They could not have timed it better, as the premiere aired a day after the Season 2 casting announcements were made. Also, Peele usually plays a female character when a sketch needs it, but his appearance in the opening titles as women from past sketches ties perfectly into “True Detective’s” continual lack of a female lead and relegation of female characters to the sidelines as spurned loves or sexual decoration.
It is sometimes difficult to tell which parts of “Key & Peele” are the funniest sketches because a few strong segments can cause a wave of laughter that carries less funny ideas to the top with the rest. That is not the case on Wednesdays’ (Sept. 24) season premiere, which had no weak links and was a welcome return to the wonderful world of parody and satire that Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele continue to build.
Easily the highlight of the episode was their decision to eschew the studio audience bits between skits in favor of multiple “True Detective” bits. The pieces before and after commercial breaks where they were in a car as if they were Rust and Marty heading to a case seems like nothing other than material the guys cooked up when they were watching the show over the summer together and subsequently decided were good enough to include here.
Many of the other sketches came and went quickly, with only the previously-released Gay Wedding bit getting some room to stretch out and breath. It would be practically irresponsible not to include an Obama piece after almost a year away, but the one tonight was a scant few minutes with more chuckles than outright laughter.
It is a calculated move to give the audience what they want in an Obama sketch without wasting better material on such an already-strong episode. It gets a little lost in the shuffle and is one of the less memorable Peele-as-Obama appearances but if that is intentional it is a good decision.
After three seasons, Key and Peele have not lost their touch when it comes to racial commentary and the mockery of societal absurdities. The alien invasion clip that centers around identifying the invaders based on if their racist stereotypes are accurate and Key’s female empowerment pop singer that is actually a man manipulating the female population is the two comics on auto-pilot.
Both the skewed messaging of certain celebrities and the hilarity of people pretending they aren’t racist is stuff that has been done already, but it doesn’t matter if the material is a twist on what came before because that vein of satire remains great when it is in their hands.
What was everyone else’s favorite sketch of the premiere?