high profile films such as The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Talladega Nights, The Dukes of Hazzard and Snakes on a Plane. In 2006, Koechner had a supporting role as gun-lobbyist in the critically-acclaimed satire, Thank You for Smoking, sharing several scenes with Aaron Eckhart and Maria Bello. The three actors portrayed lobbyists for the tobacco, alcohol, & gun industries, dubbed The M.O.D. (Merchants of Death) Squad. Thank You for Smoking was one of the best-reviewed films of Koechner's career, and he was included in Fox Searchlight's Oscar campaign, among the film's listings for Best Supporting Actor.[10]

After co-starring together in Anchorman and The 40-Year-Old Virgin, fellow Second City alum Steve Carell personally recommended Koechner for a recurring role on NBC's The Office, playing Todd Packer.[11] Koechner's role is the American version of Chris Finch from the original. Packer is an obnoxious, alcoholic best friend of Carell's character; during the Season Two episode "Christmas Party," he notably uttered one of the show's most quotable lines: "What's up, muh nerds?" As of February 1, 2007, Koechner has guest-starred, both in person and by phone, on five episodes of the series. David Koechner's frequent work with actors Ferrell, Carell, Jack Black & Ben Stiller have led some critics and journalists to point out his association with the media-dubbed "Frat Pack". David had a guest starring role as "Uncle Earl" in an episode on Disney Channel's Hannah Montana.[12][13] Koechner has managed to become a very popular character actor, being hired for almost 20 supporting or cameo roles in movies since his role in Anchorman.

Koechner gained a recurring voice role in the FOX cartoon American Dad, playing the role of Dick, one of Stan Smith's co-workers.

Comedic lead

In 2007, Koechner was seen in his first leading role in The Comebacks (which opened on October 19), the first comedy to be released under Fox Searchlight's Fox Atomic division.[14] Koechner played a college football coach with the worst record in the history of the sport vows to turn things around with his new team of ragtag recruits. He described this career opportunity as the "first lead for the right-hander."[3] Veteran actor Carl Weathers played Koechner's rival coach. Though Koechner, who usually writes and improvises his material, had no involvement with the screenplay, he complimented director Tom Brady for taking "great care to make it as smart as he could," adding that it's a sports comedy rather than a spoof.[3]

On January 17, 2007, Comedy Central premiered The Naked Trucker and T-Bones Show, a sketch comedy series starring Koechner (T-Bones) and longtime performing partner David "Gruber" Allen (The Naked Trucker.) Koechner's T-Bones character is the wiley, scheming drifter to Allen's calm, straight man. The duo perform their unique brand of off-color songs and introduce pre-taped skits. Many of Koechner's past co-stars have filmed pre-taped cameos including Will Ferrell, Jack Black, Steve Carell, Andy Richter, Dax Shepard and Paul Rudd. The pre-taped skits give Koechner more screentime than Allen, often letting him showcase his comedic charisma alongside guest stars like Richter and Shepard. Currently, Comedy Central has ordered 8 episodes[15] In the eight years Koechner & Allen have been playing these characters, there have been several attempts to bring the act to television, but had trouble figuring how to translate it into a series.[4] March 20, 2007 will mark the release of Koechner & Allen's first album, Naked Trucker and T-Bones Live at the Troubador.[16]

Following the release of Live at the Troubador, Koechner revealed that he has a T-Bones film in development.[17] Will Ferrell and Adam McKay's Gary Sanchez Productions will produce the film through Paramount Vantage. Koechner is currently working on the film with screenwriter/producer Norman Hiscock, who was a writer for The Naked Trucker and T-Bones Show, in addition to past work on Saturday Night Live, Kids in the Hall, and King of the Hill.

Frequently, Koechner can be seen at the iO WEST performing in Beer, Shark, Mice. Voted Chicago Improv Festival's Ensemble of the Year and considered one of the best long-form improvisational groups in the country, the cast, which includes Mike Coleman, Pat Finn, Neil Flynn, Peter Hulne and David Koechner, boasts an impressive list of credits, both collectively and individually (Scrubs, Anchorman, Seinfeld, American Body Shop, How High, My Boys, Ed, Mean Girls, Thank You for Smoking, SNL, among many others).

Koechner and Luke Wilson recently starred together in the indie-comedy Tenure, which will have a limited theatrical release in 2010.

Personal life

Koechner is married to actress Leigh Koechner and has four children, his 2 youngest are twins Sargent and Audrey, born June 2, 2006. He also performs regularly in Los Angeles at both the ImprovOlympic West theater (in a show entitled Beer Shark Mice), and at Largo, the nightclub where the Naked Trucker Show plays regularly. David Koechner supported the 2004 Presidential campaign of John Kerry, performing at a June 6, 2004 Hollywood fundraiser for the Senator, where The Naked Trucker & T-Bones opened up for Tenacious D.[18] Koechner cites Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, Uncle Tupelo and its off-shoots (Wilco and Son Volt) as some of his musical favorites. He also strongly admires Creedence Clearwater Revival, whom he describes as, "the American Beatles."[19]

Filmography

Films

Year Film Role Notes
1995 It's Now... or NEVER! Jay
1997 Wag the Dog Director
1998 Dirty Work Anton Phillips
1999 Man on the Moon National Enquirer Reporter
Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me Co-pilot
Dill Scallion Bubby Pearl
2000 Whatever It Takes Virgil Doolittle
Dropping Out Henry
2001 Out Cold Stumpy
Life Without Dick Uncle Hurley
2002 Waking Up in Reno Bell Hop
American Girl Guy In Fun Fun Land TV Commercial
The Third Wheel Carl
Run Ronnie Run Clay
2003 My Boss's Daughter Speed
A Guy Thing Buck Morse
Soul Mates Steve
2004 Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy Champ Kind
Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie Champ Kind
2005 Yours, Mine and Ours Darrell
Daltry Calhoun Doyle Earl
Here Comes Peter Cottontail: The Movie Elroy/Wind (voice only)
The 40-Year-Old Virgin Dad at Health Clinic (cameo)
The Dukes of Hazzard Cooter
Waiting... Dan
2006 Unaccompanied Minors Ernie Wellington
Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny Surplus store clerk (cameo, scene deleted)
Let's Go to Prison Shanahan
Snakes on a Plane Rick "Arch" Archibald
Barnyard Dag the Coyote (voice only)
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby Herschell
Thank You for Smoking Bobby J. Bliss
Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector Donnie
2007 The Comebacks Lambeau Fields
The Brothers Solomon Unknown
Reno 911!: Miami Sheriff of Aspen
Careless Lizard
Balls of Fury Rick the Birdmaster
2008 Semi-Pro The Commissioner
Drillbit Taylor Frightened Dad
Get Smart Agent Larabee
Sex Drive Hitchhiker
The Perfect Game Charlie
2009 Still Waiting... Dan
The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard Brent Gage
Tenure Jay Hadley
Extract Nathan

Television

Year Title Role Notes
1995 Saturday Night Live Various roles
2000 Freaks and Geeks Waiter
2002 Late World with Zach Various roles
2002 Curb Your Enthusiasm Joseph
2002-2003 Still Standing Carl
2003 Comedy Central Laughs for Life Telethon 2003 Jerry Prastis/Gerald Tibbons/Various
2005 The Office Todd Packer 6 episodes
Earth to America Blame Czar
2006 Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law Cubby McQuilkin voice only
2007 The Naked Trucker and T-Bones Show Gerald "T-Bones" Tibbons Star, writer, producer
Monk Cousin Joey Mr. Monk and the Daredevil
2008 Hannah Montana Uncle Earl "(We're So Sorry) Uncle Earl"
King of the Hill Frank voice only
American Dad! Dick voice only
Pushing Daisies Merle McQuoddy
Monk Cousin Joey Mr. Monk's 100th Case
2009 Hank Grady Funk series regular
2010 Hannah Montana [20] Uncle Earl
Gary Unmarried Joe "Soup" Campbell

References

  1. ^ David Koechner Biography; Yahoo! Movies
  2. ^ The Second City Northwest Alumni; Second City
  3. ^ a b c David Koechner; Epstein, Daniel Robert; January 16, 2007; Suicide Girls Interviews
  4. ^ a b c Podcast: David Koechner & Dave "Gruber" Allen on The Naked Trucker & T-Bones Show; Friday, January 12, 2007; The Sound of Young America
  5. ^ Video Clip: "Pizza Boy Gerald"; Roscoe Entertainment
  6. ^ A convoy of offbeat comedy; Keveney, Bill; January 16, 2007; USA Today
  7. ^ Q & A: Naked Trucker & T-bone; DiGiuseppe, Jim; March 1, 2007; The Daily Collegian
  8. ^ It's the 2005 MTV Movie Awards Nominees!; New York, NY; May 4, 2005; MTV UK
  9. ^ Vicious Teens And Happy Drunk Lead 2005 MTV Movie Awards Nominees; Cosgrove, Ben; May 4, 2005; MTV Movies
  10. ^ For Your Consideration: Everyone But Katie Holmes; November 13, 2006; Defamer
  11. ^ - DVD audio commentary from The Office: Season 2, Episode #8 (202) "Sexual Harassment" - published by Universal Studios Home Entertainment on September 12, 2006
  12. ^ Carell just wants some love; Breznican, Anthony; August 11, 2005; USA Today
  13. ^ Talladega trailer; Sampson, Mike; February 13, 2006; JoBlo.com
  14. ^ Brady at QB for Atomic; Helmer tackles 'Comebacks'; Snyder, Gabriel and Nicole Laporte; Sep. 24, 2006; Variety.com - Film.
  15. ^ COMEDY CENTRAL Announces The Series Pick-Up Of The Torrid, Twisted Tales Of The "The Naked Trucker And T-Bones Show"; NEW YORK, March 27, 2006; Comedy Central: Shows - Naked Trucker & T-Bones Show.
  16. ^ Live at the Troubadour (LIVE); Amazon.com
  17. ^ M&C Interview: David Koechner/T-Bones, The Naked Trucker and 'Live At The Troubadour'; MacIntyre, April; March 20, 2007; Monsters & Critics
  18. ^ ConcertsforKerry.org
  19. ^ Random Rules: David Koechner; Phipps, Keith; January 23, 2007; The AV Club
  20. ^ "Billy Ray Cyrus - Uncle Earl returns for season 3- via Twitter". Billy Ray Cyrus via Twitter. 2009-05-28. http://twitter.com/billyraycyrus/status/1953960838. 

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