Though he would remain one of the comedy world's best-kept secrets through the later half of the 1990s, improvisational comic-turned-actor David Koechner, (born August 24, 1962) later made a successful transition from SNL and Late Night With Conan O'Brien funnyman to supporting feature player roles when word of his talent spread, thanks to stellar supporting parts in such wide-release films as A Guy Thing and Anchorman. The Tipton, MO, native studied political science at the University of Missouri, with a subsequent career in the family business (manufacturing turkey coops) narrowly averted by a post-college move to Chicago. It was there that Koechner attempted to master his comic skills under the tutelage of improv master Del Close, with further studies at the Windy City's ImprovOlympic cementing the skills of the up-and-coming talent. A subsequent stint at Chicago's Second City Theater led to Koechner's lucky break when he was whisked away by SNL creator Lorne Michaels to become a player in the long-running weekly comedy mainstay. Though he would remain with SNL for merely one season, Koechner continued to impress on the small screen as a performer on Late Night with Conan O'Brien in the 1996-1997 season. As his reputation continued to grow due to appearances on such popular shows as Mad About You and Dharma & Greg, Koechner also made an impression in features thanks to small but memorable roles in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Man on the Moon, and My Boss's Daughter. Though he would continue to work in minor capacity on the small screen, Koechner seemed to be focusing on features at this point in his career, with a turn as a chauvinistic sportscaster in the 2004 Will Ferrell comedy Anchorman offering what was perhaps his most substantial feature performance to date. Koechner played a tobacco lobbyist in 2005’s media satire Thankyou for Smoking, and reunited with Will Ferrell to for a supporting role in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby in 2006. In 2008 he joined the cast of Get Smart, the big-screen adaptation of Mel Brooks’ popular 1960s-era comedy series, and proved himself no stranger to camp in Final Destination 5 (2011) and Piranha 3DD (2012).
Biography by Jason Buchanan
- Studied improv under Del Close and Charna Halpern at the I.O. (formerly the ImprovOlympic) in Chicago.
- Appeared on Saturday Night Live from 1995 to '96.
- In 1998, he began playing Gerald "T-Bones" Tibbons with Dave Allen in The Naked Trucker Show, a music-and-comedy act performed at alternative Los Angeles nightclubs. The Naked Trucker & T-Bones Show, a TV series based on the act, aired on Comedy Central in 2007; and the album The Naked Trucker and T-Bones: Live at the Troubadour was released that same year.
- Had his breakout role in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004).
- Is a founding member of the improv group Beer Shark Mice.
- Has participated in the Big Slick Celebrity Poker Tournament and Party in Kansas City, MO, which benefits a local children's hospital.
- In 2011, he took part in the Stand Up for Joplin telethon, which raised funds for victims of a tornado that devastated Joplin, MO.
- Tours the U.S. performing routines that are a hybrid of stand-up comedy and a one-man show.