Q&A: ‘Key & Peele’ on Their Peabody and the Show’s Success

Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele are creators-writers-stars-exec producers of Comedy Central’s “Key & Peele,” which launches season 4 in September. They recently received a Peabody Award, made Time’s list of most influential people and were praised by President Obama.

Are you now respectable?
Peele: Time and the Peabody — to get something that prestigious really snuck up on us.
Key: I’ve yet to take a left turn out of Surrealville. Wait, how did two guys who make poop jokes get involved with people who run nations? It’s still kind of unbelievable.

How did the show achieve its success?
Peele: We definitely felt like outsiders for a couple of years. The TV ratings weren’t what we wanted, but so many people found our show through the Internet. Now we can’t walk through an airport without getting stopped.

When one of you stars in a sketch, can we assume that person initiated it?
Peele: I wouldn’t break it down as simply as that. The best sketches exist in the things we both find funny. We feed off each other’s opinions and making each other laugh. When one of us is onstage, the other is giving notes to keep the vision that got us to this sketch in the first place.

How would you describe your humor?
Key: I learned a magnificent new word the other day. There is a quality for all of our scenes that contains “anagnorisis,” which is that moment of discovery before a twist happens. Which is “Where is this scene gonna go? Oh, now, that was crazy! Where’s it gonna go now?” As opposed to the traditional “we’re going to introduce a premise and then explore it.”

You’re making a movie with Judd Apatow. What can you tell us?
Peele: Keegan and I like to undercut badass genres. I don’t want to give away too much, but it channels some of the themes that we hit on in the show: The everyman placed in a badass genre.

More TV

  • Paul Bettany2017 Lincoln Center Corporate Fund

    'The Crown': Paul Bettany in Talks to Play Prince Philip

    Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele are creators-writers-stars-exec producers of Comedy Central’s “Key & Peele,” which launches season 4 in September. They recently received a Peabody Award, made Time’s list of most influential people and were praised by President Obama. Are you now respectable? Peele: Time and the Peabody — to get something that prestigious really […]

  • Rihanna France Concert Canceled

    Rihanna to Perform at Grammys With DJ Khaled and Bryson Tiller

    Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele are creators-writers-stars-exec producers of Comedy Central’s “Key & Peele,” which launches season 4 in September. They recently received a Peabody Award, made Time’s list of most influential people and were praised by President Obama. Are you now respectable? Peele: Time and the Peabody — to get something that prestigious really […]

  • Lori Mccreary and Gary Lucchesi PGA

    How Harvey Weinstein Drove the PGA to Combat Sexual Harassment on Set

    Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele are creators-writers-stars-exec producers of Comedy Central’s “Key & Peele,” which launches season 4 in September. They recently received a Peabody Award, made Time’s list of most influential people and were praised by President Obama. Are you now respectable? Peele: Time and the Peabody — to get something that prestigious really […]

  • Fox Orders Pilots From Lee Daniels,

    Fox Orders Pilots From Lee Daniels and Vali Chandrasekaran, Josh Safran, and Lil Rel Howery

    Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele are creators-writers-stars-exec producers of Comedy Central’s “Key & Peele,” which launches season 4 in September. They recently received a Peabody Award, made Time’s list of most influential people and were praised by President Obama. Are you now respectable? Peele: Time and the Peabody — to get something that prestigious really […]

  • ABC Logo

    ABC Orders Tim Doyle Comedy Pilot

    Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele are creators-writers-stars-exec producers of Comedy Central’s “Key & Peele,” which launches season 4 in September. They recently received a Peabody Award, made Time’s list of most influential people and were praised by President Obama. Are you now respectable? Peele: Time and the Peabody — to get something that prestigious really […]

  • TV Review: ‘Planet Earth: Blue Planet

    TV Review: ‘Planet Earth: Blue Planet II’ on BBC America

    Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele are creators-writers-stars-exec producers of Comedy Central’s “Key & Peele,” which launches season 4 in September. They recently received a Peabody Award, made Time’s list of most influential people and were praised by President Obama. Are you now respectable? Peele: Time and the Peabody — to get something that prestigious really […]

  • Jeff Zucker

    Jeff Zucker Has 'No Interest' In ESPN Job

    Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele are creators-writers-stars-exec producers of Comedy Central’s “Key & Peele,” which launches season 4 in September. They recently received a Peabody Award, made Time’s list of most influential people and were praised by President Obama. Are you now respectable? Peele: Time and the Peabody — to get something that prestigious really […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content