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Jordan Haworth Peele (born February 21, 1979) is an American actor, comedian and filmmaker. He is best known for his film and television work in the comedy and horror genres.[2][3]

Jordan Peele
Jordan Peele Peabody 2014 (cropped).jpg
Peele at the 2014 Peabody Awards
Jordan Haworth Peele[1]

(1979-02-21) February 21, 1979 (age 40)
Alma materSarah Lawrence College
  • Actor
  • comedian
  • filmmaker
Years active2002–present
Chelsea Peretti (m. 2016)

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, created and starred in their own Comedy Central sketch comedy series Key & Peele (2012–2015). In 2014, they recurred together playing FBI agents in season one of FX's anthology series Fargo.[4] He co-created the TBS comedy series The Last O.G. (2018–present) and the YouTube Premium comedy 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–present).

Peele co-wrote, produced and starred in Keanu (2016) and has voice acted in Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (2017) and Toy Story 4 (2019). His 2017 directorial debut, the horror film Get Out, was a critical and box office success.[5] He received numerous accolades, including the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, along with nominations for Best Picture and 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).


Early lifeEdit

Peele was born in New York City, the son of Lucinda Williams and Hayward Peele,[6][7] and was raised by his single mother on Manhattan's Upper West Side.[2] His mother is white, and his father is black.[8] He attended the Computer School in Manhattan, graduated from The Calhoun School on Manhattan's Upper West Side, and went on to Sarah Lawrence College. After two years, Peele dropped out to form a comedy duo with college roommate and future Key & Peele comedy writer Rebecca Drysdale.[2]


2002–2009: 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, 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.[9]

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 & PeeleEdit

Peele performing in 2012

In 2010, Peele co-starred in the Fox comedy pilot The Station,[10] 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.[11][12] The series was a success with viewers, and spawned several skits and videos that went viral online.[13]

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.[4]

In 2016, Peele starred in and produced, with Key, the first feature film in which the two both had leading roles, Keanu (they had previously both appeared in Wanderlust).[14] The film received generally favorable reviews from critics.[15]

2017–present: Success as filmmakerEdit

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.[16] The film received particular praise for Peele's screenplay and direction, as well as the performance of its lead, Daniel Kaluuya,[17] 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.[18][19][20] The Atlantic called the film "a masterpiece."[21]

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.[5][22] For his work on the film, Peele received significant attention,[23] as well as numerous accolades, including the Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award at the 2017 Gotham Independent Film Awards.[24]

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 Kaluuya.[25] Peele won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay,[26][27] becoming the first black screenwriter to win in this category.[28] 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 and a BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay.[24]

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".[29] In 2018, Peele co-created the TBS comedy series The Last O.G., starring Tracy Morgan and Tiffany Haddish.[30] 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 Best Picture nomination for Peele.

On June 28, 2018, it was announced that YouTube Premium will release Weird City, which is co-created by Peele and Charlie Sanders. The show was released in February 13, 2019 to critical acclaim.[31] On April 5, 2018, it was announced that Amazon Video had given a series order to the docuseries 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.[32][33][34][35]

Peele's second film as director was 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.[36] Peele developed and is narrator for the science fiction web television series The Twilight Zone, the third revival of the 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.[37]

Future projectsEdit

On November 3, 2015, it was reported that Henry Selick is developing Wendell and Wild, a new stop-motion feature with Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key based on an original story by Selick.[38] In March 2018, the film was picked up by Netflix.[39] There have been developments of several films based on Peele's sketch comedy series Key & Peele. In March 2015, it was announced that Key will reprise the role of Mr. Garvey in a feature-length film Substitute Teacher with Peele portraying a rival teacher.[40] 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.[41]

Peele will produce the HBO series Lovecraft Country written by Underground co-creator Misha Green.[42] In May 2018, Amazon ordered a 10 episode series about hunting down Nazis called The Hunt, which is produced by Peele.[43][44][45]

In September 2018, it was announced Peele was in talks to produce a remake of Candyman, through his Monkeypaw Productions,[46] of which Candyman star Tony Todd stated in a 2018 interview with 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."[47] In November 2018, it was confirmed that Peele will produce the film with Universal and MGM and will partner with Win Rosenfeld to co-produce the film, while Nia DaCosta will sign on as director.[48] The new Candyman will serve as a "spiritual sequel", taking place back in the new gentrified Cabrini Green, where the old housing projects development once stood in Chicago. Filming will start in the spring of 2019, and there is no word as of yet who is starring in the film. The theatrical release is set for June 12, 2020.[49]


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, Scream, The Silence of the Lambs, Funny Games, Misery, the thrillers Rear Window and The 'Burbs, and the 1967 racial comedy-drama Guess Who's Coming to Dinner.[50]

As a comedian, Peele counts among his influences In Living Color, Richard Pryor and Dave Chappelle.[51] He also has listed Steve Martin and Martin Lawrence as arguably his two biggest influences.[52]

Personal lifeEdit

Peele began dating Chelsea Peretti in 2013.[53] They became engaged in November 2015,[54] and in April 2016, Peretti announced that she and Peele had eloped.[55] Peretti gave birth to their son Beaumont on July 1, 2017.[56]



Year Title Actor Director Writer Producer Role Notes
2008 Boner Boyz! Yes No No No D-Rock Peppers Short film
2010 3B Yes No No No Rob Short film
Little Fockers Yes No No No EMT
2012 Wanderlust Yes No No No Rodney
2013 The Sidekick Yes No No No Sidecar Willy Short film
2016 Keanu Yes No Yes Yes Rell, Oil Dresden
Storks Yes No No No Beta Wolf (voice)
2017 Get Out Yes Yes Yes Yes Wounded Deer, UNCF Narrator (voices)[57]
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Yes No No No Melvin Sneedly (voice)
2018 BlacKkKlansman No No No Yes N/A
2019 Us Yes Yes Yes Yes Dying Rabbit, Fun House Narrator (voices)[58]
Toy Story 4 Yes No No No Bunny (voice)
Abruptio Yes No No No Danny Filming
2020 Candyman No No Yes Yes N/A Upcoming


Year Title Actor Director Writer Executive Producer Role Notes
2003–2008 Mad TV Yes No Yes No Various 94 episodes
2008 Chocolate News Yes No No No Kelvin Melvin 7 episodes
2009 Reno 911! Yes No No No Three-Card Monte Guy Episode: "Extradition to Thailand"
2009–2010 SuperNews! Yes No No No Various Voices 15 episodes
2010–2015 Childrens Hospital Yes No No No Dr. Brian 10 episodes
2011 Love Bites Yes No No No Eli Episode: "Too Much Information"
2012–2015 Key & Peele Yes No Yes Yes Himself, Various 54 episodes; also co-creator
2013 The Mindy Project Yes No No No Nick Episode: "Mindy's Minute"
Workaholics Yes No No No Mark Episode: "The Worst Generation"
Comedy Bang! Bang! Yes No No No Tan Fu Episode: "Andy Samberg Wears a Plaid Shirt & Glasses"
Axe Cop Yes No No No Super Axe (voice) Episode: "Super Axe"
Modern Family Yes No No No Derrick Episode: "A Fair to Remember"
2013–2014 Kroll Show Yes No No No Ref Rondy, Various 2 episodes
2014–2016 Bob's Burgers Yes No No No Various Voices 8 episodes
2014 Fargo Yes No No No Special Agent Webb Pepper 4 episodes
Drunk History Yes No No No Percy Julian Episode: "Montgomery, AL"
Robot Chicken Yes No No No Various Voices 2 episodes
2015 Life in Pieces Yes No No No Chad 3 episodes
Rick and Morty Yes No No No Second Fourth-Dimensional Being (voice) Episode: "A Rickle in Time"
Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp Yes No No No Alan 3 episodes
TripTank Yes No No No Various Voices 2 episodes
2015, 2018 SuperMansion Yes No No No Bugula (voice) 2 episodes
2016 The Muppets Yes No No No Himself Episode: "Swine Song"
American Dad! Yes No No No Street Thug (voice) Episode: "Criss-Cross Applesauce: The Ballad of Billy Jesusworth"
2017–present Big Mouth Yes No No No The Ghost of Duke Ellington, Various Voices 20 episodes
2018–present The Last O.G. No No Yes Yes N/A 20 episodes; also co-creator
2018 The Shivering Truth Yes No No No Various Voices Episode: "Ogled Inklings"
2019 Weird City No No Yes Yes N/A 6 episodes; also co-creator
Lorena No No No Yes N/A 4 episodes
The Twilight Zone Yes No Yes Yes Host / Narrator 10 episodes
The Hunt No No No Yes N/A
TBA Lovecraft Country No No No Yes N/A

Music videosEdit

Year Title Actor Director Writer Producer Role Artist
2006 "White & Nerdy" Yes No No No Black Gangster "Weird Al" Yankovic

Awards and nominationsEdit

Academy AwardsEdit

Year Category Work Result
2018 Best Picture[59] Get Out Nominated
Best Director[59] Nominated
Best Original Screenplay[59] Won
2019 Best Picture[60] BlacKkKlansman Nominated

Primetime Emmy AwardsEdit

Year Category Work Result
2008 Original Music and Lyrics[61] MADtv ("Sad Fitty Cent") Nominated
2014 Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series[62] Key & Peele Nominated
2015 Outstanding Variety Sketch Series[63] Nominated
Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series[63] Nominated
Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special[63] Key and Peele Super Bowl Special Nominated
Outstanding Short-Format Live-Action Entertainment Program[63] Key and Peele Presents: The Ascension Nominated
2016 Outstanding Variety Sketch Series[64] Key & Peele Won
Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series[64] Nominated

BAFTA AwardsEdit

Year Category Work Result
2018 Best Original Screenplay[65] Get Out Nominated
2019 Best Film[66] BlacKkKlansman Nominated

Guild AwardsEdit

Writers Guild AwardEdit

Year Category Work Result
2013 Best Comedy/Variety (Including Talk) – Series[67] Key & Peele Nominated
2016 Best Comedy/Variety – Sketch Series[68] Nominated
2018 Best Original Screenplay[69] Get Out Won

Directors Guild AwardEdit

Year Category Work Result
2018 Outstanding Directing – Feature Film[70] Get Out Nominated
Outstanding Directing – First-Time Feature Film[70] Won

Producers Guild AwardEdit

Year Category Work Result
2018 Best Theatrical Motion Picture[71] Get Out Nominated
2019 Best Theatrical Motion Picture[72] BlacKkKlansman Nominated

Screen Actors Guild AwardsEdit

Year Category Work Result
2016 Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series[73] Key & Peele Nominated

Other awardsEdit

Year Award Category Work Result
Peabody Award[74]
Key & Peele Won
2014 NAACP Image Award[75] Outstanding Variety–Series or Special Nominated
American Comedy Award[76] Best Alternative Comedy Series Won
Comedy Actor – TV Nominated
Best Comedy Writing – TV Nominated
2015 People's Choice Award[77] Favorite Sketch Comedy TV Show Nominated
NAACP Image Award[78] Outstanding Comedy Series Nominated
2016 NAACP Image Awards[79] Outstanding Comedy Series Nominated
Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series Nominated
2017 MTV Movie & TV Awards[80] Movie of the Year Get Out Nominated
Best Fight Against the System Nominated
BET Awards[81] Best Movie Nominated
Gotham Independent Film Awards[82] Best Feature Won
Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award Nominated
Best Screenplay Won
Audience Awards Won
Detroit Film Critics Society[83] Best Film Nominated
Best Director Nominated
Best Screenplay Nominated
Best Breakthrough Won
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association[84] Best Film Won
Best Director Nominated
Best Original Screenplay Won
Boston Society of Film Critics[85] Best New Filmmaker Won
British Independent Film Awards[86] Best International Independent Film Won
New York Film Critics Online[87] Top Ten Films Won
Best Debut as Director Won
Best Screenplay Won
San Francisco Film Critics Circle[88] Best Film Nominated
Best Director Nominated
Best Original Screenplay Won
Toronto Film Critics Association[89] Best First Feature Won
Best Screenplay Won
San Diego Film Critics Society[90] Best Film Won
Best Director Nominated
Best Original Screenplay Won
African-American Film Critics Association[91] Best Picture Won
Top Ten Films Won
Best Director Won
Best Screenplay Won
Chicago Film Critics Association[92] Best Director Nominated
Best Original Screenplay Won
Most Promising Filmmaker Nominated
Dallas–Fort Worth Film Critics Association[93] Best Film 5th Place
Best Director 5th Place
Dublin Film Critics' Circle[94] Best Film 2nd Place
Best Director 3rd Place
Best Screenplay Won
Breakthrough Artist of the Year Nominated
St. Louis Film Critics Association[95] Best Picture Nominated
Best Director Nominated
Best Original Screenplay Nominated
Seattle Film Critics Society[96] Best Picture of the Year Won
Best Director Nominated
Best Screenplay Nominated
Florida Film Critics Circle[97] Best Film Nominated
Best Director Nominated
Best Original Screenplay Won
Best First Film Won
Online Film Critics Society[98] Best Picture Won
Best Director Runner-up[a]
Best Original Screenplay Won
2018 AACTA International Awards[99] Best Screenplay Nominated
Golden Globe Award[100] Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy Nominated
National Board of Review Best Directorial Debut Won
Critics' Choice Awards Best Director Nominated
Best Original Screenplay Won
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards Best Screenplay Won
London Film Critics' Circle Awards Screenwriter of the Year Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Director Won
Best Original Screenplay Nominated
Independent Spirit Awards Best Feature Won
Best Director Won
Best Screenplay Nominated
Saturn Awards Best Director Nominated
Best Writing Nominated


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