This post is dedicated to one of my favorites: Michael McKean.
Despite having portrayed two iconic comedy characters – Lenny on Laverne & Shirley and David St. Hubbins in Rob Reiner’s immortal 1984 mockumetary (I don’t care if Christopher Guest hates this term), THIS IS SPINAL TAP – McKean is sadly not a household name.
Folks may also know him from USED CARS, YOUNG DOCTORS IN LOVE, CLUE, PLANES TRAINS & AUTOMOBILES, EARTH GIRLS ARE EASY, and the Christopher Guest films BEST IN SHOW, A MIGHTY WIND *, and FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION among tons of other movies.
* McKean scored his only Oscar nomination for A MIGHTY WIND, but not for acting – it was for the delightful song, “A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow,” which he co-wrote with his wife, Annette O’Toole.
McKeans’s TV credits are too extensive to list here, but my favorite McKean role is as Jimmy McGill’s brother Chuck McGill on AMC‘s excellent Breaking Bad spin-off Better Call Saul. He was seriously robbed of an Emmy for that work.
One last note about Mr. McKean: many folks aren’t aware that Lenny & Squiggy, as Lenny & the Squigtones, put out an album in 1978:
The record consists of hilarious parodies of ’50s style rock ‘n roll, and is notable for featuring the first appearance of Spinal Tap lead guitarist Nigel Tufnel (Christopher Guest) four years before THIS IS SPINAL TAP. Here’s a segment from American Bandstand in 1979 showcasing Lenny & the Squigtones in their prime: