As a lifelong enthusiast of comedy teams like Abbott and Costello, Laurel and Hardy, Crosby and Hope, Martin and Lawrence, and The Three Stooges, I can’t begin to tell you how thrilled I am that I live in a time when one of the greatest duos in history is building up their body of work.
Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, collectively known as Key and Peele, began their story together on MadTV, where they quickly demonstrated their natural chemistry and work ethic. In a competitive ensemble cast, they were drawn together by their similarities and differences.
The first time I think I ever saw Key and Peele was in “Weird” Al’s music video for “White and Nerdy,” although it would be years before I realized it was them.
Eventually they would get their own sketch comedy show on Comedy Central, and that’s where most of the world discovered their perfectionism and excellent taste.
They became so successful that their characters were being used to advertise for the very things they were looking at with a satirical eye.
Then they started popping up everywhere.
Soon one of their characters basically became a reality on an international stage.
And finally, the actors defied all expectation and boldly went where no other comedy duo had gone.
That last video is from the critically acclaimed dramedy “Fargo.”
The success of Key and Peele should come as no surprise to anyone who loves comedy. Sketch is generally disposable comedy, and these two guys willingly work on one segment for months and then dispose of it when it doesn’t work.
And now we have “Keanu,” which came about when Jordan Peele and Alex Rubens, who had written together on the Comedy Central show, challenged themselves to write the ideal Key and Peele movie.
By this point, I don’t know how in-depth I really need to go with this review. Obviously, I am a big fan of their work (both as a team and as individual performers), so I think I really only have to answer one question.
Does it disappoint or does it satisfy?
It’s fantastic. If you are a fan of these two, you’re going to love every moment of it.
It does everything you want Key and Peele to do in a movie. They play interesting, nuanced, energetic characters. They include their deep love of action movies. They tackle the issues that come along with being of mixed race and what it means to be a “black man” in our society. And they work in another set of characters. It’s fun, visually appealing, funny, and plays out without a lull. Is it a perfect movie? No. But it does make a fan like me so excited about the prospects of the future for these two amazing talents.