Keegan-Michael Key

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Keegan-Michael Key
Born(1971-03-22) March 22, 1971 (age 41)
Southfield, Michigan, U.S.
Years active1999–present
SpouseCynthia Blaise
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Keegan-Michael Key
Born(1971-03-22) March 22, 1971 (age 41)
Southfield, Michigan, U.S.
Years active1999–present
SpouseCynthia Blaise

Keegan-Michael Key (born March 22, 1971) is an American actor and comedian best known for starring in the Comedy Central sketch series Key & Peele and for his six seasons as a cast member on MADtv.


Early life

Key was born in Southfield, Michigan and raised in Detroit. His father is African-American and his mother is Caucasian. He was adopted as a child.[1] He is a graduate of Shrine Catholic High School in Royal Oak, Michigan (class of 1989). Key attended the University of Detroit as an undergraduate and earned his Master of Fine Arts at the Pennsylvania State University School of Theatre.



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. 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. Struthers' catch-phrase is "takin it to a 'ho 'nuva level."

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, 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.

He also played female characters, including Eva Longoria (as Gabrielle Solis on a "Desperate Housewives" parody) and Phylicia Rashād.

MADtv characters

  • Coach Sandoval "Sandy" Heinz / Hines (Coach Hines)
  • Carlton "Carl" Hall (Superstitious Knights)
  • Chad Bascar (Holly Meadow Estates)
  • Caress
  • Dr. Funkenstein
  • Vacuum Salesman (Stuart: Vacuum Salesman)
  • Poker Player #1 (Stuart: Poker Game)
  • Eugene Struthers
  • Gordon Robinson (Sesame Street)
  • Jorge (Taco Hell), a melodramatic fast food worker who protests against the gross Americanization of Mexican food
  • Businessman (Bae Sung)
  • Bon Qui Qui's Boyfriend (King Burger)
  • 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, a Native American trying to speak out against the media stereotypes of American Indians, but isn't taken seriously by anyone else
  • Razzle Dazzle, a homeless man with tips and solutions on how to live in a recessionary America
  • Barack Obama

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 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.[2]

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

In 2009, Keegan hosted GSN's "Big Saturday Night", and has co-starred in Gary Unmarried on CBS.

Keegan was a panelist on the NPR comedy quiz show Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me... on March 27 and July 24, 2010.

Keegan has been in several episodes of Reno 911! as the "Theoretical Criminal".[3]

Key and his former MADtv castmate Jordan Peele are currently starring in their own Comedy Central sketch series Key & Peele, which began airing on January 31, 2012.


2012Key & PeeleVarious Characters
2011Just Go with ItErnestocameo
The LeagueCarmenjello
2010Due DateNew Fathercameo
The Wild BunchGrape VineIn Production
Chocolate NewsWoodsyguest
Role ModelsDuane
Reno 911!Theoretical Criminal
Talkshow with Spike FerestenHimselfGuest-starred
2007Sucker For ShelleyMichael
2006Al TVsegment 'White & Nerdy'
Grounds ZeroArch
AlleyballCurt Braunschweib
2005The Planet's Funniest AnimalsHimself-HostHost 2005–2008
2004I'm With HerOrderly
2003Uncle NinoAirport Stranger
2000Garage: A Rock SagaTV Studio Manager
1999Get the Hell Out of HamtownJ

See also


External links