Conversations on Broadway: Keegan-Michael Key

  • Published on:  1/25/2018
  • Career Q&A with Keegan-Michael Key, moderated by BroadwayWorld's Richard Ridge of "Backstage with Richard Ridge!"

    Emmy and Peabody award winning actor, writer, and creator Keegan-Michael Key has made a name for himself as one of the most creative and in-demand faces in Hollywood. With his extraordinarily diverse skill set and wide-ranging talent in both comedy and drama, Key redefines what it means to be a chameleon and multi-hyphenate in the worlds of film, television, and theater.

    Up next, Key will star in Shane Black’s The Predator, which will hit theaters August 3, 2018. A sequel to the 1987 sci-fi hit Predator, the film also stars Sterling K. Brown, Trevante Rhodes, and Jacob Tremblay. It was also just announced that Key has joined the cast of Jon Favreau’s The Lion King as the hyena Kamari. The Disney film is slated for a Summer of 2019 release.

    Most recently, Key made his Broadway debut in Steve Martin’s play Meteor Shower, which opened on November 29th at the Booth Theatre. The production followed his New York stage debut as Horatio in Sam Gold’s production of Hamlet at The Public Theater in the Summer of 2017. He can also be seen starring in Nick Stoller’s comedy series “Friends from College,” currently streaming on Netflix, which follows a group of Harvard alumni and their adult successes – or lack thereof. The role garnered a 2018 NAACP award nomination for Key, and the show will return for a second season sometime this year.

    Key is the co-creator and co-star of Comedy Central’s “Key & Peele” with Jordan Peele. The show won the 2016 Emmy Award for Outstanding Variety Sketch Series, with Key being individually nominated for acting and co-writing with Peele. Key was previously nominated for 5 Emmy Awards for his work on the show, as well as a 2016 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series. “Key & Peele” won a 2014 Peabody Award and an American Comedy Award for Best Alternative Comedy Series. The show has become a TV and viral sensation, with 15 total Emmy® nominations and approaching a billion cumulative online hits. The series concluded its five season run in September 2015.

    On the big screen, Key was last seen in Joe Swanberg’s film Win It All, which premiered at the 2017 South by Southwest Film Festival, in advance of its April launch on Netflix. Before that, he starred in John Hamburg’s comedy Why Him?, in which he stars alongside James Franco, Bryan Cranston, and Megan Mullally. He also starred in Mike Birbiglia's critically acclaimed indie Don't Think Twice, which premiered at 2016’s South by Southwest and Tribeca Film Festivals, and was widely regarded as one of the best films of the year. Additional past film work includes Keanu, which he co-starred and produced alongside Jordan Peele, Pitch Perfect 2, Horrible Bosses 2, Let’s Be Cops, Wanderlust, Just Go with It, Role Models, Hell Baby, Afternoon Delight, and Due Date. He has also done vocal work for Storks, The Star, Angry Birds, Hotel Transylvania 2, and The Wild Bunch.

    On television, Key has recurred on the Emmy-winning FX series “Fargo,” USA’s “Playing House,” Adult Swim’s “Children’s Hospital,” and NBC’s “Parks & Rec.” He was also a series regular on FOX’s “MADtv” for six seasons and CBS’s “Gary Unmarried.” Additional TV credits include “The League,” “The Middle,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “Bob’s Burgers,” “Reno 911!” and “ER.” Key also received a 2016 Emmy nomination for his voiceover work in Crackle’s animated comedy “SuperMansion.”

    Key was named among Time Magazine’s “Most Influential People of 2014” and Entertainment Weekly’s “Entertainers of the Year of 2012.” He is a veteran of Detroit and Chicago’s The Second City, and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Detroit Mercy, and his Master of Fine Arts in Theater from Pennsylvania State University.