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11 April 1945 |
David Alexander McPhail ONZM QSM (born 11 April 1945) is a New Zealand comedic actor and writer whose television career spans four decades. McPhail first won fame on sketch comedy show A Week of It, partly thanks to his impressions of New Zealand Prime Minister Robert Muldoon. He went on to appear in multiple series of sketch show McPhail and Gadsby, and hit comedy Letter to Blanchy. All three shows featured his longtime friend Jon Gadsby.
Christchurch-based McPhail had appeared on television as a reporter and occasional actor before winning fame in 1977 with A Week of It. One of the earlest New Zealand comedy shows both to satirize politicians and win a wide audience, the series mixed sketches lampooning politics, sport, and television. A Week of It ran for three seasons.
McPhail went on to create and appear in at least seven series of skit show McPhail and Gadsby, co-starring his A Week of It colleague Jon Gadsby, and backwoods comedy Letter to Blanchy, which would spawned a 2008 play.
Among his other key screen roles, McPhail starred in two seasons of series Seven Periods with Mr Gormsby. McPhail plays Gormsby, a dominating, old-fashioned school teacher who ruffles feathers when he begins teaching at a school in a low income area. McPhail went on to play eccentric superhero The Green Termite in The Amazing Extraordinary Friends.
His autobiography The Years Before My Death: Memories of a Comic Life was published by Longacre in 2010.
McPhail was awarded the Queen's Service Medal for public services in the 1992 New Year Honours. In the 2008 New Year Honours, he was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in recognition of services to television and the theatre.
- A Week of It - 1977 - 79
- McPhail & Gadsby - 1980-87, 1997–98
- Issues - 1991
- Letter to Blanchy - 1994
- Seven Periods with Mr Gormsby - 2005 - 6
- The Life & Times of Te Tutu - Director
- Crumpy - Director
- Then Comes Love by James Griffin - Director
- Amazing Extraordinary Friends - 2007 - 2010
- The White Elephant - 2012
- Then Comes Love (2005) - Director
- Muldoon - One man play, New Zealand tour
- Alone it Stands - Court Theatre, Christchurch 2005  - Director
- Muldoon - Downstage Theatre, Auckland 25 June – 17 July 2004 - A play about the former New Zealand Prime Minister Robert Muldoon
- London Gazette (supplement), No. 52768, 30 December 1991. Retrieved 8 January 2013.
- "New Year Honours 2008". Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. 31 December 2007.