Mark McKinney falls into characters. It’s what made him a standout on Kids in the Hall, it’s what kept him afloat during one of SNL‘s more difficult periods in the mid-’90s, and it is that which makes him a perfect part of NBC’s Superstore. In the big box retail workplace sitcom, McKinney plays Glenn, a deeply religious yet widely accepting general manager who gets more affection than respect from his employees due to his well-meaning nature.
We spoke to McKinney about playing such a unique character on a network sitcom, connecting with his Superstore co-stars, the end and the re-birth of Kids in the Hall, and lessons learned from two stints with SNL during the mid-’80s and the mid-’90s.
Before Man Seeking Woman [which McKinney is also on –ed.], Simon Rich wrote on SNL and he’s written these acclaimed short story collections. Justin Spitzer, before creating Superstore, worked on The Office. Are you looking for a certain kind of pedigree when you’re trying to find a project?
It comes through. There’s that old saying, “If it ain’t on the page, it ain’t on the stage.” The scripts have been unbelievably consistent. I’m in awe that they… because I think they got the order for the 11 [Superstore episodes] in like June, and we were shooting by August. And I kept expecting some kind of drop-off, and there really wasn’t one.
So, yeah, it wasn’t as if I sort of go, “Oh, what is your pedigree, sir? Have you been to Harvard? Did you write for the Crimson?” You know? Funny is funny, they could come from anywhere, but the bench strength in the writing room is awesomely deep. In fact, the second episode was written by a personal hero of mine, who I’d never met before, Matt Hubbard, who wrote my favorite episode of 30 Rock ever, which is “Anna Howard Shaw Day.” I don’t know if you’ve seen that one.
I wouldn’t know it by title. I’m terrible with stuff like that.
No, it’s okay. I only memorize it because I’m such a geek. It’s the Valentine’s Day one, where Liz has to go to the dentist.