Dave Thomas

Active - 1971 - 2006  |   Born - May 20, 1949 in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada  |   Genres - Comedy

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Biography by Hal Erickson

"...And Dave Thomas as the Beaver" was the voice-over billing given this Canadian entertainer on the 1970s TV series Second City Television. But while Thomas may have had the adolescent face and short stature of Jerry Mathers, his taste in comedy was as mature and as wickedly satirical as any of his Second City confreres. Among Thomas' dozens of comic characterizations during his Emmy-winning SCTV years, the best known and most popular were his dead-on impression of Bob Hope and his deadhead interpretation of donut-munching, bacon-ingesting, beer-swilling "typical" Canadian Doug McKenzie. Together with his onscreen "brother," Bob McKenzie (better known as Rick Moranis), Thomas starred in the goofy feature film Strange Brew (1982), the first and last film ever made in "Hose-a-rama" (the origin of this phrase and a rundown of the rest of the McKenzie brothers' catchphrases could be given here, but it's known what happens when humor is dissected and left to die). Dave Thomas' career hasn't quite reached the heights of such SCTV alumni as Moranis, Martin Short, and the late John Candy, but he's still plugging away, producing, directing, writing, and starring in uproarious cable TV specials; Thomas was cast in the regular role of Russell on the popular Brett Butler sitcom Grace Under Fire.

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  • Worked as a copywriter for an advertising agency after graduating from college.
  • Appeared in a Toronto production of Godspell with Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, Gilda Radner and Martin Short, among others.
  • Auditioned successfully for the Second City comedy group in Toronto.
  • Appeared on SCTV, a Canadian TV skit show starring the comedy troupe; NBC picked it up as a late-night offering in 1981.
  • Has done TV (including the ABC series Grace Under Fire); voice-overs for animation; and movies, including Strange Brew, a film featuring the McKenzie Brothers characters he created with Rick Moranis.
  • Cofounder of Animax Entertainment, a digital studio specializing in animation.
  • Was awarded an honorary doctorate by McMaster University in 2009.