Key & Peele, the acclaimed show that has been gracing Comedy Central for five seasons, will end its run this September, according to the Wrap.
“This is our final season – and it’s not because of Comedy Central, it’s us,” Key said. “It was just time for us to explore other things, together and apart. I compare it to Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor. We might make a movie and then do our own thing for three years and then come back and do another movie.” He added, “I’m thinking we could do that every three years – take a year, go bang out a movie. That’s the plan right now.”
The current season, which began airing July 8, displays a discernible shift in tone from the previous four. The first few seasons offered up copious amounts of yelling and clever bombast, drawing comparisons to Dave Chappelle’s brand of comedy. But this season has, so far, jettisoned a lot of the outbursts and rambunctiousness (though not all of it: The season premiere has a locker-room sketch that perfectly encapsulates the feeling of ramming your head into a locker to get pumped up for the big game). The short interstitial scenes of Key and Peele talking to an audience were replaced by casual, almost surreal conversations between the two. The show’s last three episodes have been permeated by an almost pensive air, which makes the abrupt outbursts even more jarring — and effective. Most of the show’s episodes have been helmed by Peter Atencio, who deserves recognition for his deft ability to help the comedians balance their incisive racial commentary with acerbic humor (the most recent episode features Peele as a bearded savior of impoverished African children who asks for donations of beards instead of money).
Key & Peele isn’t just a great comedy sketch show — it’s an important show, offering a not-white-guy perspective that prime-time television lacks. It’s sad to see it go, but don’t worry: Given the duo’s tenacity, it’s likely they’ll have another project off the ground soon. For now you can watch their brilliant sketch “Negrotown” below.