Rick Moranis (April 18, 1953-) was born Frederick Alan Moranis to a Jewish family in Toronto, Ontario. As a boy, he spent his summers at Camp New Moon, located in Baysville, Ontario, north of his native Toronto. During his last summer as a camper, Moranis achieved his Master Canoeist's award, qualifying him to teach canoeing.
In the 1970s, he worked (using the stage name Rick Allen) as a disc jockey at various radio stations in Toronto, including CFTR, CKFH, and CHUM-FM. Together with Ken Finkleman, he tried his hand at stand-up and did some comedy for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He followed that with his work at SCTV
, enjoying particular success portraying "Bob" of Bob and Doug McKenzie. Doug was played by Canadian actor Dave Thomas. His other memorable SCTV
characterizations include motor-mouthed film producer Larry Siegel, terminally-ill rock star Clay Collins, smooth-voiced video deejay Gerry Todd, cool Leutonian pop star Linsk Minyk, kid-brother amateur comic Skip Bittman, head cheese butcher Carl Scutz, and morning homily intellect Rabbi Karlov.
and its NBC
continuation, SCTV Network 90
, Rick ended up in a bunch of movies throughout the 80's and for over half of the 90's. During his career, he got married to an artist named Ann, and they had two kids, Ariel and Josh. In late 1990, Ann was diagnosed with liver cancer, prompting Rick to decline the offer of doing City Slickers
in order to nurse her back to health. Sadly, she died 5 months later.
In 1997, Rick went on hiatus from acting, because he says it's too complicated to raise his kids while he's going everywhere to do movies, that, and later movies from the 90's lacked creativity and made him feel like he was, in his own words, "a marketable entity." Nowadays, he contributes witty articles for the New York Times once in a while and does the occasional voice-over for animated films. In 2005, Rick also released a comedy album entitled The Agoraphobic Cowboy
, which draws influence from country music. It got nominated for a Grammy Award
, much to his surprise.
8 years later in 2013, Rick made a comeback with My Mother's Brisket & Other Love Songs
, an album based around his Jewish heritage. Special orders of the CD came with a purple yarmulke, similar to what Rick wore on the album cover.
Some information can be found here
Films and shows (pre-hiatus):
Films and shows (post-hiatus):
- The Great White North (1982; alongside Dave Thomas)
- You, Me, The Music and Me (1989)
- The Agoraphobic Cowboy (2005)
- My Mother's Brisket & Other Love Songs (2013)
- Adorkable: Often described as "nerdy", whether as himself, or characters such as Louis or Seymour.
- Canada, Eh?
- Cloud Cuckoolander: It shows in some interviews.
- Creator Backlash: Streets of Fire. He hated doing the movie because he wasn't allowed to improvise and hated the results of the final product.
- Fun Personified: It shows when he hosted the 2nd episode of the 15th season of Saturday Night Live. He gets to dance, play the guitar, play the saxophone, run the camera, help Jon Lovitz iron his pants, play with the effects machine, help a woman apply make-up, and deliver a baby (not a real one, though).
- Iconic Item: His glasses
- Jewish and Nerdy
- Nice Guy
- Older than They Look: In his 20's and 30's, he looked about a decade or two younger than he actually was. Plus, he portrayed the comic book character Henry (a young boy) in this SCTV sketch.
- Sesame Street Cred: Appeared in two Sesame Street skits in 1996, as well as guest-starring on Muppets Tonight.
- Star-Making Role: Made it big on SCTV with characters such as Bob McKenzie and Gerry Todd. And as for the big screen, it's his role as Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors.
- The Short Guy with Glasses: He is exactly 163 cm, or 5'4'', in height, making him shorter than most of his co-stars in movies and on TV.
- The Southpaw
- Type Casting: His characters range between nerds, sleazes, weasels, geeks, and goofs. Keep in mind that the roles are more versatile than you think (in Streets of Fire, for example, he got to play a nerdy Jerk with a Heart of Gold Badass).
- Why Did It Have to Be Ghosts?: In interviews over the Ghostbusters movies, he claims that he is actually afraid of ghosts.