Adam McKay (born April 17, 1968) is an American screenwriter, director, comedian, and actor. He is most famous for his partnership with comedian Will Ferrell, with whom he co-wrote the films Anchorman, Talladega Nights, and The Other Guys.
McKay was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, graduated from Great Valley High School in Malvern, Pennsylvania, in 1986, and attended Penn State and Temple universities. He is one of the founding members of the Upright Citizens Brigade improv comedy group and a former performer at Chicago's ImprovOlympic theater, where he was a member of the seminal improv group The Family, whose members included Matt Besser, Ian Roberts, Neil Flynn and Miles Stroth, and Child's Play Touring Theatre. While a member of the mainstage cast at Second City, he wrote and performed in that company's landmark revue, Pinata Full of Bees. In several politically charged sketches, McKay played characters like Noam Chomsky as a substitute kindergarten teacher, and a hapless personnel manager trying to inform a corporate vice president (Scott Adsit) of some disastrous IQ test results without losing his own job. The latter performance was excerpted in Second City's 40th anniversary compilation.
McKay originally auditioned for Saturday Night Live to be an onscreen performer, but did not make the cut. However, the scripts he submitted to the long-running sketch show earned him a job as writer from 1995 to 2001, including three seasons as head writer. He also directed a number of short films for the show, including the original SNL Digital Shorts. McKay encouraged former Second City castmate Tina Fey to submit some of her scripts to Saturday Night Live, and she later succeeded him as head writer on the show. Though McKay was never an actual SNL cast member, he did make several on-camera appearances over the years and had a recurring role as an obnoxious audience member named "Keith" who would often shout insults at the celebrity hosts during their opening monologue.