Family & Companions
A baby-faced Canadian comic actor, Dave Foley was a founding member of the daring offbeat comedy troupe, The Kids in the Hall, which was featured in a popular cult sketch series of the same name. The outlandish Monty Python-like group performed a number of outlandish skits that often featured its members in drag, while skewering anything and everything imaginable, including show business and even themselves. Foley distinguished himself from the group for his distinctive flair for the absurd, as he often played sarcastic and ironic characters with boyish charm. After The Kids parted ways in the mid-1990s, Foley went on to head the ensemble cast of "NewsRadio" (NBC, 1995-99), playing the straight man to an assortment of odd characters. From there, he guest starred on a number of notable series, including "Will and Grace" (NBC, 1998-2006), "Scrubs" (NBC/ABC, 2002-2010) and "Desperate Housewives" (ABC, 2005-2012), while appearing in a number of typically indie-made features like "Dick" (1999), "Stark Raving Mad" (2002) and "Grind" (2003). But it was his long association with The Kids in the Hall - who reunited several times over the years, including for North American tours in 2000 and 2008 - that allowed Foley to make a lasting impression, and influence new generations of comedians and fans.
Born on Jan. 4, 1963 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Foley was raised by his father, Michael, a steamfitter, and his mother, Mary, a homemaker. He began writing comedy in high school and dropped out in the early 1980s in order to join the Second City Comedy Troupe in Toronto, where he studied improvisation and met future Kids in the Hall member Kevin McDonald. Named after an old Sid Caesar joke, Foley and McDonald teamed up with comedians Bruce McCulloch, Mark McKinney and later Scott Thompson to form The Kids in the Hall in 1984, and began performing regularly. The troupe split early on after McKinney and McCulloch were courted by Lorne Michaels to write for the "Saturday Night Live." Foley went on to make his feature acting debut in the low-budget Canadian comedy, "High Stakes" (1987), and went on to make his first American film appearance in "Three Men and a Baby" (1987). He even found himself on "American Playhouse," portraying Welsh Rabbit in an airing of "The Prodigious Hickey" (PBS, 1987), as well as its two sequels, "The Return of Hickey" (PBS, 1988) and "The Beginning of the Firm" (PBS, 1989).
Meanwhile, Foley and the rest of the Kids reunited for the series "The Kids in the Hall" (CBC/HBO/CBS, 1988-1995), a sketch comedy show that was more reminiscent of "Monty Python's Flying Circus" than "Saturday Night Live." Originating on CBC and rebroadcast in America, "Kids in the Hall" featured outlandish bits with the members appearing as themselves as well as in a number of different guises, including drag. For his part, Foley often played smart alecks and smarmy types, essaying one of his more popular recurring characters - the charming and polite axe murderer who amiably enjoys small talk while covered in blood. Other notable sketches included delivering a favorable monologue on menstruation, as well as playing a variety of absurd characters like a man who suddenly grows breasts, a South American movie star prone to shooting people at random, an anal-probing alien, and Mr. Heavyfoot, a French Canadian man who for some reason has incredibly heavy feet. After the show went off the air in 1995, The Kids starred in their one and only feature, "Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy" (1996), which featured sketches centered around an antidepressant drug. The movie earned mixed reviews and failed at the box office, but found new life as a cult rental.
Foley soon branched out on his own and found continued success on the small screen by heading the talented ensemble cast of the hilarious sitcom, "NewsRadio" (NBC, 1995-99), where he played the uptight director of a 24-hour all-news station. Foley was the classic straight man to an assorted cast of colorful characters that included Phil Hartman and Andy Dick, though it was revealed throughout the series that he has unusual talents like tap dancing, knife throwing and being a ventriloquist. Meanwhile, Foley starred in the satirical comedy "The Wrong Guy" (1998), in which he played a corporate exec who goes on the run after being accused of killing his boss. After voicing characters in "A Bug's Life" (1998) and "South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut" (1999), Foley portrayed Bob Haldeman in the political satire "Dick" (1999), starring Michelle Williams and Kirsten Dunst, and had a small role in the Alicia Silverstone comedy "Blast from the Past" (1999). In 2000, The Kids in the Hall reunited for a tour of the U.S. and Canada, which resulted in the Foley-directed film "The Kids in the Hall: Same Guys, New Dresses" (2000). He had featured roles in "Monkeybone" (2001) and "On the Line" (2001), before appearing the comedies "Stark Raving Mad" (2002) and "Grind" (2003).
While he continued on the big screen with a small role in the Ashton Kutcher vehicle "My Boss' Daughter" (2003), Foley made several notable guest appearances on the small screen, logging episodes of "Will and Grace" (NBC, 1998-2006), "Grounded for Life" (Fox, 2001-05), "Las Vegas" (NBC, 2003-08), "Joey" (NBC, 2004-06) and "Scrubs" (NBC/ABC, 2002-2010). Foley appeared less often on the big screen, more so in indie features like the showbiz comedy "Childstar" (2005) and Uwe Boll's action comedy "Postal" (2007), though he did voice Flick Car in Pixar's animated "Cars" (2007). Foley's bread and butter remained on television, as he oscillated easily between comedy and drama with appearances on "Stargate: Atlantis" (Syfy, 2004-09), "In Plain Sight" (USA Network, 2008-2012), "Brothers & Sisters" (ABC, 2007-2011), "Leverage" (TNT, 2008-2012), "Hot in Cleveland" (TV Land, 2010-2015), "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" (FX, 2005- ), and "How I Met Your Mother" (CBS, 2005-2014). After reuniting with The Kids in the Hall for a North American tour in 2008, Foley delivered a fine comic turn as a stalker who offers Teri Hatcher a kidney on the popular dramedy "Desperate Housewives" (ABC, 2005-2012).
By Shawn Dwyer
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Dropped out of high school and began comedy career
Wrote for and acted with "The Kids in the Hall", a five-man Canadian comedy troupe onstage and on TV
American feature acting debut, a bit part in "Three Men and a Baby"
American TV debut, "The Prodigious Hickey" on PBS' "American Playhouse"; played Welsh Rabbit (aka George Baker Smith)
Feature acting debut (as David Foley), starred in "High Stakes", a low-budget Canadian comedy
"The Kids in the Hall" pilot aired on HBO as an "On Location" special
Reprised the role of Smith for "The Return of Hickey" on "American Playhouse"
Reprised the role of Smith for "The Beginning of the Firm" on "American Playhouse"
Debut in a drama, "No Apologies", a Canadian feature
"The Kids in the Hall" rebroadcast on "CBS Late Night"
First major supporting role in a US feature, "It's Pat", as Chris, the equally androgynous love interest of the title character
Appeared as Bob Haldeman in the Watergate-era comedy "Dick"
Had featured roles in "Monkeybone" and "On the Line"
Cast in the comedy "Stark Raving Mad"
Had a small role in the Ashton Kutcher comedy "My Boss's Daughter"
Played a Pro Skater Manager in the film "Grind"
Guest starred on the NBC comedy "Will and Grace"
Castv in the Walt Disney teen comedy "Sky High," starring Kurt Russell and Kelly Preston
Voice Flik Car in the Pixar animated film "Cars"
Guest-starred on the CBS comedy series "The New Adventures of Old Christine"
Voiced the character of Wayne in Disney's "Prep & Landing"; earned an Emmy (2010) nomination for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance