Finding the perfect soul mate can be tough, and most matchmakers don’t recommend searching for Mr. Right at the club. But for Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, a small, dingy club in Chicago was the perfect spot for their fairy-tale bromance to start.
But it wasn’t just any club — certainly not the kind of club their popular characters Meegan and Andre frequent in Key and Peele’s Emmy-nominated sketch comedy show appropriately titled “Key & Peele.” The pair met at the famed Second City Comedy Club, where they “fell in comedy love,” Peele nostalgically recalls.
They later worked as fellow cast members on “MADtv” before launching their two-man show on Comedy Central in 2011, and life couldn’t be any better.
“It’s been a 12-year honeymoon,” Key says, “and I think a lot of it, for both of us, is we have to do it for the kids — and the scenes and the comedy are the kids.”
What’s the secret to the lasting marriage of comedy stars?
“If we come in we try to make each other laugh, that relationship is never going to die,” Peele concludes.
“Now when the rug comes from under ‘Key & Peele’ and everyone hates us, and ‘this ship has sailed’ and ‘we’ve jumped the shark’ … We’ll have a kumite fight,” Peele deadpans, as Key breaks out in hysterical laughter.
“Key & Peele” returns for its fourth season of hilariously edgy sketches on Wednesday. The new and expanded 22-episode season boasts guest stars Rashida Jones, Chelsea Peretti and Jason Ritter, among others.
Without giving too much away, the upcoming season will include a sketch based on Reginald VelJohnson, known for his role as Carl Winslow on the 1990s sitcom “Family Matters,” that Peele says is a “highly reverential sketch.”
“It’s about as reverential as we get this season,” Key concurs.
The season also should be a fun one for “Game of Thrones” fans.
“Any sketch where there’s a preamble, we’re always, always inevitably talking about ‘Game of Thrones,’ ” Key admits.
The comedy duo has garnered awards and accolades, including a 2013 Peabody Award. Among their fans is President Barack Obama (the two joke that the president text messages them from time to time), thanks to Peele’s on-point impression of the president, accompanied by Key’s intense character, Luther, Obama’s anger translator.
The duo attributes a lot of the show’s success to director Peter Atencio, who at a recent appearance at the San Diego Comic-Con International scoffed at the recognition and quipped that his process is pretty simple: “Getting really stoned and watching a lot of movies.”
It also helps the show has an Emmy-nominated hair and makeup team led by Amanda Mofield and Scott Wheeler. It’s a team that’s so good they make Peele convincingly beautiful — at least to Key, who admitted that while on set he caught a glimpse of Peele dressed as the high-pitched character Meegan, and had to do a double take.
“Look at those luscious lips,” Key says, playfully batting his eyes at Peele.
That said, it’s not a surprise that the two are excited to announce that Meegan and Andre will return next season, among other fan favorites like Wendell Sanders and many of their popular football characters.
“What really is the most fun part about ‘Key & Peele,’ and what people seem to like about the show on top of the production and everything, is the type of things that we both laugh at,” Peele says. “This is the meeting of Key & Peele; this is the meeting of comedic minds.”
As if the two couldn’t get more sappy, Key adds: “They’re seeing what we share in common. They’re seeing that in this particular realm of the world two people whose heart beats at once.”
And that is no joke.
What’s also no joke is how hard the guys work. Both Key and Peele appeared on FX’s “Fargo” in May and have been working on a cartoon series for Comedy Central as well as a new movie in collaboration with Judd Apatow (“Knocked Up” and “40-Year-Old Virgin”). Release dates for the new projects were not disclosed.
“It’s just such a fun time,” Peele concludes. “I couldn’t do this with anybody else. We’ve got something special.”
Mariecar Mendoza is a Features Digital Director for the Los Angeles News Group.