Who Is David Spade?

In 1989, David Spade was one of six comics showcased on HBO’s 13th Annual Young Comedians Show. The show was hosted by Dennis Miller, who eventually helped Spade secure a role on Saturday Night Live in April 1990. From there Spade starred in several movies, including Tommy Boy and Grown Ups, and in the TV sitcoms Just Shoot Me! and Rules of Engagement. He also supplied voice work for animated films like The Emperor’s New Groove and Hotel Transylvania.

Early Life and Comedy Career

David Wayne Spade was born on July 22, 1964, in Birmingham, Michigan. At age 4, he moved with his family to Scottsdale, Arizona, where he recalls keeping a twice-weekly appointment to be beaten up by the other kids at elementary school. He loved watching Saturday Night Live as a teen, and dropped out of community college to work in a skateboard shop and perform occasional stand-up gigs.

Spade relocated to Los Angeles and went on a comedy tour, performing at nightclubs and on college campuses. During a show in Los Angeles, Spade caught the eye of an agent who subsequently cast him alongside Steve Guttenberg and Sharon Stone in the poorly received 1987 film Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol.

In 1989, he was one of six comics showcased on HBO’s 13th Annual Young Comedians Show. The show was hosted by Dennis Miller, who eventually helped Spade secure a role on Saturday Night Live in April 1990.

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TV Shows and Films

‘Saturday Night Live,’ ‘Tommy Boy’

It was during his early years on Saturday Night Live that Spade befriended fellow comedian Chris Farley. Their close friendship offstage made for great chemistry in front of the camera, earning them larger roles on the series. After a few bit parts in forgettable films, Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels got the idea to put Spade and Farley together on the big screen, capitalizing on the formula Spade called, “the age-old secret of fatty and skinny.” Michaels produced 1995’s Tommy Boy as a vehicle for Farley, with Spade serving as the straight man. Though the film received lukewarm reviews, it was a hit at the box office among the duo’s legions of SNL fans.

‘Black Sheep,’ ‘Just Shoot Me!’

By 1996, Spade teamed with Farley again for Black Sheep, and made his exit from Saturday Night Live. He also signed on as snide assistant Dennis Finch on the NBC comedy series Just Shoot Me!, which premiered in 1997 as a midseason replacement and eventually would garner Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for Spade.

It was during this year of career highs that tragedy struck when Farley died of a drug overdose. Though the news couldn’t have come as a total surprise to those who knew of Farley’s excessive consumption of food, alcohol and controlled substances, the comic’s untimely death still devastated Spade, who didn’t attend the funeral.

‘Eight Heads,’ ‘The Emperor’s New Groove,’ ‘Joe Dirt’

Back at work, Spade appeared in numerous films, including Joe Pesci’s Eight Heads in a Duffel Bag (1997), Senseless (1998) and the romantic comedy Lost & Found (1999). Following a voice role in the animated The Emperor’s New Groove (2000), Spade co-wrote and headlined the comedies Joe Dirt (2001) and Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star (2003).

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‘8 Simple Rules,’ ‘Rules of Engagement’

After Just Shoot Me! wrapped up its successful seven-season run in 2003, Spade returned to sitcom TV early the following year as a replacement for the recently deceased John Ritter on 8 Simple Rules. Spade then found more sustained success with the 2007 launch of Rules of Engagement, which saw him starring as the womanizing Russell Dunbar for seven seasons.

‘Grown Ups,’ ‘Hotel Transylvania’

Meanwhile, the funnyman continued landing plenty of big screen roles, teaming up with Adam Sandler, Kevin James and Chris Rock for the 2010 comedy Grown Ups and 2013’s Grown Ups 2. He also returned to voice work with the role of Griffin the Invisible Man for Hotel Transylvania (2012) and its two sequels.

‘Warning Shot,’ ‘Lights Out’

After reprising a familiar role for Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser (2015) and reteaming with Sandler for The Do-Over (2016), Spade made a rare turn to drama-thriller territory for 2018’s Warning Shot. Another sitcom, The Mayor, was short-lived, as was his hosting gig for Comedy Central’s Lights Out with David Spade, before he resurfaced in spring 2020 with the big screen comedy The Wrong Missy.


Spade has been romantically linked to numerous Hollywood actresses, including Lara Flynn Boyle, Teri Hatcher and Heather Locklear. In 2008, he fathered a daughter, Harper, with Playboy Playmate Jillian Grace.

Spade’s brother Andy was married to renowned fashion designer Kate Spade, who died from an apparent suicide in June 2018. Shortly afterward, the comic donated $100,000 to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

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  • Name: David Spade
  • Birth Year: 1964
  • Birth date: July 22, 1964
  • Birth State: Michigan
  • Birth City: Birmingham
  • Birth Country: United States
  • Gender: Male
  • Best Known For: Comedian and actor David Spade is known for his dry humor, as displayed on ‘Saturday Night Live’ and in films such as ‘Tommy Boy’ and ‘Joe Dirt.’
  • Industries
    • Film
    • Comedy
    • Television
  • Astrological Sign: Cancer

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  • Article Title: David Spade Biography
  • Author: Biography.com Editors
  • Website Name: The Biography.com website
  • Url: https://www.biography.com/actors/david-spade
  • Access Date:
  • Publisher: A&E; Television Networks
  • Last Updated: May 14, 2021
  • Original Published Date: April 2, 2014