Adam McKay
Rob Latour/Variety/REX/Shutterstock
United States

Gary Sanchez Productions, Funny or Die



The path from “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” to “The Big Short,” which earned him an Oscar nomination for best director in 2016, may not be readily apparent, but the roots of Adam McKay’s serious side have been there from the start. Even when the Philadelphia-born comedian was making his way into the entertainment business via comedy troupe Upright Citizens Brigade, he had a penchant for playing characters like Noam Chomsky … only imagining the controversial scholar as a substitute kindergarten teacher.

But it was as a writer, not a performer, that McKay joined “Saturday Night Live,” where he distinguished himself as a writer from 1995 to 2001. He even enjoyed a stint as head writer before passing the baton on to his friend Tina Fey. He left the show to write, produce and director with fellow “SNL” alum Will Ferrell for a string of hit comedies including “Anchorman,” “Talladega Nights,” “Step Brothers” and “The Other Guys.” He and Ferrell have also been busy in other mediums like TV, were they co-produced HBO’s “Eastbound and Down,” and online, where their humor brand Funny or Die has been making waves for the past decade.

But McKay signaled an exciting new chapter for his career with his acclaimed adaptation of “Short,” Michael Lewis’ searing dissection of the U.S. financial crisis that attracted a stellar cast including Steve Carell, Brad Pitt and Christian Bale and multiple Oscar nominations. McKay looks to follow up with more political-themed stories including director duties on an account of the Theranos controversy starring Jennifer Lawrence and a Dick Cheney biopic for Paramount. In addition, he and Ferrell have their first political drama lined up at HBO, “Succession.”




  • Temple University (PA, USA)

Variety Honors

  • Comedy Leaders

News from Variety

Will Ferrell, Adam McKay CBS All Access Comedy 'No Activity' Sets Cast, Premiere Date

Will Ferrell, Adam McKay CBS All Access Comedy 'No Activity' Sets Cast, Premiere Date

The upcoming Will Ferrell-Adam McKay produced comedy series "No Activity" has set its cast and has an official premiere date on CBS All Access.Series co-creator Patrick Brammall was previously announced to star, and he will now be joined by co-star Tim Meadows. Guest stars will include: Ferrell, J.K. Simmons, Amy Sedaris, Mark Berry, Arturo Castro, Mackenzie Davis, Bridget Everett, Darren Gilshenan, Travis Guba, Jake Johnson, Sunita Mani, Jason Mantzoukas, Adrian Martinez, Jesse Plemons, Fred Pohl, Alex Rodriguez, Courtenay Taylor, Michaela...


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