Meet Our Guests

Jordan Peele

Jordan Peele

Jordan Peele is featured in:

Season 6, Episode 12: Breaking Silences

Oscar and Emmy winner Jordan Peele wrote, produced and directed the critically acclaimed blockbuster Get Out, which was recognized with four Academy Award nominations. It was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, and earned Peele the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. Peele became only the fifth African-American to be nominated for Best Director and the first to ever win the Oscar for original screenplay. Despite a budget of $4.5 million, the film grossed more than $250 million worldwide. Peele’s second feature film, “Us” -- which he also wrote and produced -- will be released by Universal Studios in 2019.

Prior to “Get Out,” Peele was the co-star and co-creator of “Key & Peele” on Comedy Central. The sketch comedy show -- which unabashedly lampooned pop culture and social issues in America, particularly race relations -- received critical praise and would go to garner more than 1 billion online hits. The hit show won a Peabody Award, an American Comedy Award, and received 12 Emmy Award nominations, earning Peele an Emmy for Outstanding Variety Sketch Series. In 2016, Peele and his co-star Keegan Michael-Key would team up in the feature film “Keanu,” an action comedy centering around an adorable kitten, which Peele also co-wrote. From 2003 to 2008, Peele was cast member of FOX’s “MadTV” for five seasons, where he won an Emmy for writing the lyrics to the musical parody video “Sad Fitty Cent.”

Peele formed his company, Monkeypaw Productions, to champion unique perspectives and artistic collaborations with traditionally underrepresented voices, while pushing the boundaries of conventional storytelling through genre. Monkeypaw is currently developing numerous television shows and films. Under the Monkeypaw banner, Peele produced Spike Lee’s feature film, “BlackKKlansman,” in 2018. The film received critical acclaim and earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Picture. Also in 2018, Monkeypaw produced the Tracy Morgan series, “The LAST O.G.” at TBS. The show has been renewed for season 2, set to air in 2019. Monkeypaw has developed and is producing “Lovecraft Country” for HBO in partnership with Bad Robot and Misha Green. Set in the Jim Crow South, this straight-to-series pickup is an anthological sci-fi thriller, which reclaims genre storytelling from the African-American perspective. Monkeypaw is also producing a reboot of the cult classic “The Twilight Zone” for CBS All-Access, in which Peele will portray the role of the narrator that was originally played by Twilight Zone creator, Rod Serling. The Monkeypaw-produced docuseries, “Lorena,” an exposé of the real story behind the infamous Lorena and John Wayne Bobbitt domestic violence case, was recently released on Amazon.

Peele was born on February 21, 1979, in New York City, where he was raised in the Upper West Side neighborhood of Manhattan. He attended Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, N.Y. as part of the class of 2001, before moving to Chicago to pursue a career in comedy. There, he studied improv and performed at the ImprovOlympic and Second City, among others. He would later move to the Netherlands to join the ensemble at Boom Chicago in Amsterdam.

Peele resides in Los Angeles with his wife, comedian Chelsea Peretti. The couple have one child.

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Guests From Episode 12 of Season 6

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Episode Guide

Finding Your Roots Season Six

Discover the surprising ancestral stories of 27 fascinating guests, including Jeffrey Wright, Sigourney Weaver, Melissa McCarthy, Sterling K. Brown, Jordan Peele, Nancy Pelosi, Gayle King, Norah O’Donnell, Queen Latifah, Jon Batiste, Diane von Furstenberg, Zac Posen, Jeff Goldblum, Anjelica Huston, Isabella Rossellini, Terry Gross, Eric Stonestreet and more in season six of Finding Your Roots.

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WETA | Finding Your Roots
with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

New Episodes: Tuesdays at 8/7c