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TV Review: Comedy Central’s Funny ‘Key & Peele’ Deserves Bigger Audience

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CHICAGO – More people need to watch “Key & Peele,” one of the more consistently funny programs on TV right now. As with all sketch comedy, it’s not without its duds, but the batting average here is so much higher than the average comedy that the misses are easier to take. Stars Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele are talented and smart enough that their show often approaches the genius of the best in sketch comedy like “Chappelle’s Show” and “Mr. Show.” Yes, it’s that good.

HollywoodChicago.com Television Rating: 4.0/5.0
Television Rating: 4.0/5.0

There is an admitted consistency issue that holds the show back a bit. Every time there were one or two great sketches in a row, I would think to myself, “Finally. We’re going to get a perfect episode and this show is going to break through to the next level that it so often threatens to reach.” And then there’d be a sketch that just didn’t work. I do love, however, how Key & Peele clearly know that timing is everything. Even sketches that are misguided only last a couple of minutes. They know how to get in, make you laugh, and get out, something more sketch comedies should copy (coughSNLcough).

Key and Peele
Key and Peele
Photo credit: Comedy Central

It’s this simple — there’s no dialogue in the first sketch of the new season of “Key & Peele” and I was still laughing harder than most of the new sitcoms of the Fall season. The opening bit of the season premiere is very funnay and it’s arguably topped by the opening bit of the second episode, which is a hysterical piece about racist dogs. Other highlights in the first two episodes include a great piece about Mary Magdalene’s pimp Gallileroy and a spectacular piece on the guy who had to FOLLOW Martin Luther King’s “Free at Last” speech on that important day. In concept alone, that’s such a funny idea.

Key and Peele
Key and Peele
Photo credit: Comedy Central

And that’s what I love about “Key & Peele.” Even the sketches that flop feel like more creative risks than so many sketch comedy shows that rely on easy jokes, pop culture, and gross-out humor. For example, there’s a bit about Dubstep that goes on too long but, man, who else is building a sketch around the oddity that is Dubstep? “Key & Peele” takes chances and we need more comedies and talented comedians willing to do just that.

If you need to catch up on “Key & Peele: Season 1,” Comedy Central and Paramount released it on Blu-ray and DVD yesterday with a nice array of special features, including commentary tracks, outtakes, and more comedy.

“Key & Peele: Season 1”

Want to meet Luther, President Obama’s anger translator? Or hang by the punch bowl with Bar Mitzvah sensations Dr. Dreidel & Gefilte Fresh? Whether it’s satirizing the President, spoofing Nazis, or ordering up some soul food, Key & Peele aren’t afraid to take on taboo subjects for the sake of comedy. Not that you need another reason, but if you don’t buy this, you’re racist.

StarClick here to buy “Key & Peele”

Special Features:
o More From Luther, Obama’s Anger Translator
o Outtakes
o Poolside Interview
o Live At The South Beach Comedy Festival
o Audio Commentaries

“Key & Peele” stars Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele and returns for its second season on Comedy Central on September 26, 2012 at 9:30pm CST. “Key & Peele: Season 1” was released on Blu-ray and DVD on September 25, 2012.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

Content Director

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