Jordan Peele is at it again with his horror film "Us," which hits theaters on March 22, 2019. In honor of his latest achievement, Wonderwall.com rounded up everything you need to know (but probably don't!) about the 40-year-old multi-hyphenate, starting with a fact you probably do know: He is a very successful filmmaker. His directorial debut, "Get Out," earned more than $250 million at the worldwide box office. But what you might not have known is that this milestone made him the first black writer-director to accomplish such a feat with a debut feature. Keep reading to find out more little known facts about the comedian…
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Jordan Peele could have been a child star, but he says he "failed" at the gig. "I believe I had a manager or an agent when I was probably 12 years old," he told Rolling Stone. "I would go on auditions and not really get anything and had a hard time dealing with rejection."
One of Jordan Peele's first forays into television happened at age 14 when President Bill Clinton hosted a Q&A with children shortly after he took office in 1993. Jordan didn't mess around when it was his chance to grill the president. "How can you help the families where there's a mom, and she's taking care of a kid or kids, and the father isn't willing or isn't able to pay child support?" the future "Key & Peele" star, who was raised solely by his mother, asked. (Watch a clip here.)
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When acting failed, Jordan Peele knew he had to get another job. His entrance into the working world came via a Manhattan toy store. "[My first job] was at a toy store in New York City called The Enchanted Forest," he told The Hollywood Reporter in 2017. "They sold very crafty, artisan toys. It was very cool."
The New York City native headed to Sarah Lawrence after graduating from high school. It was there that Jordan Peele concentrated on a surprising major. "When I went to college, I declared puppetry as a major — partly because I was obsessed with puppets, but also because I didn't feel like I could fail at puppetry," Jordan told Time in 2018. "Puppetry was a rare art form to see in any type of success, so I wasn't setting myself up for failure."
The comedian got his start in comedy in Amsterdam. In 2001, Jordan Peele traveled abroad to perform with Boom Chicago — a sketch comedy group in Europe with famous alumni like Ike Barinholtz and Seth Meyers. It was there that he mysteriously earned the nickname "Cobra," as he revealed to Mashable in 2016. In 2002, he met Keegan-Michael Key at Second City (which is actually in Chicago), where they quickly formed a lasting bond. The two went on to host the sketch-comedy series "Key & Peele" from 2012 to 2015. They'll soon reunite for Netflix's stop-animation flick "Wendell and Wild," which is currently in production.
Jordan Peele got his television start in 2003 on "MADtv" — the less popular Saturday-night sketch-comedy series. He starred opposite Nicole Parker in his most memorable sketch on the show: The duo made jokes about being an interracial couple, including one in which they discussed having sex on a giant chessboard. "Except every time he rolled onto a black square, he would disappear from me," her character joked. "Where did you go?" During the "MADtv" casting process, Jordan was cast against Keegan-Michael Key, as producers were looking to hire only one black male comedian at the time. But the pair's chemistry was so undeniable, they ended up getting hired together.
In 2008, Jordan Peele nearly ended up on "Saturday Night Live." Head writer Seth Meyers asked him if he did an impersonation of President Barack Obama, and though he didn't at the time, he worked on it for a week before his audition. He nailed it — and got the part! "I couldn't end up taking it because 'MADtv' ended up coming back after the [writers] strike," Jordan recalled to NPR in 2013. "That was a huge disappointment."
"Saturday Night Live" wasn't Jordan Peele's only near-miss with President Barack Obama. Obama wanted to come on "Key & Peele" to discuss the Affordable Care Act, but he and Keegan-Michael Key weren't able to make it work. "We had to turn him down," Jordan told Entertainment Weekly in 2014. "We were making the season." Instead, Obama appeared on Zach Galifianakis's show "Between Two Ferns."
Jordan Peele blames "The Emoji Movie" for the shift in his career from in front of the camera to behind it. "I was offered the role of Poop," he said at the Directors Guild of America Awards in 2018. "This is true. I would not make this up." Curiously, his agent reached out to see what the gig paid, but they then found out that the role had been offered to Sir Patrick Stewart instead. It was clearly good fodder for a joke — but also a career-defining rejection.
In 2018, Jordan Peele decided to officially retire — from acting, that is! During an interview with "CBS Sunday Morning," the comedian-turned-director explained, "Acting is just nowhere near as fun for me as directing." Turns out it wasn't all due to "The Emoji Movie" after all.
Jordan Peele and Chelsea Peretti got engaged after two years of dating and teased a big wedding in a series of Booking.com ads. The ads, which featured them sweating for the wedding and struggling to choose a locale, were all a farce. The duo ended up quietly eloping, waiting until April 2016 to share the news with the world. Jordan first acknowledged their nuptials during an interview with Seth Meyers, and, later, Chelsea posted about them on Instagram. "Eloped a bit ago," she captioned a photo of flowers, a ring and their dog. "Our only witness was this lil guy️."
When it comes to fast food, Jordan Peele has one thing on his mind: In-N-Out Burger! He's said that the chain's "animal style" double-double cheeseburger is his favorite. The famed burger includes two mustard-cooked beef patties with two slices of cheese, thousand island spread, extra pickles and grilled onions.
Jordan Peele has appeared on some interesting programs and made noteworthy cameos over the years. Two of his most memorable? He and Keegan-Michael Key appeared in two "Epic Rap Battles of History" videos as Martin Luther King Jr. and Muhammad Ali. Early in their careers, they also briefly appeared in Weird Al Yankovic's "White and Nerdy" video.