Maybe you know David Koechner's name, maybe you don't—but odds are, you know his face. The actor/comedian/improviser/producer is "that guy"—you know, the one guy you like from that one thing? And he's at the Aladdin tonight, performing standup and a little improv.
Best known for two roles (Champ Kind in Anchorman and Anchorman 2, and Todd Packer on The Office) Koechner got his start as an improviser in Chicago. He began at Improv Olympic, moved over to The Second City, and got cast on Saturday Night Live for one season. Shortly after his stint on SNL, he moved to LA. And, he says in a phone interview, he's been "working steadily” since then.
It shouldn’t be surprising that a guy who has built a really solid career on great character work is calm and down to earth, and has a strong sense of appreciation for the fact that his job is entertaining people. Playing Champ Kind in Anchorman was his breakout role, but his resume is long. Commercials, sitcom appearances, sketch work, voiceovers—he’s done a lot, and emits a grounded gratitude for the work he’s been able to do.
With his show tonight at the Aladdin, Koechner’s breaking out into standup. “I do jokes,” he says, “observational humor, some story humor, characters, there’s some music.” And given his roots, “There’s a dose of improv. I like to make every show a little original and different from the others.”
He started the live show to get back in front of audiences. “I love live performance,” he says. “For 10 years I did an improv show with buddies here in LA. My wife and kids were like, ‘Why are you leaving us on a Saturday to go downtown and do a show for free?’ This gives me the opportunity to go do a show for a weekend, come back to my family, have some fun, and hopefully the audience has fun too.”
On top of everything else he’s doing, Koechner is also developing a show for NBC right now. “It’s a variety show,” he says, and the pilot is shooting in March. “We’re charged with creating something smart, inclusive, and aspirational. We’re hoping to come up with something for everyone.”
Based on his track record, that’s probably not too much of a stretch. Check him out tonight at the Aladdin.