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'Key and Peele' reveal their secrets

By Loumarie Rodriguez
On November 5, 2012

  • Bruce Ursin, 57, of Asford was arrested for attemting to kidnap and sexually assault a female UConn student yesterday. Photo courtesy of UConn Police

Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, the stars of Comedy Central's "Key and Peele," gave insight into their comedic approach to writing skits, political beliefs and even on how to break into the business.
Their penchant for political satire means that Key and Peele must use different approaches and attempt skits that most people would be afraid to address.
"When we write those (skits) we are trying to be forward about what we think is true," said Peele. "We don't take a partisan approach on the way we write it. I think we take the approach on what is going to make people laugh. We like to find what it true that people are thinking but are not quite saying that is how we get the Key and Peele political comedy."
Both comedians support Obama, which they have made clear in a lot of their political skits and expressed their excitement in meeting the President.
"No matter what our political beliefs are it's our jobs to make people laugh," said Key. "As for a possible Mitt Romney presidency I rub my hands in glorious anticipation as a comedian."
Should Romney get elected, Peele said, "I will personally move to Africa if that happens.
The show is gaining a lot of popularity and both Key and Peele are slowly looking and working on a various script ideas for a potential Key and Peele movie. Aside from working on show, however, Key has already made two movies this year with release dates to be determined.
Key stated that, after making sure a skit is sound, he approaches it physically and through character.
"I considered, how can I play a character that will enhance the comedy of the sketch?" Key said. "What is there in this sketch that I can do physically instead of saying verbally that is how I approach things? Sometimes where there are words there could be actions."
"We are inspired by real people we meet," said Peele after doing a quick impersonation of President Obama. "A part of my process is allowing yourself to believe that you can transform into anybody."
Both said that they have a team of writers that come up with their sketches and a lot of the writers are also comedians themselves. Many of the ideas for the sketches come from observing of human behavior and ideas.
"It's human expectation to think what should happen but we go in the completely other direction," said Key.
"We are huge fans of sketch," said Peele. "We like doing stuff that is fresh and riding that edge; anything that feels familiar to us, we take it off the table. We look for the driving thing about it (of a sketch) that makes it fun and funny and makes it exciting and fresh."
The two stressed the point that despite their raunchy humor their skits do address the fact of cultural evolution within our society, hence why they play various stereotypes on their show. The biggest complaint that they receive concerns the show's raunchy humor and that the person has an old- fashioned sense of humor. Key and Peele acknowledge that we live in a world that is changing fast and compared it to a paradigm shift.
"We see this paradigm shift happening in our lives," said Key. "We get that's not the way black people are suppose to act. This is how they are suppose to act and should act all the time. There are different types of African Americans that act in certain ways and belong to certain socio-economic groups so we try to represent all of that."
"A lot of our criticisms are from people who did not quite grasp the topics we were talking about," said Peele.
In order to break into the business, Key and Peele said that it's about making the right connections and branching out into things that you wouldn't typically do. They talked about how it's important to invest time in meeting people in order to make the connections. Also, sometimes it's best to keep it simple.
"We should show all facets of ourselves as human beings," said Key.
"There isn't s single type of character we won't play in order to be funny," said Peele.

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