Taran Killam

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Taran Killam
Killam at the New York Comic Con
Birth name Taran Hourie Killam
Born (1982-04-01) April 1, 1982 (age 36)
Culver City, California, U.S.
Medium Film, television, stage
Nationality American
Years active 1994–present
Genres Improvisational comedy, sketch comedy, satire
Subject(s) American culture, current events, pop culture, mass media
Cobie Smulders (m. 2012)
Children 2
Notable works and roles Saturday Night Live
Wild 'N Out
The Amanda Show
Stuck in the Suburbs

Taran Hourie Killam (born April 1, 1982) is an American actor, comedian, and writer. He is best known for his television work on shows such as The Amanda Show, Wild 'n Out, Mad TV, and Saturday Night Live. Killam is also known for his portrayal of a teen pop star in the 2004 Disney Channel Original Movie Stuck in the Suburbs.

Killam performed the role of King George III in the Broadway production of Hamilton at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, ending his run on the evening of April 13, 2017.

Early life

Killam was born on April 1, 1982[1] in Culver City, California, and grew up in Big Bear Lake, California.[2] He graduated from the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. Killam attended the University of California, Los Angeles for one year in 2000.[3]


Early career

In 1994, Killam made his first film appearance as a young boy in Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult. Killam was featured on Nickelodeon's The Amanda Show, a sketch-comedy vehicle for Amanda Bynes, on which he played Spaulding, a boy who had a huge crush on Moody, in the soap opera parody "Moody's Point".

Killam joined the cast of MADtv as a featured player during its seventh season from 2001 to 2002. Of the 25 episodes that aired during MADtv's seventh season, Killam appeared fully in 13 episodes. Joining the MADtv cast at age 19, Killam was the youngest cast member hired on the show and the only cast member on MADtv to get his start on children's shows (similar to Kenan Thompson on Saturday Night Live). He was a regular cast member on the third and fourth seasons of Nick Cannon's Wild 'N Out. In 2005, Killam co-starred in the television pilot Nobody's Watching, which never aired on network TV. The pilot gained popularity after it was leaked online and webisodes were produced from 2006 to 2007.[4]

Killam co-starred in the 2004 Disney Channel original film Stuck in the Suburbs. After MADtv, Killam appeared on TV shows such as Jake in Progress, Still Standing, Boston Public, Drake & Josh, Do Over, Roswell and Judging Amy. He has appeared on Scrubs and Scrubs: Interns as Jimmy (the Overly Touchy Orderly). Killam appeared as a contestant on the episode of The Price Is Right which aired on December 7, 2006. The episode was re-aired on July 19, 2007.

He has been in Big Fat Liar, Just Married, Anderson's Cross, and My Best Friend's Girl.

Killam was a member of the Los Angeles-based improvisational and sketch-comedy troupe the Groundlings. He retired from the main company in 2012.

Saturday Night Live

On September 25, 2010, Killam joined the cast of Saturday Night Live for the 36th season, making him the second Nickelodeon veteran (after Kenan Thompson) to join SNL and the second SNL cast member who was previously a cast member on the sketch show MADtv (after Jeff Richards). Killam named Eddie Murphy as his favorite SNL cast member and Arcade Fire as his favorite musical guest.[5] In August 2016, Killam along with Jay Pharoah were let go from SNL.[6][7]

Other work

In December 2011, Killam replicated the Robyn video "Call Your Girlfriend" in a small writer's room and posted it to YouTube. The video went viral and by January 6, 2015 it had been viewed more than 958,382 times.[8] The late night antics briefly became an Internet phenomenon and garnered Killam media and public attention.[9] When interviewed on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Killam stated that he had not known the dance shown in the song's official video until Robyn was scheduled to appear on SNL as a guest; then, he watched the video repeatedly until he could perform it himself.[10]

In 2011, Killam appeared in Community episode "Regional Holiday Music" as Mr. Radison (Mr. Rad), a parody of Will Schuester from Glee. In 2012 he appeared in iCarly episode "iMeet the First Lady" as a Secret Service agent.

On November 10, 2012, Killam appeared with Kenan Thompson in a short video, "The Legend of Mokiki and the Sloppy Swish". Mokiki is a laboratory test subject who wanders Manhattan performing a shuffling move known as the "Sloppy Swish". The sketch briefly became an Internet phenomenon and garnered Killam media and public attention.[11][12] Mike Ryan of The Huffington Post wrote, "It is one of the most bizarre things to ever air on SNL, yet, the next day, everyone was talking about the Sloppy Swish."[13]

Killam co-starred in the 2013 comedy film The Heat. Killam voices Zip "Frantic" Danger on the Hulu original series The Awesomes.

In 2013 Killam ventured into the spy genre and the comics industry with The Illegitimates, a six-issue comics miniseries co-written by Marc Andreyko, illustrated by Kevin Sharpe and published by IDW Publishing. The series focuses on a team of illegitimate siblings who are charged with taking the place of their father, Jack Steele, a James Bond-like spy, after his death. The first issue was published December 18, 2013,[5] and received mixed reviews.[14][15][16][17]

Killam appears in the 2013 film 12 Years a Slave, playing the role of Abram Hamilton, one of the kidnappers who brought the main character into slavery.

Killam is a fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise, Raphael his favorite turtle, and successfully lobbied for a role in the 2014 film as Channel 5 staff.[5]

Killam made six guest appearances as Gary Blauman on his wife Cobie Smulders' TV series, How I Met Your Mother. His first appearance was in the March 20, 2006 episode, "Life Among the Gorillas" and the final one was the March 24, 2014 episode, "The End of the Aisle".

In 2015, Killam provided the voice of the titular character on the PBS Kids show Nature Cat, along with SNL alumni Kate McKinnon, Bobby Moynihan, and Kenan Thompson.

On January 17, 2017 Killam succeeded Rory O'Malley in the role of King George III in the Broadway musical Hamilton.[18]

Killam produced, scripted, directed and starred in the comic hitman film Killing Gunther, given a general release in fall 2017. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who played Gunther in the film, served as executive producer for it.

In March 2018, Killam was cast as a lead in the comedy pilot Single Parents[19] for ABC, which was picked up to series for a premiere on September 26 of that year.

Personal life

After several years of dating, Killam and Canadian actress Cobie Smulders became engaged in January 2009.[20] They married on September 8, 2012, in Solvang, California.[21] The couple have two daughters. The first, Shaelyn Cado Killam, was born May 16, 2009;[22] the second, named Joelle, was born in January 2015.[23][24] Killam is the nephew of actor Robert Stack.[25]



Year Title Role Notes
1994 Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult Boy of Geriatric Park
2002 Big Fat Liar Bret Callaway
2003 Just Married Dickie McNerney
2004 Stuck in the Suburbs Jordan Cahill
2006 The Showdown The Batter Short film
2006 Dr. Miracles Mr. Peterson Short film
2007 Epic Movie Pirate
2008 My Best Friend's Girl Josh
2009 Three Matthew McConaugheys and a Baby Matthew McConaughey Short film
2010 Anderson's Cross Austin Wilson
2013 The Heat Adam
2013 Grown Ups 2 Male Cheerleader
2013 12 Years a Slave Abram Hamilton
2014 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Jim McNaughton
2015 Ted 2 Himself
2015 Underdogs Captain Skip (voice)
2016 Casual Encounters Justin Davis
2016 Brother Nature Roger Fellner Also writer
2017 All Nighter Gary
2017 Killing Gunther Blake Also director, producer and writer
2018 Night School Stewart


Year Title Role Notes
1994–2002 All That Himself 15 episodes
2000 The Jersey Varsity 1 Episode: "Nick's a Chick"
2000 Judging Amy Freddie Felleman Episode: "The Wee Hours"
2000 Touched by an Angel Teenage Robert Episode: "The Grudge"
2000–2002 The Amanda Show Spaulding 7 episodes
2001 Undressed Blake 40 episodes
2001 Roswell Malamud Episode: "Heart of Mine"
2001–2002 MADtv Various 13 episodes
2002 Do Over Dave Episode: "The Block Party"
2004 Drake & Josh Trevor Episode: "Dune Buggy"
2004 Boston Public Alex Buchanan Episode: "Chapter Seventy-Eight"
2004 Still Standing Andy, Varsity Basketball Player #1 Episode: "Still Narcing"
2004 Stuck in the Suburbs Jordan Cahill TV film
2005 Jake in Progress Todd Episode: "Loose Thread"
2006 Girlfriends Jordan Gray Episode: "Hustle & Dough"
2006–2014 How I Met Your Mother Gary Blauman 6 episodes
2006–2007 Wild 'n Out Various 29 episodes
2007 Nick Cannon Presents: Short Circuitz Various 8 episodes; also writer
2009 Scrubs Jimmy 4 episodes
2009 Scrubs: Interns Jimmy Episode: "The Late Night with Jimmy Show"
2010–2016 Saturday Night Live Himself, Various 126 episodes
2011 Community Cory Radison Episode: "Regional Holiday Music"
2012 iCarly Agent Kinsey Episode: "iMeet the First Lady"
2012 Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday Patient, Steve Doocy, Guy 2 episodes
2013–2018 Drunk History Various 6 episodes
2013–2015 The Awesomes Zip "Frantic" Danger (voice) Main role; 30 episodes
2014 Comedy Bang! Bang! Smith Calvins Episode: "Jenna Fischer Wears a Floral Blouse & Black Heels"
2014 Sesame Street Professor Buck Awe Episode: "School for Chickens"
2015–present Nature Cat Nature Cat Voice
2016 New Girl Fred Episode: "What About Fred"
2016 Mating Jay Pilot
2018 A.P. Bio Mr. Vining Episode: "Teacher Jail"
2018 Single Parents Will Cooper Main role
2018 We Bare Bears Willoughby-Wentworth (voice) Episode: "Adopted"


Year Title Role Notes
2017 Hamilton King George III Broadway debut; replaced Rory O'Malley



  1. ^ "Taran Killam". TVGuide.com. Archived from the original on September 15, 2015. Retrieved March 22, 2014.
  2. ^ Owen Turner, Arrissia (July 15, 2004). "From Big Bear to big time-Taran Killam". Retrieved April 18, 2012.
  3. ^ Yan, Marjorie (February 22, 2011). "Killam with laughter: actor, comedian, and former Bruin lands dream job on “˜Saturday Night Live’ cast". Daily Bruin. University of California, Los Angeles.
  4. ^ "Nobody's Watching Part 2 ", YouTube, June 8, 2006
  5. ^ a b c Dietsch, T.J. (October 17, 2013). "NYCC: 'Saturday Night Live's' Taran Killam Debriefs 'The Illegitimates'". Comic Book Resources.
  6. ^ Ausiello, Michael (August 8, 2016). "SNL Vets Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah Not Returning for Season 42". TVLine.com. Archived from the original on August 9, 2016. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
  7. ^ Ryan, Mike (August 8, 2016). "Taran Killam On Why He's Leaving 'Saturday Night Live'". Uproxx.com. Archived from the original on August 10, 2016. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
  8. ^ "Call Your Girlfriend SNL". December 12, 2011. Retrieved August 24, 2013.
  9. ^ Hughes, Sarah (December 13, 2011). "Taran Killam and 'SNL' cohorts do late night recreation of Robyn's 'Call Your Girlfriend' (Video)". Washington Post. Retrieved February 7, 2013.
  10. ^ "Talkin' Robyn with Taran Killam". Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Retrieved February 7, 2013.
  11. ^ Hernandez, Brian Anthony (November 11, 2012). "Mokiki's Sloppy Swish Is the Next 'Gangnam Style'". Mashable. Retrieved February 3, 2013.
  12. ^ "What's Trending: Look Out, Psy: SNL's 'Sloppy Swish' Might be the Next 'Gangnam Style'". MSN Now. November 12, 2012. Archived from the original on November 15, 2012. Retrieved February 3, 2013. The ridiculous "Sloppy Swish" dance by Mokiki was featured in an SNL sketch last night, and, with the speed that it's gone viral today, some people are predicting it could be the next Gangnam Style. Parodies have already begun springing up on YouTube and there are Tumblr pages for both "Mokiki" and "Sloppy Swish." Sorry, Psy — there may be a new viral dance sensation on the block.
  13. ^ Ryan, Mike (November 14, 2012). "'Saturday Night Live': Origins Of The Sloppy Swish And Mokiki, Explained By Taran Killam". The Huffington Post. Retrieved February 3, 2013.
  14. ^ Konrad, Jeremy (October 16, 2013). "Taran Killam And IDW’s The Illegitimates Win Over The Crowd". Bleeding Cool.
  15. ^ Jasper, Marykate (December 20, 2013). "The Illegitimates #1". Comic Book Resources.
  16. ^ Ostrowski, Vince (December 19, 2013). "Review: The Illegitimates #1". Multiversity Comics.
  17. ^ Hunsaker, Andy (December 18, 2013). "The Illegitimates #1: ‘SNL’ Star Taran Killam’s Comic Debut". CraveOnline.
  18. ^ Lee, Ashley (December 14, 2016). "aran Killam to Make Broadway Debut in 'Hamilton'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 14, 2016.
  19. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (March 2, 2018). "Taran Killam, Leighton Meester & Brad Garrett Cast In 'Single Parents' ABC Pilot". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  20. ^ Alexander, Reagan (January 28, 2009). "HIMYM's Cobie Smulders Flashes Her New Engagement Ring". People. Retrieved 25 November 2009.
  21. ^ ""SNL's" Taran Killam Marries "How I Met Your Mother's" Cobie Smulders — Exclusive". RumorFix. September 8, 2012. Retrieved September 8, 2012.
  22. ^ Leon, Anya (July 3, 2009). "It's a Girl for Cobie Smulders". People.
  23. ^ "Taran Killam and Cobie Smulders Expecting Second Child". People. October 21, 2014. Retrieved October 21, 2014.
  24. ^ Klassen, Anna (January 26, 2015). "'Unexpected' Star Cobie Smulders & Director Kris Swanberg On Finally Making a Pregnancy Film From the Female Perspective". Retrieved January 30, 2015.
  25. ^ "12 Years A Slave and Saturday Night Live with Taran Killam, episode #96 of I Was There Too on Earwolf". www.earwolf.com. Retrieved 2018-11-01.

External links

  • Taran Killam on IMDb
  • Taran Killam on Twitter
  • Official SNL cast biography
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