An actor, stand-up comedian, writer and musician, David Koechner is known and loved for playing goofy characters on the big screen. After studying at Chicago's Improv Olympic and Second City Theatre, Koechner made a name for himself in the hit Will Ferrell comedies "Anchorman" (2004) and "Talladega Nights" (2006). He made his mark on the small screen as well in the recurring role of Todd Packer, the crass, vulgar and mean-spirited "best friend" of Michael Scott in the critically acclaimed sitcom, "The Office" (2005). Alongside longtime friend David "Gruber" Allen, Koechner formed half of the patriotic redneck musical duo The Naked Trucker and T-Bones, hitting the road with a musical comedy act that proved his comedic skills were not limited to on-screen characters.
Koechner was born in Tipton, MO, a town of about 2,000 people, on August 24, 1962. After studying political science at Benedictine College and the University of Missouri, Koechner abandoned his practical goals to pursue a career in improvisational comedy. He moved to Chicago where he studied at the ImprovOlympic and Second City Theatre, and in 1995, began a short-lived stint as a cast member of "Saturday Night Live" (1975-). Koechner didn't survive the show's cast overhaul at the end of the season, but he quickly joined the sketch cast of "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" (1993-2009). His best-known sketch was "NBC Gargoyles," playing one of two bickering stone gargoyles perched outside of Conan's desk window. Koechner's comedic timing caught Hollywood's eye, and he landed his first feature film in 1997, playing a very small role in the political satire, "Wag the Dog" (1997). In the late '90s, he continued to appear in small roles in other big feature films like the Andy Kaufman biopic "Man in the Moon" (1999) and the Mike Myers sequel, "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me" (1999).
In 1999, Koechner joined "The Naked Trucker Show," an improvisational comedy act created by writer David "Gruber" Allen, whom Koechner initially met during his short stay at "SNL" but later reunited with on the set of the mockumentary, "Dill Scallion" (1999). Koechner played the backwards-minded redneck Gerald "T-Bones" Tibbons, a character he first introduced in "SNL" whom Koechner performed at practically every acting audition during this period. The comedic duo combined traditional stand-up comedy with humorous country music and crass lyrics, establishing Koechner's dopey cowboy style he brought to many of his roles in the 2000s. The act garnered a lot of attention, leading to live performances on high-profile talk shows like "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" and "Real Time With Bill Maher" (2003-).
In 2004, Koechner appeared in his most successful film to date, "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy," where he played the pea-brained Champion "Champ" Kind, a sportscaster of the fictional and misogynistic TV network KVWN. The movie's popularity led to a pair of MTV Movie Award nominations that he shared with the rest of the "Anchorman" cast for Best On-Screen Team and Best Musical Performance -- as Champ would put it, "Whammy!" Koechner next appeared in more successful comedies, including a cameo appearance in Judd Apatow's "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" (2005). It was on the set of "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" where he met Steve Carell, who recommended Koechner for the role of Todd Packer, the rude and obnoxious "best friend" of "The Office" boss Michael Scott. Audiences saw more of Koechner the following year. In April 2006, audiences saw Koechner tackle the role of a quick-witted guns lobbyist in the critically acclaimed, fast-talking satire, "Thank You for Smoking" (2006). Later in August, he appeared in back-to-back summer flicks alongside Will Ferrell in "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby" (2006) and Samuel L. Jackson in the ridiculous action parody "Snakes on a Plane" (2006).
The following year, Koechner nabbed his first leading role in "The Comebacks" (2007), a sports parody film that fell flat with audiences and critics. He played a down-and-out college football coach named Lambeau Fields who owns the worst losing record in history. Koechner then reunited with David "Gruber" Allen to form a television version of their Naked Trucker act, "The Naked Trucker and T-Bones Show" (Comedy Central, 2007). The show received mixed reviews from critics and lasted only one season. Stepping back into the mainstream spotlight, Koechner reprised his role as "Champ" Kind in "Anchorman: The Legend Continues" (2013).
Cast (Feature Film)
Music (Feature Film)
Graduated from The Second City comedy troupe in Chicago, IL
Made recurring appearance on "Saturday Night Live" (NBC)
Married Leigh Koechner
Landed recurring role on CBS sitcom "Still Standing"
Cast as sportscaster Champ Kind in "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy" opposite Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, and Steve Carell
Played recurring role of Todd Packer, the obnoxious best friend of Carell's Michael Scott on NBC's "The Office"
Re-teamed with Ferrell in "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby"
Co-created and co-starred on Comedy Central's "The Naked Trucker and T-Bones Show" with David 'Gruber' Allen
Once again acted opposite Ferrell in sport comedy "Semi-Pro"