Profile image for David McPhail

David McPhail

Writer, Actor

David McPhail is a pioneering figure in the history of New Zealand television comedy. Working alongside Jon Gadsby, his longtime comic partner in crime, he famously impersonated Sir Rob Muldoon in landmark sketch shows A Week of It and McPhail and Gadsby. Later he starred in the Barry Crump-style yarns of Letter to Blanchy, and as a terrifyingly straight-talking teacher in Seven Periods with Mr Gormsby.

When I proposed it to some of my superiors, they thought I was insane ... I was told quite frankly by one, 'you have to understand, David. You're young and you're energetic but you don't know the facts of life, and one of the facts of life is New Zealanders do not have a sense of humour. They are very, very staunch sensible people and they don't like laughing, and they don't like laughing at themselves.' David McPhail on trying to get comedy show A Week of It off the ground, in his extended interview for 2019 TV series Funny As: The Story of New Zealand Comedy

Thumbnail image for David McPhail - Funny As Interview
Interview

David McPhail - Funny As Interview

Interview, 2019

Thumbnail image for David McPhail: From satire to spandex...
Interview

David McPhail: From satire to spandex...

Interview, 2009

Thumbnail image for ScreenTalk Short: David McPhail
Interview

ScreenTalk Short: David McPhail

Interview, 2018

Thumbnail image for Funny As: The Story of New Zealand Comedy

Funny As: The Story of New Zealand Comedy

2019, Subject - Television

Thumbnail image for Funny As: The Story of New Zealand Comedy (series promo)

Funny As: The Story of New Zealand Comedy (series promo)

2019, Subject - Television

Thumbnail image for Three Turns 30 - Promo

Three Turns 30 - Promo

2019, Subject - Television

Thumbnail image for 50 Years of New Zealand Television: 1 - From One Channel to One Hundred

50 Years of New Zealand Television: 1 - From One Channel to One Hundred

2010, Subject - Television

Thumbnail image for From the Archives: Five Decades (1980s) - David McPhail

From the Archives: Five Decades (1980s) - David McPhail

2010, Subject - Television

Thumbnail image for No Petrol, No Diesel!

No Petrol, No Diesel!

2009, As: Elvis - Film

Thumbnail image for The Amazing Extraordinary Friends

The Amazing Extraordinary Friends

2007 - 2010, As: The Green Termite / Harry Seaforth - Television

Thumbnail image for The Amazing Extraordinary Friends (episode)

The Amazing Extraordinary Friends (episode)

2007, As: Harry Seaforth - Television

Thumbnail image for The Waimate Conspiracy

The Waimate Conspiracy

2006, As: Judge Henry - Film

Thumbnail image for Seven Periods with Mr Gormsby

Seven Periods with Mr Gormsby

2005 - 2006, As: Mr Gormsby - Television

Thumbnail image for Seven Periods with Mr Gormsby - Period Three: Human Relationships

Seven Periods with Mr Gormsby - Period Three: Human Relationships

2005, As: Mr Gormsby - Television

Thumbnail image for Seven Periods with Mr Gormsby - Period One: The Appalling Mr Gormsby

Seven Periods with Mr Gormsby - Period One: The Appalling Mr Gormsby

2005, As: Mr Gormsby - Television

Thumbnail image for The Life and Times of Te Tutu

The Life and Times of Te Tutu

2000 - 2001, Director - Television

Thumbnail image for Beyond a Joke!

Beyond a Joke!

1995, Subject - Television

Thumbnail image for Letter to Blanchy

Letter to Blanchy

1994 - 1997, Writer, As: Derek - Television

Thumbnail image for Letter to Blanchy - A Dinner Down Under

Letter to Blanchy - A Dinner Down Under

1994, Writer, As: Derek - Television

Thumbnail image for Letter to Blanchy - Unofficial Channels

Letter to Blanchy - Unofficial Channels

1994, Writer, As: Derek - Television

Thumbnail image for Fallout

Fallout

1994, As: Roger Douglas - Television

Thumbnail image for Fallout - Part Two

Fallout - Part Two

1994, As: Roger Douglas - Television

Thumbnail image for Fallout - Part One

Fallout - Part One

1994, As: Roger Douglas - Television

Thumbnail image for Letter to Blanchy - A Serious Undertaking

Letter to Blanchy - A Serious Undertaking

1994, Writer, As: Derek - Television

Thumbnail image for Here Is the News

Here Is the News

1992, Subject - Television

Thumbnail image for More Issues

More Issues

1991 - 1992, As: Various roles, Director, Writer - Television

Thumbnail image for More Issues - A Compilation

More Issues - A Compilation

1991, Writer, As: various characters - Television

Thumbnail image for The Billy T James Show (sitcom) - excerpts

The Billy T James Show (sitcom) - excerpts

1990, Writer - Television

Thumbnail image for Network New Zealand

Network New Zealand

1985, Subject - Television

Thumbnail image for McPhail and Gadsby - Best of Series Five

McPhail and Gadsby - Best of Series Five

1983, Writer, Executive Producer, As: Various Roles - Television

Thumbnail image for Loose Enz - Coming and Going

Loose Enz - Coming and Going

1982, As: Reading - Television

Thumbnail image for Royal Variety Performance Show 1981

Royal Variety Performance Show 1981

1981, Performer - Television

Thumbnail image for Danny Down Under

Danny Down Under

1980, Writer, As: Various roles - Television

Thumbnail image for A Haunting We Will Go - Cellar Ghost

A Haunting We Will Go - Cellar Ghost

1980, Writer - Television

Thumbnail image for McPhail and Gadsby - First Episode

McPhail and Gadsby - First Episode

1980, As: Various roles, Writer, Producer - Television

Thumbnail image for A Haunting We Will Go

A Haunting We Will Go

1979 - 1980, Writer - Television

Thumbnail image for A Week of It - Christmas Special

A Week of It - Christmas Special

1979, Producer, Writer, As: Various roles - Television

Thumbnail image for A Week of It - Series Two, Episode 15

A Week of It - Series Two, Episode 15

1978, Writer, Producer, As: Various roles - Television

Thumbnail image for A Haunting We Will Go - Pilot Episode

A Haunting We Will Go - Pilot Episode

1977, Writer - Television

Thumbnail image for A Week of It - First Episode

A Week of It - First Episode

1977, Actor, Writer, Producer - Television

Thumbnail image for A Week of It - Series One, Episode Three

A Week of It - Series One, Episode Three

1977, Writer, Producer, As: Various roles - Television

Thumbnail image for A Week of It

A Week of It

1977 - 1979, Writer, As: various characters, Presenter, Producer - Television

Thumbnail image for Richard Pearse

Richard Pearse

1975, As: Mad John - Television

Thumbnail image for The Popco Special

The Popco Special

1974, Producer - Television

Thumbnail image for Thru the Southern Moonlight

Thru the Southern Moonlight

1974, Producer - Music video

Thumbnail image for Popco

Popco

1972 - 1974, Producer - Television

Thumbnail image for On Camera

On Camera

1967 - 1974, Producer - Television

Thumbnail image for Town and Around

Town and Around

1965 - 1970, Reporter - Television