Adam McKay

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Adam McKay
Adam McKay 2013.jpg
McKay at the premiere of Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues in 2013
Born (1968-04-17) April 17, 1968 (age 47)
Denver, Colorado, United States
Occupation Screenwriter, director, comedian, actor
Period 1986–present
Notable works Anchorman
Talladega Nights
Step Brothers
The Other Guys
Funny or Die

Adam McKay (born April 17, 1968) is an American screenwriter, director, comedian, and actor. McKay has a comedy partnership with Will Ferrell, with whom he co-wrote the films Anchorman, Talladega Nights, and Step Brothers. Ferrell and McKay also founded their comedy website Funny or Die through their production company Gary Sanchez Productions.

Early life[edit]

McKay was born in 1968 in Denver, Colorado. He graduated from Great Valley High School in Malvern, Pennsylvania, and attended Penn State and Temple University, though he dropped out with one semester to go before earning a B.A.[1]

He is one of the founding members of the Upright Citizens Brigade improv comedy group and a former performer at Chicago's Improv Olympic, where he was a member of the improv group, The Family, whose members included Matt Besser, Ian Roberts, Neil Flynn, Miles Stroth, and Ali Farahnakian, and Child's Play Touring Theatre. While a member of the mainstage cast at Second City, he wrote and performed in that company's landmark revue, Pinata Full of Bees. In several politically charged sketches, McKay played characters like Noam Chomsky as a substitute kindergarten teacher, and a hapless personnel manager trying to inform a corporate vice president (Scott Adsit) of some disastrous IQ test results without losing his own job. The latter performance was excerpted in Second City's 40th anniversary compilation.


McKay originally auditioned for Saturday Night Live to be an onscreen performer, but did not make the cut. However, the scripts he submitted to the long-running sketch show earned him a job as writer from 1995 to 2001, including three seasons as head writer. He also directed a number of short films for the show, including the original SNL Digital Shorts. McKay encouraged his Second City friend Tina Fey to submit some of her scripts to Saturday Night Live, and she later succeeded him as head writer on the show. Though McKay was never an actual SNL cast member, he did make several on-camera appearances over the years and had a recurring role as an obnoxious audience member named "Keith" who would often shout insults at the celebrity hosts during their opening monologue.

Shortly after leaving SNL, McKay teamed up with comedian Will Ferrell to write the comedy films Anchorman, Talladega Nights, Step Brothers and The Other Guys. In 2007, Ferrell and McKay launched the user-submitted comedy video site Funny or Die. A video on the site, titled The Landlord[2] features both him and his young daughter, Pearl, whom Ferrell and his wife bait to say curse words. Pearl also starred in a second video titled "Good Cop, Baby Cop". Ferrell and McKay co-produce the HBO series Eastbound & Down.[3] McKay directed and co-wrote with Ferrell the George W. Bush Broadway show, You're Welcome America. He produced the horror-action film Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters.[4] McKay is in talks to direct the remake of Uptown Saturday Night, with Denzel Washington and Will Smith. He will direct the film adaptation of the Michael Lewis non-fiction book The Big Short.

He also produced the film Tammy. On 30 May 2014 he was in talks to direct Ant-Man for Marvel Studios after Edgar Wright left the film, but pulled out the next day. On June 7, 2014 it was announced by Marvel that he is re-writing the script with Peyton Reed directing.

Personal life[edit]

McKay has an essential tremor,[5] a benign neurological disorder that sometimes causes shaking. He is also a supporter of the Democratic Party and other liberal causes.


Year Film Credited as
Director Producer Writer Actor
1995–2001 Saturday Night Live Yes Yes Yes
2004 Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy Yes Yes Yes
2004 Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie Yes Yes Yes
2006 Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby Yes Yes Yes Yes
2008 Step Brothers Yes Yes Yes Yes
2009 Land of the Lost Yes
2009 The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard Yes
2009-2013 Eastbound & Down Yes Yes
2010 Big Lake Yes
2010-2011 Funny or Die Presents Yes Yes Yes
2010 The Other Guys Yes Yes Yes Yes
2010 The Virginity Hit Yes
2011 Casa de Mi Padre Yes
2012 Bachelorette[6] Yes
2012 Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie Yes
2012 The Campaign[7] Yes Yes
2013 Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters Yes
2013 Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues Yes Yes
2014 The Spoils of Babylon Yes
2014 Tammy Yes
2014 Welcome to Me Yes
2015 Get Hard Yes
2015 Sleeping with Other People Yes
2015 Ant-Man Yes
2015 Daddy's Home Yes Yes
2015 The Chris Gethard Show Yes
2016 Michelle Darnell Yes
2016 The Big Short Yes Yes


  1. ^ Maehrer, Avery (12 December 2013). "Anchorman director Adam McKay reflects on Philly past". The Temple News. Retrieved 18 March 2014. 
  2. ^ "Will Ferrell and Pearl in The Landlord". 
  3. ^ Hotz, Amy (2008-10-21). "". Retrieved 2013-05-16. 
  4. ^ "'Twilight' Stars Offered Roles in 'Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters',
  5. ^ Goodyear, Dana. "Hollywood Shadows". The New Yorker. Retrieved 15 April 2014. 
  6. ^
  7. ^

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