15 Trivia Tidbits About Key and Peele’s Bromance
Key and Peele won themselves a Peabody Award thanks to comic alchemy that “evokes Dave Chappelle one minute, Sid Caesar the next.” You might know a lot about their comedy, even a lot about their show, but what do you know about their friendship?
Here are 15 tidbits that should give you some insight into the beautiful relationship between Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele...
They Became Instant Fans of Each Other Performing in Chicago’s Improv Scene
Peele was part of Boom Chicago while Key was at Second City. “I got to see him perform,” Key explained to Complex, “and I was like, ‘This guy is my brother.’”
“It's the same reaction I had seeing him perform,” Peele added. “He had won two Jeff awards, which is a prestigious comedy award in Chicago, and he was just dominating that city — and rightly so.”
A Mutual Friend Introduced Them
Becky Drysdale, who eventually became a writer on the Key & Peele staff, introduced her two friends at a diner one night. “Jordan and I just chatted for hours,” remembered Key. “Hours! It was one of those 4:30 a.m. deals.”
They Bonded Over Their Biracial Identities
“We exist in a very specific sub-culture in our country,” Key told Complex. “So I think that POV can get really furled in with the two of us really easily.”
Both Appeared on ‘Mad TV’ — After Auditioning Against Each Other
Key and Peele were essentially auditioning for a single slot, but producers were impressed with how well they worked together and decided to cast them both.
They Lived Together for Four Months While Making ‘Mad TV’
"When you spend that much time with somebody, especially a person that you lived with,” Key told Entertainment Weekly, “there is a real connection and there are times when it gets downright symbiotic."
TV Failures Brought Them Together for ‘Key & Peele’
“I was working on a show and the show got canceled, and Jordan was working on a pilot and the pilot didn't get picked up, so we happened to both be free at the same time,” Keele explained to Complex. “Our managers said, ‘What do you guys think about doing (a show) together?’ And we jumped at the chance.”
They Almost Named Their Show ‘Beige’
But ultimately decided against it. “You don’t want to try to get a laugh in the title, because if it doesn’t work, it’s the equivalent of taking a super-wacky picture,” Peele told The A.V. Club. “You don’t want to put a rubber chicken in your mouth.”
They Created YouTube Alter-Egos to Critique Their Own Show
“With Vandaveon and Mike, it brings certain paradigms into the light for us to discuss,” Key said of the pair’s online counterparts. “If you think that what Key and Peele are doing is like what Vandaveon and Mike are doing, I would say that you have not watched the program.”
They Have a Complementary Writing Process
“Keegan’s writing process is really on his feet,” Peele told The Week. “He’s the master of using improv as a writer, and embodying the character — as we’re writing it. It gives us the chance to say, ‘Oh, that’s a great idea.’ And the writer can offer him back something. It’s that sort of give and take. I'm more of a fingers on the… typewriter? Fingers on the keys type of guy.”
Improv Training Made Them Natural Partners
“Our comedy background is sketch and improvisation, so I would say our wheelhouse is working with other people and working with each other,” Peele explained to Complex.
“The way we’re trained is intrinsically collaborative,” Key agreed in the same interview. “So we don’t really know how to do it without being teammates.”
Even When Not Working Together, They Can Still Mind-Meld
The two haven’t worked together for a while, but Key told Rolling Stone it only takes about 15 minutes to get back into the groove. “Then we have a mind-meld where we start sharing the same brain again.”
They Turned Down a Chance to Work with President Obama
Obama wanted some comedy help to explain his new health-care system to America, but Key and Peele couldn’t make the timing work. “We literally couldn’t fit it into our schedules,” Key lamented to Entertainment Weekly. So the president had to make do with Zach Galifianakis.
They Made Movies Like ‘Keanu’ Because They Love an Audience
The reason the comics love movies, Peele told Thrillist, is because of the collaborative experience: “We come from theater. We did a lot of live comedy. We're used to being in a room where when there's a laugh, it's a laugh. It’s contagious, and the whole audience gets it.”
It Was Easy to Reunite for the Stop-Motion Animated ‘Wendell and Wild’
Key likened the relationship to a dance partner you’ve had for years and years. “You come back, learn a new routine, but then you know you’re not gonna do the routine again for another five months,” he told Entertainment Weekly. “It's that riding-a-bike feeling.”
They Continue to Cheer Each Other On
Peele told the New York Times that it’s exciting to check out each other’s projects, even when they’re not working together: “We’re each other’s biggest cheerleaders.”