Kenneth Joel “Kenny” Hotz (born May 3, 1967) is an international award winning Canadian producer and comedian. He is a former South Park writer, creator/star of the Comedy Central television show Kenny vs. Spenny creator and writer of the FX series Testees and the creator/star of Kenny Hotz’s Triumph of the Will. He is the only Canadian entertainer who has the achievement of creating two television series that have premiered on separate American networks at the same time (FX and Comedy Central). He also has the largest online fan base for a Canadian TV celebrity. He is the co-owner of The Hoxton, a concert venue and the co-owner of the Dog & Bear restaurant in Toronto, Ontario. He is Chair of the Comedy Advisory Board for Banff World Media Festival and an executive consultant at the Just for Laughs festival in Montreal.
Hotz was born in Toronto, Ontario in 1967. At the age of 7 years old, Kenny was sent to a film camp where he made his first animated short film, the film was screened for Henry Winkler on his visit to the city in 1974. Hotz attended high school at Forest Hill Collegiate Institute. Throughout his youth Hotz continued making short films and worked in candid and fashion photography, he had been working on various photo essays as a photographer since the age of 13, photographing numerous countries and historic world events. The subjects of his photo essays include Gulf War 1991, Auschwitz, Dachau, Needle Park (Zurich, Switzerland), David Koresh’s Mount Carmel in Waco, and New Years’ in Times Square 2000. In 1999 he came up with the idea to develop a television show in which he and a friend competed in a series of challenges to prove who was the best, which eventually evolved into Kenny vs. Spenny. He graduated from Ryerson University’s media arts program.
At the age of 21, Hotz was the only registered Canadian freelance artist to document the Gulf War in 1991. After returning to Canada Hotz sold his series “life Behind the mask” to various Canadian Museums and Universities, allowing him to fund future projects. In 1994 Hotz completed the award winning comedic short documentary film about the life and death of a foul-mouthed homeless dwarf in Toronto It Don’t Cost Nothin’ to Say Good Morning with his high school friend Spencer Rice. In 1996, he created and starred (with Rice) in the internationally acclaimed 35mm documentary film Pitch that premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in 1997. The film had numerous cameos’ including Al Pacino, Samuel Z. Arkoff and Neil Simon. Hotz then moved to Los Angeles with help from Will Smith and his company Overbrook Entertainment to develop television programming. Eventually, Hotz created the concept for Kenny vs. Spenny and began to pitch it to American networks and studios. MTV originally picked up the concept but they passed on the series but USA network did the original pilot “Who can gain the most weight?” which was leaked to ifilm.com and went viral. Kenny commented “It is the original Super Size Me because all I ate was McDonalds for an entire week and filmed it”.
In 2004, he finished his second feature film titled The Papal Chase, a documentary about Hotz trying to meet the Pope John Paul II. The film is directed by and stars Hotz, and features cameos by The Rolling Stones and Pope Pope John Paul II. Hotz was given a $10,000 prize by a jury when the film won the inaugural Phillip Borsos award for Best Canadian Feature Film in 2004, at the awards Hotz commented, “Now I can make 10 more films”.
Kenny vs. Spenny was the largest comedy 1st season series order by CBC Television. It went on to be nominated for a 8 Gemini awards and a Rose D’or for best international series. It is the largesr selling Comedy Format in Canadian History and is still to this day the most viewed comedy series on NETFLIX. During it’s broadcast, Hotz was a guest with Rice on Jimmy Kimmel, Tom Green’s House, Carson Daly and Late Night with Conan O’Brien. Hotz notes “Conan asked me to sit next to him”. He also created the concept for the online game “Versusville” for the Kenny vs. Spenny series and was nominated for the Canadian New Media Awards for “Excellence in Gaming”. “Kenny vs. Spenny” is the largest selling comedy format in Canadian history. Appears on over 5000 youtube channels and has over 170 million views on YOUTUBE.
Hotz worked as a consultant on South Park, providing material for “Follow That Egg!” and “Two Days Before the Day After Tomorrow”. He also worked as a writer for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in 1987.
In 2008, He developed a sitcom called Testees for the Fox-owned FX that year, producing 13 shows centering around two roommates who work as guinea pigs for a mediocre product testing facility. The show lasted 13 episodes and started airing in October 2008 on FX and the Canadian-owned Showcase cable channel.
Hotz had a cameo in Kevin Smith’s 2008 film Zack and Miri Make A Porno, starring Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks. Kenny made a cameo appearance as a homeless man in the second episode of the Pure Pwnage television series, as well as a cameo in Degrassi Takes Manhattan in 2010. Kenny, in collaboration with Spencer Rice, completed the final episode of Kenny vs. Spenny (“The Kenny vs. Spenny Christmas Special”). In 2011 has completed his new series Kenny Hotz’s Triumph of the Will, which premiered on July 22, 2011. The series has garnered numerous accolades and the Canadian Comedy Awards recently nominated him the 2012 “comedian of the year” It is voted the top ten television reality series of all time on IMDB. Hotz is currently working on an a viral ad agency and is a premium channel partner on YOUTUBE. Hotz recently sold a T-shirt worn in Kenny vs. Spenny for a record $10,200 (U.S.) it was the highest selling article of clothing in north American history as well as the highest selling t-shirt internationally on ebay.com. In 2013 Google announced that he had one of the top 10 comedy channels in Canada and he was recently nominated for ‘best online personality’ at the 2013 DIGI awards in Toronto. Currently on Hotz’s Facebook TV series Fan pages he has accumulated over 600,000 fans and has one of the largest independent online communities and Comedy distribution networks in Canada.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1988)
- It Don’t Cost Nothin’ to Say Good Morning (1994)
- Pitch (1997)
- Kenny vs. Spenny (2003–2010)
- The Papal Chase (2004)
- Elton vs. Simon (2005)
- Testees (2008)
- Zack and Miri Make A Porno (2008) as Zack #2
- South Park – Season 9 (2009)
- Pure Pwnage (Cameo as a homeless man) (2010)
- Degrassi Takes Manhattan (Cameo as the record peddler) (2010)
- Kenny vs. Spenny Christmas Special (2010)
- Kenny Hotz’s Triumph of the Will (2011)
- Kenny Hotz Sirius Radio America Series (2012-2013)
- Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival (1996) – Best Canadian documentary for It Don’t Cost Nothin’ to Say Good Morning
- Whistler Film Festival (2004) – Phillip Borsos Award For the Papal Chase (Inaugural Winner)
- Gemini Awards (2004) – Gemini for Best Comedy Program or Series for: Kenny vs. Spenny
- Brooklyn international film festival (2005) – Audience award (best documentary) for The Papal Chase
- Canadian Filmmakers’ Festival (2005) – Audience award (documentary) for The Papal Chase
- Vice Magazine (2006) – First Annual Story Awards (Winner)
- Gemini Awards (2006) – Gemini for Best Comedy Program or Series for: Kenny vs. Spenny (Nomination)
- Gemini Awards (2008) – Gemini for Best Comedy Program or Series for: Kenny vs. Spenny (Nomination)
- Gemini Awards (2009) – Gemini for Best Comedy Program or Series for: Testees (Nomination)
- Gemini Awards (2009) – Gemini for Best Comedy Writing in a program or Series for: Testees (Nomination)
- Gemini Awards (2010) – Gemini for Best Ensemble Performance in a Comedy Program or Series for: Kenny vs. Spenny (Nomination)
- Canadian Comedy Awards (2010) – Best Director in a Comedy Program or Series (Winner)
- The Rockies (2012) – Best International Comedy Series (Nomination)
- Canadian Comedy Awards (2012) – Best Director in a Comedy Program or Series (Nomination)
- Canadian Comedy Awards (2012) – Comedy Person of the Year (Nomination)
- Digi Awards (2013) – Personality of the Year (Nomination)
January 12.2012 – The WA Magazine
June 23.2004 – the Stranger