Dave Thomas (actor)

Dave Thomas (actor)
Dave Thomas
Born May 20, 1949 (1949-05-20) (age 62)
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
Occupation Actor/Comedian
Years active 1974–present
Spouse Kimberly Ann Thomas

David "Dave" Thomas (born May 20, 1949) is a Canadian comedian and actor. He was born in St. Catharines, Ontario, but moved to Durham, North Carolina where his father, John E. Thomas, 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 he attended Dundas District high school and later, graduated with an honours Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.[1] Thomas was granted an honorary doctorate from McMaster University November 20, 2009.[2]




He is the eldest son of John and Moreen Thomas. John E. Thomas (1926–1996) was a noted medical ethicist, head of the Philosophy Department at McMaster University, and the author of several books. Moreen Thomas was a church organist for 30 years and noted composer of church music. He is the older brother of Canadian singer-songwriter Ian Thomas. Thomas is married and has four children. His sons, Johnathan Thomas and Harrison Thomas are members of the Los Angeles heavy metal group Tinhorn, with whom Thomas appeared on Tom Green Live.[3] Thomas has two daughters: Emily and Charlie.


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.[4]

He was a cast member of the Toronto production of Godspell along with Victor Garber, Martin Short, Eugene Levy, and Andrea Martin. Paul Shaffer of Late Night with David Letterman was the musical director.

He first achieved fame as a cast member of the Canadian syndicated TV comedy series SCTV, where he portrayed, among other characters, Doug McKenzie of beer-swilling brothers Bob and Doug McKenzie. Bob was portrayed by Rick Moranis. Other memorable characters included angry, if succinct editorialist Bill Needle, Scottish scone-chef/bluesman Angus Crock, speedy ad announcer Harvey K-Tel, Lowery organist/curio pitchman Tex Boil and the unforgettable "Cruising Gourmet".

Thomas' first movie was Home to Stay directed by Delbert Mann where Thomas played in a scene with Hollywood legend Henry Fonda. Then he wrote for and acted in The New Show, produced by Lorne Michaels during his hiatus from SNL. Short-lived, this show featured a powerhouse writing staff including Thomas along with Buck Henry, George Meyer, Jack Handey, Tom Gammill and Max Pross, Al Franken and Tom Davis, Jim Downey, 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 entitled B Men. This show was produced and the series was back ordered but Thomas took a directing job at Paramount which caused the network to abandon the show. He introduced John Travolta and his wife Kelly Preston when he put them together for the first time in the Paramount film Thomas directed entitled The Experts, while filming in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.

He wrote for, produced, and starred in the 1990 CBS TV series The Dave Thomas Comedy Show. In 1991 Dave officially starred in the critically acclaimed Showtime comedy, Public Enemy #2 which made Time magazine's 10 Very Best list for Television that year. In 1992 Thomas tried his hand at reality TV and co-executive produced ABC's America's Funniest People with Vin Di Bona. Thomas left America's Funniest People after thirteen weeks to play a role in Coneheads at the request of buddy Dan Aykroyd.

Starting 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, Thomas wrote the book SCTV: Behind the Scenes. He appeared on the Red Green Show as Ben Franklin, the American expatriate brother of Dougie Franklin, played by his brother, Ian Thomas. In 1999 Thomas appeared on Cosby with Tom Poston, reprising their father and son roles from Grace Under Fire.

From 1999-2002 Thomas played various roles on the animated series Mission Hill. In 2000 Thomas starred in the theatrical feature Most Valuable Primate. In 2000, Thomas co-starred with Lindsay Felton and Andy Dick in Caitlin's Way. In 2000, Dave Thomas was chosen to host the first annual Canadian Comedy Awards in Toronto.

Thomas co-starred with John Cleese, Rowan Atkinson, Amy Smart, Seth Green, and Jon Lovitz 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, CA. 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 Thomas co-starred with Jason Priestly, Dave Foley and Ewen Bremner in Fancy Dancing. In 2003 Thomas played the lead in the Universal feature Beethoven's Fifth also starring John Larroquette, Faith Ford, and Tom Poston.

In 2003 Thomas directed a hospital comedy feature film entitled Whitecoats which he also wrote. The movie starred a group of young Canadian talents including Carly Pope, Peter Oldring, Pat Kelly, Christine Chatelain, and Ingrid Kavelaars. Also rounding out the cast were Thomas himself along with comedy vets Dan Aykroyd, Dave Foley, Matt Frewer, Maury Chaykin, Linda Boyd and Saul Rubinek. 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. Also in that year, Thomas 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 and Family Guy. In 2004 Thomas co-starred with Marla Sokoloff, Jennifer Tilly, and Barry Watson in the theatrical feature Combo Platter aka Love on the Side.

In 2005, Thomas had a guest stint as Charlize Theron's Uncle Trevor on Fox's Arrested Development.

In 2006 Thomas reprised his voice role in Brother Bear 2 and appeared as himself in the feature film The Aristocrats. He also started production on ArnoldSpeaks.com, a video blog, as the voice of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Thomas' animation company Animax Entertainment won an Emmy for a broadband animated series produced for ESPN entitled Off Mikes.

In 2007, Thomas and Rick Moranis reprised their roles as Bob and Doug McKenzie in a one hour special "Bob and 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.[5] And Thomas created an animated sketch series for MTV entitled "Popzilla" along with writers Tim Hedrick, Kevin Pedersen. Jared Miller and R.J. Fried. The series spoofed pop culture icons and parodied show business.

In November 2009, Thomas received an Honorary Doctor of Letters from his alma mater McMaster University and gave the fall convocation speech.


  • ACTRA AWARD for Best Variety Performer in 1978.
  • Emmy Award in 1981 for Outstanding Writing in a Variety or Musical Program.
  • Canadian Juno Award for Best Comedy Album of the Year in 1981.
  • Nominated for a Grammy Award in 1983 for "Best Comedy Album"
  • Juno Award in 1983-84 for Best Comedy Album of the Year.
  • With the cast of Grace Under Fire won a People's Choice Award in 1994 for best new show.
  • Earl Grey Award in 1995 for his work on SCTV.
  • In 2002, he and the rest of the SCTV cast received a star on Canada's Walk of Fame.
  • Emmy Award in 2006 - Outstanding Achievement in Content for Non-Traditional Delivery Platforms – Thomas and his company Animax won this award for ESPN's Off Mikes- the first time the Emmys recognized programming produced for broadband.
  • Honorary Doctor of Letters from McMaster University in November 2009.
  • Lifetime Achievement Award from Humber College Toronto in November 2009.


Celebrities impersonations on SCTV


  1. ^ "Internet Movie Database Biography: Dave Thomas". http://www.mcmaster.ca/ua/alumni/. Retrieved 2008-01-14. 
  2. ^ "The Hamilton Spectator newspaper November 13, 2009". http://thespec.com/News/Local/article/672001. Retrieved 2009-11-13. 
  3. ^ youtube.com
  4. ^ Plume, Kenneth. "Interview with Dave Thomas (Part 1 of 5)" at movies.ign.com, February 10, 2000. [1]
  5. ^ Rob Salem, "Bob & Doug taking off again". Toronto Star, April 19, 2009.

External links

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