When most of us see David Koechner we see Champ Kind from Anchorman, Hershall from Talladega Nights, or even Uncle Earl from Hannah Montana. But what most don’t know about this popular comedian, is he is a married father of five.
Holy five kids! Bless his heart because my three are more than enough for me.
Last week I had the opportunity to talk with David and his wife Leigh about parenting, comedy, life … you know all the fun stuff you want to chat with a celebrity about while trying not to crack jokes from one of the movies he was in. I have to say my first real celebrity experience left me knowing that while there are some real crazies in Hollywood, there are others who are down-to-earth parents — just like you and me! David and Leigh (who authors her own blog called AbsoluteLeigh) are just as normal as any other parent out there!
I prepared myself with a list of different questions that I thought readers probably would have asked themselves, took a deep breath, and went for it.
Below are the best bits and pieces of my interview with the awesome David Koechner.
My question: What is it like being a parent and a comedian?
Well one of the things is all I have ever known. I was born into a family of six kids so I think early on it is something I developed to not only get attention but as a defense mechanism. And I have been working as a professional comedian/actor since 1986. So marrying that along with kids came twelve years ago. Once you are there, I don’t think you separate them. Its just what you do, and I think it helps everyone to employ humor in some of the situations.
Do you use some of your experience as a parent in your comedy routine?
Yes, yes, yes! But I resist doing too much of it because I remember when I was single if I would hear comics going on about kids too much it was kind of off-putting to me. What I try to do is use some situations from parenting to find something universal to draw on so everyone can relate to it. For instance, kids’ parties … they have gotten out of control as far as I am concerned! When I was growing up we got one party in grade school, in fourth grade, and that was it! Now they are starting in pre-school, and they are getting a jumpy and an entertainment act. It is out of control!
I myself could totally relate because we have been to some pretty extravagant birthday parties for kids. I don’t think a toddler is going to remember having a full on petting zoo or an acting troop at their party. Anyone out there agree with me?
Between questions, we both lamented over younger toddlers and the various choking hazards that our older children leave all over the house. David’s daughter, Eve, will stick out her tongue and show her parents something she is not supposed to have in her mouth — and then take off running! Does this sound familiar to anyone else? I know that it’s common in our house.
Do you have one funny story that really stands out about your toddlers?
I had been on the road and I came home to my twins who were toddlers at the time, and they wanted to play Candyland. So I said “Okay, Aubry is two minutes younger than Sargent and in Candyland the youngest goes first.” Well Sargent didn’t want it to go that way, so he goes first, I go second and then Aubry doesn’t get to play. I said “Wait a minute, hold up we are going to play by the rules.” He didn’t like it too much, so he hit his sister and ran to his room. So we played Candyland and he stayed quiet in his room. She beat me fair and square because I don’t know my colors, and I walk in his room and his carpet is wet. I asked him, “What happened here?” And he tells me Mr. Business (which is one of our dogs). I told him, “Well that is a lot of pee for Mr. Business” and he confessed,”Okay… I did it.” I asked him if he did that because of Candyland, and he said yes. I asked him if it was because I had been out of town, and he said yes. “You did that because you missed Daddy?” He said yeah. So I stood there and made a puddle double the size of Sargent’s. No, I am just kidding, but that is one of the stories I tell when I am on the road.
Somehow David ended up breaking off from the question above and going off on a very interesting theory on parenting:
You don’t own your children, we say my kids and our kids, but we don’t own them. They are individuals that just happen to be in our care for a number of years. They are still their own person, and what we want to do is become caretakers and disciplinaries to help guide them not dictate them.
Do you have any movies coming up that parents will enjoy?
The next movie that is parent and child friendly is an Adam Sandler movie called Hotel Transylvania, I do a voice in there of Quadimodo who is a chef in the hotel that Adam Sandler’s Dracula comes to visit.
What would you say to parents today that take parenting too seriously?
I would say why? You have to ask yourself what is important right now. We all want to control things right now, but parenting isn’t something we should control. What are you controlling? I am all about being careful, but I like to think if it is not going to hurt my child physically or emotionally or it is not going to hurt another person… you just gotta let them explore!
Is working with Will Ferrell like working with a toddler?
Will is wonderful and one of the brightest guys I have ever met, you can’t do what he does and not be a very rare individual. And I tell people, Will is as kind and good as you hope. He really is. He is very cheerful and an extraordinary listener — that is one thing most people don’t know about Will — he really gives you his focus. And he is a great dad.
He really had me going there for a minute! Ha! The moral of the entire interview turned out to be that you just can’t take parenting too seriously. You are dealing with children, remember?
The interview went on for almost an hour, and there was a lot of awesome stuff I wish I could include, but there just isn’t enough time, or room! One thing I did want to include is David and Leigh’s love for Huggies products. We had a great discussion about cloth diapering (they were told beforehand that I’m a cloth diapering mom), but if they had to pick one product and company that has helped them as parents most, it would be Huggies.
To celebrate this, David, Leigh, and Huggies are going to give one lucky reader here on Toddler Times a package of Huggies products. As a cloth diapering mom, I understand there is sometimes a time and place for disposable diapers. I of course understand and completely accept that not all families are cut out for cloth diapering like we are. Parenting is all about acceptance.
Thank you to David and Leigh for taking the time to chat with me for this blog post.