Comedy Central’s Emmy-nominated comedy series is closing its curtain after five seasons. According to the Wrap, the dynamic duo of comedy Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, collectively known as Key & Peele, are ending their successful sketch comedy run, with audiences being the last to know.
While the two burst into prominence following Key & Peele’s 2012 debut, their comedy relationship predates the award winning show. Meeting at a sketch comedy club in Chicago, Detroit native Keegan-Michael Key and native New Yorker Jordan Peele started work together on Mad TV, where they perfected their comedic craft.
After debuting Key & Peele, the comedy team went on to create some of comedy’s most memorable characters, like inner city substitute teacher Mr. Garvey, played by Key, known for his oh-so-incorrect pronunciations of the most common names, and relentless movie fanatics, The Valets.
But the most recognizable Key & Peele creation has become Luther, President Obama’s Anger Translator, who appeared at the very official White House Correspondents’ Dinner as, well, himself.
Key and Peele, overwhelmed that their character resonated so well with viewers, credit the impetus for their show to President Obama.
I’m not sure we’d have a show if he hadn’t been elected president.”
After winning the 2013 Peabody Award for excellence in programming, Key & Peele continued its meteoric rise to stardom with an Emmy nomination and a place on Time‘s 100 Most Influential People that same year, followed by four more Emmy nominations in 2014, ending with eight Emmy nominations for this year.
Time called the duo as “smart, satirical, and political” all at the same time. Part of Key and Peele’s charm is their ability to use comedy as a mirror for social commentary, covering issues from social media to black life in America. Peele addressed their take on commentary and comedy in an interview with CBS News.
“We love to use audiences’ expectations against them.”
“I think our intention was that people go, ‘Oh, I’m not gonna be able to laugh at this because it deals with an atrocity.”
Key & Peele loved not only using audiences’ expectations against them, they loved pushing social hot buttons on race, sexuality, and politics. One of their most popular sketches, “Negro Town,” received over 4 million views and counting.
Key and Peele are leaving sketch comedy on a high note, with fans wanting more, and they plan to oblige. Key & Peele may be leaving sketch comedy, but they won’t be leaving Comedy Central completely. They’ll be moving on in the filmmaking footsteps of comic predecessors, promising a Police Academy reboot in the near future.
Key & Peele’s series finale is slated to air this September.
[Photo by Kevin Winter / Getty Images]