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David Koechner comes to Winston

 publisher@yesweekly.com

Actor, writer and producer David Koechner has come a long way from the self-described skinny, naïve and immature high school senior cruising the streets of Tipton, Missouri, population 2100, in his 1967 Volkswagen Beetle.

“I was a curious and emotionally searching high school senior in 1980,” said Koechner, the man many today recognize as Todd Packer from The Office and Champ Kind from Anchorman 1 and 2. “It was a really small town and yes, I was the class clown. The ’67 VW was powder blue and we painted it metallic blue. I’d drive around listening to REO Speedwagon, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Willie and Waylon, Bob Segar and the (Rolling) Stones. They are still the bands I enjoy today.”

Koechner admits he was no athlete “of any record” so instead focused his vision on politics. He studied Political Science at Benedictine College and the University of Missouri, before he moved to Chicago to pursue a career in improvisation comedy. He studied under improve coach Del Close at the ImprovOlympics in Chicago, joined Chicago’s Second City comedy then graduated in 1994.

From there it was a year on Saturday Night Live and on to more than 130 films and television shows including “Waiting,” “Out Cold,” “Get Smart,” “Thank You for Smoking,” “Talladega Nights,” and “Extract.”

Koechner now resides in Los Angeles with his wife and five children.

“I usually don’t think I am too much of a pain in the ass,” he said with a laugh. “I guess they think I have too many rules and bitch too much about being on XBOX. Overall, I feel I am a pretty good dad. A nice man. I show them I care.”

With his oldest being just 16, Koechner said that his kids now are starting to see that what dad does is “pretty cool.”

“They grew up with my friends all being actors, writers and in the business so they thought everyone’s dad did that,” he explained. “Now they are seeing me in movies and being with me when people recognize me and they like it for the most part.”

Looking back over his career and those talents he brushed shoulders with, Koechner says he is very blessed.

“There were so many great ones,” he says. “Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Steve Carell, Jim Carrey, Mike Myers and so on. But the best in my book, the funniest I ever worked with…was Chris Farley. Not only was he the funniest, but he was also the sweetest.”

Koechner will perform at Laughing Gas Comedy Club, www.laughingas.net. !

WANNA go?

2105 Peters Creek Pkwy, Winston-Salem, NC 27127. (336) 608-2270 Thursday, July 16 9pm; Fri., July 17 8pm and 10pm; Sat., July 18 8pm and 10pm

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