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Keegan-Michael Key
Born March 22, 1971 (1971-03-22) (age 38)
Southfield, Michigan, U.S.
Occupation Actor/Comedian
Years active 1999–present
Spouse(s) Cynthia Blaise

Keegan-Michael Key (born March 22, 1971) is an American comic actor best known for his roles as a cast member on MADtv for six seasons. He has also had recurring roles on Reno 911! and Gary Unmarried.

Contents

Biography

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Early years

Key was born in Southfield, Michigan and raised in Detroit. His father is African-American and his mother is Caucasian. He is a graduate from Shrine Catholic High School in Royal Oak, Michigan (class of 1989). He attended the University of Detroit as an undergraduate and a member of Phi Kappa Theta, and earned his Master of Fine Arts at the Pennsylvania State University School of Theatre.

Career

MADtv

Keegan joined the cast of MADtv midway into the ninth season. He was groomed to be the next only black male cast member to be chosen over Jordan Peele. But the latter created memorable characters, and had the most chemistry with Key in sketches, including one where both played jinx-breaking radicals called "The Superstitious Knights". Both were promoted to repertory player status during season 10.

Keegan's characters include the semi-psychotic Coach Hines, who threatens students and others at school assemblies (who, on the penultimate episode of MADtv, 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 - 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. Struthers' catch-phrase is "takin it to a 'ho 'nutha levo." There is also "Jovan Muskatelle", a shirtless man with a jheri curl and a shower cap who 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!" Like Saturday Night Live castmembers, Darrell Hammond, Maya Rudolph, and Fred Armisen, Key plays many different races (mostly Hispanic and Arab) and can play both male and female characters (cf. Eva Longoria as Gabrielle Solis on a "Desperate Housewives" parody). Key has also done well with celebrity impersonations, including Ludacris, Snoop Dogg, Phylicia Rashād, Matthew Lillard, Bill Cosby, Al Roker, Terrell Owens, Tyler Perry, Robin Antin, Chris Brown, 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, Sidney Poitier, Lionel Richie, Barack Obama, Usain Bolt, and Kobe Bryant.

MADtv characters

  • Coach Sandoval "Sandy" Hines
  • Carlton "Carl" Hall (Superstitious Knights)
  • Chad Bascar (Holly Meadow Estates)
  • Caress
  • Dr. Funkenstein
  • The Vacuum Salesman (Stuart: Vacuum Salesman)
  • Poker Player #1 (Stuart: Poker Game)
  • Eugene Struthers
  • Gordon Robinson (Sesame Street)
  • Jorge (Taco Hell)
  • The Businessman (Bae Sung)
  • Bon Qui Qui's Boyfriend (King Burger)
  • President Barack Obama
  • Jovan Muskatelle
  • Knee High (Condi Comes to Harlem)
  • Mandigo Babafume (Real **********ing Talk)
  • Rollo Johnson (Real **********ing Talk)
  • Gangster #1 (Gangster Fight)
  • Midnight (Abercrombie & Fitch Employees)
  • Galvadahl (The Blind Kung Fu Master)
  • Rudolph Poozer (The Lillian Verner Game Show)
  • Steven Wonder "Stevie" Washington (Real **********ing Talk)
  • Edward "Eddie" Thundercloud
  • Razzle Dazzle

Other work

Keegan 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.

Keegan is also the current host of 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.[1]

During the 2008 NBA finals, Keegan was featured in a series of GMC Denali commercials playing an overzealous attendant in a parking garage.

Keegan is currently host of GSN's "Big Saturday Night", and has been tapped to co-star in Gary Unmarried on CBS for the fall 2009 season.

Keegan has been in several episodes of Reno 911! as the "Theoretical Criminal".[2]

Filmography

Year Title Role Notes
2010 The Wild Bunch Grape Vine In Production
2008 MADtv Himself-Various 2004-2009
Chocolate News Woodsy guest
Role Models Duane
Reno 911! Theoretical Criminal
Talkshow with Spike Feresten Himself Guest-starred
2007 Sucker For Shelley Michael
Frangela Deshawn
2006 Al TV segment 'White & Nerdy'
Grounds Zero Arch
Alleyball Curt Braunschweib
2005 The Planet's Funniest Animals Himself-Host Host 2005-Present
2004 I'm With Her Orderly
2003 Uncle Nino Airport Stranger
2001 ER Witkowski
2000 Garage: A Rock Saga TV Studio Manager
1999 Get the Hell Out of Hamtown J

See also

References

  1. ^ 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 2007-11-20. http://web.archive.org/web/20071120135528/http://www.theatre.psu.edu/ourstory/news/111105_key.html. Retrieved 2008-01-17.  
  2. ^ "Theoretical criminal (Character) from "Reno 911!"". The Internet Movie Database. 2008. http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0062381. Retrieved 2009-01-18.  

External links


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