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What's the deal with... Key & Peele?

Joshua Rothkopf

We take a closer look at the hugely popular American duo behind this week's smash-hit gangsta-com, 'Keanu'

Key and Peele? Wasn’t that the firm who did my taxes?

Doubt it. They’re a comedy duo: Keegan-Michael Key (tall, manic) and Jordan Peele (shorter, wily). Both born to black dads and white mums, they turn biracial anxiety into comedy.

Sounds... hilarious?

It is. Their show, ‘Key & Peele’, ran for five seasons on Comedy Central in the US, spawning dozens of viral videos. And they won a Peabody Award, which puts them in the esteemed company of Alistair Cooke, Jon Stewart and, um, Bob Geldof.

What’s their schtick?

Classic sketch comedy, but better: cinematic and frequently nightmarish, their skits have spoofed Mr T, Liam Neeson and American football, and they’re not averse to the odd musical number – check out the jaw-dropping ‘Negrotown’.  Oh, and now they’ve got a movie out (see review, top left).

Actually, that does sound kind of amazing. But where should I start?

In one of their best routines, Peele does a spot-on impression of Barack Obama – all calm and Presidential –  while Key plays Luther, the ‘anger translator’ who turns Barack’s diplomatic statements into incendiary rage. Obama is a fan: he asked Key to do Luther behind his speech at the White House Correspondents Dinner in 2015.  Or if you’re after something a bit lighter and more stonery, ‘Keanu’ is a pretty solid intro too.

Watch them in action:

Read Time Out's review of 'Keanu' or watch the trailer:

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