Childhood & Early Life
Dan Schneider was born on January 14, 1966 in Memphis, Tennessee, to Harry and Carol Schneider. He is the youngest of his parents' four children and has three elder sisters.
He attended White Station High School where he became the Senior class president. After graduating from school, he enrolled into his father's alma mater, Harvard University, but left after one semester.
He came back to Memphis and started taking classes at University of Memphis, which was then known as Memphis State University. During this time, he took a repairing job at a computer store.
While still studying, he was spotted by a movie producer who encouraged him to audition for a role which he got following an audition. He subsequently moved to Los Angeles and began auditioning for more roles, while working as a pizza delivery boy.
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Dan Schneider's first acting opportunity came in the 1984 American teen comedy film 'Making the Grade', in which he played a short role. The next year he appeared in the films 'Better Off Dead' and 'Hot Resort'.
In 1986, he was cast as Dennis Blunden on the ABC television sitcom 'Head of the Class', which ran successfully for five seasons.
In 1989, he acted in three movies: 'Happy Together', 'Listen to Me' and 'The Big Picture'.
He starred on the short-lived ABC sitcom 'Home Free' in 1993. The following year, he played Shawn Eckhardt in the made-for-television film 'Tonya & Nancy: The Inside Story', based on the Tonya Harding-Nancy Kerrigan scandal.
He was hired to work on Nickelodeon's new sketch-comedy show for children, 'All That' (1994-2005), by head of production Albie Hecht, whom he met in 1988 while co-hosting the second annual 'Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards'. He wrote for the pilot episode and subsequently took responsibilities as producer, executive producer, and writer on the show throughout the next few seasons.
He wrote the script of the movie 'Good Burger' (1997) based on a popular comedy sketch from 'All That', and also appeared in a supporting role alongside Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell. Later in 2002, he wrote and co-produced the film 'Big Fat Liar', which was a commercial success.
He was an executive producer and writer for Nickelodeon's teen sitcom 'Kenan & Kel' for the first two seasons (1996-97) and continued to work as a consultant for the later seasons.
In 1998, he created the show 'Guys Like Us' for UPN network, but it was cancelled after the first season due to poor ratings and reviews.
In 1999, he left 'All That' to work on 'The Amanda Show', featuring Amanda Bynes, which he created, executive produced, wrote, directed, and also often guest-starred in as a frustrated old man troubled with prank-calls. However, after ratings started to decline on 'All That', Nickelodeon brought him back to revamp it in 2001, following which it had a successful four-season run.
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He collaborated with former 'Friends' writer and producer Wil Calhoun to co-create The WB sitcom 'What I Like About You' in 2002. He also served as an executive producer during the first two seasons and worked as the director, writer and executive consultant in the last two seasons.
In 2003, he founded the production company Schneider's Bakery, and the following year, returned to Nickelodeon to create the show 'Drake & Josh', starring Drake Bell and Josh Peck, actors from 'The Amanda Show'. The show also featured Miranda Cosgrove, who would later star in another of his shows, 'iCarly' (2007-12).
He created the Nickelodeon comedy-drama series 'Zoey 101', starring Jamie Lynn Spears, in 2005, and made a cameo appearance as a cab driver in the series finale. It was his first and only single-camera format program in which he used the letterbox format for the first time.
He next created the sitcom 'Victorious', starring actress Victoria Justice, which premiered after the 2010 'Kids' Choice Awards' and became very popular with the audience. It even beat out 'iCarly' to win the 'Favorite TV Show' award at the 2012 'Kids' Choice Awards' and 2013 'Kids' Choice Awards', and earned four 'Emmy' nominations.
In 2013, he created the teen sitcom 'Sam & Cat', a dual-show spin-off of both 'iCarly' and 'Victorious'. In this show, singer Ariana Grande starred in her breakthrough role as Cat Valentine alongside Jennette McCurdy, but the show was cancelled after 36 episodes.
He co-created the 2014 comedy series 'Henry Danger' with Dana Olsen and also created the 2015 series 'Game Shakers', both of which are running successfully on Nickelodeon. He is working on an animated spin-off of 'Henry Danger' titled 'The Adventures of Kid Danger' which is scheduled to premiere in January 2018.
Dan Schneider has created some of the most popular and influential family-friendly TV shows like 'All That', 'The Amanda Show', 'Drake & Josh', 'Zoey 101', 'iCarly', 'Victorious' and 'Sam & Cat'. He has been responsible for giving breakthrough roles to numerous young actors including Kenan Thompson, Amanda Bynes, Miranda Cosgrove, Ariana Grande, Taran Killam, Nick Cannon, Liz Gillies, Josh Peck, and Jace Norman.