You knew him as Lenny Koznowski, the nasal, nerdish pal of Andrew "Squiggy" Squigman (David L. Lander) on the hit TV series Laverne and Shirley. Show-biz insiders knew Michael McKean as an intelligent, versatile actor and writer. Shedding himself of the "Lenny" image after Laverne and Shirley folded in 1983, McKean became involved in several ensemble comedy projects with such kindred spirits as Harry Shearer, Rob Reiner and Christopher Guest. In the 1984 "rockumentary" spoof This Is Spinal Tap, McKean played the cockney-accented heavy metal musician David St. Hubbins. Apparently McKean enjoyed posing as an Englishman, inasmuch as he has done it so often and so well since Spinal Tap, most recently as Brian Benben's snippish boss on the cable TV sitcom Dream On. In the early '90s, McKean was one of the stars of another, less memorable TV comedy, Grand, and appeared for two season on Saturday Night Live. He continues to land film roles, usually in comedies, including the successful The Brady Bunch Movie (1995).
Biography by Hal Erickson
- As a New York sessions musician in the late 1960s, recorded a single with the Left Banke.
- Met Laverne & Shirley costar David L. Lander (McKean played Lenny; Lander played Squiggy) at Carnegie Mellon University.
- Originally hired as a writer for Laverne & Shirley.
- With Lander, recorded the 1979 album Lenny and Squiggy Present Lenny and the Squigtones.
- In 1994, became the oldest actor (at age 46) to join the cast of Saturday Night Live; other than Dan Aykroyd, he is the only person to be an SNL host, music guest and cast member.
- Appeared with second wife Annette O'Toole on episodes of Law & Order and Boy Meets World (as husband and wife), and in the 1998 Lifetime movie Final Justice.
- Won the Million Dollar Celebrity Invitational Tournament on Jeopardy! in 2010, winning $1 million for the charity International Myeloma Foundation.
- Forced to leave the 2012 Broadway revival of Gore Vidal's The Best Man after he was hit by a car in New York, breaking his leg.