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Chicago-trained Adam McKay wins screenplay Oscar for ‘The Big Short’

Adam McKay, the former Chicago improviser whose movie “The Big Short” has been a favorite throughout the awards season, won an Academy Award for co-writing the film.

Speaking alongside co-writer Charles Randolph, McKay thanked the Motion Picture Academy, “The Big Short” author Michael Lewis, distributor Paramount and his family, including wife Shira Piven. In the onscreen scroll made available to each winner, he gave thanks to his Chicago teachers Charna Halpern and the late Del Close from iO.

And, ever politically outspoken, the Bernie Sanders backer urged viewers to avoid voting for candidates “who take money from big banks, oil or weirdo billionaires. Stop!”

McKay, a former iO and Second City student and performer and a founder of the Upright Citizens Brigade, also was nominated for the best director awar. After his previous directorial projects including “Talladega Nights” and the two “Anchorman” movies, McKay made a turn to the dramatic with “The Big Short,” which tells the true story of several financial seers who predicted the 2007-08 crash of the housing market.