Hall of Fame
Juston McKinney was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in June of 1970. On that same day, New York Police Officer Frank Serpico was testifying before the Knapp Commission to clean up police corruption in the New York City Police Department. He spent his elementary years at the Little Harbor School before moving across the bridge into Kittery Maine in the fifth grade. His favorite show was CHiPs, and he knew he was destined to become a cop. He grew up around cops, as they were always over at his house, arresting his dad. He attended high school at Traip Academy, and after graduation, he decided to further his education. He was accepted to the prestigious Southern Maine Vocational Technical Institute (S.M.V.T.I). Only the select few who are able to fill out an application can get in. At age 19 he was hired by the York County Sheriff’s Department as a rural patrol deputy. Although too young to buy his own bullets, he loved his job which included patrolling 14 towns and 500 square miles. He prided himself on being a good, honest cop. After a couple of years he began teaching the DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program, splitting time between the streets and the classroom. After telling kids to stay away from drugs and to get on with their dreams, he decided to follow his own advice. In the mid 90s he moved to Boston to pursue a career in stand-up comedy. He stayed on as a part time member of his department driving up to Maine to work patrol around his comedy gigs. In 1997, he had to resign from his department after seven years of service when his comedy career took him to New York City. The move seemed to pay off as he became a regular performer at the Comic Strip, Stand-up New York, Dangerfield’s, Caroline’s on Broadway and the Gotham Comedy Club. He signed with a Los Angeles-based agent and shortly after, in 1998, signed a six-figure development deal with Warner Brothers to write and star in his own sitcom. The show never made it but the next year he signed an even bigger deal with CBS Productions. Unfortunately, the arrival of reality TV such as Survivor and Big Brother meant he had the wrong TV show at the wrong time, and although it was extremely close, the show never got on the air. The sudden financial reward of having two development deals would seem to have set Juston up well. However, while in New York, he befriended a waiter at Dangerfield’s Comedy Club who was a part-time stock broker. The waiter/stock broker talked him into putting almost all his money in the market. Very shortly after, in 2000, the market crashed, which left him with virtually nothing. Juston likes to perform on stage because that appears to be the only place he has good timing. Some free financial advice from Juston, “Never give hundreds of thousands of dollars to a waiter. You’re supposed to give waiters tips, not take tips from waiters.” In 2001, he moved to Los Angeles and became a regular performer at the Improv. In 2002 he performed both stand-up and his one-man show, My Brother’s Father at the US comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado. While there he was awarded the “Listerene Clean Mouth Award” which honored his talent and clean style of comedy. Later that year he made his first appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Over the past couple years he has made a return appearance on The Tonight Show and a guest star appearance on the CBS hit The King of Queens. He has appeared numerous times on Comedy Central on shows such as Premium Blend, Reel Comedy, Comic Remix and Shorties Watchin' Shorties. Juston is currently living in Los Angeles performing weekly at clubs and colleges all over the country.