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Dave Thomas (actor)
Thomas at the 34th Annie Awards, 2007
David William Thomas
(1949-05-20) May 20, 1949
|Education||McMaster University (B.A., English literature)|
|Relatives||Ian Thomas (brother)|
David William Thomas (born May 20, 1949) is a Canadian comedian, actor and television writer. He is best known for being one half of the duo Bob and Doug McKenzie with Rick Moranis. He appeared as Doug McKenzie on SCTV, for which he won a Primetime Emmy Award out of two nominations, and in the film Strange Brew (1983), which he also co-directed. As a duo, they made two albums, The Great White North and Strange Brew, the former gaining them a Grammy Award nomination and a Juno Award.
His other notable acting credits include Stripes (1981), Love at Stake (1987), Moving (1988), Coneheads (1993) and Rat Race (2001). He provided the voice of Tuke in Brother Bear (2003), and Brother Bear 2 (2006).
David William Thomas was born May 20, 1949, in St. Catharines, Ontario. He is the eldest son of Moreen Duff (Muir), a Scottish-born church organist for thirty years, and composer of church music, and John E. Thomas (1926–1996), a Welsh-born medical ethicist, head of the Philosophy Department at McMaster University, and the author of several books. His younger brother Ian is a Canadian singer-songwriter. The family moved to Durham, North Carolina, where his father attended Duke University and earned a PhD in Philosophy. Thomas attended George Watts and Moorehead elementary schools. The family moved back to Dundas, Ontario in 1961 where Thomas attended Dundas District high school, and later graduated with an honours Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.
Starting his career as a copywriter at ad agency McCann Erickson in 1974, he became the head writer of the Coca-Cola account in Canada within a year. After watching a Second City stage show in Toronto, and while suffering from self-proclaimed "boredom" in his advertising work, he auditioned for the Second City troupe and was chosen as a performer. He was a cast member of the Toronto production of Godspell, along with Victor Garber, Martin Short, Eugene Levy, Gilda Radner, and Andrea Martin. Paul Shaffer was the musical director. He first achieved fame as a cast member of the Canadian TV comedy series SCTV, joining Godspell castmates Levy, Martin and later Short, plus Rick Moranis, John Candy, Harold Ramis, Catherine O'Hara and others. Notable characters on the show include Doug McKenzie of beer-swilling brothers Bob and Doug McKenzie, editorialist Bill Needle, Scottish scone-chef/bluesman Angus Crock, motor-mouthed TV ad announcer Harvey K-Tel, Lowery organist/curio pitchman Tex Boil and the unforgettable "Cruising Gourmet".
Thomas's first movie was Home to Stay directed by Delbert Mann where Thomas played in a scene with Hollywood legend Henry Fonda. He then wrote for, co-directed and starred in the Bob & Doug McKenzie feature film Strange Brew. Soon after, he wrote for and acted in The New Show, produced by Lorne Michaels during his hiatus from Saturday Night Live. Short-lived, this show featured a powerhouse writing staff including Thomas along with Buck Henry, George Meyer, Jack Handey, Al Franken, Tom Davis, Valri Bromfield and Steve Martin. Thomas tried his hand at network television hour-long shows in 1986 when he wrote and co-executive produced Steel Collar Man for CBS. The pilot was produced but did not go to series. In 1988 Thomas wrote another hour long show for CBS, B Men, which was back ordered, but Thomas took a directing job at Paramount, which caused the network to drop the series. He reportedly introduced John Travolta and Kelly Preston while directing them in the Paramount film The Experts.
He wrote for, produced, and starred in The Dave Thomas Comedy Show (1990). In 1991, he starred in the Showtime comedy, Public Enemy #2. In 1992, he tried his hand at reality TV and co-executive produced ABC's America's Funniest People with Vin Di Bona, but left after thirteen weeks to appear in the film Coneheads. In 1993, he officially co-starred in ABC's Grace Under Fire with Brett Butler and Tom Poston and continued with the show for 5 seasons. In 1995 Thomas starred in ABC TV movie Picture Perfect with Mary Page Keller and Richard Karn. In 1996, Thomas played the title role in the Fox TV movie Mr. Foster's Field Trip aka Kidz in the Wood with Julia Duffy. In 1996, he wrote the book SCTV: Behind the Scenes (McClelland & Stewart, publishers). From 1999-2002, he voiced various roles on the animated series Mission Hill. He also voiced Rex Banner in the Simpsons.
Thomas co-starred in the Paramount feature Rat Race. As of 2001, Thomas has been the Executive Creative Director of Animax Entertainment, an animation studio based officially in Culver City, California. In 2001-2002 Thomas appeared with Eugene Levy and Martin Short on Short's show Primetime Glick as Bob Hope (an impression he had first developed for SCTV with great success). In 2002, he co-starred with Jason Priestley, Dave Foley and Ewen Bremner in Fancy Dancing. The next year he played a lead role in Beethoven's Fifth. In 2003, he directed a hospital comedy feature film entitled Whitecoats, which he also wrote. As of 2004, Thomas was on the official Advisory Committee for the Comedy program at Humber College, the only such diploma program in the world. In 2004, he and Moranis reprised the voices of the McKenzie Brothers in Disney's animated feature Brother Bear.
Thomas has had a long career doing voices for animation including Animaniacs, Duckman, CatDog, The Adventures of Tarzan, Justice League of America and multiple roles on The Simpsons, King of the Hill and Family Guy. In 2005, he had a guest stint as Charlize Theron's "Uncle Trevor" on Fox's Arrested Development. In 2006, he reprised his voice role in Brother Bear 2 and appeared as himself in the feature film The Aristocrats. He began production on ArnoldSpeaks.com, a video blog, as the voice of Arnold Schwarzenegger; Animax Entertainment won an Emmy for a broadband animated series produced for ESPN, Off Mikes.
In 2007, Thomas and Rick Moranis reprised their roles as Bob and Doug McKenzie in a one-hour special "Bob & Doug McKenzie's Two-Four Anniversary" for CBC Television. The show featured cameos from McKenzie celeb fans like Ben Stiller, Dave Foley, Tom Green, Paul Shaffer, Andy Dick, Matt Groening, Barry Pepper, Martin Short, and Geddy Lee. Former Prime Minister of Canada Paul Martin was the host. In 2008, Thomas revived Bob and Doug McKenzie in a new animated series, Bob & Doug. While Thomas reprises the character of Doug in the new series, Moranis chose not to voice the character of Bob, which instead is voiced by Dave Coulier. Moranis is, however, involved in the series as an executive producer.
In November 2009, Thomas received an Honorary Doctor of Letters from his alma mater McMaster University and gave the fall convocation speech. In 2010 Animax continued to produce branded entertainment, advertising and digital shorts for corporations like Disney, Warner Brothers, NBC Universal, and Kodak. In 2011, Thomas' company Animax produced another animated show for MTV entitled Big Box along with numerous Internet shorts such as Life With Dad.
In 2012 and 2013 Thomas guest starred in the dramatic shows Perception and Bones as well as comedy shows Comedy Bang! Bang! and How I Met Your Mother. In addition in 2013 Thomas voiced the recurring role of Jeff Foxworthy's father Jesco in the CMT show Bounty Hunters.
Thomas joined the writing staff of the Fox crime drama television series Bones beginning in 2013. Thomas worked for two seasons on Bones, writing several episodes and working on staff as consulting producer for two seasons.
In 2015 Thomas joined the writing staff of NBC's The Blacklist as a consulting producer.
- ACTRA AWARD for Best Variety Performer in 1978.
- Emmy Award in 1981 for Outstanding Writing in a Variety or Musical Program.
- Juno Award for Best Canadian Comedy Album of the Year in 1981.
- Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album Nominated in 1983
- Juno Award in 1983-84 for Best Comedy Album of the Year.
- People's Choice Award with the cast of Grace Under Fire in 1994.
- Earl Grey Award in 1995 for his work on SCTV.
- In 2002, he and the cast of the SCTV received a star on Canada's Walk of Fame.
- Emmy Award in 2006 - Outstanding Achievement in Content for Non-Traditional Delivery Platforms – Thomas and his company Animax won this award for ESPN's Off Mikes
- Lifetime Achievement Award from Humber College Toronto in November 2009.
- Honorary Doctor of Letters from McMaster University in 2009
- AMPIA Special Achievement Award from Alberta Media Production Industries Association in 2013
- Honored at the 2013 AMPIA Awards for his contribution to film and television.
- SCTV (1976–1982, TV Series) as Doug McKenzie
- Home to Stay Television MOW (1978, TV Movie) as Petrie
- Riel (1979, TV Movie) as Cdn. Captain
- Deadly Companion (1980) as Howie
- Stripes (1981) as M.C.
- Strange Brew (1983, also co-director) as Doug McKenzie
- The Get-Along Gang (1984, pilot episode) as Leland Lizard
- The New Show (1984, TV Series)
- Sesame Street Presents Follow That Bird (1985) as Sam Sleaze
- My Man Adam (1985) as Jerry Swit
- In the Mood (1987) as Bob Hope (voice, uncredited)
- Love at Stake (1987) as Mayor Upton
- Moving (1988) as Gary Marcus
- Rocket Boy (1989, TV Movie) as Rocket Boy
- The Experts (1989, director)
- The Dave Thomas Comedy Show (1990, TV Series) as Himself
- Parker Lewis Can't Lose (1991, TV Series) as Lionel Tower
- Boris and Natasha: The Movie (1992, TV Movie) as Boris Badunov
- Cold Sweat (1993) as Larry
- Coneheads (1993) as Highmaster
- Ghost Mom (1993, director)
- Grace Under Fire (1993–1998, TV Series) as Russell Norton
- Public Enemy Number Two (1993) as Wynn Dalton / Dwayne Gary Steckler
- Splitting Heirs (1993)
- The Larry Sanders Show (1994)
- Kidz in the Woods (1995)
- Picture Perfect (1995, TV Movie) as Ernie Barrett
- The Simpsons (1997-2006, TV Series) as Bob Hope / Rex Banner
- The Red Green Show (1994-1995, TV Series) as Ben Franklin
- Pippi Longstocking (1997) as Thunder-Karlsson (voice)
- King of the Hill (1998-2007, TV Series) as Lane Pratley / Gretta (voice)
- Cosby (1999, TV Series) as Tully
- Most Valuable Primate (2000) as Willy Drucker
- Te wu mi cheng (2001) (voice)
- Rat Race (2001) as Harold Grisham
- That '70s Show (2001, TV Series) as Chris
- Space Ghost Coast to Coast (2001, TV Series) as Himself
- Fancy Dancing (2002) as Uncle Billy Gemmill
- New Beachcombers (2002, TV Movie) as Dave McGonigal
- Who's Your Daddy? (2003) as Carl Hughes
- Brother Bear (2003) as Tuke (voice)
- Beethoven's 5th (2003) as Freddy Kablinski
- Intern Academy (2004) as Dr. Omar Olson
- Love on the Side (2004) as Red
- Santa's Slay (2005) as Pastor Timmons
- Arrested Development (2005, TV Series) as Trevor
- The Aristocrats (2005) as Himself
- Brother Bear 2 (2006) as Tuke (voice)
- Weeds (2006, TV Series)
- Bob & Doug McKenzie's Two-Four Anniversary (2007, TV Movie documentary) as Doug McKenzie
- Bob & Doug (2009, TV Series) as Doug McKenzie
- Popzilla (2009, TV Series) (voice)
- Pound Puppies (2011-2012, TV Series) as Agent Todd (voice)
- Perception (2012, TV Series) as Bill Duffy
- Comedy Bang Bang (2012–2015, TV Series) as Burt Aukerman
- Bones (2013-2017, TV Series) as Dick Scarn / Andrew Jursic
- How I Met Your Mother (2013, TV Series) as Chuck Gerussi
- Bounty Hunters (2013, TV Series) as Jesco / Actor
- The Blacklist (2015-2016, TV Series)
Celebrity impersonations on SCTV
Awards and nominations
|1981||Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Writing in a Variety or Music Program||SCTV (shared with other writers)||Won|
|1982||Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Writing in a Variety or Music Program||SCTV (shared with other writers)||Nominated|
|1983||Grammy Awards||Best Comedy Album||The Great White North - Bob and Doug McKenzie||Nominated|
|1983-84||Juno Awards||Juno Award for Comedy Album of the Year||The Great White North - Bob and Doug McKenzie||Won|
|1994||People's Choice Awards||Favorite New TV Comedy||Grace Under Fire||Won|
|1995||Gemini Awards||Earle Grey Award for Best Cast||SCTV||Won|
|2005||27th Sports Emmy Awards||Outstanding Achievement In Content For Non-Traditional Delivery Platforms||Off Mikes - Writer for Animax||Won|
- "Comedian Dave Thomas among honorary degree recipients at Fall convocation". McMaster University (Press release). Hamliton, Ont. November 12, 2009. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
- Plume, Kenneth (February 10, 2000). "Interview with Dave Thomas (Part 1 of 5)". IGN.
- "Mirvish | Godspell". Ed Mirvish Theatre. Retrieved October 18, 2020.
- Genzlinger, Neil (July 6, 2004). "These Two Talking Moose Let Their Antlers Down (Published 2004)". The New York Times.
- Rob Salem, "Bob & Doug taking off again". Toronto Star, April 19, 2009.
- Pearce, Cameron (April 12, 2011). "Life With Dad 'Dog'". Funny or Die.
- Pearce, Cameron (April 12, 2011). "Life With Dad 'One Night Stand'". Funny or Die.
- "AMPIA's 2013 Special Achievement Award recipient" (PDF). Alberta Media Production Industries Association. 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 11, 2013. Retrieved April 20, 2015.
- "Dave Thomas - Emmy Awards, Nominations and Wins". Television Academy. Retrieved October 18, 2020.
- "Canada's Walk of Fame". Canada's Walk of Fame. Retrieved October 18, 2020.
- Sandor, Steven (April 24, 2013). "SCTV's Dave Thomas to be Honoured at AMPIA Awards". Avenue Edmonton. Archived from the original on July 23, 2013 – via avenueedmonton.com.
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