Comedians Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele of the Emmy nominated Key & Peele comedy show are saying goodbye after the current season. This is the final season because the guys want to explore other avenues, together and separately, but the decision has nothing to do with Comedy Central, according to Key. All episodes of the fifth and final season, which began July 8, have already been filmed.
The comedic duo worked together on MadTV prior to launching their own sketch comedy show in January 2012. The series gained notoriety for sketches such as President Obama’s Anger Translator and other racially charged scenarios. In 2013, Key & Peele won a Peabody Award and has since received several Emmy nominations, including seven this year.
Key and Peele are the creators of their namesake comedy show and are not quitting the business of comedy, but are lending their talents to other projects. Both are working on upcoming movies in separate deals but promised there will be more Key & Peele productions to come. Key & Peele pushed the boundaries and took America back to the comedic style of great comics who have gone before them.
Comedy has long been a venue to help people cope with fear and trauma. Somewhere along the way it seems America has become so “politically correct” that it has forgotten the true purpose of humor and instead moved into the realm of extremes. Some of the greatest comedy sitcoms and movies of yesterday possibly would not have tipped the “acceptable” meter in today’s society. The comics said:
It seems to be okay when people make fun of their own cultures, but a lot of people get nervous, however, when it comes to laughing at other people’s culture or perceived weaknesses. That is when we worry that we are being insensitive – that we are being mean. We strive to make fun of everything, but it can be scary. We do not want to lose our audience, but it is our duty to be edgy and make people laugh about the horrors of the day.
Comedy has always been a derivative of tragedy. Its original meaning was simply a dramatic play which was opposite of tragedy. Comedy revolves around people navigating life in hopes of a happier ending. It is not a science, but an art. As such it can be very subjective and void of rules. What may be funny to one person, may appear offensive to another. Comedy is a play on situations and events which is meant to be enjoyed, not analyzed; it loses its “edge” when overly scrutinized.
What makes something funny is it captures a moment, contains an element of simple truth and is something that people have always known, but are hearing it out loud for the first time. According to comedic playwright Oscar Wilde:
High comedy is seen as intellectual wit, often set among high society and using clever characterizations and complex situations.
Comedy is not just about funny material or antics, it hinges greatly on the delivery process. This is the mastermind behind the sketch comedy witnessed on Key & Peele. These comedians are not afraid to push the envelope in a way that causes audiences across the globe to grasp the intended message. Many believe it is a smart move to say goodbye to Key & Peele while the men are still on top of their game.
As comic performers, this dynamic duo has achieved superpower parity status. Both men are funny in their own right while balancing each other on set. They have been a popular and critical winner for the Comedy Central network since Key & Peele debuted in 2012. The comedians have what it takes to be successful and together they conquer. Although Key & Peele are calling it quits after the current season, they will long be remembered by Comedy Central fans and the dynamic duo of comedy.
By Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
Time: Key & Peele Is Coming to an End at Comedy Central
Language Foundry: What is comedy and what makes something funny?
Images Courtesy of Peabody Awards – Flickr License