May 8, 1960 |
It was from the help of a high school teacher that he became interested in Second City. His teacher took him to a show at Second City Toronto, and McKenna knew right then what he wanted to do with his life. After graduating from high school, Patrick did attend and graduate from Sheridan College with a business degree in 1982.
To help with tuition for college, McKenna worked at Second City, not on the main stage but eventually working his way to being the night manager. It was during this time that Patrick was studying how improv worked. Finally, in 1983 he auditioned to be up on the main stage and got the job.
During the 1980s, McKenna tried his hand at stand-up comedy. He travelled Canada and the US for five years performing his act.
During the late 1980s one night at Second City, McKenna received an acting job offer that would change his life for the next 15 years. Steve Smith, creator of The Red Green Show, was recruiting a cast and also sidekick for his new show. Smith had heard of Patrick but didn't necessarily come to Second City that night for him. He was scoping out the entire troupe. It was when Patrick did his twitchy nerd character that Smith knew he had his sidekick. He approached McKenna after the show, and he accepted the part. This twitchy nerd character would be seen on television screens throughout Canada and the US for the next 15 years as the lovable nephew Harold Green on The Red Green Show.
For his work on Traders and The Red Green Show, McKenna received two Gemini awards. He is the only Canadian actor to receive these for drama and comedy.
McKenna was the subject of the PBS Documentary ADD and Loving It?! In 2006 McKenna played producer Jeffrey Littleman on the short-lived CBC television series Getting Along Famously. He also voices Robear on Iggy Arbuckle.
As of 2012, McKenna is still active in acting, live speakings, and charitable work. He occasionally can be seen as Mr. Telson on the TV series Wingin It.
In recent years, McKenna has become involved with many charity organizations—including Wheelchair athletes, Adult ADHD, MS Society, Lupus Canada and McMaster Sick Kids—some of which he has personal connection.
McKenna suffered a debilitating back injury in the early 2000s that left him unable to walk for a year. He went through times being in a wheelchair and having to learn to walk again. It was from this experience that he became involved with Wheelchair athletes.
His mother, Patricia, suffers from lupus. She has been suffering from the condition since the 1970s. McKenna's friend and fellow Second City alumn Colin Mochrie and his wife, Debra McGrath, are often seen helping McKenna with lupus charity fundraising.
McKenna has ADD/ADHD and was not diagnosed until he was well into his forties. He has become somewhat of spokesman on this condition in Canada through his personal struggles. McKenna and Rick Green, a writer and performer for The Red Green Show, made a documentary to explain some of ADD/ADHD's positives and negatives titled "ADD and Loving It." Both men open up about how it has affected them and their relationships. McKenna's wife, Janis, is also interviewed during the documentary and goes through the diagnosing process on camera with Patrick.
McKenna's mother's name is Patricia, and he has three brothers. He married his high school sweetheart, Janis, in 1983. They have a son, Brendon, born in 1985.
Brendon McKenna was also seen in two episodes, Dancing with Mr. D. and The Unseen Lever, of his father's series Traders as Marty's son, Mark Stephens.
- The Red Green Show (Harold Green)
- Traders (Marty Stephens)
- Sam & Max: Freelance Police!!! (Lorne, the Friend for Life)
- Little Mosque on the Prairie (The Principal)
- Stargate SG-1 (2 eps.) (Dr. Jay Felger)
- Getting Along Famously (Jeffrey Littleman)
- Iggy Arbuckle (Robear)
- Best Ed (Doug aka Buddy)
- The Border (Don Campbell)
- Spliced (Two-legs "Joe")
- Clang Invasion (Rivet)
- Bill 'n' Lloyd (Krasky the Klown)
- Detective Squirrel Jr. (Dad)
- Wingin' It (Mr. Telson)
- New Outer Limits: Mindreacher Episode (Dr. Seigal)
- Sidekick (Pamplemoose)
- Scaredy Squirrel (Nestor)
- John A.: Birth of a Country (TV movie) (Alexander Galt)
- Patrick McKenna at the Internet Movie Database
- Patrick McKenna drops knowledge on Writing Humour class