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Staff/Faculty ID
Dr. Marshall Kane
Portrayed by: Michael K. Williams
First appearance: "Biology 101"
Last appearance: "Basic Lupine Urology"
Date of birth: Unknown
Department: Science
Position: Biology Professor


You spent your life in army. I spent mine in prison. Two places where a man's word is only as good as his uniform. Now out here, it's supposed to be different, and in my classroom, it will be.
— Marshall Kane laying down the law, "Basic Lupine Urology".

Marshall Kane.
Dr. Marshall Kane is a former Greendale Biology professor. Years ago, he was once a convict serving twenty five to life at the San Vicente correctional facility. He slowly earned his degree while in prison, eventually being released and made a free man. Due to his past he was a very serious and no-nonsense instructor. Despite his intensity, he was capable of great insight and had a strong sense of justice, which he upheld with his own personal code of honor. Because of the fallout from an incident he was directly involved in, he ended up officially resigning from the school. His first appearance was in the Season Three episode "Biology 101". He is portrayed by actor Michael K. Williams.

Character history[]

In the study group's third year at Greendale, Professor Marshall Kane is the Biology teacher for their latest class. On the first day attending "Biology 101", Kane introduces himself briefly going over his time spent in prison and how he eventually earned a degree while serving his time. He launches into his first lecture of the semester but is interrupted when Jeff's cell phone goes off. Annoyed, he tries to continue but Jeff's phone rings again, After the third time, Kane loses his patience and angrily tells Jeff to leave his class. Sometime later, Jeff goes to Kane's office to try and apologize for the incident. He asks if can return and Kane replies him he'll only consider it if he gives up his cell phone.

3x01-Marshall Kane interrupted
He is a tense person.

Jeff thinks he's asking for a bribe but Kane corrects him and tells him that his phone is a symbol of Jeff's own imprisonment. Just like the physical prison walls that kept Kane confined in prison for years, Jeff has built up his own walls to keep other people at arm's length; he adds that not even a single blade of grass can break through those defenses. Jeff scoffs at Kane's assessment of him and notices a photo taped above the professors desk. Jeff snatches what he believes to be a a picture of Kane and Pierce and accuses them of being in cahoots. Jeff leaves with the photo to show the study group unaware it's not Kane with Pierce but a rapper who was once the spokesman for Hawthorne Wipes.

Later, Kane is approached in his office by Star-Burns who has a proposal for him inspired by the television drama "Breaking Bad". Star-Burns suggests that since he is a drug dealer and Kane is a scientist they could form a similar partnership like the main characters on that show. Kane ignores him instead focusing on a gift wrapped package which which had been delivered on his desk. After opening it he finds Jeff's cell phone with a single blade of grass poking through it, a physical representation of Kane's appraisal of him. Smiling, Kane understands it's Jeff's way of apology and tells Star-burns that he no longer has a seat in his class opening up for Jeff to return ("Biology 101").

B 101 Jeff's cell phone RIP
Better than a bribe.
Sometime later, he arbitrarily assigns lab partners for all of his students. The study group is uncomfortable working with classmates they don't know and asks the professor if they can instead be partnered with each other. He agrees, but their first assignment proves a disaster. Their fellow classmate Todd had been forced into wasting an entire evening in Group Study Room F with the study group. They were arguing about who should be paired up with whom and who should be stuck with Todd. After hearing Todd's complaint, Kane compares the study group's behavior to his time in prison when he encountered a "mean group" that bullied other inmates. He informs them that from now on, they are all to share one grade together collectively ("Competitive Ecology").

3x04-Marshall Kane office
Another senseless conversation.
Towards the end of the semester, Kane receives a phone call in the middle of the night from Annie concerning her and the study group's Biology yam project. The project had been ruined as the yam had fallen to the floor and was now squashed. Professor Kane sees it as an accident, but Annie insists that someone sabotaged it. Kane tells her there's no evidence to back this up, and Annie and the study group investigate the yam's "murder" in response. They discover Star-Burns is a witness to the crime who fingers Todd as the culprit. Jeff and Annie present this information to Kane. The professor asks Todd about the charges brought against him but before he can respond he is interrupted by a Lieutenant Colonel Archwood. He explains that he is Todd's former superior from his time in the military and is stepping in to act as his attorney.

3x17-Marshall Kane Annie hypothesis
He basically says they deserve an A+.
Archwood brings the situation to the attention of Dean Pelton and has a meeting with him, Jeff, and Kane to resolve the matter. Archwood questions how reliable Star-Burns is as a witness and asks if he has alibi himself for the crime. Due to a prior agreement in exchange for his testimony, Jeff is unable to explain. When the Dean threatens to fail Jeff and the study group if he doesn't comply, Professor Kane steps in and states that as it's his biology class, only he has the authority to make that decision. He declares that he will allow Jeff's arrangement with Star-Burns to stand. Kane tells Jeff and Archwood they can both plead their cases to the class after which he himself will render a final verdict. Jeff thanks him for giving them a chance to get their grade back, and Kane simply responds that a man's got to have a code.

3x17-Marshall Kane Norbert Archwood
Pelton probably wanted them to kiss.

However, Archwood's threatening interrogation of Star-Burns causes him to flee before the trial. Despite this setback, Kane convenes the hearing the next day and the trial kicks off with Archwood interviewing Todd on the witness stand. Archwood and Jeff start bickering causing Kane to step in. He overrules their various objections stating how much he dislikes the both of them. Kane cautions Annie when she begins Todd's cross examination reminding her this isn't really a court of law. Annie then tricks Todd into admitting he was at the crime scene and had picked up and accidentally dropped the study group's yam. The revelation causes Archwood to abandon his client and leaves the classroom in an uproar. Kane declares he has heard enough, but before he puts an official end to the case, Jeff asks him for a sidebar to confer with him.

Once he and Annie are inside Kane's office, Jeff asks the professor to just give both the study group and Todd a passing grade on the project. Annie takes Jeff aside for a sidebar of their own upset he would suggest such a plea bargain. Kane listens in on their conversation as Jeff explains to her that he isn't convinced of Todd's guilt and that he doesn't want to see an innocent man take the fall. After Annie reluctantly agrees, Kane interrupts their discussion and tells them he overheard everything they just said. He accepts their offer and they all return to the "court room" for his final verdict. Just as Kane reconvenes the hearing, Jeff has an epiphany and suddenly asks if he can make his closing argument. An exasperated Kane anticipated that Jeff would interrupt and he resignedly allows him to do so.

3x17-Marshall Kane overhears
Sidebar eavesdropper.
While delivering his closing arguments, Jeff accidentally discovers the true culprit behind the squashed yam: Neil. He confesses that he sabotaged not only the study group's yams but also everyone else's projects as well in order to lower the grade curve and allow his girlfriend Vicki to pass the class. Kane is shocked by the revelations and immediately declares that next year his class will be dissecting pine cones instead. Afterwards, Kane, Jeff and Annie are with Dean Pelton in his office discussing the trial. Kane answers a phone call for Pelton and learns that Star-Burns was involved in an automobile accident and died ("Basic Lupine Urology"). Afterwards, a seemingly guilt stricken Kane tenders his resignation to Dean Pelton due to his part in the incident ("Course Listing Unavailable").

BLU Bad news
RIP Star-face.