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.
- Son Fletcher attended and graduated from Agoura High School.
- At age 46, was the oldest man to join the cast of _"Saturday Night Live" (1975)_ (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).
- 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.
- 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?".
- 'Olympia Dukakis' (qv) was his acting teacher at New York University. Learned improvisation from 'Omar Shapli' (qv). The improvisation class played some dates as a comedy group called Section 10.
- Is the only person to have appeared as a musical guest, hosted, then become a regular cast member, in that order, on _"Saturday Night Live" (1975)_ (qv).
- He began playing the guitar at the age of 14. He plays the piano and the harmonica, also.