Mark McKinney

Mark McKinney

McKinney holding a producer credit for The 1 Second Film in September 2004
Born Mark Douglas Brown McKinney
(1959-06-26) June 26, 1959
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Nationality Canadian
Occupation Comedian, actor
Years active 1985present

Mark Douglas Brown McKinney (born June 26, 1959) is a Canadian comedian and actor, best known for his work in the sketch comedy troupe The Kids in the Hall. Following the run of their television series (1989 to 1995) and feature film (Brain Candy), he went on to star in Saturday Night Live from 1995 to 1997. From 2003 to 2006, he co-created, wrote and starred in the acclaimed mini-series Slings and Arrows, a TV show about a Canadian theatre company struggling to survive while a crazy genius director haunted by his dead mentor helps the actors find authenticity in their acting. McKinney currently has a regular role as Glenn on the NBC comedy Superstore.

Early life

McKinney was born in Ottawa, Ontario, the son of Chloe, an architectural writer, and Russell McKinney, a diplomat.[1] Because of his father's career, he did a lot of travelling when he was young. Some of the places he lived while growing up were Trinidad, Paris, Mexico, and Washington, D.C. He also attended Trinity College School, a boarding school in Port Hope, Ontario. For a short while, McKinney was a student at Memorial University of Newfoundland, where he was a political science major.

Acting career

The Kids in the Hall

The Kids in the Hall at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival

He started performing comedy with the Loose Moose Theatre Company in Calgary, Alberta. There, McKinney met Bruce McCulloch. Together they formed a comedy team called "The Audience." Eventually, McKinney and McCulloch moved to Toronto, and met Dave Foley and Kevin McDonald, who were in the process of forming a comedy troupe. Along with Scott Thompson, who joined after coming to a stage show, and producer Lorne Michaels, The Kids in the Hall was formed in 1985.

Notable "Kids" characters played by McKinney include the Chicken Lady, Darill (pronounced da-RILL), bluesman Mississippi Gary, and Mr. Tyzik the Headcrusher, an embittered Eastern European who pretended to crush the heads of passers-by between his thumb and forefinger.

Saturday Night Live

After the end of The Kids in the Hall, McKinney joined the cast of another Lorne Michaels sketch comedy show, Saturday Night Live in the middle of the 1994-1995 season (season 20) as a repertory player. McKinney survived the cast overhaul that occurred at the end of season 20 and stayed on SNL until the end of the 1996–1997 (season 22). During his time on SNL, McKinney had six recurring characters (some of note include Ian Daglers from "Scottish Soccer Hooligan Weekly", Melanie, a Catholic schoolgirl, and Lucien Callow, a fop often paired with David Koechner's fop character Fagan) and twenty-seven celebrity impersonations (some of note include Mel Gibson, Barney Frank, Al Gore, Paul Shaffer, Mark Russell, Jim Carrey, Lance Ito, Tim Robbins, Steve Forbes, Wolf Blitzer, Bill Gates, and Ellen DeGeneres).[2]

Movie appearances

He has appeared in several films, including the SNL spinoffs Superstar, The Ladies Man and A Night at the Roxbury. McKinney also starred opposite Isabella Rossellini in Guy Maddin's acclaimed tragicomedy The Saddest Music in the World. He also appeared in the Spice Girls' movie Spiceworld.

McKinney cowrote and starred in the Kids in the Hall movie Brain Candy, in which, among other roles, he spoofed SNL and KITH executive producer Lorne Michaels.


His theatre appearances include The Ugly Man with One Yellow Rabbit at the Edinburgh Fringe festival and Glasgow. He was in the cast of The Roundabout theatre production of Flea in her Ear and David Lindsay Abaire's Fuddy Meers for the Manhattan theatre club. During the fall of 2001 McKinney performed the one-man show Fully Committed at the Wintergarden theatre in Toronto and again in the summer of 2002 at the Centaur Theatre in Montreal.[3]

Latest appearances

His latest appearances on television have been as a cast member on the CBC comedy Hatching, Matching, and Dispatching, the first season of Robson Arms, as well as on the hit Canadian comedy Corner Gas.

From 2003 to 2006, he co-created, co-wrote and starred in the acclaimed dramedy TV mini-series Slings and Arrows, about the backstage goings-on in a Canadian Shakespearean theatre company struggling with financial problems as they rehearse and present various productions.

In 2006–7 he both worked as a story editor on and a recurring role in NBC's Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip as Andy Mackinaw, a humourless widowed writer/story editor for the show-within-a-show.[4]

He directed the short film Not Pretty, Really for the 2006 anthology Shorts in Motion: The Art of Seduction.

As well, he directed and appeared on the CBC Radio post-apocalyptic comedy Steve, The First and its sequel, Steve, The Second, for his friend Matt Watts. He is also a writer for Watts' new sitcom Michael, Tuesdays and Thursdays, which was scheduled to debut on CBC Television in fall 2011.[5]

In the summer of 2007, he became the show-runner and executive producer of Less Than Kind, a half hour comedy starring Maury Chaykin.

He was in an episode of the Canadian children's TV show Dino Dan, episode 'Prehistoric Zoo/Ready? Set? Dino!' He plays Dino Dan's track coach in the second part, 'Ready? Set? Dino!' of this two-show episode released 4 October 2010 (Canada).[6]

He co-wrote and starred in the Kids in the Hall 2010 reunion project Death Comes to Town.[7]

In 2011, he was an executive producer of Picnicface, a sketch TV series from the Halifax comedy troupe of the same name produced for The Comedy Network.[8]

In 2014, he appeared in the CBC Television series The Best Laid Plans.[9]

In 2015, he is a co-star in the sitcom Superstore.


McKinney is credited in the American dubbed parody of the popular Japanese television series Kagaku Sentai Dynaman as the voice of Yousuke, aka Dyna Blue.


  1. "Mark McKinney Biography (1959-)". Retrieved 2012-11-26.
  2. "SNL Archives | Cast". 1995-01-14. Retrieved 2012-11-26.
  3. Barratt, Amy (2002-07-11). "Kid makes good". Montreal Mirror. Retrieved 2008-07-18.
  4. Kois, Dan (2006-10-23). "Can Studio 60 Be Saved?". Retrieved 2006-10-24.
  5. "Camelot & cover songs: Inside CBC’s new fall lineup". National Post, June 8, 2011.
  6. "Dino Dan Episode Guide 2010 Season 1 - 'Twas a Dinosaur, Episode 17". Retrieved 2012-11-26.
  7. "Nothing is sacred in new Kids in the Hall series". Xtra!, December 28, 2009.
  8. "Comedy Network Orders Picnicface TV Series". The Hollywood Reporter. 2010-12-03. Retrieved 2012-11-26.
  9. Bill Brioux, "‘Best Laid Plans’ turns satiric focus on politics". Toronto Star, January 4, 2014.
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