Something Funny: Key & Peele

Content warning: Some is not work friendly. There’s some bad language, though most of it is beeped out, so if that’s not your cup of tea, buyer beware.

I find Key & Peele consistently funny. They do this thing really well where they simulate a dramatic situation and then come up with what people would actually do in that situation. For example, at a slave auction:

Normally a tense, tragic situation for the slaves, fellow slaves go from bragging about the revolution they’ll start on their new plantation to dismay about not being bid on, to desperate job interview-type pleadings (“Have I mentioned this? Docile. I am agreeable to a fault. You should have seen the dude that asked me to get on the boat. Just walked right on, no big deal, never seen a boat in my life.”).

It combines bro-bragging with objectifying with male competitiveness with racial tension.

Here’s another one, a vampire coven/cove/cluster thingy.

In both cases it starts out with identifying with existing media, then parodies it by bringing in characters who call the tropes out. What if you were only a vampire because you wanted to be alive to see flying cars?

A recent one, where I literally laughed out loud:

Not only are they making fun of the types of music videos that can get made (with some restraint, I think) but they tie it to how expensive certain parts or props are. The shift half-way through is where I started laughing aloud.

2 thoughts on “Something Funny: Key & Peele

  1. I agree, these guys are talented and hilarious. They do a very good job of observational comedy that doesn’t fall into the whole “So what’s the deal about soup, huh? It’s like a hot smoothie, hur hur hur,” crap. I loathe that kind of comedy for the most part. You’ve nailed what is so clever about K and P’s observations…they act out totally human and believable responses to highlight the inherent absurdity therein. I wish they weren’t so crude and dirty. It seems impossible to find comedy without an excess of both. I think comedians use vulgarity as a crutch; it gets a reaction from the audience every time, whether or not it’s very amusing. I get that any reaction, even heckling perhaps, might seem better to a comedian than absolutely no reaction from the audience (like a naughty dog who would rather get yelled at or swatted on the nose than ignored for bad behavior, i.e. negative attention still is attention) but I still think it’s a sign of weak writing and a cop out.
    Have you seen Mitchell and Webb? They are old college friends who had a sketch comedy show, you can find a lot of the whole episodes on youtube. Very funny stuff (and yes, they are often crude and vulgar as well, I just skip ahead). There’s a Mr. Darcy dancing skit, and a couple of scenes making fun of holistic medicine that are especially funny to me. My kids like their new show, The Peep Show. I’m not overly fond of it, but it seems to be a big hit with everyone else.

  2. I’ve watched some Peep show – it’s clever, but for me about as cringe-worthy as the BBC The Office. They do an interesting thing with POV on it – you always see what the person sees and hear what they’re thinking.
    Clean comedy is harder to do – but the rewards can be pretty amazing. Mary and I saw Brian Regan recently here in Boise. He does a clean set. He sells out like 10 nights in Salt Lake City.
    Edit – the more I think about this, the more I think there’s a specific audience that the humor appeals to. The Comedy Central demographic probably responds better to that kind of comedy.

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