Taran Killam

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Taran Killam
Killam at the 2013 New York Comic Con
Birth nameTaran Hourie Killam
Born (1982-04-01) April 1, 1982 (age 40)
Culver City, California, U.S.
MediumFilm, television, stage
Years active1994–present
GenresImprovisational comedy, sketch comedy, satire
Subject(s)American culture, current events, pop culture, mass media
(m. 2012)
Notable works and rolesSaturday Night Live
Wild 'N Out
The Amanda Show
Stuck in the Suburbs
Single Parents

Taran Hourie Killam[1] (born April 1, 1982) is an American actor, comedian, writer, producer, director, and singer. Killam first garnered attention for his brief stint on the Fox comedy series MADtv during its seventh season between 2001 and 2002, followed by his wider success as a cast member on the NBC sketch comedy series Saturday Night Live from 2010 to 2016. He has also appeared in other television series such as The Amanda Show, How I Met Your Mother, New Girl, and Single Parents. Killam is also known for his portrayal of a teen pop star in the 2004 Disney Channel Original Movie Stuck in the Suburbs. He voices the title character on the PBS children's cartoon series Nature Cat.

Killam performed the role of King George III in the Broadway production of Hamilton at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, ending his run on the evening of April 13, 2017.

Early life[edit]

Killam was born on April 1, 1982, in Culver City, California,[1] and lived in Big Bear Lake, California, until age 15.[2] His mother toured with The Charlie Daniels Band and has been described as a singer-songwriter. His father was a part of the City Garage Theatre Group and has been described as having had acting ambitions.[2] Killam is also the great-nephew of Rosemarie Bowe, wife of actor Robert Stack.[clarification needed][3]

Killam attended the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts.[2] He attended the UCLA's School of Theater, Film and Television "as a musical theater student", where he stated he "spent much of his time working on UCLA's Theater Festival". He left UCLA to pursue his acting career.[4]


Early career[edit]

In 1994, Killam made his first film appearance as a boy in Naked Gun 33+13: The Final Insult. Killam was featured on Nickelodeon's The Amanda Show, a sketch-comedy vehicle for Amanda Bynes. He played Spaulding, a boy with a crush on Moody in the soap opera parody "Moody's Point".[episode needed]

Killam joined the cast of MADtv as a featured player during its seventh season from 2001 to 2002. Of the 25 episodes that aired during MADtv's seventh season, Killam appeared in 13. Joining the MADtv cast at age 19, Killam was the youngest cast member hired on the show and the only cast member on MADtv to get his start on children's shows (similar to Kenan Thompson on Saturday Night Live). He was a regular cast member on the third and fourth seasons of Wild 'N Out. In 2005, Killam co-starred in the television pilot Nobody's Watching, which never aired on network TV. The pilot gained popularity after it was leaked online and webisodes were produced from 2006 to 2007.[5]

Killam co-starred in the 2004 Disney Channel original film Stuck in the Suburbs. After MADtv, Killam appeared on TV shows such as Jake in Progress, Still Standing, Boston Public, Drake & Josh, Do Over, Roswell and Judging Amy. He has appeared on Scrubs and Scrubs: Interns as Jimmy (the Overly Touchy Orderly).[episode needed] Killam appeared as a contestant on the December 7, 2006 episode of The Price Is Right.

He has been in Big Fat Liar, Just Married, Anderson's Cross, and My Best Friend's Girl.

Killam was a member of the Los Angeles-based improvisational and sketch-comedy troupe the Groundlings. He retired from the main company in 2012.[citation needed]

Saturday Night Live[edit]

On September 25, 2010, Killam joined the cast of Saturday Night Live for the 36th season, making him the second Nickelodeon veteran (after Kenan Thompson) to join SNL and the second SNL cast member who was previously a cast member on the sketch show MADtv (after Jeff Richards). Killam named Eddie Murphy as his favorite SNL cast member and Arcade Fire as his favorite musical guest.[6] In August 2016, Killam and castmate Jay Pharoah left the show.[7][8] Killam said he was not told why his contract was not renewed.[9]

Other work[edit]

In December 2011, Killam replicated the Robyn video "Call Your Girlfriend" in a small writer's room and posted it to YouTube. The video went viral and by February 2022, it had been viewed more than 1,277,875 times.[10] The late night antics briefly became an Internet phenomenon and garnered Killam media and public attention.[11] When interviewed on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Killam stated that he had not known the dance shown in the song's official video until Robyn was scheduled to appear on SNL as a guest; he watched the video repeatedly until he could perform it himself.[12]

In 2011, Killam appeared in Community episode "Regional Holiday Music" as Mr. Radison (Mr. Rad), a parody of Will Schuester from Glee. In 2012 he appeared in iCarly episode "iMeet the First Lady" as a Secret Service agent.

On November 10, 2012, Killam appeared with Kenan Thompson and Anne Hathaway in a short video, "The Legend of Mokiki and the Sloppy Swish". Mokiki is a laboratory test subject who wanders Manhattan performing a shuffling dance move known as the "Sloppy Swish". The sketch briefly became an Internet phenomenon and garnered Killam media and public attention.[13][14] Mike Ryan of The Huffington Post wrote, "It is one of the most bizarre things to ever air on SNL, yet, the next day, everyone was talking about the Sloppy Swish."[15]

Killam co-starred in the 2013 comedy film The Heat. Killam voices Zip "Frantic" Danger on the Hulu original series The Awesomes.[citation needed]

In 2013 Killam ventured into the spy genre and the comics industry with The Illegitimates, a six-issue comics miniseries co-written by Marc Andreyko, illustrated by Kevin Sharpe and published by IDW Publishing. The series focuses on a team of illegitimate siblings who are charged with taking the place of their father, Jack Steele, a James Bond-like spy, after his death. The first issue was published December 18, 2013,[6] and received mixed reviews.[16][17][18][19]

Killam appears in the 2013 film 12 Years a Slave, playing the role of Abram Hamilton, one of the kidnappers who brings the main character into slavery.

Killam is a fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise, Raphael his favorite turtle, and successfully lobbied for a role in the 2014 film as Channel 5 staff.[6]

Killam made six guest appearances as Gary Blauman on his wife Cobie Smulders' TV series, How I Met Your Mother. His first appearance was in the March 20, 2006, episode, "Life Among the Gorillas" and the final one was the March 24, 2014, episode, "The End of the Aisle".

In 2015, Killam provided the voice of the titular character on the PBS Kids show Nature Cat, along with SNL alumni Kate McKinnon, Bobby Moynihan, and Kenan Thompson.[citation needed]

On January 17, 2017, Killam succeeded Rory O'Malley in the role of King George III in the Broadway musical Hamilton.[20]

Killam produced, scripted, directed and starred in the comic hitman film Killing Gunther, given a general release in fall 2017. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who played Gunther in the film, served as executive producer for it.

In March 2018, Killam was cast as a lead in the comedy pilot Single Parents[21] for ABC, which was picked up to series for a premiere on September 26 of that year.

Personal life[edit]

After several years of dating, Killam and actress Cobie Smulders became engaged in January 2009.[22] They married on September 8, 2012, in Solvang, California.[23] The couple has two daughters,[24] born in 2009[25][26] and 2015.[27]

Killam is an avid fan of the Los Angeles Rams, having been reported wearing the team's home jersey at local home games.[28][29]



Year Title Role Notes
1994 Naked Gun 33+13: The Final Insult Boy of Geriatric Park
2002 Big Fat Liar Bret Callaway
2003 Just Married Dickie McNerney
2004 Stuck in the Suburbs Jordan Cahill
2006 The Showdown The Batter Short film
2006 Dr. Miracles Mr. Peterson Short film
2007 Epic Movie Pirate
2008 My Best Friend's Girl Josh
2009 Three Matthew McConaugheys and a Baby Matthew McConaughey Short film
2010 Anderson's Cross Austin Wilson
2013 The Heat Adam/Simon Larkin
2013 Grown Ups 2 Male Cheerleader Cameo
2013 12 Years a Slave Abram Hamilton
2014 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Jim McNaughton
2015 Ted 2 Himself
2015 Underdogs Captain Skip / Rufus (voice)
2016 Casual Encounters Justin Davis
2016 Brother Nature Roger Fellner Also writer
2017 All Nighter Gary
2017 Killing Gunther Blake Also director, producer and writer; directorial debut
2018 Night School Stewart


Year Title Role Notes
1994–2002 All That Himself 15 episodes
2000 The Jersey Varsity 1 Episode: "Nick's a Chick"
2000 Judging Amy Freddie Felleman Episode: "The Wee Hours"
2000 Touched by an Angel Teenage Robert Episode: "The Grudge"
2000–2002 The Amanda Show Spaulding 7 episodes
2001 Undressed Blake 40 episodes
2001 Roswell Malamud Episode: "Heart of Mine"
2001–2002 MADtv Various 13 episodes
2002 Do Over Dave Episode: "The Block Party"
2004 Drake & Josh Trevor Episode: "Dune Buggy"
2004 Boston Public Alex Buchanan Episode: "Chapter Seventy-Eight"
2004 Still Standing Andy Episode: "Still Narcing"
2004 Stuck in the Suburbs Jordan Cahill TV film
2005 Jake in Progress Todd Episode: "Loose Thread"
2006 Girlfriends Jordan Gray Episode: "Hustle & Dough"
2006–2014 How I Met Your Mother Gary Blauman 6 episodes
2006–2007 Wild 'n Out Various 29 episodes
2007 Nick Cannon Presents: Short Circuitz Various 8 episodes; also writer
2009 Scrubs Jimmy 4 episodes
2009 Scrubs: Interns Jimmy Episode: "The Late Night with Jimmy Show"
2010–2016 Saturday Night Live Himself, Various 126 episodes
2011 Community Cory Radison Episode: "Regional Holiday Music"
2012 iCarly Agent Kinsey Episode: "iMeet the First Lady"
2012 Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday Patient, Steve Doocy, Guy 2 episodes
2013–2018 Drunk History Various 6 episodes
2013–2015 The Awesomes Zip "Frantic" Danger (voice) Main role; 30 episodes
2014 Comedy Bang! Bang! Smith Calvins Episode: "Jenna Fischer Wears a Floral Blouse & Black Heels"
2014 Sesame Street Professor Buck Awe Episode: "School for Chickens"
2015–present Nature Cat Nature Cat (voice) Main role; 86 episodes
2016 New Girl Fred Episode: "What About Fred"
2016 Mating Jay Pilot
2018 A.P. Bio Mr. Vining Episode: "Teacher Jail"
2018 Robot Chicken Various voices Episode: "Ext. Forest Day"
2018–2020 Single Parents Will Cooper Main role, 45 episodes
2018 We Bare Bears Willoughby-Wentworth (voice) Episode: "Adopted"
2018 Angie Tribeca Pierre Cardin 6 Episodes
2019 Documentary Now! Benedict Juniper Episode: "Original Cast Album: Co-Op"
2019 Arrested Development Young George Bluth, Sr. [30]
2019 Full Frontal with Samantha Bee Zam Larson Episode: "Not the White House Correspondents' Dinner"
2019 What Just Happened??! with Fred Savage Himself Episode: "Elevator"
2020 The Simpsons Glen Tangier/Airshot (voice) Episode: "Bart the Bad Guy"
2020 Vampirina Ichabod Crane (voice) Episode: "A Tale Of Two Hollows"
2020 The George Lucas Talk Show Himself Episode: "Revenge of the Sick"
2021 Star Wars: The Bad Batch Depot Manager / Goatal / Landspeeder Driver (voice) Episode: "Cornered"
2021 Impeachment: American Crime Story Steve Jones
2021 Mr. Mayor Taryn Digiacomo Episode: "Mr. Mayor's Magical L.A. Christmas"
2022-Present The NFL Pile On Host


Year Title Role Notes
2015 Little Shop of Horrors Orin Scrivello, DDS, Various Encores! Off-Center
2017 Hamilton King George III Broadway debut; replaced Rory O'Malley



  1. ^ a b "Taran Killam". TVGuide.com. Archived from the original on September 15, 2015. Retrieved March 22, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Owen Turner, Arrissia (July 15, 2004). "From Big Bear to big time-Taran Killam". Archived from the original on August 29, 2012. Retrieved July 6, 2019.
  3. ^ "12 Years A Slave and Saturday Night Live with Taran Killam, episode #96 of I Was There Too". earwolf.com. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  4. ^ Yan, Marjorie (February 22, 2011). "Killam with laughter: actor, comedian, and former Bruin lands dream job on 'Saturday Night Live' cast". Daily Bruin. University of California, Los Angeles. Retrieved July 6, 2019.
  5. ^ "Nobody's Watching Part 2 ", YouTube, June 8, 2006
  6. ^ a b c Dietsch, T.J. (October 17, 2013). "NYCC: 'Saturday Night Live's' Taran Killam Debriefs 'The Illegitimates'". Comic Book Resources.
  7. ^ Ausiello, Michael (August 8, 2016). "SNL Vets Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah Not Returning for Season 42". TVLine.com. Archived from the original on August 9, 2016. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
  8. ^ Ryan, Mike (August 8, 2016). "Taran Killam On Why He's Leaving 'Saturday Night Live'". Uproxx.com. Archived from the original on August 10, 2016. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
  9. ^ Ryan, Mike (August 9, 2016). "We Spoke to Taran Killam about why he's not returning to 'SNL'". Uproxx. Retrieved August 10, 2022.
  10. ^ "Call Your Girlfriend SNL". December 12, 2011. Archived from the original on December 22, 2021. Retrieved August 24, 2013.
  11. ^ Hughes, Sarah (December 13, 2011). "Taran Killam and 'SNL' cohorts do late night recreation of Robyn's 'Call Your Girlfriend' (Video)". Washington Post. Archived from the original on December 15, 2011. Retrieved February 7, 2013.
  12. ^ "Talkin' Robyn with Taran Killam". Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Retrieved February 7, 2013.
  13. ^ Hernandez, Brian Anthony (November 11, 2012). "Mokiki's Sloppy Swish Is the Next 'Gangnam Style'". Mashable. Retrieved February 3, 2013.
  14. ^ "What's Trending: Look Out, Psy: SNL's 'Sloppy Swish' Might be the Next 'Gangnam Style'". MSN Now. November 12, 2012. Archived from the original on November 15, 2012. Retrieved February 3, 2013. The ridiculous "Sloppy Swish" dance by Mokiki was featured in an SNL sketch last night, and, with the speed that it's gone viral today, some people are predicting it could be the next Gangnam Style. Parodies have already begun springing up on YouTube and there are Tumblr pages for both "Mokiki" and "Sloppy Swish." Sorry, Psy — there may be a new viral dance sensation on the block.
  15. ^ Ryan, Mike (November 14, 2012). "'Saturday Night Live': Origins Of The Sloppy Swish And Mokiki, Explained By Taran Killam". The Huffington Post. Retrieved February 3, 2013.
  16. ^ Konrad, Jeremy (October 16, 2013). "Taran Killam And IDW's The Illegitimates Win Over The Crowd". Bleeding Cool.
  17. ^ Jasper, Marykate (December 20, 2013). "The Illegitimates #1". Comic Book Resources.
  18. ^ Ostrowski, Vince (December 19, 2013). "Review: The Illegitimates #1". Multiversity Comics.
  19. ^ Hunsaker, Andy (December 18, 2013). "The Illegitimates #1: 'SNL' Star Taran Killam's Comic Debut". CraveOnline.
  20. ^ Lee, Ashley (December 14, 2016). "Taran Killam to Make Broadway Debut in 'Hamilton'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 14, 2016.
  21. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (March 2, 2018). "Taran Killam, Leighton Meester & Brad Garrett Cast In 'Single Parents' ABC Pilot". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  22. ^ Alexander, Reagan (January 28, 2009). "HIMYM's Cobie Smulders Flashes Her New Engagement Ring". People. Retrieved November 25, 2009.
  23. ^ Clark, Jerry (September 8, 2012). "'SNL's' Taran Killam Marries 'How I Met Your Mother's' Cobie Smulders". RumorFix. Retrieved September 8, 2012.
  24. ^ Keveney, Bill (September 25, 2019). "'Stumptown' star Cobie Smulders: 'Going through cancer has made me a better person'". USA Today. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  25. ^ Leon, Anya (July 3, 2009). "It's a Girl for Cobie Smulders". People.
  26. ^ "Taran Killam and Cobie Smulders Expecting Second Child". People. October 21, 2014. Retrieved March 7, 2019.
  27. ^ Klassen, Anna (January 26, 2015). "'Unexpected' Star Cobie Smulders & Director Kris Swanberg On Finally Making a Pregnancy Film From the Female Perspective". Retrieved January 30, 2015.
  28. ^ Gonzalez, Alden (September 18, 2018). "A day at the game with an SNL alum and a (real) celebrity Rams fan". ESPN. Archived from the original on August 29, 2021. Retrieved August 30, 2021.
  29. ^ "Taran Killam and the Miz compare Rams & Browns fanbases". NFL. Archived from the original on November 26, 2022. Retrieved November 26, 2022.
  30. ^ Snierson, Dan (March 7, 2019). "Arrested Development: Cobie Smulders and Taran Killam to play Lucille and George Sr". Entertainment Weekly.

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