Born: May 20, 1949
Birthplace: St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
David William Thomas (born May 20, 1949) is a Canadian comedian, actor and television writer. He is best known for portraying Doug McKenzie on SCTV as well as in the film Strange Brew, which he also directed.
David William Thomas was born May 20, 1949 in St. Catharines, Ontario. He is the eldest son of Moreen Duff (Muir), a Scottish-born church organist for thirty years, and composer of church music, and John E. Thomas (1926-1996), a Welsh-born medical ethicist, head of the Philosophy Department at McMaster University, and the author of several books. His younger brother Ian is a Canadian singer-songwriter. The family moved to Durham, North Carolina, where his father attended Duke University and earned a PhD in Philosophy. Thomas attended George Watts and Moorehead elementary schools. The family moved back to Dundas, Ontario in 1961 where Thomas attended Dundas District high school and later, graduated with an honours Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. Thomas was granted an honorary doctorate from McMaster University November 20, 2009.
Starting his career as a copywriter at ad agency McCann Erickson in 1974, he became the head writer of the Coca-Cola account in Canada within a year. After watching a Second City stage show in Toronto, and while suffering from self-proclaimed "boredom" in his advertising work, he auditioned for the Second City troupe and was chosen as a performer. He was a cast member of the Toronto production of Godspell, along with Victor Garber, Martin Short, Eugene Levy, Gilda Radner, and Andrea Martin. Paul Shaffer was the musical director. He first achieved fame as a cast member of the Canadian TV comedy series SCTV, joining Godspell castmates Levy, Martin and later Short, plus Rick Moranis, John Candy, Harold Ramis, Catherine O'Hara and others. Notable characters on the show include Doug McKenzie of beer-swilling brothers Bob and Doug McKenzie, editorialist Bill Needle, Scottish scone-chef/bluesman Angus Crock, motor-mouthed TV ad announcer Harvey K-Tel, Lowery organist/curio pitchman Tex Boil and the unforgettable "Cruising Gourmet".
Thomas's first movie was Home to Stay directed by Delbert Mann where Thomas played in a scene with Hollywood legend Henry Fonda. He then wrote for, co-directed and starred in the Bob & Doug McKenzie feature film Strange Brew. Soon after, he wrote for and acted in The New Show, produced by Lorne Michaels during his hiatus from Saturday Night Live. Short-lived, this show featured a powerhouse writing staff including Thomas along with Buck Henry, George Meyer, Jack Handey, Al Franken, Tom Davis, Valri Bromfield and Steve Martin. Thomas tried his hand at network television hour-long shows in 1986 when he wrote and co-executive produced Steel Collar Man for CBS. The pilot was produced but did not go to series. In 1988 Thomas wrote another hour long show for CBS, B Men, which was back ordered, but Thomas took a directing job at Paramount, which caused the network to drop the series. He reportedly introduced John Travolta and Kelly Preston while directing them in the Paramount film The Experts.
He wrote for, produced, and starred in The Dave Thomas Comedy Show (1990). In 1991, he starred in the Showtime comedy, Public Enemy #2. In 1992, he tried his hand at reality TV and co-executive produced ABC's America's Funniest People with Vin Di Bona, but left after thirteen weeks to appear in the film Coneheads. In 1993, he officially co-starred in ABC's Grace Under Fire with Brett Butler and Tom Poston and continued with the show for 5 seasons. In 1995 Thomas starred in ABC TV movie Picture Perfect with Mary Page Keller and Richard Karn. In 1996, Thomas played the title role in the Fox TV movie Mr. Foster's Field Trip aka Kidz in the Wood with Julia Duffy. In 1996, he wrote the book SCTV: Behind the Scenes (McClelland & Stewart, publishers). From 1999-2002, he voiced various roles on the animated series Mission Hill. He also voiced Rex Banner in the Simpsons.
Thomas co-starred in the Paramount feature Rat Race. As of 2001, Thomas has been the Executive Creative Director of Animax Entertainment, an animation studio based officially in Culver City, California. In 2001-2002 Thomas appeared with Eugene Levy and Martin Short on Short's show Primetime Glick as Bob Hope (an impression he had first developed for SCTV with great success). In 2002, he co-starred with Jason Priestley, Dave Foley and Ewen Bremner in Fancy Dancing. The next year he played a lead role in Beethoven's Fifth. In 2003, he directed a hospital comedy feature film entitled Whitecoats, which he also wrote. As of 2004, Thomas was on the official Advisory Committee for the Comedy program at Humber College, the only such diploma program in the world. In 2004, he and Moranis reprised the voices of the McKenzie Brothers in Disney's animated feature Brother Bear.
Thomas has had a long career doing voices for animation including Animaniacs, Duckman, CatDog, The Adventures of Tarzan, Justice League of America and multiple roles on The Simpsons, King of the Hill and Family Guy. In 2005, he had a guest stint as Charlize Theron's "Uncle Trevor" on Fox's Arrested Development. In 2006, he reprised his voice role in Brother Bear 2 and appeared as himself in the feature film The Aristocrats. He began production on ArnoldSpeaks.com, a video blog, as the voice of Arnold Schwarzenegger; Animax Entertainment won an Emmy for a broadband animated series produced for ESPN, Off Mikes.
In 2007, Thomas and Rick Moranis reprised their roles as Bob and Doug McKenzie in a one-hour special "Bob & Doug McKenzie's Two-Four Anniversary" for CBC Television. The show featured cameos from McKenzie celeb fans like Ben Stiller, Dave Foley, Tom Green, Paul Shaffer, Andy Dick, Matt Groening, Barry Pepper, Martin Short, and Geddy Lee. Former Prime Minister of Canada Paul Martin was the host. In 2008, Thomas revived Bob and Doug McKenzie in a new animated series, Bob & Doug. While Thomas reprises the character of Doug in the new series, Moranis chose not to voice the character of Bob, which instead is voiced by Dave Coulier. Moranis is, however, involved in the series as an executive producer.
In November 2009, Thomas received an Honorary Doctor of Letters from his alma mater McMaster University and gave the fall convocation speech. In 2010 Animax continued to produce branded entertainment, advertising and digital shorts for corporations like Disney, Warner Brothers, NBC Universal, and Kodak. In 2011, Thomas' company Animax produced another animated show for MTV entitled Big Box along with numerous Internet shorts such as Life With Dad.
In 2012 and 2013 Thomas guest starred in the dramatic shows Perception and Bones as well as comedy shows Comedy Bang! Bang! and How I Met Your Mother. In addition in 2013 Thomas voiced the recurring role of Jeff Foxworthy's father Jesco in the CMT show Bounty Hunters.
Thomas joined the writing staff of the Fox crime drama television series Bones beginning in 2013. Thomas worked for two seasons on Bones, writing several episodes and working on staff as consulting producer for two seasons.
In 2015 Thomas joined the writing staff of NBC's The Blacklist as a consulting producer.
|1981||Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Writing in a Variety or Music Program||SCTV||Won|
|1982||Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Writing in a Variety or Music Program||SCTV||Nominated|
|1983||Grammy Awards||Best Comedy Album||The Great White North - Bob and Doug McKenzie||Nominated|
|1983-84||Juno Awards||Juno Award for Comedy Album of the Year||The Great White North - Bob and Doug McKenzie||Won|
|1994||People's Choice Awards||Favorite New TV Comedy||Grace Under Fire||Won|
|1995||Gemini Awards||Earle Grey Award for Best Cast||SCTV||Won|
|2005||27th Sports Emmy Awards||Outstanding Achievement In Content For Non-Traditional Delivery Platforms||Off Mikes - Writer for Animax||Won|