The thing about David Koechner is that he is so adept at playing a loud-mouthed, red-necked boob — so memorable in roles like sports anchor Champ Kind (“Anchorman”) and Steve Carrell contemporary Todd Packer (“The Office”) — that people often assume he is playing himself.
But he’s not.
“I don’t mind saying I’m not like that guy at all,” says Koechner, who is married with five children. “I know who that guy is, and that’s why I can play him.”
By now, most people are pretty familiar with Koechner, a University of Missouri alum and Tipton, Mo., native who went from Chicago’s Second City to “Saturday Night Live” to memorable roles alongside some of comedy’s heavyweights. In addition to “Anchorman,” he’s appeared in “Semi-Pro,” “Get Smart” and “Waiting…,” and has a supporting role in the new Jason Sudeikis movie “A Good Old-Fashioned Orgy,” which hit theaters in September.
Despite his rising profile, he has remained as good-natured and down-to-earth as they come, a family man who just took the Koechner brood to Mexico (with Slash’s family!) and who regularly makes it back to the Kansas City area, where many of his in-laws live. He was in town for last spring’s Big Slick Poker Tournament, for instance, and last month performed at the Kansas City Improv Comedy Club and Dinner Theatre in Zona Rosa.
Perhaps most impressively, he has yet to tire of the stream of college kids who bombard him in public with calls of “Whammy!” — his character’s oft-quoted catch-phrase in “Anchorman.”
“Oh, no, no, no. It’s delightful,” he says, asked whether the Champ Kind references have gotten old. “It’d be worse if people said, ‘Who are you?’ ”
Where do you live?: House in Los Angeles. “I live in a halfway house with my five kids.”
Pets: Two dogs, Mr. Business and Coconut
Ringtone: “I think it’s called ‘Robot.’ It sounds like this: ‘ Walla, walla; time to talk .’”
Local restaurant: “My wife is from Overland Park, Kansas, and so every time we come home we have to go to Taco Via.”
Drink: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
Food: Ribeye Steak
Charity: “The recent ones I worked with are Big Slick in Kansas City and rebuildjoplin.org.”
Sports team: Kansas City Chiefs
Athlete: Walter Payton. “He was all about excellence.”
Actors: The Monty Python troupe
Books: “The Dick Gibson Show” by Stanley Elkin and “Manufacturing Consent” by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky
Video game: “Galaga.” “If I feel like being owned, I’ll play my son in ‘Call of Duty.’ ”
Magazine: The Week
Blog: “My wife’s: absoluteleigh.com.”
Radio personality: Johnny Dare
Movie: “Apocalypse Now,” “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.”
TV show: “30 for 30” on ESPN, “Frontline” on PBS
Clothing brand: “I exclusively wear onesies.”
Pair of shoes: Lucchese boots
Way to excercise: “Play with the kids or work out at the gym.”
Band/singer: Wilco, Lou Reed
Place to spend an extra $50: “It’s all in my wife’s purse anyway.”
Phoning or texting: Phoning
Facebook or Twitter: Twitter. (@davidkoechner)
Thing to quote: “Genius is eternal patience.” — Michelangelo
Place to vacation: “We just got back from a vacation in Mexico with Slash and his family, and that went well, but my kids are always asking when we’re going back to Great Wolf Lodge.”