One thing that makes Trevor Noah an amazing comedian is his ability to do realistic impersonations. He could answer the phone and you would think Nelson Mandela was on the other end. If he told a story in which Jacob Zuma was speaking to Julius Malema, and you were not looking in Noah’s direction, you would think the two were in the room.
But this kind of comedy is not unique to Noah. Keegan-Michael Key and his buddy Jordan Peele bring you Key & Peele, a comedy sketch in which the two comedians give us hilarious impressions of some famous people. It is almost like watching a news bulletin, only it’s told by these talented comedians.
As both are ex-MADtv employees you know that their comedic material has no boundaries. They cover anything from the US presidency to the Vatican leadership and anything in between. In fact, US President Barack Obama is on record as saying that he watched one episode in which he was featured in a skit and even he thought Key and Peele funny.
Every episode starts with the two comics chatting in front of a live studio crowd. Behind them is a screen they use to screen some skits they did on several subjects. The audience in studio and those at home have lapped it up since the show’s 2011 inception, so much so that it is now in it’s third season.
Even though Key and Peele are naturally funny dudes, the success of the show depends a lot on the eight-man team of creative writers. They are the creative backbone on which the show rests. They do research on any topical issues that may be funny but also relevant to their target market.
To widen their reach, the two have a very successful YouTube channel which they run as a commentary of their TV episodes. There they play the characters Vandaveon and Mike who are TV analysts and have an keen interest in making the Key & Peele episodes even funnier. It is almost as if they cross the line online where TV will not allow them to. This venture is also successful, judging by the number of online views they get.
• Check out Key & Peele from this Sunday on Comedy Central (DStv channel 122) at 8.55pm.