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Review of Comedy Central's "Key and Peele" - Episode 1

Updated on June 21, 2012


I managed to catch Key and Peele on the web and see the full show shortly after it aired, to my delight as I admired both actors for their performances on the dearly-missed MadTv. This is the first I've seen of both Keegan-Micheal Key and Jordan Peele since their time on Mad, so I was very excited to see this first-of-eight skit styled shows from Comedy Central.

The show starts with Keegan standing on the street corner, talking nonchalantly with his girl about theater tickets he bought. When he sees another black man, Jordan, walk next to him while waiting to cross the street, Keegan starts speaking in a more tough and "gansta" sound. Jordan is also talking in a similar way and, once across the street, informs his boyfriend in a flamboyant voice how he was almost mugged. Not a bad way to start the show, in my opinion, got a nice chuckle.

The next part features both the shows hosts appear in front of a live audience and introduce the show and themselves. They also let the audience know a factor that will, as the show prgresses, become a staple to their comedic act. They are "biracial," which is to say, half-white and half-black. They crack a couple race jokes before the next segment begins, which is funny, no doubt no doubt no doubt, but will get old soon. The skit that begins is two couples are looking at one's house, while the two males find more and more outrageous methods of being able to brag to the other about how they've called their wife a bitch, only to hide when the wives call.

As that finishes, a second short standup routine ensues with the comedians providing some insightful commentary on reality tv shows. I'm not sure if the format of intermittent standup jokes sprinkled in with skits is disorganized or purposeful, but it seems a bit messy. The skit that follows shows a chef (perhaps on one of those reality tv shows they were criticizing?) giving his thoughts on a dish prepared by a contestant. At first, he claims that the contestant needs to leave, only to go to the finest restaurant in the world. Just not any world he is aware of, but a better one... the skit ends with the contestant being stabbed to death.... which was sort of a dumb way to end a scene with potential.

Review Continued

The bit after that is a parody of how a famous rapper, Lil Wayne, always acts tough, yet is far from it. We can see this when the "young money" (I'm using that right, right?) is stabbed in the middle of throwing down some sick rhymes. This occurs once more later in the show, with the third appearance featuring a sophomoric reference to him dropping the soap in the shower while the other inmates wait for him to pick it up.

The truly funny bit is where Jordan goes to see the doctor for some medical marijuana, but only lists fake illnesses that can't be aided with pot, like AIDS or paralysis. The doctor, wanting to hook a brother up, grows frustrated and slap Jordan across the face. That gets him his prescription. After this, the funniest bit, in my opinion, is shown. It features Luther as Obama's anger translator. Watch:

Props to Comedy Central: embedding is not copyright violation... DAMN!


All in all, the show was pretty decent. I would of liked to see more skits of the same quality as Obama Translated, but what you get is worth the time. I was not surprised, nor will I ever be in the episodes to come, to see a lot of race jokes made and race related skits shown. I suppose it comes with the territory, but it can be easily worn out. I give the pilot a B rating.


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      Anika 3 years ago

      I do so love the conversational and coolablrative nature of each of these. Others would definitely add a dash of a different style and signature to your piece. I find each of these pieces strangely moving, like a document with different signatures or a time capsule. I think they really capture the gesture of each person who touched it. Like their unique handwriting or something. I think it's also a process of letting go, of giving up control. They look less rigid than a predetermined pattern. I myself find improv quilting or improv composition so difficult. Difficult to let go and difficult to be free . We've been too well trained to color within the lines!