This article was written by Jason Wiese and was last updated on July 1, 2019.
Get Out and Us director Jordan Peele and actor Keegan-Michael Key have both won Academy Awards for their work. The two had previously appeared on some of the funniest comedy sketch shows ever, in my opinion.
After only three years on Comedy Central, Key & Peele has left a lasting impression on the nation’s funny bone since its 2015 finale. As Wendell or Mr. Garvey, the duo was able to capture the lightning in a bottle (once, literally) by creating hysterically funny yet strange sketches.
If you ask me, it was a difficult task to pick just ten of the funniest sketches (and I can assure you, it was). These are the best Key & Peele sketches, in my opinion.
10. Text Message Confusion (Season 4, Episode 3)
This maddeningly relevant sketch opens with Keegan-Michael Key struggling to reach a too-stoned-to-realize Jordan Peele over SMS to meet at a bar, one of the few times the duo portrays themselves in Key & Peele. When Key receives a text reply from Peele, he takes it the wrong way.
Keegan-Michael While Key assumes that Jordan Peele’s text messages have the same tone, Peele’s texts are sincere because he assumes that Key has the same intentions as he does in his texts. Before he realizes that Peele meant drinks when he said “First round’s mine,” Key transforms from bitter psychosis to apocalyptic dungeon warrior and storms into the bar, ready to beat him up.
Although Keegan-Michael Key’s gift for hysterical, high-energy humor is on full display in the “Text Message Confusion” skit, the key (no pun intended) to this Key & Peele classic is how relatable the situation is, given how easily people misinterpret text messages. Of course, in Jordan Peele’s trademark style, the film concludes by tossing historical accuracy out the window.
9. Little Homie (Season 4, Episode 2)
Even before the release of his 2017 Academy Award-winning thriller Get Out, I had a hunch that Jordan Peele would make a great horror filmmaker. That it was a Key & Peele sketch was obvious because, like in this surprisingly unnerving sketch, any sketch incorporating elements of horror maintained its serious tone until the punchline.
In the beginning, former convict Clive “Double Down” Ruggins (Keegan-Michael Key) believes his parole officer, Daniel Tate (Jordan Peele), will use a conversational method he learned while working in the juvenile justice system: a puppet named Little Homie. Clive thinks talking to a puppet is absurd until his exchange with Little Homie takes an unexpected turn for the worse.
Before, Little Homie quickly turns into an unsettling experience as it progresses, and the punchline is executed brilliantly despite how obvious it may seem looking back. Key & Peele consistently delivers laughs and thrills, and this episode is no exception.
8. Marbles (Season 5, Episode 9)
Considering how Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele come up with certain sketches can be perplexing and even maddening at times. This Key & Peele sketch from the final season of the show’s run has one of the most original and brilliantly obscure concepts ever.
First day of work for new assistant state’s attorney for Arizona (Keegan Michael-Key). (Jordan Peele) Key becomes fascinated with the jar of marbles on the state’s attorney Winslow Thachet’s desk during a conversation, a fascination that becomes increasingly problematic.
Even before Keegan Michael-Key asks Jordan Peele’s character about the marbles, you’re cracking up. However, you have no idea how utterly irrational and terrifying the situation will turn out to be. Such scenes make me awestruck by Key & Peele’s incredible inventiveness.
7. I Said Bitch (Season 1, Episode 1)
Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele’s self-titled sketch show got off to a strong start right out of the gate. Key & Peele kicked off their career with a bang in one of their very first sketches.
With Keegan-Michael Key trying to explain to Craig (Jordan Peele) why they were late to Craig’s house for an afternoon meet-up, the two begin to trade one-sided stories about fights they have had with their wives. While talking, they become increasingly concerned that their wives are listening in on their conversation, which causes them to shift the location of their conversation.
When it comes to relationship humor, Key & Peele never holds back, but they also know how to keep things light with clever high-concept pieces like this one. If you can find a safe place to say it, it’s also very quotable.
6. Valets (Various)
You know how some sketches on Saturday Night Live start off promising but then fall flat after repeating the same formula over and over? I can’t say the same for any of Key & Peele’s recurring sketches.
Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele star as a pair of hotel valets who are crazed about pop culture. They discuss their favorite films and television shows while they wait for the next person to arrive, reciting almost the entire Game of Thrones, wondering why Gotham’s criminals would even think of messing with “The Batmans,” and praising the filmographies of Die Hard’s “Bruce Willy” and Taken’s “Liam Neesons” as well as popping up in the 17th century to criticize Shakespeare’s Othello.
To this day, I’m baffled as to why the valets show their admiration for these pop culture icons in such misunderstood and exuberant ways, and why they consistently use incorrect pluralization. When it comes to Key & Peele characters, one thing is for sure: they’re aggressively funny and always end on a high note… literally.
5. Black Ice (Season 3, Episode 10)
Key & Peele is one of the few shows that uses razor-sharp wit to comment on social issues like race. ‘Black Ice,’ by Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, is my favorite work of satire on race.
When the dangerous winter driving condition known as “black ice” is described (and pronounced) by their white news anchors in a demeaning way, a Minnesota weatherman and a field reporter (Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele) take offense. “Oppressive white snow” and the numerous unfair criticisms to which the film “black ice” is frequently subjected are both attacked by Key and Peele in response to this indictment of “black ice”.
In the style of Jonathan Swift or George Orwell’s social satire, the white anchors’ true opinions are revealed in hilariously blunt fashion at the end of the segment, disguised as a discussion about weather conditions. You can watch “Black Ice” over and over again and it will never get old because it is a Key & Peele sketch that never gets old.
4. Substitute Teacher (Various)
Being named “Aaron” must be difficult in the post-Key & Peele era. How could anyone resist hearing “You done messed up, A-A-Ron” on a daily basis from the Aarons of the world?
Keegan-Michael Key’s Mr. Garvey, an unflappable inner-city substitute teacher, had a hard time fitting into a classroom full of middle-class white students as evidenced by his inability to pronounce anyone’s name when we first met him. To be honest, the best part is when he tells each student that he will not accept their names as real and only one student, “Tim-O-Thee,” is smart enough to play along (Jordan Peele).
Further appearances by Mr. Garvey would make him one of the series’ most memorable characters and even inspire a spinoff film, which has yet to be announced. Even unrelated sketches have used the character’s essential quotability, but we’ll get to that in a minute.
3. Prepared for Terries (Season 5, Episode 1)
There are some things that you have no idea why you find amusing, but you do it anyway without thinking about it. After years of trying to put into words how much I enjoy Key & Peele’s “Prepped for Terries” skit, I’ll give it my all now and see how far this gets me.
Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele star as two men on an airplane with bizarre haircuts and facial hair sculptures in one of Key & Peele’s most perplexing and outrageous sketches yet. These thugs relentlessly harass a fellow passenger (guest star Malcolm Barrett) by promising to “fireboard those motherjammers,” among other bizarre expressions that become increasingly terrifying as the context becomes clear.
This is one of the strangest things I’ve ever seen, and I don’t just mean the Key & Peele sketches with their outlandish haircuts and facial hair. This is one of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen. This is one of the most perplexing pieces of media I’ve ever seen, but I can’t stop watching it because it makes me laugh even harder each time.
2. East/West College Bowl (Season 2, Episode 2)
D’Brickashaw Ferguson, an offensive lineman for the New York Jets, was a surprise to Jordan Peele, who was assured by Keegan-Michael Key it was just the beginning of football players’ “unique” names. As a result of his confusion (and some “medical” assistance), Key & Peele created this classic sketch.
A collegiate football game is the setting for this sketch, which introduces the athletes who will be playing. Players Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peel introduce themselves one by one, each with a name that is more ridiculous than the previous.
Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele’s rotating appearances and priceless delivery for each character combine to create a gut-wrenching three minutes and fifteen seconds that you could watch for hours on end without getting tired of. At least there were three more sketches with the same concept to come, including one with real football players.
1. Luther, Obama’s Anger Translator (Various)
During press conferences and interviews, former President Barack Obama was known for his calm demeanor, as if he were suppressing some underlying anger. There’s a way out for Keegan Michael Key and Jordan Peele.
Key & Peele introduced us to President Obama’s personal anger translator, Luther (Keegan-Michael Key) (Jordan Peele). Luter transforms Obama’s measured delivery into scathing tirades laced with a ferocious energy that sends him parading up and down the Oval Office.
This recurring sketch features Keegan-Michael Key’s gift for physical comedy as well as Jordan Peele’s dead-on Barack Obama impersonation. In fact, Obama himself invited Key to play Luther at the 2015 White House Correspondent Dinner because the character was so well-liked.