Michael John McKean (born October 17, 1947) is an American actor, comedian, screenwriter, composer, singer, and musician known for various roles in film and television such as Lenny Kosnowski in Laverne & Shirley, David St. +more Hubbins in This Is Spinal Tap, and Chuck McGill on Better Call Saul.

McKean's breakout role was annoying neighbor Lenny Kosnowski on the sitcom Laverne & Shirley. He played David St. +more Hubbins, lead vocalist and co-lead guitarist of the fictional rock band Spinal Tap in This Is Spinal Tap and had roles in several Christopher Guest ensemble films. He co-wrote the song "A Mighty Wind" (for the Guest film A Mighty Wind), for which he won a Grammy Award, as well as "A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow" from the same film, which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song. McKean was a cast member on Saturday Night Live for its 19th and 20th seasons in the mid-1990s.

McKean received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series in 2019 for his performance as Chuck McGill. In 2020, he appeared alongside Martin Freeman in the first season of parental comedy series Breeders. +more He is the current voice of Lou Pickles in Nickelodeon's Rugrats franchise.

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Early life

McKean was born October 17, 1947, in New York City at Manhattan Women’s Hospital, now part of the +more_Luke’s'>Mt. Sinai St. Luke’s complex on Amsterdam Avenue. He is the son of Ruth Stewart McKean, a librarian, and Gilbert S. McKean, one of the founders of Decca Records, and was raised in Sea Cliff, New York, on Long Island. McKean is of Irish, English, Scottish, and some German and Dutch descent. He graduated from high school in 1965. In early 1967, he was briefly a member of the New York City "baroque pop" band The Left Banke and played on the "Ivy, Ivy" single (B-side: "And Suddenly").

Career

McKean began his career (as well as the characters of Lenny and Squiggy) in Pittsburgh while a student at Carnegie Mellon; David Lander was a fellow student at CMU. Their partnership grew after graduation as part of the comedy group The Credibility Gap with Harry Shearer in Los Angeles, but McKean's breakthrough came in 1976 when he and Lander joined the cast of Laverne & Shirley portraying Lenny and Squiggy. +more McKean directed one episode, and the characters became something of a phenomenon, even releasing an album as Lenny and the Squigtones in 1979, which featured a young Christopher Guest on guitar (credited as Nigel Tufnel-the name Guest would use a few years later as part of the spoof rock band Spinal Tap). "Foreign Legion of Love" was a big hit for the Squigtones, with frequent play on the Dr. Demento Show. McKean also played his character in an episode of Happy Days. After leaving Laverne & Shirley in 1982, McKean appeared in the film spoof Young Doctors in Love, then two years later as David St. Hubbins in the comedy This Is Spinal Tap with both Guest and Shearer.

McKean quickly became a recognizable name in film and television, with appearances in films such as Used Cars (1980), Clue (1985), +moreR. Y. L. '>D. A. R. Y. L. (1985), Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987), Earth Girls Are Easy (1988), and taking a lead role in Short Circuit 2 (1988).

1990s

In 1990, McKean appeared opposite Kiefer Sutherland and Dennis Hopper in Flashback. The same year, McKean was part of an ensemble cast in the television series Grand, which aired for a short time. +more In 1991, McKean co-wrote (with Christopher Guest) the second episode and later directed the final episode of the mock documentary series Morton & Hayes, created by Phil Mishkin and Rob Reiner.

McKean appeared in a number of movie roles, including the film adaptation of Memoirs of an Invisible Man (1992), Coneheads (1993), Airheads (1994), and Radioland Murders (1994).

Having already appeared as a musical guest and then host of Saturday Night Live, McKean joined the cast from 1994 to 1995. At the age of 46, he was the oldest person ever to join the SNL cast at the time (later surpassed by Leslie Jones, who joined in 2014 at age 47), one of a handful of SNL cast members who weren't already hired to work behind the scenes (like SNL's numerous writers-turned-cast members) to appear on the show before becoming a cast member and the only one to be a musical guest and a host before becoming a cast member. +more During this time, he also released a video follow-up to Spinal Tap, played the villainous Mr. Dittmeyer in The Brady Bunch Movie, and played the boss Gibby in the series Dream On. After leaving Saturday Night Live, McKean spent a lot of time doing children's fare, voicing various TV shows and movies.

In 1997, he performed the lead voice role in the video game Zork Grand Inquisitor as Dalboz of Gurth and appeared in the 1999 films Teaching Mrs. +more Tingle and Mystery, Alaska.

McKean's television guest appearances include The Simpsons; Star Trek: Voyager; Boy Meets World; Murder, She Wrote; Murphy Brown; Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman; Friends; and Caroline in the City. In 1998, he guest starred in a two-part episode of The X-Files titled "Dreamland," in which his character Morris Fletcher switched bodies with Fox Mulder. +more The character was a success, reappearing in 1999's "Three of a Kind," an episode which focused on the recurring characters of The Lone Gunmen. The character appeared on the short-lived spin-off series in 2001, and then returned to The X-Files in its final season for an episode called "Jump the Shark. ".

2000s

McKean reunited with Christopher Guest in Best in Show (2000) and appeared in Little Nicky (2000), The Guru (2002), And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself (2003), and A Mighty Wind (2003), in which The Folksmen are played by the actors who played as Spinal Tap. McKean had a regular role as the brassy, heavily made-up bandleader Adrian Van Voorhees in Martin Short's series Primetime Glick. +more He also had guest roles on such shows as Law & Order, Family Guy, SpongeBob SquarePants, and Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law. He did voiceover work as Henry's cousin Louie on Oswald, which coincidentally featured the voice of David Lander as Henry. He lent his voice to an episode of Kevin Smith's Clerks: The Animated Series that never aired but was included on the VHS and DVD versions of the series.

In 2003, he guest-starred on Smallville, the Superman prequel in which his wife Annette O'Toole starred as Martha Kent. McKean played Perry White, who ultimately becomes Clark Kent's boss. +more He previously associated with the Superman universe in 1994 on the Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman first-season episode "Vatman," in which he played Dr. Fabian Leek, a cloning expert who creates a Superman clone that belonged to corporate mogul Lex Luthor (John Shea). Also, during his short stint on Saturday Night Live, McKean played Perry White in a Superman spoof.

In 2003, he appeared in the Christopher Guest comedy A Mighty Wind. He co-wrote several songs for the film, including A Mighty Wind (with Guest and Eugene Levy), which won the Grammy for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media and A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow, which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Song.

McKean performed in the Broadway production of Hairspray in 2004. He co-starred as Hines in a revival of The Pajama Game with +more'>Harry Connick, Jr. at the American Airlines Theatre in the first half of 2006. Also in 2006, McKean reunited with most of the cast of A Mighty Wind to film the comedy For Your Consideration and appeared in the play Love Song on the stage in London. His musical interests led him to a starring role in the 2008 comedy air-drumming film Adventures of Power, in which he was reunited with Jane Lynch, his co-star from For Your Consideration, in a story intended to honor the leaders and fighters of the 99% movement.

McKean was cast in the pilot episode of a remake of the British series +more_Series)'>The Thick of It as the chief of staff. The pilot was directed by Guest. McKean starred in the 40th anniversary Broadway revival of Harold Pinter's The Homecoming, co-starring Ian McShane, Raul Esparza, Eve Best, and James Frain. The show opened on December 9, 2007. In 2009, he starred in the Chicago-based Steppenwolf Theatre Company's production of Superior Donuts by playwright Tracy Letts.

2010s

On January 20, 2010, it was announced that McKean would return in an episode of Smallville alongside his spouse Annette O'Toole.

In May 2010, McKean won the Celebrity Jeopardy! tournament by defeating Jane Curtin and Cheech Marin. The earnings were donated to the International Myeloma Foundation in honor of McKean's friend Lee Grayson, who died of myeloma in 2004. +more In Summer 2010, McKean took over the role of the Stage Manager in Thornton Wilder's Our Town at the Barrow Street Playhouse in New York's Greenwich Village. His run ended on August 24, 2010. In 2011, McKean appeared on an episode of Sesame Street as a rock star looking for "rocks" to be in an all ROCK-band.

In April 2012, McKean began performing on Broadway in Gore Vidal's The Best Man. On May 22, 2012, McKean was hit by a car in New York City, suffering a broken leg. +more On June 1, 2012, McKean was released from the hospital to begin physical rehabilitation. He appeared in the HBO comedy series Family Tree in early 2013.

In early 2014, McKean played J. +more Edgar Hoover in Broadway previews of Robert Schenkkan's Lyndon B. Johnson bio-play All the Way, starring Emmy winner Bryan Cranston as Lyndon B. Johnson.

In 2015, McKean began appearing as a regular cast member in the first three seasons of Breaking Bad spin-off Better Call Saul in the role of the main character's older brother Chuck McGill - a new character created for the series - also having guest appearances in the show's fourth and sixth seasons. The same year, McKean began hosting the Cooking Channel television series Food: Fact or Fiction? This lighthearted show takes a look at food urban legends and features him both as host and narrator to some segments within each episode.

In 2018, McKean played Doug Forcette in the NBC sitcom The Good Place, a former stoner from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, who had a mushroom-induced hallucination in the 1970s and correctly guessed 92% of the afterlife. While Doug Forcett is mentioned multiple times in the show, McKean only portrayed him in one episode.

McKean played Sgt. Shadwell in the 2019 television mini-series adaptation of the novel Good Omens.

Personal life

In 1970, McKean married Susan Russell. They had two children, Colin (born 1976) and Fletcher (born 1985). +more He married actress and singer Annette O'Toole in 1999; she had two children, Nell and Anna, from a previous marriage. Colin McKean died in 2012.

Characters on SNL

Recurring characters

Anthony, the weatherman from Good Morning, Brooklyn

Celebrity impersonations

Filmography

Film

YearTitleRoleclass = "unsortable" | Notes
1977Cracking UpVarious characters
19791941Willy
1980Used CarsEddie Winslow
1982Young Doctors in LoveDr. Simon August
1984This Is Spinal Tap+more_Hubbins'>David St. HubbinsAlso writer
1985D. A. R. Y. L. Andy Richardson
1985ClueMr. Green
1986Jumpin' Jack FlashLeslieUncredited
1987Light of DayBu Montgomery
1987Planes, Trains and AutomobilesState Trooper
1988Portrait of a White MarriageRev. Prufrock
1988Short Circuit 2Fred Ritter
1988Earth Girls Are EasyWoody
1989Hider in the HousePhil Dreyer
1989The Big PictureEmmett SummerAlso writer
1990FlashbackHal
1990Book of LoveAdult Jack Twiller
1991True IdentityHarvey Cooper
1992Memoirs of an Invisible ManGeorge Talbot
1992Man TroubleEddy Revere
1993ConeheadsGorman Seedling
1994AirheadsMilo Jackson
1994Radioland MurdersRick Rochester
1995The Brady Bunch MovieMr. Larry Dittmeyer
1995Across the MoonFrank
1996Edie & PenRick
1996The Pompatus of LoveSitcom Star
1996JackPaulie
1997No Strings AttachedElliot Lewis
1997Casper: A Spirited BeginningBill CaseDirect-to-video
1997That Darn CatPeter Randall
1997Nothing to LosePhillip "P. B" Barrow
1997Still BreathingNew Mark
1998The Man Who CountedReverend HooperShort film
1998Spinal Tap: The Final TourDavid St. HubbinsShort film
1998The PassWillie L.
1998Small SoldiersInsaniac/TroglokhanVoices
1998Archibald the Rainbow PainterJ. P. Bigelow
1998With Friends Like These. Dr. Maxwell Hersh
1998Sugar: The Fall of the WestHead of Sex Clinic
1999Masters of Horror and SuspenseWill Masters
1999Kill the ManMr. Livingston
1999True CrimeReverend Shillerman
1999Teaching Mrs. TinglePrincipal Potter
1999Mystery, AlaskaMr. Walsh
2000Best in ShowStefan Vanderhoof
2000BeautifulLance DeSalvo
2000Little NickyChief of Police
2001My First MisterBob Benson
2001Never AgainAlex The Transvestite
2001Dr. Dolittle 2Bird 1Voice
2002Slap Her. She's FrenchMonsieur Duke
2002The Hunchback of Notre Dame IISarouschVoice; Direct-to-video
2002Teddy Bears' PicnicPorterfield "Porty" Pendleton
2002The GuruDwain
2002Auto FocusVideo Executive
2002100 Mile RuleHoward
2003A Mighty WindJerry Palter
2005The ProducersPrison Trustee
2006Relative StrangersKen Hyman
2006For Your ConsiderationLane Iverson
2007JoshuaChester Jenkins
2007The GrandSteve Lavisch
2008Adventures of PowerHarlan
2009Whatever WorksJoe
2010Pure Country 2: The GiftPeter
2012The WordsNelson Wylie
2012Batman: The Dark Knight ReturnsDr. Bartholomew WolperVoice; Direct-to-video
201310 Rules for Sleeping AroundJeffrey Fields
2014Sesame Street: Learning RocksVirgil Von VivaldiDirect-to-video
2015The MeddlerMark
2020Pink Skies AheadRichard
2021Playing GodFrank
2021My Little Pony: A New GenerationArgyleVoice
2022Jerry & Marge Go LargeHoward
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Television

YearTitleRoleclass = "unsortable" | Notes
1976-1983Laverne & ShirleyLeonard "Lenny" Kosnowski149 episodes
1979Happy DaysLeonard "Lenny" KosnowskiEpisode: "Fonzie's Funeral: Part 2"
1980Goodtime GirlsJoeyEpisode: "Internal Injury"
1984Saturday Night LiveHimself / David St. +more Hubbins2 episodes
1985George Burns Comedy WeekJoeyEpisode: "The Borrowing"
1986Classified LovePete NewlyTelevision film
1986Tall Tales & LegendsMac Macintosh / Mr. Wallace2 episodes
1987Double AgentJason Starr / Warren StarbinderTelevision film
1987Daniel and the TowersWexler HatchTelevision film
1990GrandTom Smithson13 episodes
1990Empty NestDennis AdamsEpisode: "Mad About the Boy"
1990Murder, She WroteRoss McKayEpisode: "The Return of Preston Giles"
1990The AFI Presents: TV or Not TV?Principal FordTelevision special; segment: "Peak A Boo"
1991Morton & HayesDr. MummenschvantzEpisode: "The Bride of Mummula"
1991Murder in High PlacesPettiboneTelevision film
1991-1996Dream OnGibby Fiske25 episodes
1992-1994DinosaursVarious voices12 episodes
1992, 1999The SimpsonsDavid St. Hubbins / Jerry Rude (voice)2 episodes
1993-1994, 1998AnimaniacsVarious voices3 episodes
1993Family AlbumMr. GordonEpisode: "Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall All You Gotta Do Is Call. "
1994Getting ByDirk ClearfieldEpisode: "Sell It Like It Is"
1994Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of SupermanDr. Fabian LeekEpisode: "Vatman"
1994DuckmanBob Hiney (voice)Episode: "A Civil War"
1994-1995Saturday Night LiveVarious Roles25 episodes
1995The NannyProf. Noel Babcock PhDEpisode: "Franny and the Professor"
1995FriendsLeon RastatterEpisode: "The One with the List"
1996The Sunshine BoysScott GroganTelevision film
1996Star Trek: VoyagerThe ClownEpisode: "The Thaw"
1996Secret Service GuyFrank McClellan7 episodes
1996Caroline in the CityFather DamianEpisode: "Caroline and the Wedding"
1996-1998Jungle CubsCecil (voice)20 episodes
1996-1998Pinky and the BrainVarious voices4 episodes
1996-1999Tracey Takes On. Barrington "Barry" LeTissier6 episodes
1997Road RoversDr. Jeffrey Otitus (voice)Episode: " Reigning Cats and Dogs"
1997Johnny BravoVarious voices3 episodes
1997The Weird Al ShowMinerEpisode: "Mining Accident"
1997Space Ghost Coast to CoastHimselfEpisode: "BooBooKitty"
1997-1998101 Dalmatians: The SeriesJasper Badun (voice)27 episodes
1998The CloserArthur Willhaven2 episodes
1998LateLineDick ObermeyerEpisode: "Pearce's New Buddy"
1998Murphy BrownDennis PageEpisode: "Second Time Around"
1998The Angry BeaversL. G. Algae / Raccoon (voice)Episode: "Pond Scum"
1998Final JusticeMerle HammondTelevision film
1998The New Batman Adventures50s Joker / Mutant Member (voice)Episode: "Legends of the Dark Knight "
1998Mr. Show with Bob and DavidProfessor PeensEpisode: "Life Is Precious and God and the Bible"
1998RecessMr. Bream (voice)Episode: "Yes, Mikey, Santa Does Shave"
1998-1999Maggie WintersLewis Stickley2 episodes
1998-2002The X-FilesMorris Fletcher4 episodes
1999ProvidenceSherman SmithEpisode: "Blind Faith"
1999Boy Meets WorldJedediah LawrenceEpisode: "State of the Unions"
1999-2003Hey Arnold!Various voices2 episodes
2000Batman BeyondIan Peek (voice)Episode: "Sneak Peek"
2000-2001The HuntressLt. Praeger / Ralph Thorson (voice)3 episodes
2000-2001Clerks: The Animated SeriesVarious voices2 episodes
2000, 2002Family GuyVarious voices2 episodes
2000, 2008Law & OrderElias Grace / Bill Nolan2 episodes
2001Strip MallPsycho-Vivor Host2 episodes
2001The Lone GunmenMorris FletcherEpisode: "All About Yves"
2001-2002OswaldMaestro Bingo / Louie (voice)5 episodes
2001-2003Primetime GlickAdrien Van Voorhees30 episodes
2002Teamo SupremoMean Thumb / Lo-Fi (voice)2 episodes
2002As Told by GingerBobby Lightfoot (voice)Episode: "Family Therapy"
2002Justice LeagueSgt. O'Shaughnessey / The Sportsman (voice)2 episodes
2002The Zeta ProjectDr. Marcus Edmunds (voice)Episode: "The Hologram Man"
2002-2005Harvey Birdman, Attorney at LawEvelyn Spyro Throckmorton (voice)4 episodes
2003And Starring Pancho Villa as HimselfWilliam Christy CabanneTelevision film
2003, 2010-2011SmallvillePerry White3 episodes
2005AliasDr. Atticus Liddell2 episodes
2005Hopeless PicturesMel Wax (voice)9 episodes
2005Boston LegalDwight BiddleEpisode: "Truly, Madly, Deeply"
2006CatscratchGroink (voice)Episode: "Love Jackal"
2006Help Me Help YouDr. Howard "J. " HubbinsEpisode: "Pink Feud"
2006The Year Without a Santa ClausSnow MiserTelevision film
2007The Grim Adventures of Billy & MandyKalgoron (voice)Episode: "Wrath of the Spider Queen"
2007, 2011Curb Your EnthusiasmMatt Tessler2 episodes
2008The UnitDr. Donald Metz2 episodes
2010Glory DazeStuEpisode: "Why Shant This Be Love?"
2010Sesame StreetVirgil Von VivaldiEpisode: "Rock, Rock Band"
2011Off the MapEd GreenmanEpisode: "Saved by the Great White Hope"
2011CastleVictor BaronEpisode: "Pretty Dead"
2011Childrens HospitalDeathEpisode: "Munch by Proxy"
2011Glenn Martin, DDSEye-Hawk / Sarge (voice)Episode: "Heist"
2011HomelandJudge Jeffrey TurnerEpisode: "Grace"
2012-2013Happy EndingsBig Dave2 episodes
2012ThundercatsVultaire (voice)2 episodes
2012Law & Order: Special Victims UnitFred SandowEpisode: "Father's Shadow"
2012, 2016SpongeBob SquarePantsCaptain Frosty Mug / Lonnie the Shark (voice)2 episodes
2013Family TreeKeith Chadwick4 episodes
2013American Dad!Emperor Zing (voice)Episode: "Lost in Space"
2014The 7DUncle Humidor (voice)2 episodes
2015-2018; 2022Better Call SaulChuck McGill28 episodes
2015-2019Food: Fact or Fiction?Himself (host)65 episodes
2015Comedy Bang! Bang!ZeusEpisode: "Stephen Merchant Wears a Checkered Shirt and Rolled Up Jeans"
2015-2016Drunk HistoryCarl Laemmle / Arthur Jell2 episodes
2016-2018Goldie & BearMr. Locks (voice)6 episodes
2017Last Week Tonight with John OliverWarren G. Harding counselorSegment: "Harding"
2018The Good PlaceDoug ForcettEpisode: "Don't Let the Good Life Pass You By"
2019VeepGovernor BallentineEpisode: "Oslo"
2019Good OmensWitchfinder Sgt. Shadwell5 episodes
2019DelilahTom Childs Sr. Pilot
2020-2022Grace and FrankieJack6 episodes
2020BreedersMichael5 episodes
2020At Home with Amy SedarisGuy LombardiEpisode: "New Year's"
2020HelpstersRoyEpisode: "Billy Bug/Cody Rides a Bike"
2021-presentRugratsLou Pickles (voice)Main role
2022BillionsMelville RevereEpisode: "Cannonade"
.

Stage

YearTitleRoleclass = "unsortable" | Venue
2004HairsprayEdna TurnbladNeil Simon Theatre
2004-2005A Second Hand MemoryPhil WellmanLinda Gross Theater
2006The Pajama GameHinesAmerican Airlines Theatre
2006Love SongHarryAmbassadors Theatre
2007-2008The HomecomingSamCort Theatre
2009Our TownStage ManagerBarrow Street Theatre
2009-2010Superior DonutsArthur PrzybyszewskiMusic Box Theatre
2011King LearEarl of GloucesterThe Public Theatre
2012The Best ManDick JensenGerald Schoenfeld Theatre
2014All the WayJ. +more Edgar HooverAmerican Repertory Theatre
2017The Little FoxesBen HubbardSamuel J. Friedman Theatre
2018The TrueErastus Corning IIAlice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre
.

Living people

Songwriters from New York (state)

Carnegie Mellon University College of Fine Arts alumni