Whammy! David Koechner Talks 'Anchorman 2' & Raising 5 Kids

"Four of my children were all conceived on the same day, and then born over the next 10 years."

'Anchorman 2' Actor David Koechner

Whether you know him as Todd Packer from The Office or Champ Kind from Anchorman, chances are actor David Koechner has made you laugh with his over-the-top antics and loud one-liners.

But in real life, Koechner is a far cry from the characters he portrays. He and his wife of 15 years have five children (plus one helluva story about making them!), and he's remarkable soft spoken when delivering quips. 


With Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues hitting theaters this week, we caught up with the funnyman to get a behind-the-scenes peek:

YourTango: When you were filming the first Anchorman film, was there any thought of doing a sequel? 
David Koechner: No, you don't think of the second one while doing the first. You only hope for the best and hope that this is a good one.

YourTango: When the idea did come up, was there any hesitation, or were you automatically onboard?
David Koechner: Oh, everyone was onboard! Everyone was onboard after the first one! Why wouldn't we do this again? I think at the end of the first one, there was that thought of, 'Wow, this is great. Wouldn't it be great to do it again if this one works', because everyone had such an amazing experience. The sequel got close to getting made once, and then it went away, so everyone was grateful when it actually happened this time.


YourTango: Did it feel different getting back together with the guys after so much time had past?
David Koechner: No, everyone is the same person. People's careers are in different places, people have bigger houses, more kids, so in regard to all that, it's changed; but otherwise, everyone's the same person, and they're all amazing gentlemen, really.

YourTango: Had you worked with any of them prior to the first film?
David Koechner: Will I had known since '95 when he and I were on the cast of Saturday Night Live together, and Steve Carell I've known for even longer. He was a Second City member [at the same time I was], and I was in a comedy company with his wife. I was at their wedding.

YourTango: Speaking of weddings, you've been married for 15 years, and in Hollywood no less! What's your secret?
David Koechner:
We both are committed to the relationship, and basically that's it. You're in, so you make it work. We've gone to a bunch of different marriage workshops—my wife is great about scheduling those types of things, and we always try to grow as a couple. And as we've grown as a family, it's just fun to see a reflection of yourself run around the house all the time. And we both feel like we have a duty and responsibility to those lives we've created, and what's the best way for that life to thrive? Make sure you've got a strong, cohesive family unit

More from YourTango!


YourTango: Did you and your wife always know you wanted a big family?
David Koechner:
She always said she did, but I only wanted two. And we definitely have a different dynamic of how it came to be. We met, and then nine months later we were engaged, and then nine months after that we were married, and then nine months after that, we were pregnant. That wasn't planned, it's just how it happened.

So Charlie was born five months premature before our first anniversary, and it was an emergency C-section. The end result was that my wife ended up loosing her uterus because she was bleeding to death—it's a fun story, folks! I hope you're not eating! But they left her ovaries, so a year later, my wife investigated gestational surrogacy, so we pulled eggs from her ovum and spermatazoa from my balls, and we fertilized 11 embryos. Then we took the first three embryos and put them in our surrogate, and we got our daughter Margot, and we froze the other eight.

We had a boy and a girl, and I was pretty satisfied, but my wife was in the position that she felt like those are babies that we'd already created, so a couple of years later, we did another contract with another surrogate and thawed out the first group of four. What will happen after the thaw is there will be a viable embryo or they'll just fragment, and it wouldn't have been an embryo anyway. So we introduced three to the surrogate, and we got twins! Boy/girl twins, Sargent and Audrey, and at that point, we had two girls and two boys, so I was really satisfied.

I was getting older and we had a full house—we had four bedrooms, so it was like we're tighter now! But my wife kept saying, 'Those are babies', so for her birthday in 2010, I said, 'Ok, let's try it one last time.' So we thawed the last group of four, and there was only one viable of those, and we introduced it to the surrogate and of course we got pregnant, because oddly enough, our issue is not infertility, even though we had to go through all that! So anyway, we got our daughter Eve in 2011. The amazing thing is this: Three different women have carried my children. Four of my children were all conceived on the same day, and then born over the next 10 years.


YourTango: OK, let's have a little 'Would you rather?' fun: Who would you rather be stuck on a desert island with: Steve Carell or Will Ferrell?
David Koechner:
That is too cruel a question to answer! That's a terrible choice to make. That's like making me choose one of my kids. Both of them. Either one would be a delightful person to spend eternity with. I'm jealous of their wives.

YourTango: I can tell you're going to make this difficult. Who would you rather have an on-screen kiss with: Christina Applegate or Kristen Wiig?
David Koechner:
That's not fair again. I love both of those women. They are fantastic.

YourTango: Who is the bigger misogynist in real life: Paul Rudd or Steve Carell?
David Koechner:
Well, they aren't! I've never heard either one of them say a cross or degrading word about a woman, and that's an honest truth. And it would be awful to suggest either one of them are, and not myself. I would say this then: Champ Kind.

YourTango: If you had to do movies or stand-up for the rest of your life, which would it be?
David Koechner:
Do they pay the same?


YourTango: Yes.
David Koechner:
That's a good one. I have so many qualifiers, though. Are the movies shooting in Los Angeles only?

YourTango: Let's say equal family time and equal pay.
David Koechner:
Well, I guess I would have to say movies, because then you get to play with a lot more people. You're still doing live performance—it's just not an immediate audience ... and that would be a tough thing to lose, but it's so much fun to play with people. Not more fun, but so much fun to play with people.

YourTango: Who are you recognized as more often: Champ Kind or Todd Packer?
David Koechner:
Generally if people know me, they know both. But I'll walk around and I hear either, 'Packer!' or, 'Can I get a whammy?' Or there's just a recognition. 


YourTango: Do your kids get sick of you getting recognized?
David Koechner:
My daughter got concerned for a while that I wasn't going up and talking to everyone who recognized me. She would say, 'Dad, that person's looking at you, you should go say hi.' She started noticing that, but it's all happened slowly for me over the years, so it's been a nice build. I'm not as big a star as A-List people in Hollywood, so I live a pretty normal life.

YourTango: How do you balance film, television, and doing stand-up?
David Koechner: Well, it's just another prong of the trident of whatever you're doing. I have five kids and that's a reality, and they have to eat, apparently, every day. I really enjoy live entertainment, and it really does inform and feed your career. I don't go out for long extended tours.

YourTango: And you have a YouTube channel now!
David Koechner: Yes, Full On Koechner. I did a partnership with Full On Comedy, and it's interesting because I didn't know anything about YouTube when I started and it has been a great experience. I do that as much as I can, so usually when I have a block of time when I'm off, then I get together with a bunch of guys and we shoot a bunch of stuff. So there's hopefully a time coming up in the next month that I can crank some new stuff out. 

YourTango: You're in the movie Hits, which comes out in May and David Cross directed. What was it like having a comedian as a director?
David Koechner: Well, David is a really bright guy and he's a writer, too. I'd worked with David on a movie before called Run Ronnie Run in 1999, so I've had a long relationship with Dave. He asked if I could play a part and I was able to kick out some time and get to upstate New York and film it.