Adam McKay (born April 17, 1968) is an American film director, producer, screenwriter, comedian, and actor. He is best known for his work on the comedies Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004), Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006), Step Brothers (2008), The Other Guys (2010), and Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013). He has also directed the films The Big Short (2015) and Vice (2018).
McKay was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and raised in the suburb of Malvern. His father, Jim McKay, was a television sports director, and his mother, Joyce McKay, was a schoolteacher. He has three sisters and one brother. McKay attended Villanova University, where he was a member of the Saturday Night Live sketch comedy troupe. He graduated from Villanova in 1990 with a degree in English.
After college, McKay moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in comedy writing. He worked as a writer and producer on the television shows Girls Behaving Badly and Crank Yankers. He also wrote for the films Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997) and Zoolander (2001). In 2004, McKay co-wrote and directed the comedy film Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. The film was a critical and commercial success, grossing over $100 million at the box office.
In 2006, McKay co-wrote and directed the comedy film Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. The film was another critical and commercial success, grossing over $150 million at the box office. In 2008, McKay co-wrote and directed the comedy film Step Brothers. The film was another critical and commercial success, grossing over $100 million at the box office.
In 2010, McKay directed the action-comedy film The Other Guys. The film was a critical and commercial success, grossing over $170 million at the box office. In 2013, McKay co-wrote and directed the sequel to Anchorman, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. The film was another critical and commercial success, grossing over $200 million at the box office.
In 2015, McKay directed the financial crisis drama The Big Short. The film was a critical and commercial success, grossing over $70 million at the box office and winning the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. In 2018, McKay directed the biographical drama Vice. The film was a critical and commercial success, grossing over $60 million at the box office.
McKay has been married to Shira Piven since 1996. They have three children together. McKay has a net worth of $40 million.
about $40 million
Date Of Birth
April 17, 1968
Screenwriter, Television producer, Comedian, Film producer, Film director, Actor, Television Director
Temple University, Great Valley High School, Pennsylvania State University
Pearl McKay, Lili Rose McKay
Academy Award for Best Writing Adapted Screenplay, BAFTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, Writers Guild of America Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, WGA Award for Best Comedy/Variety - (Including Talk) Series - Television, Best Sports Movie ESPY Award, Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Adapted...
Academy Award for Best Director, Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay - Motion Picture, BAFTA Award for Best Direction, Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing – Feature Film, AACTA International Award for Best Direction, Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing - Variety ...
The Big Short, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Step Brothers, Ant-Man, The Other Guys, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, The Campaign, Daddy's Home, The Landlord, Welcome to Me, Get Hard, The Boss, Sleeping with Oth...
[observation, 2013 on Roger Ebert] How much we miss him. He wrote the worst review of anything I've ever done. And it was so great! We don't care. When you do comedy, you get impervious to good and bad reviews. It was 'Step Brothers' and he claimed it was 'the sign of the end of Western civilization'.
[on performing comedy] Well, you kind of start with the premise of 'it makes us laugh', and there's a bit of checking in with the crowd. Will [Ferrell] and I write our own sense of humor. We've been doing it for a long time so there is some adjustment going on that we're not conscious of. There's some awareness that there's an audience that is going to see it. You're not completely out there. You put it up and, much like horror -in horror and comedy - the audience really has to go with you. So we don't mind losing 'em for stretches. We don't mind throwing something at 'em that they outright don't like, but that you want them to be with some of the movie.. You pick your moments to go 'Screw the audience' and you pick up you moments where you need the audience. You're trying to do something that's still something that makes us laugh, for this part where we need the audience. That's the game of comedy.
[on 'Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues'] With sequels you often see these inflated test scores. I said, 'I don't ever want this movie to get over a 90'. I want 10% of the crowd NOT to like the movie'. You want the majority to be into it, but that was literally our mission. Let's not get too lovable with this. Let's make sure we sing a love song to a shark. We open our movie with a shark attack. It's not standard storytelling.
[paying homage to vintage comedies] Scattershot, ensemble comedy in which it's all different kinds of comedy - it's absurd, it's edgy, it's dry - that's my favorite kind of stuff. 'Airplane!' was the one for me. I was in sixth grade, and I remember going to see that movie seven times and just tears in my eyes I was laughing so hard. 'Boy Trapped in Refrigerator Eats Own Foot' - I've had conversations with numerous people who say that joke was a turning point in their life.
Sequels are desperate. We're cooler than that. We kind of thought, 'Wait a minute. If we do a sequel, we'll have enough cred from the first movie that we could do crazy-ass shit. We won't have to establish new characters and story and jump right into what we want to do.' The second part was, 'Can we make a good sequel?' There are a lot of flat comedy sequels...'Can we make a sequel that doesn't suck?'
Although his work at Saturday Night Live (1975) was mainly as a writer and director, he made several appearances on the show, usually as an over-sized, obnoxious audience member who heckles the host or cast members until the stars verbally or physically attack him. McKay had auditioned for Saturday Night Live (1975) as an actor, while he was still with the Second City Improv but didn't make the cut as on camera talent. But, he had submitted four scripts to the show which had gotten him hired as a writer.