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‘The Office’ and ‘Anchorman’ star David Koechner is ready for his standup

UPDATED: Thu., Feb. 3, 2022

With apologies to Post Malone’s father, David Koechner isn’t a Dallas Cowboys fan. The comic-actor just plays a rabid aficionado of America’s Team on television. “It’s crazy since Post Malone’s dad (Richard Post), who is my age, comes up and hugs me when I was backstage at his son’s show a few years ago since my son is a fan,” Koechner said while calling from his Los Angeles home.

“He embraces me and says, ‘Tell me it’s true that you’re a Cowboys fan,’ since he worked at the Cowboys Stadium (AT&T Stadium) for years.” Koechner, 59, who is a die-hard but currently depressed Kansas City Chiefs fan, portrays a Pokes fan on the hit sitcom “The Goldbergs.” However, Koechner isn’t Bill Lewis, his recurring Goldbergs character. He’s not Todd Packer, who he hilariously portrayed in “The Office.” Koechner isn’t Champ Kind from the “Anchorman” films.

If fans want to get to know who Koechner really is, check out his shows Friday and Saturday at Spokane Comedy Club. “What I’m presenting in Spokane is a hybrid of standup and a one-man show,” Koechner said. “I go back to when I grew up in central Missouri. I met all of these interesting characters at this (sideshow) my dad worked on. It was quite an experience for a kid seeing scantily clad women and a mule that jumped from a 40-foot-high perch with a monkey on his back into a 20,000-gallon tank. I was from a town of 2,000 people, and I saw so much wild stuff during the 1970s.”

Koechner had bigger dreams than performing in townie sideshows. The father of five children studied improv in Chicago with the Second City, which led to work with “Saturday Night Live” during the mid-1990s. After working as a sketch player on “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” during the late 1990s, Koechner scored the role of the wacky sportscaster on “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.”

Koechner starred in the amusing and way under-the-radar “Another Period” and has appeared in other films such as “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” “Talladega Nights” and “The Dukes of Hazzard.” “It’s been such a great experience across the board,” Koechner said. “I had such a great time on the set of ‘Dukes of Hazzard’ with Burt Reynolds, who was the best storyteller ever. He was telling stories on Willie Nelson’s tour bus that were unbelievable.”

But Koechner is a pretty good yarn spinner in his own right, and he’ll drop anecdotes when he performs over the weekend. “I’m enjoying what I’m doing now,” Koechner said. “Unlike a lot of people who do this, I didn’t start out as a standup. I was an actor first, but I love the connection and immediacy performing in front of an audience.”

Koechner grew up watching Abbott and Costello and the Marx Brothers. “Those were my heroes,” Koechner said. “Most people who do standup, their heroes are other standup comics, but that’s not my story.” While chatting about “The Office,” which delivers strong numbers in syndication, Koechner laughs while analyzing the show’s staying power. “It’s amazing since people just watch it over and over,” Koechner said.

“Someone should do a college paper on ‘The Office’ phenomenon. My theory is that 12-year-olds like it since there is adult humor. Teenagers watch it because they see what they believe, which is all adults are dumb. Those in college watch, and they see that the workplace isn’t that intimidating. They think, ‘If these idiots can work and survive, so can I.’ I’ve been fortunate to be a part of a number of cultural phenomenons. People love the ‘Anchorman’ movies and ‘The Goldbergs.’ ”

Koechner raves about his experience on the set of the latter. “ ‘The Goldbergs’ is just so great to be part of for so many reasons,” Koechner said. “The writing is fabulous. The character I play is so much fun to play. The rest of the cast is wonderful, and then there is (‘Goldbergs’ star) Wendi (McLendon-Covey). She doesn’t get enough love. She’s tremendous. Why hasn’t ABC pushed her for awards?”

Shortly after landing another acting gig, Koechner ran into Post Malone again just before the pandemic hit. “It was six months (after getting his latest role), he was playing in town, and I took the whole family backstage. I said, ‘Post, tell your dad I’m on a new show.’ He said, ‘Why not just tell me?’ ”

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