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April 13, 1957 |
Cedar Falls, Iowa, U.S.
Born in Cedar Falls, Iowa, Kroeger attended Northern University High School and graduated from Northwestern University in 1981. He joined the cast of Saturday Night Live during Lorne Michaels' hiatus from the show, under the direction of Dick Ebersol. During his tenure, Kroeger, who also wrote for the show, was frequently cast as young teenage kids and impersonated Walter Mondale when he was the Democratic candidate for US President in 1984. He is probably best remembered today for a Christmas sketch in which he and fellow cast member Julia Louis-Dreyfus perform "Blue Christmas" as Donny and Marie Osmond. The sketch culminates with the supposed brother and sister making out with each other.
Kroeger left the show after the summer of 1985 when Lorne Michaels returned to the show and the entire cast was replaced. In the time since he has kept a fairly low profile, appearing in only a handful of movies, including a role as Reggie Mantle on 1990's Archie: To Riverdale and Back Again and the lead and title role on the spoof film A Man Called Sarge. He has enjoyed some success as a host of television game shows, most notably revivals of The Newlywed Game and Beat the Clock. He was also the announcer for the 2001 revival of Card Sharks and the 2002 revival of Press Your Luck called Whammy! The All-New Press Your Luck. In addition, he appeared on the sitcom Hidden Hills and as a weatherman in an episode of HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm. From 1990 to 1991, he was host of Fox's Comic Strip Live. He also made a guest appearance in the episode Columbo: Death Hits the Jackpot (1991). In 2000, he hosted an infomercial for DirecTV, which played in-store at many Best Buy locations.
Kroeger gave up ownership of the restaurant Figaro Figaro in Simi Valley, California. He has relocated to his hometown in Iowa and can still be seen in local theater, as well as the occasional infomercial.
Kroeger runs an occasional blog, Gary Has Issues.
He is now associate creative director for Cedar Falls, Iowa-based Mudd Advertising.