To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Mr. Show’s premiere and the Netflix debut of W/ Bob & David next week, Rolling Stone reached out to a handful of Mr. Show writers, performers, and fans and asked them to choose their favorite sketches from the show. Here’s Keegan-Michael Key on “The Audition,” one of the show’s most popular sketches ever:
I’m sure I’m the 17,000th person to pick this, but my favorite has to be “The Audition.” I’ll argue that this is one of the top five sketches ever written — not just for Mr. Show, top five ever written. It has that wonderful quality of letting you know what’s coming next, because they’ve set it up so well and the scene’s comedic game is so strong, but you still don’t know what they’re going to say. It almost feels like an old Second City sketch, but with this surrealist bent to it. For me, that was a big moment: Oh, you can keep the classic and the new?
It doesn’t feel like it’s been 20 years. I’ll work with these young directors on projects now, and they’ll tell me, “My parents would never let me stay up to watch Mr. Show, I had to see it from bootleg tapes from my friends.” This whole generation grew up loving it, and now they’re in positions of power where they can green light projects and start their own sketch groups. It’s crazy to me.