Very few actors or comedians are more recognizable these days than David Koechner.
With a career that spans more than 15 years, Koechner is probably best known for his loud-mouthed, catchphrase-spitting characters like Champ Kind from Anchorman and Todd Packer on The Office. Prior to his big-screen career, Koechner was a long-time regular on the improv scene, and served as a cast member on Saturday Night Live. This week, he'll be making a special stop at Mill City Nights in Minneapolis, trying his hand at standup.
Before the king of the "WHAMMY!" heads into town, we talked with Koechner about his upcoming variety show for NBC, getting back on stage for live crowds, and why sometimes you have to play the hits.
[jump] Most fans know you from movie and TV roles, but what's a David Koechner stage show like?
It's standup. I think a lot of people show up expecting a lot of improv since they know that's my background, but then they show up and get some standup, some stories, and some characters for an hour. It's a real party atmosphere. I love doing live shows because that's where I came from.
When you get that type of party atmosphere going at your shows, do you ever get sick of people yelling out catchphrases at you?
I don't mind it at all. When I hear someone yell "WHAMMY!" I know that they're fans and they want to see you play the hits. I want to give the people what they want, and if they want a "WHAMMY!" that's what they'll get.
Outside of your standup tour, what else are you working on for this year?
I've got a new movie coming out called Cheap Thrills. It's a sinister-type thriller where my partner and I start playing games with a couple of guys for money and it gets really dark. It's like nothing I've ever done before but it definitely sucks you in.
You're working on a new TV project as well, right?
I'm creating a new variety show for NBC that I'm excited about. It's not necessarily going to be sketch comedy, because I think a lot of people are getting too comfortable with what the traditional idea of sketch comedy is all about. Mine is going to be more of a short-format show, if that makes sense. It'll be out this spring; it'll make more sense when you see it.
Speaking of things making sense, what made you decide to hit Minneapolis in February?
I really don't mind it. Minneapolis is a great comedy town and it's going to be fun to see it.
The fact that you've got five kids at home doesn't have anything to do with it?
Of course not. But having kids and being on the road definitely adds another quiver to it.
IF YOU GO:
Saturday, February 15
Mill City Nights
111 5th St. N., Minneapolis.
18+, $25, 7 p.m.