Invercargill-raised Bob Maclaren started acting while studying architecture at Auckland University. After touring a stilt-walking theatre show globally and hosting 1993 Discovery Channel travel show Bob's World he settled in Amsterdam, where he has largely been based since. As an executive for Dutch broadcaster BNN he produced a local version of The Daily Show, and wrote and directed comedy (and performed stand-up off-screen). In 2005 he returned to Aotearoa to star as hapless MP Dennis Plant in acclaimed political satire The Pretender. After reprising the role in 2008, he was nominated for a Qantas Award.