The very funny Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, stars of the titular Comedy Central sketch show Key & Peele, did a Reddit AMA yesterday, taking fans’ questions. They hit some technical difficulties with Reddit and had to cut things a little short, but here are the best moments from the chat:
On the day they met Barack Obama:
Key: The craziest! It was one of the best days of our life and totally surreal. we had always hoped he’d find out. But that kind of confirmation was amazing.
On when they first met:
Key: We met in Chicago in ‘02 and found we had a ton in common comedically. Being on MADtv together was just dumb luck, good dumb luck.
On working on MADtv and Peele’s favorite Key & Peele sketches:
Peele: Mad tv was insane. And trained us how to perform under stress. One of My Personal Favorite Sketch from Key and Peele is ‘Bone Thugs and Homeless’ on tonights episode. Also The Last Sketch of the Tonight in tonights episode.
On improvisation and Key’s favorite Key & Peele sketches:
Key: Our live stuff is mostly improvised. Like 90% we have a vague idea of what we’re gonna’ say but nothings really planned. I would say Bitch and Auction Block and The Football players are some of our top ones. I love Baby Forest Whitaker more than life itself.
On whether the idea for Key & Peele came up during or after MADtv:
Key: NO. THis idea came up after we were off MADtv. We both had just finished projects and our manager asked if we would like to do a show together. we said of course.
On their sketch comedy influences:
Peele: We are very influenced by Chapelle’s Show. The Rick James Sketch in transcendent. He opened a lot of doors.
On Comedy Central’s censorship:
Key: There really are no sketches that they said we couldn’t air. But they do get to give us notes about sketches i.e. what they like and don’t like. ANd then we discuss all that stuff.
On racial humor:
Peele: The non-racial stuff tends to be our favorite, but we think pointing out the absurdity of race is important.
An (unanswered) question from someone whose username is the same as the show’s director, Peter Atencio’s name:
On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the best, how handsome is your director? Probably pretty handsome, right? You should give him a big raise.-Sincerely, a fan of the show who definitely isn’t your director.
On the writing/shooting process:
Key: The process varies depending on the scene. What you just wrote about us having certain experiences and extrapolating from there is one of our processes. But we also do sketches that our writers bring in cold. With no initial input from us.A typical day when were shooting is about 12-15 hours. we shoot about two scenes a day and watch edits of previous scenes that we shot and do casting for upcoming scenes. It’s always a jam-packed day.I think that a degree has been exceedingly helpful for me in my career. I believe it goes both ways. There are some things, technique-wise, you learn in school that you wouldn’t be able learn out in the world and vice-versa. Sometimes it comes down to efficiency. You might learn something in training in three months that it could take you three years to discover out in the field.