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Adam McKay

Adam McKay28 posts

Adam McKay is a screenwriter and director born in Denver in 1968. McKay is best known for comedy films like the Anchorman series and Talladega Nights (with frequent collaborator Will Ferrell). With Ferrell, McKay is also a co-founder of Gary Sanchez Productions and the comedy website Funny or Die.

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22 Jul, 2014

Manimal announced

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Ferrell and McKay’s Gary Sanchez Productions, along with Miller’s Mosaic, receive the go ahead from Sony Pictures Animation to start a live-action/animation hybrid action-comedy based production of Manimal, the cult 1980s TV show about a man who fights crime using his ability to morph into animals. McKay:

I think it’s right down our alley, it’s what we do—it’s tongue-in-cheek and has an action component, but overall it’s a comedy. Like The Catcher In The Rye or The Sound And The FuryManimal has always been one of those elusive projects every producer dreams of taking to the silver screen,” said McKay. “I know the movie will be funny and entertaining, but will it be the first film to win a Pulitzer? We’ll just have to see.


Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues


Nine years after the original Anchorman, the sequel is released. Ferrell and Applegate reprise their roles with a script written by Ferrell and McKay. McKay also returns as director. The film starts with Corningstone being promoted to full-time anchor and Burgundy being fired and forced to work part-time at Sea World. McKay says Burgundy is more relevant than ever:

It’s crazy — “Anchorman” is a movie that certainly fit the time when it came out and every year it gets more and more relevant. Part of what inspired the movie was just how ridiculous the news had become. It was all ratings driven. The people were getting better and better looking. The weather women were getting outrageously beautiful. It was all about the voice and the hair…So yes, sadly, the character has gotten more and more relevant as the news has gotten to be nothing more than a ratings-driven profit machine that is never going to examine any of the real power in this country. The ridiculousness of “Anchorman” got less and less observed.

Official Anchorman 2 Trailer

10 Aug, 2012

The Campaign


The Roach-directed political comedy appears in theaters. Working titles include Dog Fight and Southern Rivals. The film stars Will Ferrell and Zack Galifianakis as rivals in a North Carolina election being manipulated by the Motch brothers. Henchy and Harwell write the script, with McKay assisting on the original story. When asked about the film’s appeal for audiences, Ferrell says:

We’re hoping the audience enjoys it. It’s poking fun at the political system. There’s very good jokes in it and also there’s a little bit of a message that doesn’t swing right or left. It’s just a good message for the American people at home, I think.

The Campaign Official Trailer 1 [HD]: Will Ferrell & Zach Galifianakis Political Comedy

20 Jan, 2009

You’re Welcome, America

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McKay and Ferrell’s Broadway show You’re Welcome, America: A Final Night with George Bush opens in previews at the Cort Theatre on Bush’s last night in office. The show opens on February 1 and runs through March 15. The show is also broadcast on HBO on March 14. On the week ending February 15, the show breaks the theatre’s house record, taking in over $846,500.

Will Ferrell: You're Welcome America - A Final Night with George W Bush - Wood (HBO)

25 Jun, 2007

Good Cop, Baby Cop

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McKay once again directs Ferrell and daughter Pearl in this short for Funny or Die. McKay also stars as a policeman alongside Henchy. Pearl appears as “The Confession Maker” as she interrogates Ferrell’s character.

19 Jul, 2001

Hosts Chicago comedy film festival


McKay hosts the opening program of the fourth annual Chicago Short Comedy Video and Film Festival at the Biograph theater. The program includes a screening of 16 shorts, including two of McKay’s. The Procedure stars Dafoe, Ferrell, and Richter in a story focusing on surgical implants, while Five Finger Discount stars McKay and Shannon as a pair of dog thieves.



Becomes SNL head writer

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McKay becomes head writer on the SNL staff. During this time, he and Ferrell create the recurring “Bill Brasky” sketches, which also feature Goodman and Baldwin.

We got this through simply because the first one did work really well, and everyone was going, “Are these hit characters?” But then, it was far too strange to be hit characters. But it was mainly John Goodman and Alec Baldwin are the sole reason we got to do a bunch of these ’cause every time they would show up, they would go, “Are we doing a Brasky?” And I could see Lorne and the other producers kind of roll their eyes like, “I guess we’re doing a Brasky.” That was how we got those on.

McKay, Piven marry

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McKay and Piven marry. Piven says their politics are a large part of her relationship with Adam:

He has always been very outspoken politically—he blogs for Huffington Post and is active on Twitter as a political/comic animal. We share many of the same poltical points of view…


Upright Citizens Brigade


The troupe emerges in Chicago as a collective of members from other improv and sketch performance groups. Founding members include Besser, Farahnakian, McKay, Roberts, Sanz, and Walsh. McKay says:

The first UCB show we ever did was called Virtual Reality. We would pluck someone out of the audience, and they would go with me and a cameraman in a car around the neighborhood—like we were doing sort of a Jack Kerouac drive around the country. Then we’d quickly edit the tape and show it to the audience ten minutes after we got back.

1 Jan, 1990

Moves to Chicago


McKay drops out of Temple University and moves to Chicago after discovering improv.

I dropped out of college, sold my comic-book collection, bought a 1976 Chrysler New Yorker that was actually a dead man’s car, and set out to do anything I wanted. It’s almost a Johnny Cash song, but I was looking to do something that would give me infinite possibilities as a performer and would never bore me onstage.

He begins taking courses at ImprovOlympic.