||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2013)|
Key at the Peabody Awards, May 2014
March 22, 1971 |
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of Detroit Mercy (B.F.A)
Pennsylvania State University (M.F.A.)
|Occupation||Actor, writer, comedian|
|Spouse(s)||Cynthia Blaise (m. 1999; div. 2015)|
Keegan-Michael Key (born March 22, 1971) is an American actor, writer, and comedian. He stars in the Comedy Central sketch series Key & Peele and co-stars in the USA Network comedy series Playing House. He spent six seasons as a cast member on MADtv. In 2014, he also starred in the first season of the FX series Fargo and the final season of the NBC series Parks and Recreation. He has had supporting roles in several films, including Let's Be Cops, Tomorrowland and Pitch Perfect 2. In 2015, Key appeared at the White House Correspondents' Dinner as the character Luther, President Barack Obama's anger translator. Since 2013, he has made several guest appearances on Whose Line is it Anyway?
Key was born in Southfield, Michigan, and was raised in Detroit. He is biracial, and was adopted as a child by a black father and a white mother. Being biracial has been a source of comedic material for Key, who told Terri Gross in an interview for NPR that "I think the reason [Key and Peele co-star Jordan Peele and I] became actors is because we did a fair amount of code switching growing up, and still do."
 In 1989, he graduated from Shrine Catholic High School in Royal Oak, Michigan. Key attended the University of Detroit Mercy as an undergraduate and earned his Master of Fine Arts in Theater at Pennsylvania State University. While at The University of Detroit Mercy, he was a brother of Phi Kappa Theta. He later discovered the identity of his birth mother and that he had two half-brothers who were both already deceased, among them comic book writer, Dwayne McDuffie.
Key joined the cast of MADtv midway into the ninth season. 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.
Key played many characters on the show. One of his most famous characters is "Coach Hines", a high school sports coach who frequently disrupts and threatens students and faculty members. 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, Roscoe Orman (as his character Gordon from Sesame Street), Matthew Lillard, Bill Cosby, Al Roker, Terrell Owens, Tyler Perry, Robin Antin, Keith Richards, Eddie Murphy (as his character James "Thunder" Early 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.
Key & Peele
Key and his former MADtv castmate Jordan Peele starred in their own Comedy Central sketch series Key & Peele, which began airing on January 31, 2012, and has run for five seasons until September 9, 2015. Key and his comedy partner Jordan Peele starred in an episode of Epic Rap Battles of History, with Key playing Mahatma Gandhi and Peele playing Martin Luther King Jr. The pair then returned to Epic Rap Battles of History for the second time in the "Muhammad Ali versus Michael Jordan" battle, with Key portraying Jordan.
In March 2015, it was announced that Key would reprise his role as Mr. Garvey in a feature-length film based on the character portrayed in sketches on the show, while Peele will portray a rival teacher. The film titled Substitute Teacher will be written by Rich Talarico and Alex Rubens who are co-producers on the show.
Key was one of the founders of Hamtramck, Michigan's Planet Ant Theatre, and was a member of the Second City Detroit's mainstage cast before joining the Second City e.t.c. theater in Chicago. Key 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 improve their communication skills. Key performed 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. Key also hosted Animal Planet's The Planet's Funniest Animals.
He made a cameo in "Weird Al" Yankovic's video "White & Nerdy" with fellow MADtv co-star Jordan Peele. In 2009, Key hosted GSN's "Big Saturday Night", and has co-starred in Gary Unmarried on CBS. Key was a panelist on the NPR comedy quiz show Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me... on March 27 and July 24, 2010. Key has been in several episodes of Reno 911! as the "Theoretical Criminal".
Key and Peele were 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. Key co-stars in the upcoming horror-comedy Hell Baby. Key is one of the rotating "fourth chair" performers in the 2013 revival of Whose Line Is It Anyway?.
Together with his comedy partner Jordan Peele, Key played an FBI agent in a recurring role in the 2014 FX crime drama Fargo.
Key was involved in audio episodes for the marketing campaign, "Hunt the Truth" on the website for the video game Halo 5: Guardians, voicing a fictional journalist and war photographer named Benjamin Giraud, who investigates the Master Chief's background.
Key has had small supporting roles in numerous films, including 2014's Horrible Bosses 2, Let's Be Cops and the animated The Lego Movie, as well as Pitch Perfect 2 and Tomorrowland in 2015. Key and Peele are currently working with Judd Apatow on a feature-length film for Universal Pictures.
|1999||Get the Hell Out of Hamtown||J|
|2000||Garage: A Rock Saga||TV Studio Manager|
|2003||Uncle Nino||Airport Stranger|
|2006||Grounds Zero||Arch||Short film|
|2007||Sucker For Shelley||Michael||Short film|
|2008||Yoga Matt||Matt||Short film|
|2008||Land of Arabia||Dwayne||Short film|
|2010||Welcome to the Jungle Gym||Mike McKenzie||Short film|
|2010||Due Date||New Father|
|2011||Just Go with It||Ernesto|
|2011||Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star||Guinness Man|
|2014||The Lego Movie||Frank the Foreman||Voice|
|2014||Teacher of the Year||Ronald Douche|
|2014||Let's Be Cops||Pupa|
|2014||Horrible Bosses 2||Mike|
|2015||Pitch Perfect 2||Beca's Boss|
|2015||Hotel Transylvania 2||Murray the Mummy||Voice|
|2015||Freaks of Nature||Mr. Keller|
|2016||The Angry Birds Movie||Hal||Voice|
|2016||Don't Think Twice||Filming|
|2001||ER||Witkowski||Episode: "Quo Vadis?"|
|2004||I'm With Her||Orderly||Episode: "Poison Ivy"|
|2004–2009, 2016||MADtv||Various||107 episodes; also writer|
|2005–2008||The Planet's Funniest Animals||Host||30 episodes|
|2008||Chocolate News||Woodsy||Episode: "1.5"|
|2008–2009||Reno 911!||Theoretical Criminal||8 episodes|
|2010||Sons of Tucson||Eric||Episode: "Pilot"|
|2009–2010||Gary Unmarried||Curtis||17 episodes|
|2010–2015||Childrens Hospital||Cop / Captain Tripper||3 episodes|
|2011||A Series of Unfortunate People||Ted||Episode: "Family Secret"|
|2011||Love Bites||Drew||2 episodes|
|2011||Wilfred||Dick Barbian||Episode: "Identity"|
|2011||The League||Steve/Carmenjello||Episode: "Carmenjello"|
|2012–2015||Key & Peele||Himself / Various||Also co-creator, writer, executive producer|
|2013–present||Whose Line is it Anyway?||Himself / Fourth Seater||7 Episodes|
|2013||How I Met Your Mother||Calvin||Episode: "Something New"|
|2013||Super Fun Night||Slade||Episode: "Pilot"|
|2014||The Middle||Reverend Deveaux||Episode: "Hungry Games"|
|2014–2015||Parks and Recreation||Joe||5 episodes|
|2014||Bob's Burgers||Beefer Sutherland / Todd / Darnell||Voice
|2014–present||Playing House||Mark Rodriguez||10 episodes|
|2014||Fargo||FBI Special Agent Bill Budge||4 episodes|
|2014||Robot Chicken||Jamal / Journalist||Voice
Episode: "Stone Cold Steve Cold Stone"
|2014–2015||BoJack Horseman||Sebastian St. Clair||Voice
|2015||It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia||Gameshow Host||Episode: "The Gang Goes on Family Fight"|
|2015||White House Correspondents' Dinner||Luther||TV special|
|2015||Rick and Morty||Fourth Dimensional Being||Voice
Episode: "A Rickle in Time"
|2015||W/ Bob and David||Traffic Cop||Episode: "Episode 3"|
|2016||Modern Family||Tom Delaney||Episode: "Playdates"|
|2016||Angie Tribeca||Helmut Fröntbüt||Episode: "Ferret Royale"|
|2006||"White & Nerdy"||Black gangster||"Weird Al" Yankovic|
Awards and nominations
- Siek, Stephanie (February 24, 2012). "'Key & Peele': The color of funny". CNN. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
- Patishnock, John (October 9, 2014). "Alum Keegan-Michael Key discusses career, approach to comedy and handling fame". Penn State. Archived from the original on October 21, 2014. Retrieved February 2, 2015.
- "YOU MADE IT WEIRD #275: KEEGAN-MICHAEL KEY". Nerdist Podcast. Retrieved October 9, 2015.
- "Keegan-Michael Key Has Learned That He And Dwayne McDuffie Were Half Brothers". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved October 9, 2015.
- Sims, David (November 28, 2012). "Goodbye and Thank You, Key & Peele". The Atlantic. Retrieved February 25, 2013.
- Sam Gutelle (September 11, 2015). "Key And Peele Bring Gandhi, MLK To Epic Rap Battles Of History". Tubefilter. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
- "Keegan M Key on ERB for second time" (Twitter post). Twitter. Keegan M Key. November 21, 2013. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
We have a new one coming out after Thanksgiving. Muhammad Ali versus Michael Jordan
- Fleming Jr, Mike. "Paramount To Turn Key & Peele’s ‘Substitute Teacher’ Into Feature; Keegan-Michael Key And Jordan Peele To Star". Deadline. Retrieved 26 April 2015.
- Kuras, Amy (April 4, 2012). "Actors Reach Out to Local Teens". Y Community Impact. Retrieved December 25, 2012.
- Calamia, Donald (July 20, 2006). "Detroiter Keegan-Michael is 'key' to The 313". Pride Source. Retrieved December 25, 2012.
- "Schedule announced: Detroit Improv Festival". Encore Michigan. Retrieved December 25, 2012.
- "The 313". SF Sketchfest. Retrieved December 25, 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.
- Streiber, Art (March 27, 2013). "The Saintly Way to Succeed". The New York Times. Retrieved March 30, 2013.
- Yin-Poole, Wesley (March 23, 2015). "Halo 5 ARG includes Serial-style fictional podcast exposé on Master Chief". Eurogamer. Retrieved March 23, 2015.
- Mike Fleming Jr. (November 13, 2013). "‘Key & Peele’ Partners Team With Judd Apatow For Universal Pitch Deal". Deadline. Retrieved November 13, 2013.
- "Anna Camp Reveals Keegan-Michael Key's 'Amazing' Cameo in Pitch Perfect 2". Entertainment Tonight. April 3, 2015. Retrieved May 12, 2015.
- Mitchell, Gregg; Strell, Jay (December 6, 2012). "2013 Writers Guild Awards Television, News, Radio, Promotional Writing, and Graphic Animation Nominees Announced". Writers Guild of America
- Peabody Awards web site
- Aaron Couch, Arlene Washington (February 22, 2014). "NAACP Image Awards: The Winners". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
- "Amy Poehler, Seth Rogen win American Comedy Awards". Entertainment Weekly. May 9, 2014. Retrieved September 26, 2014.
- "2014 Emmy Nominations: ‘Breaking Bad,’ ‘True Detective’ Among the Honored". New York Times. July 10, 2014. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
- Toomey, Alyssa (November 4, 2014). "Jennifer Lawrence, Shailene Woodley and Robert Downey Jr. Among People's Choice Nominees, Plus Find Out Who's Hosting!". E! Online. Retrieved November 8, 2014.
- Jue, Teresa (December 9, 2014). "NAACP Image Awards announce nominations for film and TV". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 11, 2014.
- "67th Primetime Emmy Award Nominations" (PDF). Emmys.com. Retrieved July 18, 2015.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Keegan-Michael Key.|