Michael J McKean, as J Edgar, 30 years after Spinal Tap


On this, the 30th anniversary of This is Spinal Tap, I profile Michael McKean in New York Theatre Magazine. McKean is now playing the villainous J. Edgar Hoover in the Broadway play All The Way.

Ask Michael McKean’s fans for the highlights of his career, and they’ll likely say This is Spinal TapClue, and Saturday Night Live (S.N.L.). (“I’m the only person besides Dan Akroyd who’s been a staff member, a musical guest, and a guest host,” he said of S.N.L.)

But ask McKean himself about the highlights of his career, and he’ll start talking about Mr. Mooney, his high school drama coach, and the plays he performed as a student at North Shore High School on Long Island.

“Every one of those was a highlight: Ten Little IndiansLife with FatherJ.B.Inherit the Wind,The Glass Menagerie. I didn’t do much else in high school. I played a lot of guitar, and I was in a lot of plays…I wanted to be Bob Dylan if I couldn’t be George C. Scott.”

Still, 30 years to the day after the release of the “mockumentary” about an inept rock band, people still accost Michael J. McKean on the street with some of their favorite lines from the movie, i.s.

“It’s such a fine line between stupid and clever.”

Full interview here

Bryan Cranston as LBJ and Michael J. Mckean as J. Edgar Hoover in All The Way
Bryan Cranston as LBJ and Michael J. Mckean as J. Edgar Hoover in All The Way


Author: New York Theater

Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

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