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David Michael Koechner (pron.: //; b. August 24, 1962) is an American character actor, comedian, writer, and musician. Koechner first became involved in performing when he began studying improvisational comedy in Chicago at the ImprovOlympic, under the teachings of Del Close, before joining the Second City Northwest. After one-year stints of doing sketch comedy on Saturday Night Live and Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Koechner began taking minor roles in the films Wag the Dog, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, and Man on the Moon.
While filming the country mockumentary Dill Scallion, Koechner befriended his comedy partner, Dave 'Gruber' Allen, forming The Naked Trucker & T-Bones Show. The act became a hit at Hollywood clubs such as Largo, and the Allen and Koechner were invited to open for Tenacious D. Koechner appeared frequently with larger supporting roles in many high profile comedic films including Anchorman, Talladega Nights, The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard, and Extract. On January 17, 2007, Koechner's Naked Trucker & T-Bones Show premiered on Comedy Central, giving him a starring role and full creative control. His first leading role, as Coach Lambeau Fields in Fox Atomic's sports comedy, The Comebacks opened on October 19, 2007.
Early life and career
Koechner was born in Tipton, Missouri, the son of Margaret Ann (née Downey) and Cecil Stephen Koechner. His father ran a business that manufactured turkey coops (Koechner has stated that "If you see a turkey going down the road in a big truck, most likely its coop is from Tipton..."). He was raised in a Catholic family of German and Irish descent. Koechner studied Political Science at Benedictine College and the University of Missouri, before he eventually decided to pursue a career in improvisational 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.
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. The two bonded while filming on a tour bus, sharing similar political views and midwestern upbringings. 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. 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. 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.
In 2004, Koechner landed his largest film role up to that point, as sports reporter Champ Kind, in SNL-veteran Will Ferrell's Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. As part of the Anchormanensemble, 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. 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 made his voice acting debut inBarnyard as Dag. That same year, he 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.
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, playingTodd Packer. Koechner's role is the American version of Chris Finch from the original. Packer is an obnoxious, alcoholic best friend of Carell's character. As of 2012, Koechner has guest-starred, both in person and voice, on fourteen episodes of the series. His frequent work with actors Ferrell, Carell, Jack Black, and 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 Hannah Montana.
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. 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." 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.
On January 17, 2007, Comedy Central premiered The Naked Trucker and T-Bones Show, a sketch comedy series starring Koechner (as T-Bones) and longtime performing partner Dave "Gruber" Allen (as The Naked Trucker). The duo performs their unique brand of off-color songs and introduces 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. Comedy Central ordered eight episodes. In the eight years Koechner & Allen have been playing these characters, there have been several attempts to bring the act to television, but they had trouble figuring how to translate it into a series. Koechner & Allen's first album, Naked Trucker and T-Bones Live at the Troubador, was released March 20, 2007. Koechner starred alongside Luke Wilson in the 2009 indie-comedy Tenure and was a lead in the 2012 horror film Piranha 3DD. Koechner will also return as Champ Kind in a sequel to Anchorman, expected to be released in 2013.
Following the release of Live at the Troubador, Koechner revealed that a T-Bones film is in development with Will Ferrell and Adam McKay's Gary Sanchez Productions. Koechner wrote the script with veteran television writer/producer Norm Hiscock, who also wrote for The Naked Trucker and T-Bones Show, in addition to past work on Saturday Night Live, The Kids in the Hall, andKing of the Hill.
Frequently, Koechner can be seen at the iO West performing with the group Beer, Shark, Mice, alongside Mike Coleman, Pat Finn, Neil Flynn and Peter Hulne. The group's credits include Scrubs,Anchorman, Seinfeld, American Body Shop, How High, My Boys, Ed, Mean Girls, Thank You for Smoking, and Saturday Night Live.
Koechner is married to Leigh Koechner and has five children. His oldest is his son Charlie, followed by his daughter Margot, and twins Sargent and Audrey, born June 2, 2006. His fifth child, Eve, was born on January 11, 2011. Koechner has the names of his wife and children tattooed on his right upper-arm.
Koechner performs regularly in Los Angeles at both the ImprovOlympic West theater in the show Beer Shark Mice, and at Largo, the nightclub where the Naked Trucker Show plays regularly. David Koechner supported the 2004 US Presidential campaign of Senator John Kerry, performing at a June 6, 2004 Hollywood fundraiser for the senator, where The Naked Trucker & T-Bones opened up for Tenacious D. Koechner cites Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, The Replacements, 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 has described as "the American Beatles."
|1995–1996||Saturday Night Live||Cast Member||series regular|
|1996||The Jamie Foxx Show||Stephen Queen||1 episode|
|2000||Freaks and Geeks||Waiter||1 episode|
|2002||Late World with Zach||Various||Recurring role|
|Curb Your Enthusiasm||Joseph||1 episode|
|2002–2003||Still Standing||Carl||Recurring role|
|Whatever Happened to Robot Jones?||Clancy||voice only|
|2003||Comedy Central Laughs for Life Telethon 2003||Jerry Prastis/Gerald Tibbons/Various||TV special|
|2005–2013||The Office||Todd Packer||Recurring role|
|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, co-creator|
|Monk||Joey Krenshaw||2 episodes|
|2008||Kath & Kim||Pete||1 episode|
|King of the Hill||Frank||voice only|
|Pushing Daisies||Merle McQuoddy||1 episode|
|2008–2010||Hannah Montana||Uncle Earl||Recurring role|
|2008–present||American Dad!||Dick||Recurring role|
|2009||Hank||Grady Funk||series regular|
|2010||Gary Unmarried||Joe "Soup" Campbell||1 episode|
|Neighbors from Hell||Robert the Insult Weight Loss Robot||voice only|
|2011||Beavis & Butthead||Various Voices||Recurring role|
|Chuck||Crazy Bob||1 episode|
|Good Vibes||Various Voices||voice only|
|Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness||Dosu||voice only|
|2012||Comedy Bang Bang||Mr. Doublebutt||1 episode|
|The Inbetweeners||Jim Remus||1 episode|
|2013||The Middle||Jeff Webber||1 episode|