It’s Funny and Games with Keegan-Michael Key of Comedy Central’s ‘Key & Peele’
Whether he’s Obama’s linguistic interpreter Luther, a black bar mitzvah performer, a dragalicious babe or a bro at the bar Key, along with partner Peele, are ready to bring the gut-busting hilarity.
The Ride caught up with Keegan Michael Key between tapings for the show and he talked about, among other things, Key & Peele, coping with “crainial flatulence” and if he got crunk upon hearing the news about his Comedy Central show.
The Ride: Hey Keegan-Michael! Thanks for the taking the time to chat. Congratulations on the new show! What was the first thing you did when you heard you got a show on Comedy Central and did it involve any nudity?
Keegan-Michael: Check this out! I had been on time for every moment of the preliminary process, every moment! Then the day we got the call I was on a lengthy hike with my stepson and completely missed the call! We came home, did some abs and then when I was making a protein shake.
I finally checked my answering machine and saw there was a message from one of my follow producers. So I ran upstairs in a single bound, mind you, and checked my phone. There was a text from my manager and all it said was, “DUDE!!!!!!!!!!!” I couple of screaming jags later and some riotous jumping up and down with my stepson, and the rest was history. There was some nudity later, the celebratory variety, you know, that happens in the boudoir when you tell your wife you got a job.
The Ride: What should we expect to see on Key & Peele or should we be prepared for anything and everything?
Keegan-Michael: You should be prepared for anything. There is a healthy dose of racial humor, but also some bizarre stuff and some super silly stuff. We go all over the place!
The Ride: You are working with you partner in comedy, Jordan Peele, a fellow Madtv alum. But even the best of buddies can get on each others nerves. What are three things that are not so great about Jordan? You know, like ‘He chews with his mouth open’. Well, does he?
Keegan-Michael: Jordan is so completely chill, that I am hard pressed to find one thing. But when we were writing the pilot, his glasses were jacked up. I mean he really needed a new pair and it made me crazy, how many times a day he would have to put the lenses back into the frames. I just wanted to scream, dude we got a job, get some SPECS!
The Ride: I know you do improv with my friend actor Jordan Black in a show he created called The Black Version (Yes, I’m name dropping…because I can). Have you ever experienced a brain fart when you’re doing something like that? How do you combat cranial flatulence?
Keegan-Micheal: The only time I seem to experience cranial flatulence (that is awesome, by the way) is when I get hung up on how funny everyone else is being tonight, or is the audience going to like me tonight? I should be thinking about what is happening in the story right at this moment and nothing else. The best way to “get rid of the gas” as it were is to really focus on the last thing that was just said, or concentrate on how to enhance the story that we are telling. It’s never completely terrifying, because we always have each others’ back.
The Ride: Back to the Past: Loved MADtv. How fun was it to work on MADtv? Or maybe it wasn’t fun, you tell me.
Keegan-Michael: Hmmm. For me it was 98 percent fun. Honestly. As an actor, I was fulfilled, because I consider it my job to interpret comedically what the writer create. As a writer, sometimes it could be frustrating because you don’t always get your scenes on the show no matter how funny you think they are. With Key & Peele, we get to do virtually anything we want.
The Ride: Everyone remembers their first…I think…Do you remember the first time you got a laugh? What did you do to get it?
Keegan-Michael: I could not tell you the exact moment, but it would have been in middle school. The first moment I can remember distinctly, would be in my college improv troupe. Having that sense of fun and control and having the audience in the palm of your hand. That will never leave me. Oh yeah, in middle school I was at the babysitter’s, you know those after school programs, and we did a production of Wizard of Oz in the basement. I played the Scarecrow and every time I fell down the other kids laughed. But, the crucial moment is always the second time you fall down. If they laugh that second time, you’re on to something.
Now for a Bit of Randomness
Shaken or stirred?
Every day I am stirred, by my Boxer. But I like it rough, so let’s go with shaken.
Butts or Boobs?
Hands down, butts. Or should I say, face down.
Weave or Wig?
I like the classics, I’m gonna say wig.
Lil Wayne or Lil Kim?
Lil Wayne and if you watch the show you will see why.
My favorite Atlanta Housewife is_____________
There’s got to be someone named Lakeisha, right? I’ll just go with Lakeisha.
The Ride: Finally…Fill in the blank, “All I ever wanted________________”