Anchorman's David Koechner at the Helium Comedy Club
One of Buffalo's best comedy clubs to host stand-up comedian Oct. 9-11
David Koechner doesn’t like to worry about things going wrong when he’s on stage. He doesn’t waste time thinking about what ifs or bother thinking about people not liking his show or getting nervous. He never saw comedy as a choice because he enjoys making people laugh and he always has.
There’s one what if the comedian and actor enjoys thinking about: “What if [the show] goes great?” He always looks forward to a difference in the audience, a tweak in his routine or as he put it, “being open to the possibility of new discovery.”
The veteran comedian and actor, well recognized for his role as Champ Kind in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Bergundy and Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is set to perform his “one-man variety show” at the Helium Comedy Club in downtown from Oct. 9 to the 11.
“I’ve always had the ability to make my friends laugh and you can get paid to make people laugh,” Koechner said.” Why wouldn’t you do that? It makes me happy. You should do the thing that makes you the happiest. That’s why I’m a male prostitute.”
Koechner might be best known for his acting, but he’s no stranger to stand up comedy or improv. He’s been taking advantage of open mic events in Los Angeles, where he lives with his wife and five kids and has been doing comedy for over 25 years.
As a kid, Koechner was one of six kids and he succeeded at fighting for attention. He would put on shows for his family, performing skits as Elvis or a dressing up as a girl. He grew up in a very funny family with a great sense of humor that forced him to try harder to get the laughs he loved.
The actor fondly remembers dropping out of school. He was a political science major at Benedict College in Kansas for three years when he realized he didn’t want to be a politician or lawyer. He stopped going to class and his grades plummeted. Koechner went home for winter break knowing his atrocious grades would arrive and unsure of how his parents would react.
“My dad said, ‘Dave, I don’t know what you want to do, but I don’t think you want to go to school,’” Koechner said, laughing. “To me, it was a huge relief.”
After he dropped out, he bought a car, worked three jobs and began saving for his move to Chicago. In Chicago he got a job and began performing improv and stand up.
“I never thought I couldn’t do it, but I was very fortunate to find success on the stage right away,” Koechner said.
He didn’t always succeed, but he took every challenge and obstacle like an opportunity to improve, he said.
Now, a veteran comedian, Koechner works with improv group Beer Truck Mice, who recently performed at the ImprovOlympic (iO) in Chicago – a venue and school that has become a hub for today’s most influential comedic minds and where Koechner began formally studying improv.
Koechner went to the iO at “a remarkable time.” He was in Chicago at the same time as Adam McKay, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Mike Myers, Steven Colbert, Chris Farley and Steve Carrell.
“All these people were in town, doing stage work at the same time and we all got to play together,” Koechner said. “It was incredible. You don’t know that [they’re all going to] be affecting mass media in a way, at the time. But these are some major influencers in the comedy world. And you look back and you’re like, ‘Holy shit, I was there at a really special time.’”
He’s very fortunate and happy that his life has turned out the way it has.
After performing live for more than 25 years, Koechner still loves the thrill of the stage. He performs a one-man variety show full of jokes, stories, characters and songs, including “the dirtiest song ever written,” so it isn’t for the fair of heart.
“My show’s kind of like a buffet, or let’s say a really good ale,” Koechner said in a phone interview. “[In an ale] you have hops, your malts and all the other ingredients that go into beer. I’d say that’s what my stand up is like; it has a lot of different flavors.”
And from Oct. 9 through the 11, he’ll bring his comedic brew to Helium Comedy Club.