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Why The Actor Who Plays Vince McMahon In Young Rock Looks So Familiar

The new hit NBC sitcom Young Rock takes a look back at the early days of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson before his success in professional wrestling and film. Though the show takes place across multiple eras throughout The Rock's life, including his football scholarship at the University of Miami, multiple episodes focus on Johnson's rather unusual childhood. 

Because of his family's long history of wrestling which included his father, pro wrestler "Soulman" Rocky Johnson, Dwayne grew up around legendary figures like Randy Savage, the Iron Sheik, and Andre the Giant, all played in the show by younger actors. Famed WWE head Vince McMahon is a supporting character as well and is portrayed by Adam Ray. McMahon is depicted as ambitious and intrepid, working his way up the WWE organization, but he's also a caring and supportive friend to Dwayne's grandmother Lia. 

Prior to his performance in Young Rock, however, Adam Ray had been acting in film and TV for years. Here's where you may have seen him before the show. 

Adam Ray was a cast member of the Mad TV Revival

Before he was Vince McMahon, you may have seen Adam Ray in one of his multiple acting credits even if you didn't know it. His screen debut was in Aziz Ansari's 2007 MTV sketch comedy series Human Giant, where the actor played a truly manic parody of Tom Cruise (something he's done since).

After Human Giant, Ray appeared in a number of short films and guest-starred on sitcoms like According To Jim and 2 Broke Girls. He also began performing stand-up comedy as well as uploading original sketches and impressions to his YouTube channel.

In 2016, he landed a spot in The CW's revival of the popular '90s sketch show Mad TV. There, he played several outrageous roles including a frat bro police detective, the smarmy host of Match Game, and even Donald Trump. The show brought back original cast members to host, but reviews were mostly dismissive and the ratings weren't great, either. After one season, the new Mad TV was cancelled.

Adam Ray has acted in recent sitcoms from Silicon Valley to American Vandal

Adam Ray has continued to work in television, including in a number of acclaimed sitcoms such as Silicon Valley and Arrested Development.

In 2017, Ray came onto long-running HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm's ninth season as the second Uber driver that episode to pick up Larry David. When Larry notices his low rating on the app thanks to a previous altercation, Ray hilariously calls him "One Star Larry” and mocks his obvious lack of popularity. The situation naturally escalates from there in classic Curb fashion, but Ray is a clear highlight of an already great episode.

2018 then saw him in a recurring part on the Netflix mockumentary American Vandal as Officer Joe Crowder. Over several episodes, Crowder tries to interrogate suspects over the crime that motivates the final season of the series — except the suspects are high schoolers, and the deed is slipping laxatives into the school's drinks. As Crowder and the filmmakers chase after the mysterious "Turd Burglar," secrets are discovered, and the truth of the prank is gradually revealed.

A slimy club owner and Slimer

Adam Ray has worked with director and Freaks & Geeks creator Paul Feig multiple times now. Ray and Feig first collaborated on the 2013 cop film The Heat, where Ray played the sleazy, sexist club owner LeSoire. The character met a nasty end, but not before his gross, intentionally nasty performance drew huge laughs from the audience. Ray would next appear in Feig's hit film Spy in a background role before snagging a role (actually two) in the director's controversial reboot of Ghostbusters. On-screen, he played the lead singer of the Beasts of Mayhem (pictured), a band that is performing as the Ghostbusters capture a ghost. Ray, who has done lots of voice work, also voiced Slimer in the film.

Even in the pandemic, Adam Ray has stayed busy, with a credit listed in the upcoming indie film Stay@Home (per IMDb). With a performance as iconic as Vince McMahon now under his belt, hopefully Ray will be gracing the small screen — and the big — for some time to come.