Gary Kroeger

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Gary Kroeger
Born (1957-04-13) April 13, 1957 (age 65)
Alma materNorthwestern University
  • Actor
  • businessman
Years active1982–present
  • Shannon Alexander
    (m. 2017)
  • Leigh Kroeger
    (m. 1997; div. 2007)

Gary Kroeger (born April 13, 1957) is an American businessman, columnist, and actor best known for his work as a cast member on Saturday Night Live from 1982 to 1985, and his work on various game shows. He ran in the Democratic Congressional primary in 2016 and then for an Iowa state house seat in the 2016 election. Kroeger lost to incumbent Republican Walt Rogers by a 10,072 to 7,200 margin, 58% to 42%.[1] Kroeger now stars in a television show called "The Gary and Kenny Show" co-starring his best friend Ken Ceizler. Less known celebrity Adam "Fletch" Kidd produces and edits the show.

Background and Personal Information[edit]

Gary Kroeger was born in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Kroeger attended Northern University High School and graduated from Northwestern University in 1981. He was married to Leigh Kroeger from 1997-2007, with whom he shares two sons, Christopher and Alexander. Kroeger married Shannon Alexander, a user experience designer from Massachusetts in 2017.[2]

Saturday Night Live[edit]

He joined the cast of Saturday Night Live during Lorne Michaels's 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.

Later acting career[edit]

Kroeger left the show in 1985 when Michaels returned to the show and the entire cast was replaced. Since then he has kept a fairly low profile, appearing in only a handful of movies, including roles as a producer in Christopher Guest's 1989 Hollywood send-up The Big Picture; as Reggie Mantle in 1990's Archie: To Riverdale and Back Again;[3] and in the lead and title role in the spoof film A Man Called Sarge. Kroeger played a major role in the 1989 Murder She Wrote episode entitled "The Grand Old Lady" as a brainiac named, "Christopher 'Christy' McGinn" who ultimately solves the mystery.

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. He hosted a revival of the game show Beat the Clock in 2002 on PAX TV. In addition, he appeared on the sitcom Hidden Hills[4] and as a weatherman in an episode of HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm. From 1990[5] to 1991, he was host of Fox's Comic Strip Live.[6]

Kroeger also made a guest appearance in the episode Columbo: Death Hits the Jackpot (1991), as the murder victim. In 2000, he hosted an infomercial for DirecTV, which played in-store at many Best Buy locations. In 2002, he hosted the 26th annual Mrs. America Pageant.[4]

Business career[edit]

Kroeger gave up ownership of the restaurant Figaro Figaro in Simi Valley, California in 2003, but reopened in Cedar Falls, Iowa, in 2017. The restaurant closed in 2019. He has relocated to his hometown in Iowa and can still be seen in local theater, as well as the occasional infomercial. Kroeger is a weekly columnist for the Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier and also writes a blog, "Gary Has Issues".

As of 2013, Kroeger is creative director for Cedar Falls, Iowa-based Mudd Advertising and well as CEO of a consulting firm, Outlier Creative Solutions.[7]

Political campaign[edit]

He announced his candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives from Iowa's 1st congressional district on April 6, 2015,[8] but announced on March 2, 2016, that he was dropping his bid in order to run for the Iowa House of Representatives.[9]


  1. ^ Molseed, John. UPDATE: Incumbent legislators win in Cedar Falls, Waterloo Courier, November 9, 2016.
  2. ^ "Gary Kroeger: Movies, TV, and Bio". Retrieved 2022-05-01.
  3. ^ Thompson, Steven (September 2016). "Archie's Antagonist, Reggie Mantle". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (91): 67.
  4. ^ a b "TV lineups". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. October 7, 2002. Retrieved February 18, 2014.
  5. ^ Horn, John (January 11, 1990). "TV Notes". Lawrence Journal-World. Associated Press. Retrieved February 18, 2014.
  6. ^ Brooks, Tom; Marsh, Earle F. (2009). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present. Random House. ISBN 978-0307483201. Retrieved February 18, 2014.
  7. ^ Wright, Megh (March 19, 2013). "Saturday Night's Children: Gary Kroeger (1982-1985)". Archived from the original on February 20, 2018. Retrieved February 18, 2014.
  8. ^ "Former SNL cast member running for Congress in Iowa". Des Moines Register. Associated Press. April 7, 2015. Retrieved October 16, 2015.
  9. ^ Crippes, Christinia; Lynch, James (March 2, 2016). "Kroeger shifts sights from U.S. House to Statehouse". The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier. Retrieved March 2, 2016.

External links[edit]

Preceded by Card Sharks announcer
Succeeded by
Donna Jay Fulks (2019-22)