EDGEWATER — After it was recently announced the 2016 Academy Awards Ceremony would have two hosts, entertainment outlets began to swirl with buzz around which duo could be among the coveted contenders — including former Edgewater resident and comedian extraordinaire Keegan-Michael Key.
The "Key & Peele" actor, who many recognize best as President Obama's "anger translator," spent a brief stint on the Far North Side.
Key's Edgewater connection started in the early 2000s when he was promoted from Second City in Detroit to become a team member with Chicago Second City's e.t.c. theater.
Key and his wife, Cynthia Blaise, an actor and former voice coach, bought a three-bedroom condo at 6350 N. Magnolia Ave. in 2003, property records show.
Aisha Noble, an Edgewater resident who belongs to a group of residents who frequent the front lawn of Senn High School with their dogs during evening hours, said she remembers Key as a sweet man (with hair) who would come to the park with his dog, Levi.
She said many neighbors knew Key, who is now bald, was actively pursuing a career in acting and comedy, and recalled him as "warm and funny."
"Everyone at the park loved Keegan-Michael and yes, he was an attentive owner," Noble told DNAinfo Chicago — a sentiment shared by neighbor Leah Behr, who said she remembered Key as a "regular, nice guy" who loved his dog.
Noble said that one evening, Key broke the news to the dog crew at Senn that he would be leaving for California for a "new show called 'Mad TV.'"
Key began as a featured extra, along with comedic partner Jordan Peele, on "Mad TV" in its ninth season. He eventually became a full-fledged cast member and stayed with the show until it ended in 2009.
"The rest is history," Noble said.
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