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Jordan Haworth Peele[1] (born February 21, 1979)[2] is an American actor, comedian, writer, producer, and director.

Jordan Peele
Jordan Peele Peabody 2014 (cropped).jpg
Peele at the May 2014 Peabody Awards
Born Jordan Haworth Peele
(1979-02-21) February 21, 1979 (age 39)
New York City, U.S.
Alma mater Sarah Lawrence College
Occupation Actor, comedian, writer, producer, director
Years active 2002–present
Spouse(s) Chelsea Peretti (m. 2016)
Children 1

Peele rose to fame starring in the Comedy Central sketch series Key & Peele and for five seasons as a cast member on Mad TV. In 2014, he had a recurring role in the first season of the FX anthology series Fargo, based on the 1996 film of the same name.[3]

Peele had a career breakthrough in 2017 with his solo directorial debut, the horror film Get Out, which earned critical acclaim and was a box office success.[4] He received numerous accolades, including Academy Award nominations for Best Director, Best Picture, and Best Original Screenplay, becoming just the third person (after Warren Beatty and James L. Brooks) to receive the three nominations for a debut film, and the first black person to receive them for any one film. He also earned the Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award at the 2017 Gotham Independent Film Awards and nominations for a DGA Award and BAFTA for Best Original Screenplay.[5]


Early life and educationEdit

Peele was born in New York City,[6] and raised by his single mother, Lucinda Williams, on Manhattan's Upper West Side.[1] His mother is white and his father is black.[7] He attended the Calhoun School in Manhattan and went on to Sarah Lawrence College before dropping out after two years to form a comedy duo with his college roommate and future Key & Peele comedy writer Rebecca Drysdale.[1]


2000s: Early beginnings and Mad TVEdit

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 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, Flavor Flav, Justin Guarini, Montel Williams, Morgan Freeman 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.[8]

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: Further success with Key & PeeleEdit

Peele performing in 2012

In 2010, Peele co-starred in the FOX comedy pilot The Station,[9] 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, which was released in 2012.

Peele and his former Mad TV castmate and friend Keegan-Michael Key starred in their own Comedy Central sketch series Key & Peele, from 2012 to 2015.[10][11] The series was a success with viewers, and spawned several skits and videos that went viral online.[12]

In 2014, Peele played an FBI Agent in the first season of the FX anthology series Fargo, based on the 1996 film of the same name.[3]

In 2016, Peele starred in, and produced, with Key, their first feature film Keanu.[13] The film received generally favorable reviews from critics.[14]

2017–present: Career breakthrough with Get OutEdit

In February 2017, Peele's first film as solo director, Get Out, was released to critical acclaim, eventually scoring a 99% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[15] The film received particular praise for Peele's screenplay and direction, as well as Kaluuya's performance,[16] and was chosen by the National Board of Review, the American Film Institute, and Time magazine as one of the top 10 films of the year.[17][18][19] The Atlantic called the film "a masterpiece."[20]

Get Out proved to be extremely popular with movie audiences, and it eventually became one of the most profitable films of all time, and grossed over $250 million on a budget of $4.5 million.[4][21] For his work on the film, Peele received significant attention,[22] as well as numerous accolades, including the Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award at the 2017 Gotham Independent Film Awards.[5]

The film also received four nominations at the 90th Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay nominations for Peele, as well as a Best Actor nomination for the film's star Daniel Kaluuya. [23]

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." [24]

Future projectsEdit

Peele will produce the HBO series Lovecraft Country written by Underground co-creator Misha Green, which will be shown through the lens of supernatural horror.[25]


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, Night of the Living Dead, The Shining, Candyman, The People Under the Stairs and Scream, the thrillers The Silence of the Lambs, Funny Games, Misery, and Rear Window, the comedy-thriller The 'Burbs, and the 1967 racial comedy-drama Guess Who's Coming to Dinner.[26]

As a comedian, Peele counts among his influences In Living Color, Richard Pryor and Dave Chappelle.[27]

Personal lifeEdit

Peele began dating Chelsea Peretti in 2013.[28] They became engaged in November 2015,[29] and, in April 2016, Peretti announced that she and Peele had eloped at an unspecified date.[30]

On July 1, 2017, Peretti gave birth to their son, Beaumont Gino Peele.[31]



Year Title Role Notes
2008 Boner Boyz! D-Rock Peppers Short film
2010 Little Fockers EMT
2010 3B Rob Short film
2012 Wanderlust Rodney
2013 The Sidekick Sidecar Willy Short film
2016 Keanu Rell / Oil Dresden Also writer and producer
2016 Storks Beta Wolf (voice)
2017 Get Out Wounded Deer / UNCF Voiceover (voices)[32] Director, writer, and producer
2017 Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Melvin Sneedly (voice)
2018 Abruptio Danny Filming
2018 Black Klansman Producer; filming


Year Title Role Notes
2003–2008 Mad TV Various roles 94 episodes; also writer
2008 Chocolate News Kelvin Melvin 7 episodes
2009 Reno 911! Three-Card Monte Guy Episode: "Extradition to Thailand"
2009 The Station Joe Pilot
2009–2010 SuperNews! Various voices 15 episodes
2010–2015 Childrens Hospital Dr. Brian 10 episodes
2011 Love Bites Eli Episode: "Too Much Information"
2012–2015 Key & Peele Himself / Various roles 54 episodes; also co-creator, writer and executive producer
2013 The Mindy Project Nick Episode: "Mindy's Minute"
2013 Workaholics Mark Episode: "The Worst Generation"
2013 Comedy Bang! Bang! Tan Fu Episode: "Andy Samberg Wears a Plaid Shirt & Glasses"
2013 Axe Cop Super Axe (voice) Episode: "Super Axe"
2013 Modern Family Derrick Episode: "A Fair to Remember"
2013–2014 Kroll Show Ref Rondy / Various Characters 2 episodes
2014–2016 Bob's Burgers Various voices 8 episodes
2014 Fargo Special Agent Webb Pepper 4 episodes
2014 Drunk History Percy Julian Episode: "Montgomery, AL"
2014 Robot Chicken Various voices 2 episodes
2015 Life in Pieces Chad 3 episodes
2015 Rick and Morty Second Fourth-Dimensional Being (voice) Episode: "A Rickle in Time"
2015 Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp Alan 3 episodes
2015 TripTank Various voices 2 episodes
2015 SuperMansion Bugula (voice) Episode: "A Shop in the Dark"
2016 The Muppets Himself Episode: "Swine Song"
2016 American Dad! Street Thug (voice) Episode: "Criss-Cross Applesauce: The Ballad of Billy Jesusworth"
2017 The Daily Show Barack Obama Episode: "Keegan-Michael Key"
2017–present Big Mouth The Ghost of Duke Ellington / various voices 10 episodes
2018 The Last O.G. Co-creator and executive producer

Music videosEdit

Year Title Role Artist
2006 "White & Nerdy" Black gangster "Weird Al" Yankovic

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Work Result
2008 Primetime Emmy Award[33] Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics MADtv for "Sad 50 Cent" Nominated
2013 Writers Guild of America Award[34] Best Comedy/Variety (Including Talk) - Series Key & Peele Nominated
Peabody Award[35]
2014 NAACP Image Award[36] Outstanding Variety – Series or Special Nominated
American Comedy Award[37] Best Alternative Comedy Series Won
Best Comedy Writing – TV Nominated
Primetime Emmy Award[38] Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series Nominated
2015 People's Choice Award[39] Favorite Sketch Comedy TV Show Nominated
NAACP Image Award[40] Outstanding Comedy Series Nominated
Primetime Emmy Award[41] Outstanding Variety Sketch Series Nominated
Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series Nominated
Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special Key and Peele Super Bowl Special Nominated
Outstanding Short-Format Live-Action Entertainment Program Key & Peele Presents Van and Mike: The Ascension Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award[42] Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Key & Peele Nominated
2016 NAACP Image Award[43] Outstanding Comedy Series Nominated
Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series Nominated
Primetime Emmy Award[44] Outstanding Variety Sketch Series Won
Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series Nominated
2017 Gotham Independent Film Awards[45] Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award Get Out Won
Best Feature Nominated
Best Screenplay Won
National Board of Review Best Directorial Debut Won
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award Best Screenplay Won
Detroit Film Critics Society Best Director Nominated
Best Screenplay Nominated
2018 AACTA International Award Best Screenplay Nominated
Critics' Choice Movie Award Best Director Nominated
Best Screenplay Won
London Film Critics' Circle Award Screenwriter of the Year Nominated
Satellite Award Best Director Won
Satellite Award Best Original Screenplay Nominated
BAFTA Award Best Original Screenplay Nominated
Independent Spirit Awards Best Feature Pending
Best Director Pending
Best Screenplay Pending
Academy Awards Best Picture Pending
Best Director Pending
Best Original Screenplay Pending


  1. ^ a b c Zadie Smith (February 23, 2015). "Brother from Another Mother". The New Yorker. Retrieved May 9, 2016. 
  2. ^ "February 21, birthdays for Ellen Page, Corbin Bleu, Jordan Peele". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. February 21, 2017. Retrieved July 17, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b "Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele on Fargo and Wanting Michael Winslow for Their Police Academy Reboot". Vulture. 2014-06-03. Retrieved 2017-12-27. 
  4. ^ a b "'Get Out' Is Now Officially The Most Profitable Film Of 2017". Vibe. 2017-08-06. Retrieved 2017-12-27. 
  5. ^ a b Buckley, Cara (2017-11-28). "'Call Me by Your Name,' 'Get Out' Win Big at Muted Gotham Awards". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-12-27. 
  6. ^ "Jordan Peele Biography". Retrieved July 17, 2017. 
  7. ^ Wolcott, James (October 13, 2014). "How Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele Have Broken the Comedy-Duo Mold". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 4 January 2015. 
  8. ^ "COMEDY CENTRAL® Greenlights Two New Series for the 2012 Season - an Untitled Sketch Comedy From Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele and "The Nick Show Kroll" Starring Nick Kroll" (Press release). New York, New York. PR Newswire. June 29, 2011. 
  9. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (January 14, 2010), "'Station' agents are Peele, Gallo, Zuniga". The Hollywood Reporter. 412 (48):5
  10. ^ "Key & Peele". Retrieved 2017-12-27. 
  11. ^ Smith, Zadie (2015-02-16). "Key and Peele's Comedy Partnership". The New Yorker. ISSN 0028-792X. Retrieved 2017-12-27. 
  12. ^ "How Key & Peele Make Comedy That Goes Really, Insanely Viral". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 2017-12-27. 
  13. ^ McNary, Dave (2016-04-28). "Jordan Peele on 'Keanu': 'It Looks Like Michael Mann Made a Comedy'". Variety. Retrieved 2017-12-27. 
  14. ^ Keanu, retrieved 2017-12-27 
  15. ^ Get Out, retrieved 2017-12-27 
  16. ^ "Why this new horror movie has a rare perfect score from critics — and you need to see it". Business Insider. Retrieved December 25, 2017. 
  17. ^ "AFI Awards 2017". AFI. Retrieved December 8, 2017. 
  18. ^ "National Board of Review Announces 2017 Award Winners". National Board of Review. November 28, 2017. Retrieved December 7, 2017. 
  19. ^ Zacharek, Stephanie (December 7, 2017). "The Top 10 Movies of 2017". Time. Retrieved December 13, 2017. 
  20. ^ Sims, David. "What Made That Hypnosis Scene in 'Get Out' So Terrifying". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2017-12-27. 
  21. ^ "Jordan Peele's 'Get Out' Is the Most Profitable Film of 2017". Money. Retrieved 2017-12-27. 
  22. ^ Muncy, Julie. "Watch Jordan Peele Respond to Some Great Get Out Fan Theories". io9. Retrieved 2017-12-27. 
  23. ^ McNary, Dave. "'Get Out' Scores Four Oscar Nominations, Including Three for Jordan Peele". Variety. Retrieved 22 February 2018. 
  24. ^ Lawrence, Derek. "Jordan Peele says he's done with acting: 'Daniel Day-Lewis and I are both out'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 22 February 2018. 
  25. ^ Mike Flemming Jr. "'Get Out's Jordan Peele Teams With WBTV, HBO & Bad Robot For 'Lovecraft Country' Drama Series; Misha Green Writing". Deadline. Retrieved May 16, 2017. 
  26. ^ "Jordan Peele: The Art of the Social Thriller". Brooklyn Academy of Music. February 17 – March 1, 2017. Archived from the original on March 10, 2017. Retrieved August 13, 2017. 
  27. ^ Bill Keveney (January 31, 2012), "They dare to make Obama angry". USA TODAY. Section: Life:5d
  28. ^ "Andy Samberg's Latest Role Is Playing Cupid!". September 2, 2014. Retrieved 2014-11-24. 
  29. ^ Adams, Char (November 29, 2015). "Jordan Peele and Chelsea Peretti Announce Engagement on Twitter". People. 
  30. ^ "Surprise! Chelsea Peretti and Jordan Peele Eloped". People. April 26, 2016. Retrieved April 26, 2016. 
  31. ^ "Jordan Peele and Chelsea Peretti Welcome Their First Child". Retrieved 18 July 2017. 
  32. ^ McDonald, Andy (December 4, 2017). "Jordan Peele Responding To 'Get Out' Fan Theories Is As Funny As You'd Expect". HuffPost. Retrieved December 14, 2017. 
  33. ^ "Complete List of Nominees for 2008 Emmys". E!. July 17, 2008. Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
  34. ^ Mitchell, Gregg; Strell, Jay (December 6, 2012). "2013 Writers Guild Awards Television, News, Radio, Promotional Writing, and Graphic Animation Nominees Announced" Archived 2016-03-03 at the Wayback Machine.. Writers Guild of America
  35. ^ "The Peabody Awards". Retrieved 9 May 2016. 
  36. ^ Aaron Couch, Arlene Washington (February 22, 2014). "NAACP Image Awards: The Winners". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 22, 2014. 
  37. ^ "Amy Poehler, Seth Rogen win American Comedy Awards". Entertainment Weekly. May 9, 2014. Retrieved September 26, 2014. 
  38. ^ "2014 Emmy Nominations: 'Breaking Bad,' 'True Detective' Among the Honored". New York Times. July 10, 2014. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  39. ^ Toomey, Alyssa (November 4, 2014). "Jennifer Lawrence, Shailene Woodley and Robert Downey Jr. Among People's Choice Nominees, Plus Find Out Who's Hosting!". E! Online. Retrieved November 8, 2014. 
  40. ^ Jue, Teresa (December 9, 2014). "NAACP Image Awards announce nominations for film and TV". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 11, 2014. 
  41. ^ "67th Primetime Emmy Award Nominations" (PDF). Retrieved July 18, 2015. 
  42. ^ "The 22nd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards". Screen Actors Guild Awards. Retrieved February 8, 2016. 
  43. ^ "'Creed,' 'Empire' Top NAACP Image Award Nominations; Full List". The Hollywood Reporter. 4 February 2016. Retrieved 27 February 2016. 
  44. ^ "68th Primetime Emmy Award Nominations" (PDF). Retrieved September 23, 2016. 
  45. ^ Cox, Gordon (19 October 2017). "'Get Out' Leads 2017 Gotham Awards Nominations". Variety. Retrieved 19 October 2017. 

External linksEdit