Peele at the 2014 Peabody Awards
Jordan Haworth Peele
February 21, 1979
New York City, U.S.
|Alma mater||Sarah Lawrence College|
Jordan Haworth Peele (born February 21, 1979) is an American actor, voice actor, comedian, writer, director, and producer. He is best known for his television and film work in the comedy and horror genres.
Peele's breakout role came in 2003 when he was hired as a cast member on the Fox sketch comedy series Mad TV, where he spent five seasons, leaving the show in 2008. In the following years, he and his frequent Mad TV collaborator, Keegan-Michael Key, created and starred in their own Comedy Central sketch comedy series Key & Peele (2012–2015). In 2014, they appeared together as FBI agents in the first season of FX's anthology series Fargo. Peele co-created the TBS comedy series The Last O.G. (2018–present) and the YouTube Premium comedy series Weird City (2019). He has also served as the host and producer of the CBS All Access revival of the anthology series The Twilight Zone (2019–present).
Peele and Key wrote, produced, and starred in Keanu (2016) and Peele has voice acted in Storks (2016), Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (2017) and Toy Story 4 (2019). His 2017 directorial debut, the horror film Get Out, was a critical and box office success. He received numerous accolades, including the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, along with nominations for Best Picture and Best Director. He received another Academy Award nomination for Best Picture for producing Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman (2018). He directed, wrote, and produced the acclaimed horror film Us (2019).
Jordan Haworth Peele was born in New York City on February 21, 1979. His mother, Lucinda Williams, is white and his father, Hayward Peele, is black. He was raised by his single mother on Manhattan's Upper West Side. He attended the Computer School in Manhattan, graduated from The Calhoun School on Manhattan's Upper West Side, and went on to Sarah Lawrence College. After two years, Peele dropped out to form a comedy duo with college roommate and future Key & Peele writer Rebecca Drysdale.
2002–2009: Early beginnings and Mad TV
Peele regularly performed at Boom Chicago in Amsterdam and The Second City in Chicago. He and Nicole Parker were well known for their musical duets at Boom Chicago. He portrayed a popular character called "Danish Supermodel Ute" during his time at Boom Chicago and hosted MTV's Comedy Weekend in 2002.
In 2003, Peele joined the cast of Mad TV for its ninth season. Around the time Keegan-Michael Key joined the cast as a featured performer, it was assumed that Key would be chosen over Peele. The two of them ultimately were cast together after showing great comedic chemistry. Peele performed celebrity impersonations, which included favorites Caroll Spinney (as the voice of Big Bird from Sesame Street), Ja Rule, James Brown, Flavor Flav, Justin Guarini, Montel Williams, Morgan Freeman, Timbaland, and Forest Whitaker. Peele was absent from the first four episodes of his second season on Mad TV. He made a cameo in "Weird Al" Yankovic's video "White & Nerdy" with Mad TV co-star Keegan-Michael Key.
Peele was nominated for a 2008 Emmy Award for his song "Sad Fitty Cent", a music video parody about 50 Cent lamenting over his rivalry with Kanye West. The lyrics were, according to the music video, written by Peele, and he was involved in arranging its music. In 2009 he appeared in Little Fockers.
Peele appeared in a viral video titled "Hillary vs Obama" (which was shown as a Mad TV sketch) where he and a Hillary Clinton supporter (played by short-term cast member Lisa Donovan) argue over whether Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama would make a better president, only to get upstaged by a Rudy Giuliani supporter (played by Donovan's brother, Ben).
Peele auditioned to be a castmember for Saturday Night Live when SNL producers were looking for someone to play Barack Obama (around the time when SNL and Mad TV — and other scripted shows — were put on hiatus due to the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike). Peele remained at Mad TV and the role went to Fred Armisen until September 2012, when Jay Pharoah took over the role.
After five seasons on Mad TV, Peele left the cast at the end of the 13th season.
2010–2016: Key & Peele
In 2010, Peele co-starred in the Fox comedy pilot The Station, and appeared with a recurring role in the Adult Swim series Childrens Hospital. He had a supporting role in the David Wain-directed comedy Wanderlust, which was released in 2012.
Peele and his former Mad TV castmate and friend Keegan-Michael Key starred in their own Comedy Central sketch series Key & Peele, from 2012 to 2015. The series was a success with viewers, and spawned several skits and videos that went viral online.
In 2016, Peele starred in and produced, with Key, the first feature film in which the two both had leading roles, Keanu (they had previously both appeared in Wanderlust). The film received generally favorable reviews from critics.
2017–present: Success as a filmmaker
In February 2017, Peele's first film as director, Get Out, was released to critical acclaim, eventually scoring a 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The film received particular praise for Peele's screenplay and direction, as well as the performance of its lead, Daniel Kaluuya, and was chosen by the National Board of Review, the American Film Institute, and Time magazine as one of the top 10 films of the year. The Atlantic called the film "a masterpiece."
Get Out proved to be popular with movie audiences, and it eventually became one of the most profitable horror films, and films of 2017, and grossed over $255 million on a budget of $4.5 million. For his work on the film, Peele received significant attention, as well as numerous accolades, including the Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award at the 2017 Gotham Independent Film Awards.
The film also received four nominations at the 90th Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay nominations for Peele, as well as a Best Actor nomination for Kaluuya. Peele won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, becoming the first black screenwriter to win in this category. He became the third person, after Warren Beatty and James L. Brooks, to be nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay for a debut film, and the first black person to receive them for any one film. Get Out also earned him the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay, as well as nominations for a Directors Guild of America Award and a BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay.
In early 2018 Peele announced his intention to retire from acting, stating in an interview with CBS "Acting is just nowhere near as fun for me as directing". In 2018, Peele co-created the TBS comedy series The Last O.G., starring Tracy Morgan and Tiffany Haddish. Also in 2018, Peele co-produced the Spike Lee film, BlacKkKlansman which was released to critical acclaim and was a box office success. The film received six nominations at the 91st Academy Awards including the Best Picture nomination for Peele.
On June 28, 2018, it was announced that YouTube Premium would be releasing Weird City, co-created by Peele and Charlie Sanders. The show was released on February 13, 2019 to critical acclaim. On April 5, 2018, it was announced that Amazon Video had given a series order to the docuseries Lorena consisting of four episodes. The series was set to be directed by Joshua Rofé who would also executive produce alongside Peele, Win Rosenfeld, Steven J. Berger, Jenna Santoianni, and Tom Lesinski. Production companies involved with the series include Monkeypaw Productions, Sonar Entertainment, and Number 19. It ultimately premiered on February 15, 2019.
Peele's second film as director was Us, a horror-thriller film which he also wrote and produced, starring Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss, and Tim Heidecker. After having its world premiere on March 8, the film was released in the United States on March 22, 2019 by Universal Pictures, Monkeypaw Productions, and QC Entertainment. Peele developed and is narrator for the science fiction web television series The Twilight Zone, the third revival of the original 1959-64 anthology series that aired on CBS, for CBS All Access. The show premiered on April 1, 2019, with Peele, Simon Kinberg and Marco Ramirez as executive producers. In February 2020, Peele produced a 10 episode series about hunting down Nazis called Hunters. Peele produced the HBO series Lovecraft Country written by Underground co-creator Misha Green.
On November 3, 2015, it was reported that Henry Selick is developing Wendell and Wild, a new stop-motion feature with Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key based on an original story by Selick. In March 2018, the film was picked up by Netflix. There have been developments of several films based on Peele's sketch comedy series Key & Peele. In March 2015, it was announced that Key will reprise the role of Mr. Garvey in a feature-length film Substitute Teacher with Peele portraying a rival teacher. In March 2017 in a Reddit AMA, Peele expressed interest in developing a film around his Key & Peele character Wendell Sanders based on the music video "The Power of Wings". The film, titled Wendell Meets Middle-Earth, would follow Wendell's existence in the fantasy world that he likes to see his life in.
In September 2018, it was announced Peele was in talks to produce a remake of Candyman, through his Monkeypaw Productions, of which Candyman star Tony Todd stated in a 2018 interview with Nightmare on Film Street, "I’d rather have him do it, someone with intelligence, who’s going to be thoughtful and dig into the whole racial makeup of who Candyman is and why he existed in the first place." In November 2018, it was confirmed that Peele will produce the film with Universal and MGM and will partner with Win Rosenfeld to co-produce the film, while Nia DaCosta will sign on as director. The new Candyman will serve as a "spiritual sequel", taking place back in the new gentrified Cabrini Green, where the old housing projects development once stood in Chicago. The theatrical release is set for August 27, 2021.
In February 2017, Peele curated the Brooklyn Academy of Music film series "The Art of the Social Thriller", comprising 12 films that inspired the making of Get Out, including the horror films Rosemary's Baby, Night of the Living Dead, The Shining, Candyman, The People Under the Stairs, Scream, The Silence of the Lambs, Funny Games, Misery, the thrillers Rear Window and The 'Burbs, and the 1967 racial comedy-drama Guess Who's Coming to Dinner.
Through his mother, Lucinda Williams, Peele is descended from the colonial Woodhull Family, whose prominent members include brigadier general Nathaniel Woodhull and Culper Ring Spy Abraham Woodhull (first cousin, 8 times removed).
Peele began dating Chelsea Peretti in 2013. They became engaged in November 2015, and Peretti announced in April 2016 that she and Peele had eloped. They have a son named Beaumont (born July 1, 2017).
|2008||Boner Boyz!||Yes||No||No||No||D-Rock Peppers||Short film|
|2013||The Sidekick||Yes||No||No||No||Sidecar Willy||Short film|
|2016||Keanu||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Rell, Oil Dresden|
|Storks||Yes||No||No||No||Beta Wolf (voice)|
|2017||Get Out||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Wounded Deer, UNCF Narrator (voices)|
|Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie||Yes||No||No||No||Melvin Sneedly (voice)|
|2019||Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror||Yes||No||No||No||Himself||Documentary film|
|Us||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Dying Rabbit, Fun House Narrator (voices)|
|Toy Story 4||Yes||No||No||No||Bunny (voice)|
|2021||Wendell and Wild||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Wendell Sanders (voice)||Post-production|
|2003–2008||Mad TV||Yes||No||Yes||No||Various||94 episodes|
|2008||Chocolate News||Yes||No||No||No||Kelvin Melvin||7 episodes|
|2009||Reno 911!||Yes||No||No||No||Three-Card Monte Guy||Episode: "Extradition to Thailand"|
|2009–2010||SuperNews!||Yes||No||No||No||Various Voices||15 episodes|
|2010–2015||Childrens Hospital||Yes||No||No||No||Dr. Brian||10 episodes|
|2011||Love Bites||Yes||No||No||No||Eli||Episode: "Too Much Information"|
|2012–2015||Key & Peele||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Himself, Various||54 episodes; also co-creator|
|2013||The Mindy Project||Yes||No||No||No||Nick||Episode: "Mindy's Minute"|
|Workaholics||Yes||No||No||No||Mark||Episode: "The Worst Generation"|
|Comedy Bang! Bang!||Yes||No||No||No||Tan Fu||Episode: "Andy Samberg Wears a Plaid Shirt & Glasses"|
|Axe Cop||Yes||No||No||No||Super Axe (voice)||Episode: "Super Axe"|
|Modern Family||Yes||No||No||No||Derrick||Episode: "A Fair to Remember"|
|2013–2014||Kroll Show||Yes||No||No||No||Ref Rondy, Various||2 episodes|
|2014–2016||Bob's Burgers||Yes||No||No||No||Various Voices||8 episodes|
|2014||Fargo||Yes||No||No||No||Special Agent Webb Pepper||4 episodes|
|Drunk History||Yes||No||No||No||Percy Julian||Episode: "Montgomery, AL"|
|Robot Chicken||Yes||No||No||No||Various Voices||2 episodes|
|2015||Life in Pieces||Yes||No||No||No||Chad||3 episodes|
|Rick and Morty||Yes||No||No||No||Second Fourth-Dimensional Being (voice)||Episode: "A Rickle in Time"|
|Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp||Yes||No||No||No||Alan||3 episodes|
|TripTank||Yes||No||No||No||Various Voices||2 episodes|
|2015, 2018||SuperMansion||Yes||No||No||No||Bugula (voice)||2 episodes|
|2016||The Muppets||Yes||No||No||No||Himself||Episode: "Swine Song"|
|American Dad!||Yes||No||No||No||Street Thug (voice)||Episode: "Criss-Cross Applesauce: The Ballad of Billy Jesusworth"|
|2017–present||Big Mouth||Yes||No||No||No||The Ghost of Duke Ellington, Various Voices||31 episodes|
|2018–present||The Last O.G.||No||No||Yes||Yes||N/A||20 episodes; also co-creator|
|2018||The Shivering Truth||Yes||No||No||No||Various Voices||Episode: "Ogled Inklings"|
|2019||Weird City||No||No||Yes||Yes||N/A||6 episodes; also co-creator|
|2019–present||The Twilight Zone||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Host / Narrator||20 episodes|
|2020–present||Lovecraft Country||No||No||No||Yes||N/A||6 episodes|
|2006||"White & Nerdy"||Yes||No||No||No||Black Gangster||"Weird Al" Yankovic|
Awards and nominations
Peele has been nominated for four Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay for Get Out (2017), winning the latter, and another Best Picture nomination for BlacKkKlansman (2018). He has also been nominated for two British Academy Film Awards, one Golden Globe Award, and won one Primetime Emmy Award.
- Zadie Smith (February 23, 2015). "Brother from Another Mother". The New Yorker. Retrieved May 9, 2016.
- "February 21, birthdays for Ellen Page, Corbin Bleu, Jordan Peele". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. February 21, 2017. Retrieved July 17, 2017.
- "Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele on Fargo and Wanting Michael Winslow for Their Police Academy Reboot". Vulture. June 3, 2014. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
- "'Get Out' Is Now Officially The Most Profitable Film Of 2017". Vibe. August 6, 2017. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
- "Jordan Peele: The World's 100 Most Influential People". Time. Retrieved September 23, 2020.
- Carter, Kelley L. (March 19, 2019). "Scarier (and better) than you even think: Jordan Peele sees 'Us'".
- "Jordan Peele Biography". TVGuide.com. Retrieved July 17, 2017.
- Morris, Wesley (December 20, 2017). "Jordan Peele's X-Ray Vision" – via NYTimes.com.
- "Jordan Peele: Biography". Retrieved September 11, 2020.
- Wolcott, James (October 13, 2014). "How Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele Have Broken the Comedy-Duo Mold". Vanity Fair. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
- "COMEDY CENTRAL® Greenlights Two New Series for the 2012 Season - an Untitled Sketch Comedy From Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele and "The Nick Show Kroll" Starring Nick Kroll" (Press release). New York, New York. PR Newswire. June 29, 2011.
- Andreeva, Nellie (January 14, 2010), "'Station' agents are Peele, Gallo, Zuniga". The Hollywood Reporter. 412 (48):5
- TV.com. "Key & Peele". TV.com. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
- Smith, Zadie (February 16, 2015). "Key and Peele's Comedy Partnership". The New Yorker. ISSN 0028-792X. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
- "How Key & Peele Make Comedy That Goes Really, Insanely Viral". BuzzFeed. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
- McNary, Dave (April 28, 2016). "Jordan Peele on 'Keanu': 'It Looks Like Michael Mann Made a Comedy'". Variety. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
- Keanu, retrieved December 27, 2017
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- "Why this new horror movie has a rare perfect score from critics — and you need to see it". Business Insider. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
- "AFI Awards 2017". AFI. Archived from the original on December 8, 2017. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
- "National Board of Review Announces 2017 Award Winners". National Board of Review. November 28, 2017. Retrieved December 7, 2017.
- Zacharek, Stephanie (December 7, 2017). "The Top 10 Movies of 2017". Time. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
- Sims, David. "What Made That Hypnosis Scene in 'Get Out' So Terrifying". The Atlantic. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
- "Jordan Peele's 'Get Out' Is the Most Profitable Film of 2017". Money. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
- Muncy, Julie. "Watch Jordan Peele Respond to Some Great Get Out Fan Theories". io9. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
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- McNary, Dave. "'Get Out' Scores Four Oscar Nominations, Including Three for Jordan Peele". Variety. Retrieved February 22, 2018.
- Merry, Stephanie; Izadi, Elahe; Rao, Sonia; Yahr, Emily (March 4, 2018). "Oscars 2018: 'The Shape of Water' wins best picture; Frances McDormand's rousing speech; Jordan Peele makes history with 'Get Out' screenplay". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved March 5, 2018.
- Lexy Perez (March 4, 2018). "Oscars: Jordan Peele Wins Best Original Screenplay for 'Get Out'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 5, 2018.
- Gonzalez, Sandra. "Jordan Peele is first black screenwriter to win best original screenplay". CNN. Retrieved March 5, 2018.
- Lawrence, Derek. "Jordan Peele says he's done with acting: 'Daniel Day-Lewis and I are both out'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 22, 2018.
- Holloway, Daniel (April 3, 2018). "Tracy Morgan and Jordan Peele on Why 'The Last O.G.' Isn't Morgan's Comeback". variety.com.
- "WEIRD CITY: SEASON 1 (2019)", Rottentomatoes.com
- Otterson, Joe (April 5, 2018). "Jordan Peele to Produce Lorena Bobbitt Docuseries for Amazon". Variety. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
- O'Connell, Michael (April 5, 2018). "Jordan Peele Is Making a Lorena Bobbitt Docuseries for Amazon". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
- Maglio, Tony (April 5, 2018). "Jordan Peele Docuseries on Lorena Bobbitt Headed to Amazon". The Wrap. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
- Hibberd, James (April 5, 2018). "Jordan Peele to tackle Lorena Bobbitt scandal in Amazon series". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
- Kroll, Justin (May 9, 2018). "Jordan Peele Reveals Title of Next Film; Lupita Nyong'o, Elisabeth Moss Eyed to Star (EXCLUSIVE)". variety.com.
- Andreeva, Nellie (December 6, 2017). "'The Twilight Zone': Jordan Peele, Simon Kinberg & Marco Ramirez Board Reboot On CBS All Access". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 22, 2018.
- Jennifer Maas (May 17, 2018). "Amazon Orders Jordan Peele's Nazi-Hunting Show to Series". The Wrap. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
- Otterson, Joe (May 17, 2018). "Jordan Peele-Produced Nazi Hunter Drama Ordered to Series at Amazon". Variety. Retrieved May 17, 2018.
- Jarvey, Natalie (May 17, 2018). "Jordan Peele Nazi Drama Picked Up to Series at Amazon". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 17, 2018.
- Mike Flemming Jr. "'Get Out's Jordan Peele Teams With WBTV, HBO & Bad Robot For 'Lovecraft Country' Drama Series; Misha Green Writing". Deadline. Retrieved May 16, 2017.
- Flores, Terry (November 3, 2015). "Henry Selick, Key & Peele Developing Animated Feature 'Wendell and Wild' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety.
- Mike Fleming Jr. "Netflix Wins Stop-Motion Animated 'Wendell And Wild': Henry Selick, Jordan Peele, Keegan-Michael Key Aboard".
- Fleming Jr, Mike. "Paramount To Turn Key & Peele's 'Substitute Teacher' Into Feature; Keegan-Michael Key And Jordan Peele To Star". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on April 29, 2015. Retrieved April 26, 2015.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 20, 2018. Retrieved December 4, 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Jordan Peele in Talks to Remake Clive Barker's 'Candyman' [Exclusive] - Bloody Disgusting". bloody-disgusting.com. Retrieved October 3, 2018.
- "[Exclusive Interview] Horror Icon Tony Todd Talks HELL FEST and Gives His Blessing To CANDYMAN Remake | Nightmare on Film Street - Horror Movie Podcast, News and Reviews". Nightmare on Film Street - Horror Movie Podcast, News and Reviews. September 26, 2018. Retrieved October 3, 2018.
- "Jordan Peele-Produced 'Candyman' Reboot Taps Director Nia DaCosta". Variety. November 27, 2018. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
- Hughes, William. "Nia DaCosta's Candyman delayed until August 27, 2021". A.V. Club. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
- Rubin, Rebecca (September 11, 2020). "Nia DaCosta's 'Candyman' Release Delayed to 2021". Variety. Retrieved September 11, 2020.
- "Jordan Peele: The Art of the Social Thriller". Brooklyn Academy of Music. February 17 – March 1, 2017. Archived from the original on March 10, 2017. Retrieved August 13, 2017.
- Bill Keveney (January 31, 2012), "They dare to make Obama angry". USA TODAY. Section: Life:5d
- Lezmi, Josh; Articles, More; March 30, 2019 (March 27, 2019). "Jordan Peele Reveals 2 Major Comedic Influences".CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
- "Family relationship of Abraham Woodhull and Jordan Peele via Richard Woodhull III". famouskin.com. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
- "Andy Samberg's Latest Role Is Playing Cupid!". dishnation.com. September 2, 2014. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
- Adams, Char (November 29, 2015). "Jordan Peele and Chelsea Peretti Announce Engagement on Twitter". People.
- "Surprise! Chelsea Peretti and Jordan Peele Eloped". People. April 26, 2016. Retrieved April 26, 2016.
- "Jordan Peele and Chelsea Peretti Welcome Their First Child". Retrieved July 18, 2017.
- McDonald, Andy (December 4, 2017). "Jordan Peele Responding To 'Get Out' Fan Theories Is As Funny As You'd Expect". HuffPost. Retrieved December 14, 2017.
- Obenson, Tambay (February 15, 2019). "For the Filmmakers Behind This Timely Documentary, Black History Is Black Horror". IndieWire. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
- Berlatsky, Noah (February 8, 2019). "The enlightening doc Horror Noire lays out black history through black horror films". The Verge. Retrieved June 8, 2020.
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