As biracial men, comedians Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele occupy a unique microcosm in the world of sketch comedy. Their humor tends to simultaneously revel in and deconstruct racial stereotypes while also versatile enough to cover topics like falling in love over the phone, the duplicitous nature of behind-the-scenes television, and what Ice-T would be like if he were a dog. At its best, Key & Peele is conversely smart and silly enough to put the foibles and intricacies of racism and human interaction into perspective — either that or it’ll have you rolling on the floor when you see what it has to say about high school bullies. Biracial identity is something that’s not talked about very often in the world of television and comedy, and Key and Peele fill that void admirably well.
Yesterday afternoon (March 25), Paramount Pictures announced that they’ve greenlit a feature film based on one of the duo’s most popular sketches, ‘the Substitute Teacher’ (which you can watch above). No sketch series on television, let alone Comedy Central, has managed to build a universe of characters as instantly quotable and layered since Dave Chappelle packed up and left back in 2007, and there are even more of the duo’s sketches that deserve movies of their own. It was hard capping it here, but check out 10 that could possibly survive the transition from short sketch to feature-length.
Ever notice how football players have some of the craziest names you’ve ever heard? Key & Peele sure did, and their East/West Bowl series has introduced us to some real gems, from Hingle McCringleberry to Legume Duprix and beyond. Getting to explore a handful of these players intensively would make for a stupid good time.
Obama: The College Years
Jordan Peele has become nigh legendary for his portrayal of President Barack Obama, and in one sketch, they took him back to his college days. He smokes weed with his fellow students before telling the one filming (it’s styled as a home movie) to “Be careful. I might run for office someday.” Between that and him explaining the relationship between the US government and its citizens through a joint packing, the movie could take us even deeper into Barack’s youth, historical fiction-style.
Obama Family Anger Translators
The Obama jokes first started with Peele as the president and Key as Luther, his “anger translator” who shouts the true meanings of Obama’s speeches at the audience. They took this concept a step further during a date night sketch between the President and the First Lady, where they both bring out their translators (Luther and K’Tendra, respectively) to get in digs about their love life. I’d like to see a more fleshed-out look at the life of the Obama’s behind closed doors, especially considering Keke Palmer’s guest spot at the end.
A tale as old as time right here: feigning love over the phone while you’re trying to order a pizza. Pizza worker Carlos falls in love with “Claire,” a fake character created by a lonely man who just wants three pies with cheesy crust. An entire project built around the lovelorn Carlos would be good for a laugh.
In this zombified post-apocalypse, the zombies are white and the racism is rampant. Key & Peele are two survivors who the zombies constantly avoid, even rolling up car windows and shying away on the street. Apparently Black people are safe during this end of the world. How else could this affect the rest of the world?