|Type||Film, Television, Stage and Radio|
|Birth||16 May 1961, Montreal|
Kevin Hamilton McDonald (born May 16, 1961) is a Canadian actor, voice actor and comedian. He is known as a member of The Kids in the Hall, the voice of Pleakley in the Lilo & Stitch franchise, Waffle in Catscratch, Pastor Dave in That 70s Show, and the Almighty Tallest Purple in Invader Zim. Kevin also stars as a co-pilot in the new web comedy series Papillon.
McDonald was born in Montréal, Québec, the son of Sheila and Hamilton McDonald, who was a dental equipment salesman. He moved to Los Angeles, California at the age of seven, after his father was transferred there. His family subsequently lived in Toronto, Ontario as well. McDonald has a younger sister, Sandra.
During an interview on WTF with Marc Maron, McDonald discussed his father, Hamilton “Hammy” McDonald’s severe alcoholism, which inspired the memorable Kids In The Hall sketches “Daddy Drank” and “Girl Drink Drunk.” Although he calls his mother “a wonderful woman,” she was nevertheless reluctant to leave him until Kevin turned 19, when his father’s drinking had escalated to two bottles of vodka daily.
McDonald, his mother and sister rented an apartment, where they quietly moved their belongings “every night [after his father would] collapse on the stairs.” Once they had completely moved, his parents divorced, his father lost his job, went bankrupt and lived in a homeless shelter for a year, during which he abstained from drinking (although he alleged “his roommates were drinking Drano”); coincidentally, Kevin McDonald would use the same building to rehearse with The Kids In The Hall as they were starting out on stage. His father was able to find employment at a flower shop, then an apartment and, over time, resume his career in dental equipment sales. Eventually, he did drink again, but not to the extent he had earlier in his life and died of an aneurysm in 2004.
Kevin McDonald would use his relationship with his father as the basis for a one-man show, “Hammy And The Kids”, in which he said he had no happy ending to the story of his father; but, during his interview with Marc Maron, he said after one performance of his one-man show, he was approached by a stranger who said that he had served his father as a bartender, and that his father mentioned how proud he was of his son, the famous comedian, which moved McDonald to tears “like [it was] the ending to a bad movie.”
McDonald briefly studied acting at a community college, where he was kicked out for being “a one-legged actor” (i.e. he could perform comedy, but not drama) by a dean who had a leg amputated, and was therefore a literal one-legged actor. However, William B. Davis, who would later find fame in his portrayal of Cigarette Smoking Man on The X-Files, was one of his professors, saw McDonald’s potential and encouraged him to pursue improv comedy by giving him the number to Second City in Toronto.
During his youth, he had a weight problem. It wasn’t until just prior to The Kids in the Hall in the late 1980s that he went from overweight to rather skinny. Several sketches and monologues allude to the issue, and a stockier McDonald can be seen in archival footage on The Kids in the Hall on DVD box sets.
McDonald founded The Kids in the Hall with his friend Dave Foley. They met in Toronto at the Second City Training Center, and the two wrote and performed in sketches together more than any other pair in the group. In the troupe’s TV show and stage shows, he portrays several popular recurring characters, such as the King of Empty Promises, Sir Simon Milligan, and Jerry Sizzler. Still, it’s a frequent running gag that McDonald is the least popular member and always struggling not to get kicked out.
Since The Kids in the Hall’s end in 1994, he’s played many roles in movies like Boy Meets Girl, Agent Pleakley in the Lilo & Stitch franchise, and Harry Potter in Epic Movie. On television, he has appeared on The Martin Short Show, Ellen (as a radio personality), That ’70s Show (as a confused young cleric, Pastor Dave), Seinfeld, Friends, NewsRadio (on which Foley starred), MADtv, Arrested Development, and Corner Gas. McDonald has also done voice work for various animated series, including Invader Zim (in which he did the voice for Almighty Tallest Purple), The Angry Beavers, Catscratch (in which he voiced Waffle), and Clerks: The Animated Series. He also played an imaginary friend named Ivan in the Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends episode Sight For Sore Eyes, and appeared in the music video for “Roses” by OutKast.
In 2006, McDonald hosted a CBC Television special, featuring several of Canada’s best-known sketch comedy troupes. “Sketch with Kevin McDonald” won a Canadian Comedy Award (Best Taped Live Performance – The Minnesota Wrecking Crew), with “The Imponderables” nominated for the same award.
He was recently in Montréal as a part of the Just for Laughs Festival with the reunion of The Kids in the Hall, and also with his show “Hammy and the Kids” with Craig Northey, based on his two dysfunctional families, his father (“Hammy”) and The Kids in the Hall.
AWARDS AND NOMINATIONS
- 1989 – Gemini Award for Best Writing in a Comedy or Variety Program or Series – Won
- 1989 – Gemini Award for Best Performance in a Variety or Performing Arts Program or Series – Won
- 1990 – Gemini Award for Best Writing in a Comedy or Variety Program or Series – Won
- 1992 – Gemini Award for Best Performance in a Comedy Program or Series – Nominated
- 1993 – Gemini Award for Best Performance in a Comedy Program or Series – Won
- 1993 – Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Writing in a Variety or Music Program – Nominated
- 1993 – CableACE Award – Nominated
- 1994 – Gemini Award for Best Performance in a Comedy Program or Series – Nominated
- 1994 – Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Writing in a Variety or Music Program – Nominated
- 1995 – Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Writing in a Variety or Music Program – Nominated
- 1995 – Gemini Award for Best Writing in a Comedy or Variety Program or Series – Nominated
- 1996 – Gemini Award for Best Writing in a Comedy or Variety Program or Series – Nominated
- 1996 – Gemini Award for Best Performance in a Comedy Program or Series – Nominated
- 1998 – Silver Hugo Award for Best Documentary – Won
- 2003 – Gemini Award for Best Performance or Host in a Variety Program or Series – Nominated