Keegan-Michael Key was born to a White mother and an African-American father, and he was raised by a White mother and an African-American father. However, these two sets of couples weren't the same. 

Key was adopted.

For the longest time, Key had built mythos around his biological parents. He'd manifested this idea within himself that maybe he was not wanted or that he was a "wretched" person, whom his biological parents could not keep.

Keegan Michael Key Meeting His Biological Parents

Thankfully, all of those feelings of uncertainty and self-doubt were addressed once Key got to meet and interact with his biological mother. 

During a conversation with NPR, the comedian revealed he had developed quite a bond with his biological mother. But, sadly, his biological father had already passed away. 

When asked about what it was like to get to know the parents who'd put him up for adoption, he said it was a healing experience. 

I'd say it's been like - it's been, like, 16 years of some kind of constant healing, is how I feel about it.

He explained that not knowing his biological parents and why they put him up for adoption fostered a set of mythos to his identity. Ironically, feeling like an unwanted wretched person became an excellent fertilizer for his comedy. 

Credit where credit is due, the comic also confessed that his adoptive mother tirelessly worked most of her life to help him build his self-esteem. 

Keegan Michael Key Breaking Through His Mythos

Once Key met his biological mother, it gave him a much-needed insight into the aspects of his life that he had been constructing out of pure imagination until that point. 

The story that he'd been telling himself started to crumble bit by bit.

Throughout the first year of meeting his biological mother, she walked Key through the parts of his life that he never had the resources to explore. He explained:

My mom kind of actually literally visited me in Detroit and kind of gave me a tour of my life - where I was conceived, where I was born, where she found out she was pregnant.

Admittedly, the story that Key had told himself was precious to him, in that he'd held it to his heart for so long that he was comfortable with it. 

However, with every revelation, his version of how things went down just couldn't hold any water. 

"And it's a long, very personal story," he shared, "but, you know, it's been a really wonderful, revelatory story."

Keegan Michael Key's Connection to the Performing Arts

As far as his racial identity was concerned, that was actually the reason that led him to join the theatre and the performing arts. 

"It's just that clan is born out of love and passion as opposed to born out of some sense of obligation to belong to a certain group," he explained, "So for me, that's what salvaged my life, I think, in high school for the most part."

He explained that, in the theatre, one identifies with other people who share the same passion as them and not by how much melanin they had in their skin.