Key & Peele, "Episode Five": ain't I a stinker?

Quick Take: Key & Peele, "Episode Five"
"You do not stop for a bitch with a clipboard." - Peele 

Review: Key & Peele, "Episode Five"
(S0105) I'm used to being out of step with the general public when it comes matters of taste. I mean, this is the number one song on the Billboard Hot 100, for chissakes! But, aside from a few notable exceptions, I can usually count on my critical brethren to like just about the same shows as I do. That's why we're critics, we're more discerning than your average viewer. So why don't I find Key & Peele funny? 

Everyone else, including critics, seems to think the show is a laugh riot. The A.V. Club, a publication whose reviews I typically (okay, sometimes) agree with, has reviewed all five episodes and has not given a single grade lower than a B-. Hell, they gave two episodes (including "Episode Five") A's. To find a comparable five-episode run of grades, look no further than the fourth season of Breaking Bad. The A.V. Club gave the first five episodes (which include classics like "Box Cutter", "Thirty Eight Snub", and "Bullet Points") three B's and two A's -- the exact same number of A's and B's as the first five episode of Key & Peele. What's wrong with me? I like to laugh, too!

Maybe I'm overthinking things, or expecting too much. I don't hate Key or Peele. Their comedy stylings are perfectly tolerable. But for some reason, I almost never laugh at the sketches. There were two bits on last night's "Episode Five" that I rather enjoyed, but even these failed to illicit so much as a giggle. I swear, I'm not made of stone!

The sketches that I like the best tend to be ones that take the least amount of time to set-up. My favorite sketch of the night can be summed up in two sentences: A gay couple gains the right to get married. One guy wants to get married, the other doesn't. The other sketch I found amusing can be simmered down even further: A chauffeur who initially appears to be simply parroting the things a passenger says turns out to be a complete psychopath.

I find myself getting bored with the more elaborate bits on Key & Peele. I like subverting old tropes as much as the next guy, but I don't need to see two "magical Negros" battle one another like Harry Potter and Voldemort (he was the bad guy, right?). On second thought, that idea is actually pretty hilarious on paper. Not so much on my TV screen. In fact, a lot of the ideas behind Key and Peele's sketches are funny ones, I just don't find Key & Peele very funny. I really wish I did.

By Lucas High

About the author

Lucas High is a man on a mission. That mission: to watch television for a living. Drop him a line at, on Facebook and on Twitter at

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