Key in 2012
March 22, 1971 |
Southfield, Michigan, U.S.
Early life 
Key "Spanish - Keegan" was born in Southfield, Michigan and raised in Detroit. His father is African-American and his mother is Caucasian. He was adopted as a child. He is a graduate of Shrine Catholic High School in Royal Oak, Michigan (class of 1989). Key attended the University of Detroit as an undergraduate and earned his Master of Fine Arts at the Pennsylvania State University School of Theatre.
Keegan joined the cast of MADtv midway into the ninth season. Both he and Jordan Peele were cast against each other so that FOX could pick one black cast member, but both ended up being picked after demonstrating great comedic chemistry.
Keegan's characters include the semi-psychotic Coach Hines, who threatens students and others at school assemblies. On the penultimate episode of MADtv, Hines revealed that he is the long-lost heir to the Heinz Ketchup company and only became a Catholic school coach to help delinquent teenagers like Yamanashi (Bobby Lee). During seasons 9 and 10, Key appeared as "Dr. Funkenstein" in blaxploitation parodies, with Jordan Peele playing the monster.
Key also portrayed various guests on Real **********ing Talk like the strong African Rollo Johnson and blind victim Stevie Wonder Washington. He often goes "backstage" as Eugene Struthers, an always-ecstatic water- or flower-delivery man who accosts celebrities.
There is also "Jovan Muskatelle", a shirtless man with a jheri curl and a shower cap. He interrupts live news broadcasts by a reporter (always played by Ike Barinholtz), annoying him with rapid fire accounts of events that have happened frequently exclaiming "It was crazy as hell!"
Celebrities that Key impersonated on the show include Ludacris, Snoop Dogg, Matthew Lillard, Bill Cosby, Al Roker, Terrell Owens, Tyler Perry, Robin Antin, Keith Richards, Eddie Murphy (as his character James "Early" Thunder from the movie Dreamgirls), Sherman Hemsley (as his character George Jefferson on The Jeffersons), Charles Barkley, Sendhil Ramamurthy (as Mohinder Suresh), Tyson Beckford, Seal (originally played by Jordan Peele until Peele left the show at the end of season 13), Sidney Poitier, Lionel Richie, Barack Obama, and Kobe Bryant.
MADtv characters 
Other work 
Keegan co-founded the Detroit Creativity Project along with Beth Hagenlocker, Marc Evan Jackson, Margaret Edwartowski, and Larry Joe Campbell. The Detroit Creativity Project teaches students in Detroit improvisation as a way to improv their communication skills.
Keegan performs with The 313, an improv group formed with other members of Second City Hollywood that appears around the country. The 313 is made up primarily of former Detroit residents and named for Detroit's area code.
During the 2008 NBA finals, Keegan was featured in a series of GMC Denali commercials playing an overzealous attendant in a parking garage.
Keegan was a panelist on the NPR comedy quiz show Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me... on March 27 and July 24, 2010.
Key guest starred on an episode of 'Talking Dead' on March 10th 2013.
Both he and partner Peele were dramatically featured on the cover and in a series of full-page comic photos illustrating The New York Times Magazine article "Is Giving the Secret to Getting Ahead?" on March 31, 2013. A live-action video version was also featured on the Times' website. 
|2013||How I Met Your Mother||Obnoxious Couple||Cameo|
|Epic Rap Battles of History||Mahatma Gandhi||Guest rapper|
|2012||Key & Peele||Various Characters|
|Equals Three||Guest Host|
|2011||Just Go with It||Ernesto||cameo|
|2010||Due Date||New Father||cameo|
|The Wild Bunch||Grape Vine||In Production|
|Reno 911!||Theoretical Criminal|
|Talkshow with Spike Feresten||Himself||Guest-starred|
|2007||Sucker For Shelley||Michael|
|2006||Al TV||segment 'White & Nerdy'|
|2005||The Planet's Funniest Animals||Himself-Host||Host 2005–2008|
|2004||I'm With Her||Orderly|
|2003||Uncle Nino||Airport Stranger|
|2000||Garage: A Rock Saga||TV Studio Manager|
|1999||Get the Hell Out of Hamtown||J|
See also 
- Siek, Stephanie (February 24, 2012). "'Key & Peele': The color of funny". CNN. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
- Kuras, Amy (4 April 2012). "Actors Reach Out to Local Teens". Y Community Impact. Retrieved 25 December 2012.
- Calamia, Donald (20 July 2006). "Detroiter Keegan-Michael is 'key' to The 313". Pride Source. Retrieved 25 December 2012.
- "Schedule announced: Detroit Improv Festival". Encore Michigan. Retrieved 25 December 2012.
- "The 313". SF Sketchfest. Retrieved 25 December 2012.
- School of Theatre (2005). "Penn State Alum, Keegan-Michael Key, Lands Starring Role as Host of Planet's Funniest Animals". Penn State. Archived from the original on November 20, 2007. Retrieved January 17, 2008.
- "Theoretical criminal (Character) from "Reno 911!"". The Internet Movie Database. 2008. Retrieved January 18, 2009.
- Shira Lazar (November 28, 2012). "Keegan-Michael Key Talks Key & Peele Season 3 and Bringing Sketch Comedy to YouTube". Huffington Post. Retrieved February 25, 2013.
- Sam Gutelle (February 25, 2013). "Key And Peele Bring Gandhi, MLK To Epic Rap Battles Of History". Tubefilter. Retrieved February 25, 2013.
- Streiber, Art (27 March 2013). "The Saintly Way to Succeed". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 March 2013.