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Innovation Through Improvisation: How "Key & Peele" Busted The Formula And Created Something New

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As devoted students of improv comedy, Key and Peele wield their individuality like weapons. It’s an arsenal that prominently features two lifetimes’ worth of biracial experience and a skein of nerdy interests. (When I first meet the two, they’re riffing on Game of  Thrones, the source of a running gag of references on their show.) That duality has helped the pair create a show unlike any other on television. Sketches are as likely to explain the electoral college as they are to explore the condition of not feeling black enough. Every scene is a beautifully shot cinematic opus, edited down to a YouTube-friendly three minutes, and capped with a dark-twist ending.

“I think the mark of any great sketch show is that it’s a true outgrowth of the creators’ organic voice,” says David Wain, a performer in the seminal ’90s comedy troupe The State, who has cast Key and Peele in several movies he’s directed. “They’re not trying to fit someone else’s mold. They’re both just so damned talented and versatile and funny.”


key and peele gif

key and peele gif

key and peele gif

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