Oct. 17th, 1947
New York City, New York, USA
Guest TV Roles[none found]
He began his career (as well as the characters of Lenny and Squiggy) in Pittsburgh while a student at Carnegie Mellon University; 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 joined the cast of Laverne and Shirley. 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 and Shirley in 1982, McKean played David St. Hubbins in the cult spoof documentary movie This Is Spinal Tap with both Guest and Shearer, and appeared in the soap opera spoof Young Doctors in Love.
McKean quickly became a recognizable name in film and television, with appearances in films such as Used Cars (1980), Clue (1985), Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987), Earth Girls Are Easy (1988), the film adaptation of Memoirs of an Invisible Man (1992), Coneheads (1993), and Radioland Murders (1994). He also had guest roles on such shows as Murder, She Wrote, Murphy Brown, Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and Caroline in the City. McKean was part of an ensemble cast in the short-lived television series Grand on NBC which aired in 1990.
Having already appeared as a musical guest and then host of Saturday Night Live, McKean joined the cast as a featured player in 1994 and remained for one season. At 46, he was the oldest person ever to join the Saturday Night Live cast, and the only person to be a musical guest, host, and cast member in that order. 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 HBO 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 1999, with two children from a previous marriage (to Susan Russell, from 1970 to 1993) McKean married Annette O'Toole.
- Wrote the song "Potato's In The Patty Wagon" with 'Annette O'Toole' (qv), his wife, while commuting back and forth from the United States to Canada, where _"Smallville" (2001)_ (qv) was being filmed. O'Toole played Martha Kent, Superman's mother, in the series for six seasons. There was ample time to write due to the long checks at the border as this was a few days after September 11th, 2001. The couple first performed the song at a Christmas party that was hosted by 'Martin Short (I)' (qv).
- Did celebrity impersonations of 'Robert Evans (I)' (qv), 'Gary Busey' (qv), 'Howard Stern (I)' (qv) and 'Bill Clinton (I)' (qv) on _"Saturday Night Live" (1975)_ (qv).
- Began his career in Pittsburgh while a student at Carnegie Mellon University. 'David L. Lander' (qv) was a fellow student at CMU and their partnership grew after graduation as part of the comedy group The Credibility Gap with comedian 'Harry Shearer' (qv) in Los Angeles. McKean and Lander's breakthrough came in 1976 when they were cast as Lenny and Squiggy on _"Laverne & Shirley" (1976)_ (qv). The twosome were hired as apprentice writers and day players.
- Gilbert and Ruth McKean, his parents, hailed from Louisiana. Gilbert was a recording executive who worked for RCA and Columbia as well as being one of the founders of Decca Records. Ruth was a library clerk at North Shore High School. The couple, along with Michael's grandmother, attended Louisiana Tech University. He has an older sister, also.
- At age 46, was the oldest man to join the cast of _"Saturday Night Live" (1975)_ (qv).
- The song "A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow," performed by Mitch & Mickey in _A Mighty Wind (2003)_ (qv), was written by McKean and his wife, 'Annette O'Toole' (qv), as a love song to each other after the movie was conceived. 'Christopher Guest (I)' (qv) asked McKean and O'Toole to write the duet. He almost turned it down after the McKeans performed it. 'Jamie Lee Curtis' (qv) convinced her husband (Guest) to use it in the film.
- Along with 'Dean Cain' (qv), 'Patrick Cassidy (I)' (qv) and 'Richard Gant' (qv), he is one of only four actors to appear in both _"Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman" (1993)_ (qv) and _"Smallville" (2001)_ (qv).
- Performed as the comedy group The Credibility Gap with 'Richard Beebe' (qv), 'David L. Lander' (qv) and 'Harry Shearer' (qv) (among others) in the 1960s and 1970s, best known for their rock band version of the classic 'Bud Abbott' (qv)/'Lou Costello (I)' (qv) routine "Who's on First?".