Michael McKean is a multitalented actor, writer, and director who is associated with some of pop culture’s most iconographic films and television shows of the last three decades. He has appeared in hundreds of movies and TV shows.
McKean studied acting at Carnegie Mellon University and at NYU (with Olympia Dukakis) before heading out to LA, where he joined Harry Shearer and David L. Lander in the satirical squad the Credibility Gap. In 1976, McKean and Lander became notorious as Lenny and Squiggy of the TV series Laverne & Shirley.
McKean’s film credits include Steven Spielberg’s 1941, Used Cars, Young Doctors in Love, and Rob Reiner’s This is Spinal Tap, costarring Ed Begley Jr. on which McKean shared screenwriting and composing credits. Other films include: Clue, Light of Day, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Coneheads, The Brady Bunch Movie, Jack, True Crime, and about 70 others, including Christopher Guest’s The Big Picture (also cowrote), Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, For Your Consideration, and Whatever Works (directed by Woody Allen).
McKean has also appeared as a regular on Saturday Night Live, Dream On, Sessions, and Tracey Takes On and acted as bandleader/straight man for Martin Short’s Primetime Glick on Comedy Central. His most recent TV work includes Family Tree for HBO.
His many TV guest appearances include: Friends, Murphy Brown, The Simpsons, The X-Files, Law & Order, Smallville, and most recently, in Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Unit, Off the Map, Homeland, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
In 1999, McKean had the good sense to marry actress Annette O’Toole, with whom he wrote the Oscar-nominated song, “A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow” for A Mighty Wind. He also collaborated with Guest and Eugene Levy on the title song (“A Mighty Wind”) of the eponymous film, which won a GRAMMY® Award.
McKean made his Broadway debut in 1990 with Rupert Holmes’ Accomplice, which netted him a Theater World Award. After this, McKean made his Broadway musical debut in Hairspray, followed by Woody Allen’s original stage production A Secondhand Memory, and a Williamstown Theatre Festival production of Tom Stoppard’s On the Razzle. McKean then appeared in the successful Broadway revival of The Pajama Game with Harry Connick Jr. before starring on London’s West End in a new comedy, Love Song.
Summer 2008 had McKean originate the role of Arthur Przybyszewski in Tracy Letts’ play Superior Donuts at Chicago’s famed Steppenwolf Theatre. The play went on to Broadway the following year. McKean starred in the Barrow Street Theatre production of Our Town, the new Randy Newman musical Harps and Angels at LA’s Mark Taper Forum, and Yes, Prime Minister at LA’s Geffen Playhouse.
Most recently, McKean starred on Broadway in Gore Vidal’s The Best Man, along with Angela Lansbury, James Earl Jones and appears on the Tony® Award–winning Broadway production of All the Way with Bryan Cranston.
- Michael McKean at Wikipedia