Dave Thomas (actor)
Thomas with wife Kimberly Ann Thomas at the World premiere of Grown Ups in 2010
May 20, 1949 |
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
|Spouse(s)||Kimberly Ann Thomas; 4 children|
David William "Dave" Thomas (born May 20, 1949) is a Canadian comedian, actor and television writer. He is best known for portraying Doug McKenzie on SCTV as well as in the film Strange Brew, which he also directed.
David William "Dave" Thomas was born May 20, 1949 in St. Catharines, Ontario, the eldest son of John E. Thomas (1926–1996), a Welsh-born medical ethicist, head of the Philosophy Department at McMaster University, and the author of several books. Thomas' mother, Moreen Thomas, was a church organist for thirty years and composer of church music. 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. Thomas was granted an honorary doctorate from McMaster University November 20, 2009.
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 syndicated TV comedy series SCTV, where he portrayed, among other characters, Doug McKenzie of beer-swilling brothers Bob and Doug McKenzie. Bob was portrayed by Rick Moranis. Other memorable characters included angry, if succinct 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, CA. 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 Priestly, 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. Also in 2013 Thomas wrote an episode of Bones entitled "Shot in the Dark".
Dave Thomas is married and has four children. His sons, Johnathan and Harrison Thomas were members of the Los Angeles heavy metal group Tinhorn. Harrison Thomas is an actor and appeared in a 20th Century Fox Television pilot, Locke and Key, executive produced by Steven Spielberg, and has played major guest starring roles on the television shows as House, Fringe, Criminal Minds, as well as a recurring role on Alan Ball's series Banshee. Johnathan Thomas now works in Los Angeles as a sound designer and re-recording mixer for various television shows, and as a field sound effects recordist, most recently on Frozen which won an Academy Award for Best Animated Film. Dave Thomas also has two daughters, Emily and Charlie. Emily graduated from the University of Toronto with an Honors B.A. in English Literature in 2013 and lives in New York City where she works in the entertainment industry. Dave holds Canadian, British, and U.S. citizenship (the latter by naturalization).
- 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.
Celebrities impersonations on SCTV
- "The Hamilton Spectator newspaper November 13, 2009". Retrieved 2009-11-13.
- Plume, Kenneth (February 10, 2000). "Interview with Dave Thomas (Part 1 of 5)". IGN.
- 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.
- "Dave Thomas: Stephen Harper 'Probably The Worst Thing That's Ever Happened To Canada'". Retrieved 2012-05-31.
- Sandor, Steven (April 24, 2013). "SCTV's Dave Thomas to be Honoured at AMPIA Awards". Avenue.
- Dave Thomas at the Internet Movie Database
- ArnoldSpeaks.com Dave Thomas is the voice of Arnold Schwarzenegger
- Dave Thomas page at Godspell.ca
- Animax Entertainment
- Dave Thomas on 'The Hour'