Todd Packer Comes to Ridgefield, Tells I-95 Character Was Created Like Soup
David Koechner AKA Todd Packer from "The Office" is coming to Ridgefield, CT.
Koechner will be in town performing "The Office Trivia With Todd Packer" on November 3rd at the Ridgefield Playhouse. Packer joined the Thursday (10/26/23) edition of the I-95 Morning Show and we covered it all. We asked David about his relationship with Steve Carell, how he developed the Packer character and what's next for him.
Lou: you came up in improv comedy, you did Second City, SNL, tell us how a guy from Tipton, Missouri makes his way to Hollywood.
David: "Isn't it crazy? I guess I want to say dumb luck but I guess a dream, honest to God because that is what I wanted to do. I wasn't deterred by anything other than my goal. Other than me going I can't because I don't know anybody or anything like that, it's just truly what I wanted and that is why it happened."
Lou: I hear that a lot from successful people is that, they didn't have a backup plan. I really appreciate that perspective when people say, if this fails I'm ruined so I can't let it fail.
David: "Right, the thing is, it sounds arrogant but I never really had a doubt. Once I made that decision I knew in my heart of hearts it was going to work."
Lou: When did you make that decision, what age were you and what were you doing at the time?
David: "I was 13. I know it's weird I remember the exact time. I remember I was standing next to this tree in my backyard looking at the sunset and I was leaning against the tree and I knew I was going to go and I was going to make it. I didn't know the exact path, I didn't know I was going to go to Chicago then. I just knew I was going to go and I was going to make it. Now, I didn't do it right away I was a political science major, you know kid from Missouri, this is pre-internet of course. I had no knowledge of how a person goes about that path, right? So I was a poli-sci major because I knew my parents would not have paid for me to be a theater major. They were, they would have thought that was impractical, not that poli-sci isn't just as impractical but it seemed like a more practical pursuit at the time I guess."
Lou: Were they supportive? Were they behind you for the acting?
David: "Well that was a couple of years later and I was on my own. So I did political science for three years in college and I dropped out and I worked three different jobs in Columbia, Missouri where the University of Missouri is. Then I went into the workshop in Chicago, that summer I took a two-week workshop. At that point, I knew for sure that this was going to go down. Then I told them I moved to Chicago to be an actor and I think they were mostly puzzled."
Lou: Did you feel it click on stage? Was there a moment where you said yeah, I'm good at this.
David: "Yeah without a doubt. Once I got there I was like this is it, this is it."
Lou: Let me say, what's up Halpert? Still queer? What has two thumbs and likes to bone your mom? This guy. Todd Packer is so abrasive, he's so stupid, so ignorant but I believe that behind every character like that is a real human being. Did you base any of the Todd Packer character on somebody from your early life?
David: "Well it's every person that you've met that's a jackass really. You throw them all into the cauldron and make a nice dirty soup and then you scoop it out on everybody."
Lou: But not everybody has the ability recognize, to take that observation from life and then turn it into a hilarious piece of art. So that is something special that you were able to grab onto these idiots and put them together into this creative soup.
David: "Thank you I appreciate that."
Lou": David Koechner is going to be at the Ridgefield Playhouse November 3rd, David why don't you tell us about this, this is a trivia night?
David: "Yes, it's Office trivia with the real Todd Packer. So there is Office trivia, there's an app, it's played on an app but I also host it as Todd Packer. My feature act on the road Rob Mare curates all the questions and I also tell stories of my time on The Office and my career and general show business stories as well. So it's very funny, it's kind of like a hybrid show of stand-up and trivia."
Lou: Your on-screen relationship with Steve Carell is fantastic in The Office and of course in Anchorman. You just click with him, you have a vibe with him. Do you feel that way? Is that a friendship? Is that trust that brings that out of you two?
David: "I'd say those two things are probably exactly the same. In any relationship where you have that no-look pass type situation. You know, basketball is a very good metaphor for it, sometimes football with the receiver and the quarterback but you know where the other person is going to be. You know you're going to follow each other and play along. You don't even consider whether or not you'll be on the same page with the other person. You already know that you're on the same page.
Lou: I tell people that all the time about radio, in that way it's similar. Ethan and I have been together 16 years and you have to trust the other person because when you're coming up with something funny, you have to take chances. The other person has got to be there to catch you if you fall or to accept something that is over-the-top weird. That way if you land on your face, they've got to pick you up.
David: "Yeah, yeah you never want to be in a situation where the other person goes, what are you doing? Or, a person that is competitive and doesn't want you to win."
Ethan: I've done that.
David: "Yeah, ha ha but you're right. We're both going to win and we're both going to make this whole piece as good as it can be."
Listen to the remainder of our chat with David Koechner below. We asked him what comedic actor blew him away at Second City or SNL? We asked about future projects and learned more about his admiration for Steve Carell.
Listen to our complete interview with Todd Packer below.
November 3rd @ 8pm
Calling all fans of The Office! Test your knowledge of The Office with the Pack-man himself, David Koechner. Teams will compete for prizes – while also hearing behind-the-scenes stories from David about playing the hit show’s favorite obnoxious paper salesman (and Michael’s BFF), Todd Packer. After multiple trivia rounds, top teams will need to channel their favorite characters from The Office and test their acting chops in order to be crowned trivia champions by David himself.
This event is general admission seating. Tickets are $45
Greater Danbury's 13 Most Amusing Photos Captured by the Google Car
Gallery Credit: Lou Milano
7 of the Best Danbury Reasons to Give the Middle Finger
Gallery Credit: Lou Milano