David William Thomas, actor, writer, director (born at St Catharines, Ont 20 May 1948). Dave Thomas went to public school in Durham, North Carolina, and returned to Canada where he attended high school in Dundas, Ont. He received a bachelor of arts degree with honours in English literature from McMaster University in Hamilton in 1972. He began his career at a Toronto ad agency, soon moving to New York as the head writer on a Coca-Cola account. After three years writing ad copy, Dave Thomas left to pursue his first love, writing and performing comedy. In 1975, he joined the Second City troupe in Toronto, performing at the Old Firehall Theatre with the likes of Joe Flaherty, John Candy, Catherine O'Hara, and another McMaster alumni, Eugene Levy. He became part of the original cast of SCTV in 1976, along with O'Hara, Flaherty, Levy, Candy, Harold Ramis, Robin Duke, and Andrea Martin.
During his five-year run with the hugely popular series, Dave Thomas won an Emmy Award for his writing, and most famously, he teamed with Rick Moranis to create the endearing, toque-wearing, beer-swilling McKenzie brothers in "The Great White North" segment. The duo won a Juno Award in 1981 for best comedy album of the year, Bob and Doug McKenzie: Great White North (it was also nominated for a Grammy), and their antics spawned the feature film Strange Brew in 1983. It won the Golden Reel Award for the highest-grossing Canadian film at the domestic box office. Thomas and Moranis originally created the Bob and Doug characters to mock the CBC's requirement that the show have "identifiable Canadian content." Thomas's other popular SCTV characterizations were spot-on impersonations of newscaster Walter Cronkite and comedian Bob Hope.
Thomas and the rest of the original cast of SCTV won the prestigious Earle Grey Award for Lifetime Achievement at the Gemini Awards in 1995. In 1996, Dave Thomas wrote SCTV: Behind the Scenes, a book about his experiences on SCTV, and in 2003 he and Moranis reprised the voices of the McKenzie brothers in Disney's animated feature Brother Bear.
Since Dave Thomas left SCTV he has been busy directing, taking small parts in films, and writing for and appearing in a number of American television shows. He had his own short-lived show on CBS, The Dave Thomas Comedy Show (1990), and was the head writer on and had a recurring role as Russell in Grace under Fire (1993-98). In 1993, he starred in the critically acclaimed Showtime original comedy Public Enemy #2, which made Time magazine's 10 Very Best list for television that year, and directed and co-wrote the made-for-television movie Ghost Mom. He has voiced animated shows such as The Simpsons, Animaniacs and King of the Hill, and made guest appearances in Joe Flaherty's Maniac Mansion, Steve Smith's The Red Green Show, Martin Short's Primetime Glick, the cult favourite Arrested Development, and Weeds.
In films, he appeared in Ivan Reitman's Stripes (1981), Sesame Street Presents Follow that Bird (1985), Boris and Natasha (1992), Coneheads (1993), MVP: Most Valuable Primate (2000), and Rat Race (2001).
In 2007, Thomas and his brother, singer/songwriter Ian Thomas, created a live stage show entitled "Brothers Forever." While touring Canada with its music and comedy, the show was also videotaped for television broadcast. The following year Dave Thomas provided the voice of Doug in a new animated TV series called Bob and Doug, based on the Mackenzie Brothers characters. He has lent his voice to several family-oriented animated television series including Hasbro Studio's Pound Puppies (2011-12) and Nickelodeon's The Last Airbender: The Legend of Korra (2012)
Dave Thomas is a founding partner and co-owner of Animax Entertainment, a Los Angeles-based, Emmy Award-winning digital animation studio producing animated shows as well as corporate broadband and television advertising animation.
In 2002, as a member of the cast of SCTV, he was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame. In 2009 he received a Doctor of Letters from McMaster University.