Dave lived in Toronto through age 6, then moved to Durham, North Carolina, where his dad got his Ph.D. in Philosophy at Duke University. His mother worked with Drs. Zeiner and Rhine, whose work in parapsychology is famous) in the Psychology Lab there. His family moved to Britain (both his parents were British). His father's parents lived in Birmingham, England and they had relatives in Edinburgh, Scotland and Wales as well. They spent time (and previous summers) with them all. They moved back to Toronto when he was twelve. He also lived in Vancouver, British Columbia. As the 5'10" Thomas states, he's still growing up in Los Angeles.
His father went on to become a famous philosopher and medical ethicist, authoring several books. He died in 1996. His mother is church organist, whose original music has been published by Lyon and Healy in Chicago. His younger brother, Ian, is a musician with 18 albums to his credit, a dozen movie scores, and original songs, covered by artists like Air Supply, America, Chicago, Manfred Mann, and Bette Midler.
Dave got a master's degree in English Literature from McMaster University, where he met Martin Short, Eugene Levy, and Ivan Reitman. After college, he worked for advertising agency, McCann-Erickson, in Toronto until he was transferred to their New York office.
In 1974, he auditioned for the Second City Stage Show in Toronto and got in. Wanting to supplement his income and having all those connections from advertising, he and fellow Second City stager, Dan Akroyd, started writing ads for local retailers and CBC scripts for television shows while doing the stage show at night. In 1976, the producers of the Second City theater in Toronto decided to start up "SCTV" and he was cast for that. He also wrote a screenplay with Dan that year that didn't get made. Then they wrote "Spies Like Us", which Dan ended up shooting with Chevy Chase several years later. In 1979, he went to California and wrote a screenplay for Columbia Pictures--on the same lot where John Candy and Dan Aykroyd were shooting "1941" for Steven Spielberg. Somewhere around that time, he had a small part in "Stripes" for his college pal, Ivan Reitman.
He met Rick Moranis at a party, who had been writing for the CBC and performing stand-up in nightclubs in and around Toronto. He convinced the producers of "SCTV" to hire him. "SCTV" replaced "The Midnight Special" on NBC Friday late nights, where it started to get noticed, was nominated for Emmys and won. Dave and Rick improvised the McKenzie Brothers, their breakout roles, which was intended to mock the CBC's request for two minutes of Canadian content since the Canadian version of the show was two minutes longer than the U.S. version (fewer commercials). Having run short of programming, some of the McKenzies' segments crept into the U.S. version, which caught on faster in the U.S. than in Canada.
They went on to do the "Great White North" album for Polygram, which went Gold, then Platinum. It is often reported that Dave was a schoolmate of Geddy Lee of Rush, guest vocalist on their Number One hit single, "Take Off", when in fact, it was Rick Moranis who was Geddy's schoolmate at Faywood Public School in Downsview, Ontario.
They got an offer from MGM and decided to leave "SCTV" in 1983 to do the movie, "The Adventures of Bob & Doug McKenzie: Strange Brew", which Thomas co-wrote, co-directed, and co-starred in with Moranis. It received Canada's Golden Reel Award, as the highest grossing film of 1983. When a sequel was floated a few years ago, there were no takers and that project seems to have been permanently shelved.
At the time of "Strange Brew", success was starting to bother Dave. He took a break, left Hollywood, and went home to Canada. He didn't stop working, however, and in addition to spending time with his family, he kept busy writing and producing network television pilots. He returned to Hollywood when he began to miss performing in sketch comedy. Dave co-created and co-executive produced "America's Funniest People" for ABC in 1990.
Dave has appeared in numerous movies and television shows. Dave served as Executive Producer of Family Challenge for the Family Channel, through his production company, Maple Palm Productions.
Most recently, as Creative Director of Los Angeles-based Animax Interactive, Dave has assembled a bullpen of Hollywood writers and artists with experience in TV, Film, and Radio. Animax Interactive is a digital animation studio that develops and produces dynamic content for entertainment and advertising clients. The company creates animation for existing brands and develops new characters for a variety of applications: TV series, commercials, short films, games, and interactive advertising, among others. They deliver Hollywood-quality concepts and execution using new technologies for television, Internet, wireless, e-mail, DVD, and other delivery systems. Samples on their website include animated shorts, featuring celebrity voiceovers by Thomas, Rick Moranis, and Paul Shaffer, demonstrate and explain Animax Interactive's business. Visit their site at http://wwwanimaxinteractive.com or click on More Info in the News section of this page.
Dave lives in Malibu, California with his wife of 11 years, Kim, and their three children, John, Emily, and Harry.… Expand