He started doing comedy with the Loose Moose Theatre Company. There,
Mark met Bruce McCulloch. Together they formed a comedy team called,
"The Audience." Eventually, Mark and Bruce moved to Toronto,
and met Dave Foley and Kevin McDonald. Dave and Kevin were in the
process of forming a comedy troupe. Along with Scott Thompson, who
wound up joining after coming to a stage show, and producer Lorne
Michaels, the Kids in the Hall (KITH) was formed in 1989.
Notable "Kids" characters played by McKinney
include the Chicken Lady, Nina from Joymakers, Gerald the businessman,
and Mr. Tyzik, the Headcrusher, an embittered Eastern European who
crushes the heads of passersby between his thumb and forefinger.
is considered by some to be the Kids' most versatile member, adopting
countless different voices, accents, and personalities to match each
Following the end of KITH, Mark joined the cast of another Lorne Michaels sketch comedy show, Saturday Night Live.
He has appeared in several films, including the SNL spinoffs Superstar, The Ladies Man and A Night at the Roxbury. McKinney also starred opposite Isabella Rossellini in Guy Maddin's acclaimed tragicomedy The Saddest Music in the World.
cowrote and starred in the Kids in the Hall movie Brain Candy, in
which, among other roles, he spoofed SNL and KITH executive producer
His latest appearances on television
have been as a cast member on the CBC comedy Hatching, Matching, and
Dispatching, as well as on the hit Canadian comedy Corner Gas, as an
American who came to Dog River by accident.
He also guest-starred in an episode of the Canadian horror series The Collector. McKinney
played a man who sold his soul to the devil for the chance to meet with
space aliens. As well, he has appeared on the CBC Radio
post-apocalyptic comedy Steve, the First and its sequel.