Jordan Haworth Peele (born February 21, 1979) is an American actor, comedian and filmmaker. He is best known for his television and film work in the comedy and horror genres. Peele's breakout role came in 2003 when he was hired as a cast member on the Fox sketch comedy series '' Mad TV'', where he spent five seasons, leaving the show in 2008. In the following years, he and his frequent ''Mad TV'' collaborator,
Keegan-Michael Key Keegan-Michael Key (born March 22, 1971) is an American actor, comedian, writer, and producer. He co-created and co-starred alongside Jordan Peele in Comedy Central's sketch series ''Key & Peele'' (2012–2015) and co-starred in USA Network's ''P ...
, created and starred in their own
Comedy Central Comedy Central (Formerly Styled As COMEDY ꓶⱯꓤꓕNƎꓛ) is an American basic cable television channel, channel owned by ViacomCBS through its ViacomCBS Domestic Media Networks, domestic network division's MTV Entertainment Group unit, based ...

Comedy Central
sketch comedy series '' Key & Peele'' (2012–2015). In 2014, they appeared together as FBI agents in the Fargo (season 1), first season of FX (TV channel), FX's anthology series ''Fargo (TV series), Fargo''. Peele co-created the TBS (U.S. TV channel), TBS comedy series ''The Last O.G.'' (2018–present) and the YouTube Premium comedy series ''Weird City (TV series), Weird City'' (2019). He has also served as the host and producer of the CBS All Access revival of the anthology series ''The Twilight Zone (2019 TV series), The Twilight Zone'' (2019–2020). Peele and Key wrote, produced, and starred in ''Keanu (film), Keanu'' (2016) and Peele has voice acted in ''Storks (film), Storks'' (2016), ''Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie'' (2017), ''Big Mouth (TV series), Big Mouth'' (2017–present) and ''Toy Story 4'' (2019). His 2017 directorial debut, the horror film ''Get Out'', was a critical and box office success. He received numerous accolades, including the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, along with nominations for Academy Award for Best Picture, Best Picture and Academy Award for Best Director, Best Director. He received another Academy Award nomination for Best Picture for producing Spike Lee's ''BlacKkKlansman'' (2018). He directed, wrote, and produced the acclaimed horror film ''Us (2019 film), Us'' (2019). He is the founder of film and television production company Monkeypaw Productions. In 2017, Peele was included on the annual Time 100, ''Time'' 100 list of the most influential people in the world.

Early life

Jordan Haworth Peele was born in New York City on February 21, 1979. His mother, Lucinda Williams, is white, from Maryland, with deep roots in the Colonial history of the United States, Colonial United States.Stated on ''Finding Your Roots'', January 6, 2021 His father, Hayward Peele, Jr., was black, and originally from North Carolina. He was raised by his single mother on Manhattan's Upper West Side. He attended the Computer School in Manhattan, graduated from The Calhoun School on Manhattan's Upper West Side in 1997, and went on to Sarah Lawrence College. After two years, Peele dropped out to form a comedy duo with Sarah Lawrence classmate and future '' Key & Peele'' writer Rebecca Drysdale.


2002–2009: Early beginnings and ''Mad TV''

Peele regularly performed at Boom Chicago in Amsterdam and The Second City in Chicago. He and Nicole Parker were well known for their musical duets at Boom Chicago. He portrayed a popular character called "Danish Supermodel Ute" during his time at Boom Chicago and hosted MTV's Comedy Weekend in 2002. In 2003, Peele joined the cast of '' Mad TV'' for its ninth season. Around the time
Keegan-Michael Key Keegan-Michael Key (born March 22, 1971) is an American actor, comedian, writer, and producer. He co-created and co-starred alongside Jordan Peele in Comedy Central's sketch series ''Key & Peele'' (2012–2015) and co-starred in USA Network's ''P ...
joined the cast as a featured performer, it was assumed that Key would be chosen over Peele. The two of them ultimately were cast together after showing great comedic chemistry. Peele performed celebrity impersonations, which included favorites Caroll Spinney (as the voice of Big Bird from ''Sesame Street''), Ja Rule, James Brown (TV personality), James Brown, Flavor Flav, Justin Guarini, Montel Williams, Morgan Freeman, Timbaland, and Forest Whitaker. Peele was absent from the first four episodes of his second season on ''Mad TV''. He made a cameo in "Weird Al" Yankovic's video "White & Nerdy" with ''Mad TV'' co-star Keegan-Michael Key. Peele was nominated for a 2008 Emmy Award for his song "Sad Fitty Cent", a music video parody about 50 Cent lamenting over his rivalry with Kanye West. The lyrics were, according to the music video, written by Peele, and he was involved in arranging its music. In 2009 he appeared in ''Little Fockers''. Peele appeared in a viral video titled "Hillary vs Obama" (which was shown as a ''Mad TV'' sketch) where he and a Hillary Clinton supporter (played by short-term cast member Lisa Donovan) argue over whether Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama would make a better president, only to get upstaged by a Rudy Giuliani supporter (played by Donovan's brother, Ben). Peele auditioned to be a castmember for ''Saturday Night Live'' when ''SNL'' producers were looking for someone to play Barack Obama (around the time when ''SNL'' and ''Mad TV'' — and other scripted shows — were put on hiatus due to the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike). Peele remained at ''Mad TV'' and the role went to Fred Armisen until September 2012, when Jay Pharoah took over the role. After five seasons on ''Mad TV'', Peele left the cast at the end of the 13th season.

2010–2016: ''Key & Peele''

In 2010, Peele co-starred in the Fox comedy pilot ''The Station'', and appeared with a recurring role in the Adult Swim series ''Childrens Hospital''. He had a supporting role in the David Wain-directed comedy ''Wanderlust (2012 film), Wanderlust'', which was released in 2012. Peele and his former ''Mad TV'' castmate and friend
Keegan-Michael Key Keegan-Michael Key (born March 22, 1971) is an American actor, comedian, writer, and producer. He co-created and co-starred alongside Jordan Peele in Comedy Central's sketch series ''Key & Peele'' (2012–2015) and co-starred in USA Network's ''P ...
starred in their own
Comedy Central Comedy Central (Formerly Styled As COMEDY ꓶⱯꓤꓕNƎꓛ) is an American basic cable television channel, channel owned by ViacomCBS through its ViacomCBS Domestic Media Networks, domestic network division's MTV Entertainment Group unit, based ...

Comedy Central
Sketch comedy, sketch series '' Key & Peele'', from 2012 to 2015. The series was a success with viewers, and spawned several skits and videos that went Viral video, viral online. In 2014, Peele played an FBI agent in the first season of the FX (TV channel), FX anthology series ''Fargo (TV series), Fargo'', based on the Fargo (1996 film), 1996 film of the same name. In 2016, Peele starred in and produced, with Key, the first feature film in which the two both had leading roles, ''Keanu (film), Keanu'' (they had previously both appeared in ''Wanderlust (2012 film), Wanderlust''). The film received generally favorable reviews from critics.

2017–present: Success as a filmmaker

In February 2017, Peele's first film as director, ''Get Out'', was released to critical acclaim, eventually scoring a 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The film received particular praise for Peele's screenplay and direction, as well as the performance of its lead, Daniel Kaluuya, and was chosen by the National Board of Review, the American Film Institute, and ''Time (magazine), Time'' magazine as one of the top 10 films of the year. ''The Atlantic'' called the film "a masterpiece." ''Get Out'' proved to be popular with movie audiences, and it eventually became one of the most profitable horror films, and films of 2017, and grossed over $255 million on a budget of $4.5 million. For his work on the film, Peele received significant attention, as well as numerous accolades, including the Gotham Independent Film Award for Breakthrough Director, Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award at the Gotham Independent Film Awards 2017, 2017 Gotham Independent Film Awards. The film also received four nominations at the 90th Academy Awards: Academy Award for Best Picture, Best Picture, Academy Award for Best Director, Best Director and Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Screenplay nominations for Peele, as well as a Academy Award for Best Actor, Best Actor nomination for Kaluuya. Peele won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, becoming the first black screenwriter to win in this category. He became the third person, after Warren Beatty and James L. Brooks, to be nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay for a debut film, and the first black person to receive them for any one film. ''Get Out'' also earned him the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay, as well as nominations for a Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing – Feature Film, Directors Guild of America Award and a BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay. In early 2018 Peele announced his intention to retire from acting, stating in an interview with CBS "Acting is just nowhere near as fun for me as directing". In 2018, Peele co-created the TBS comedy series ''The Last O.G.'', starring Tracy Morgan and Tiffany Haddish. Also in 2018, Peele co-produced the Spike Lee film, ''BlacKkKlansman'' which was released to critical acclaim and was a box office success. The film received six nominations at the 91st Academy Awards including the Academy Award for Best Picture, Best Picture nomination for Peele. On June 28, 2018, it was announced that YouTube Premium would be releasing ''Weird City (TV series), Weird City'', co-created by Peele and Charlie Sanders (actor), Charlie Sanders. The show was released on February 13, 2019 to critical acclaim. On April 5, 2018, it was announced that Amazon Video had given a series order to the docuseries ''Lorena (TV series), Lorena'' consisting of four episodes. The series was set to be directed by Joshua Rofé who would also executive produce alongside Peele, Win Rosenfeld, Steven J. Berger, Jenna Santoianni, and Tom Lesinski. Production companies involved with the series include Monkeypaw Productions, Sonar Entertainment, and Number 19. It ultimately premiered on February 15, 2019. Peele's second film as director was ''Us (2019 film), Us'', a horror-thriller film which he also wrote and produced, starring Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss, and Tim Heidecker. After having its world premiere on March 8, the film was released in the United States on March 22, 2019 by Universal Pictures, Monkeypaw Productions, and QC Entertainment. Peele developed and is narrator for the science fiction Web television, web television series ''The Twilight Zone (2019 TV series), The Twilight Zone'', the third revival of the The Twilight Zone (1959 TV series), original 1959-64 anthology series that aired on CBS, for CBS All Access. The show premiered on April 1, 2019, with Peele, Simon Kinberg and Marco Ramirez as executive producers. In February 2020, Peele produced a 10 episode series about hunting down Nazi Party, Nazis called ''Hunters (2020 TV series), Hunters''. Peele produced the HBO series ''Lovecraft Country (TV series), Lovecraft Country'' written by ''Underground (TV series), Underground'' co-creator Misha Green.

Future projects

On November 3, 2015, it was reported that Henry Selick was developing ''Wendell and Wild'', a new stop-motion feature with Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key based on an original story by Selick. In March 2018, the film was picked up by Netflix. There have been several films floated based on Peele's sketch comedy series '' Key & Peele''. In March 2015, it was announced that Key would reprise the role of Mr. Garvey in a feature-length film ''Substitute Teacher'' with Peele portraying a rival teacher. In March 2017 in a Reddit AMA, Peele expressed interest in developing a film around his ''Key & Peele'' character Wendell Sanders based on the music video "The Power of Wings". The film, titled ''Wendell Meets Middle-Earth'', would follow Wendell's existence in the fantasy world that he likes to see his life in. In September 2018, it was announced Peele was in talks to produce a remake of ''Candyman (1992 film), Candyman'', through his Monkeypaw Productions, of which ''Candyman'' star Tony Todd stated in a 2018 interview wit
Nightmare on Film Street
"I’d rather have him do it, someone with intelligence, who’s going to be thoughtful and dig into the whole racial makeup of who ''Candyman'' is and why he existed in the first place." In November 2018, it was confirmed that Peele will produce the film with Universal Pictures, Universal and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, MGM and will partner with Win Rosenfeld to co-produce the film, while Nia DaCosta will sign on as director. The new ''Candyman (2021 film), Candyman'' will serve as a "spiritual sequel", taking place back in the new Gentrification, gentrified Cabrini Green, where the old housing projects development once stood in Chicago. The theatrical release is set for August 27, 2021. In October 2020, Rosenfeld and Peele signed on to produce the remake of Wes Craven's 1991 comedy horror film ''The People Under the Stairs''.


In February 2017, Peele curated the Brooklyn Academy of Music film series "The Art of the Social Thriller", comprising 12 films that inspired the making of ''Get Out'', including the horror films ''Rosemary's Baby (film), Rosemary's Baby'', ''Night of the Living Dead'', ''The Shining (film), The Shining'', ''Candyman (1992 film), Candyman'', ''The People Under the Stairs'', ''Scream (1996 film), Scream'', ''The Silence of the Lambs (film), The Silence of the Lambs'', ''Funny Games (1997 film), Funny Games'', ''Misery (film), Misery'', the thrillers ''Rear Window'' and ''The 'Burbs'', and the 1967 racial comedy-drama ''Guess Who's Coming to Dinner''. As a comedian, Peele counts among his influences ''In Living Color'', Richard Pryor and Dave Chappelle. He also has listed Steve Martin and Martin Lawrence as arguably his two biggest influences.

Personal life

Through his mother, Lucinda Williams, Peele is descended from the Old Stock Americans, colonial Woodhull family, whose prominent members include Revolutionary war heroes Brigadier General Nathaniel Woodhull and Culper Ring, Culper Ring Spy Abraham Woodhull (the latter of whom is his first cousin, 8 times removed). Peele began dating Chelsea Peretti in 2013. They became engaged in November 2015, and Peretti announced in April 2016 that she and Peele had eloped. They have a son named Beaumont (born July 1, 2017).


As a Director

Awards and nominations

Peele has been nominated for four Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay for ''Get Out'' (2017), winning the latter, and another Best Picture nomination for ''BlacKkKlansman'' (2018). He has also been nominated for two British Academy Film Awards, one Golden Globe Award, and won one Primetime Emmy Award.


External links

* * *Peele's production practic
Monkeypaw Productions
{{DEFAULTSORT:Peele, Jordan 1979 births 21st-century American comedians 21st-century American male actors 21st-century American male writers African-American male comedians African-American film directors African-American film producers African-American male actors African-American screenwriters American film production company founders American impressionists (entertainers) American male comedians American male film actors American male screenwriters American male television actors American male voice actors American sketch comedians Best Original Screenplay Academy Award winners Comedians from New York City Directors Guild of America Award winners Film directors from New York City Film producers from New York (state) Horror film directors Independent Spirit Award for Best Director winners Living people Male actors from New York City Peabody Award winners People from the Upper West Side Primetime Emmy Award winners Sarah Lawrence College alumni Screenwriters from New York (state) Television producers from New York City Writers Guild of America Award winners Woodhull family