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Race to the Top: The Meaning of Key and Peele

Race to the Top The Meaning of Key and Peele


Can we just start with the most obvious thing? The show was called Key and Peele. Excusing the “e” in that second surname, it was a title that seemed like a directive. Whether “peel” was to “reveal or expose” and “key” was an adjective meaning “crucial,” a verb meaning “to scar or deface,” or a noun referring to any device that unlocks and permits access, Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele have spent the past five years performing as advertised. And tonight, they’re going to stop, ending their half-hour Comedy Central show and along with it the virality of its sketches and its difficult achievement of locating what’s funny about race without losing what’s disturbing about racism. They’re doing this near the apex of both the culture’s awareness of the show and the nation’s need for it.

Stashed in: Key and Peele, Grantland!

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Why would they stop? The world needs them!

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