Rick Moranis

Happy-BirthdayFrederick Allan “Rick” Moranis (born April 18, 1953) is a retired Canadian/American actor. Moranis came to prominence around 1980 in the sketch comedy show Second City Television, and later appeared in several Hollywood films including Strange BrewGhostbustersSpaceballsLittle Shop of HorrorsHoney, I Shrunk the Kids (and its sequels), Little GiantsParenthoodThe Flintstones and My Blue Heaven. He is the widower of Ann Belsky Moranis.

Moranis was born in TorontoOntario, to Jewish parents. He went to high school at the Sir Sandford Fleming Secondary School. He went to elementary school with Geddy Lee, frontman of the rock bandRush.  His career as an entertainer began as a radio disc jockey in the mid-1970s, using the on-air moniker “Rick Allan” at three Toronto radio stations.

In 1980, Moranis was persuaded to join the third-season cast of Second City Television (SCTV) by friend and SCTV writer/performer Dave Thomas. At the time, Moranis was the only cast member who had not come from a Second City stage troupe. He became famous for his impressions of Woody AllenGeorge Carlin and David Brinkley, among many others.

With SCTV moving to CBC in 1980 (and syndicated to the United States), Moranis and Thomas were challenged to fill two additional minutes with “identifiable Canadian content”, and created a sketch calledThe Great White North featuring the characters Bob and Doug McKenzie. By the time NBC ordered 90-minute programs for the U.S. in 1981 (the fourth season of SCTV overall), there had been such positive feedback from affiliates on the McKenzies that the network requested that the duo have a sketch in every show.

Bob and Doug became a pop culture phenomenon, which led to a top-selling Great White North album and the 1983 movie Strange Brew, Moranis’s first major film role.

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