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In-Depth Look Into the Comedy of KEY & PEELE

Comedy Central brought audiences some of the most hilarious sketch work ever produced with its five seasons of Key & Peele. What’s more is that the brand of comedy that Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele created usually managed to say something on a deeper level that made us think as much as it made us laugh. A recent video essay by the folks over at Wisecrack aimed to explain this a bit further.

Overanalyzing any form of comedy can sometimes steal away some of the laughs but with Key & Peele, it somehow manages to heighten the experience. Wisecrack’s Jared goes into great detail as to why the show and the comedy duo’s other work hits a special part of our funny bones by breaking down a few sketches and shedding light on the sort of comedic formula you can expect in each of them.

Though applying math to comedy seems like a death sentence for laughter, the one above tends to work with a lot of what Key & Peele create. In most cases, their sketches spend a lot of time setting the rules for a primary joke and hitting on it a few times. If we were given just that then K&P would still be hilarious but the duo almost always go for a final punchline that specifically subverts the world they’ve built. Additionally, that final punch either legitimizes the absurdity they’ve created or is an honest commentary on something wrong/weird/off in the real world. When it’s both, the entire sketch and why we initially thought it was funny can take on a whole new meaning.

What’s your favorite Key & Peele sketch? Does it fit Wisecrack‘s formula? Let’s discuss in the comments below!

Images: Comedy Central, Wisecrack

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