The 10 funniest Key & Peele sketches showing their love of cinema

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Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele cracked us up with meme-generating sketches across multiple seasons of Key & Peele – streaming on Neon. A running theme through the show is their deep love of cinema, and James Nokise goes in search of the funniest examples. 

Arguably the last great TV sketch show to come out of the U.S., Key & Peele was an absolute comedic force of the 2010s. For five seasons, and 53 episodes, Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele hilariously deconstructed American pop culture, making themselves stars in the process.

Peele would go on to become a celebrated maverick in horror cinema with Get Out, Us and Nope, while Key would win acclaim for his roles in series like Parks and Recreation and Fargo, also showing up to generate laughs in films like Wonka and Dolemite Is My Name.

The two met while being cast for Mad TV. Legend tells that they were competing for the same spot, but their comedic chemistry was so strong, producers decided to bring them both on. They quickly became fan favourites before going on to have their own critically acclaimed show, generating some of the best comedy moments on screen in recent history.

The image of Jordan Peele’s character sweating profusely during a sketch about wiping your internet history has become one of the internet’s most recognisable images, and Key’s character of Luther—Anger Management Translator to President Obama—made such an impression that he joined the commander and chief on stage at the 2015 White House Correspondents Dinner. As endorsements go, that’s pretty high up there. The duo’s recurring skit about the unorthodox names of collegiate football players became so well known, that a few seasons in, several actual players started to cameo in it.

Key and Peele won a Peabody Award, a couple of Emmys, and finished just in time for its many short sketches to provide a plethora of content for social media’s emerging video algorithms. Strangely, the show never really found its way onto New Zealand television. However, with all episodes now available on Neon, there’s plenty of opportunity to see what all the hype has been about.

While some of their sketches have proved borderline prophetic—such as the reason for OutKast never reuniting, and the escalating trash talk of MMA fighters—a running theme through all their seasons was a deep love of cinema.

So with that in mind, here’s 10 K&P sketches for cinematic fans to check out:

Retired Military Specialist

It’s a scene any action movie fan will recognise; the grizzled army veteran returns to his solitary house in the woods to find his old military commander waiting for him. There’s a mission they need his help for, just not in the way he expects…

There’s a Murderer in the Hall of Mirrors

Straight out of an ’80s action thriller, but with a nod to Enter the Dragon’s epic finale and a splash of Monty Python, the true star of the skit is Peele’s incredible vocal work that really captures a time when bad guys, if they didn’t have a foreign accent, would develop some strange quirk with their voice.

Strike Force Eagle 3: The Reckoning

Keegan-Michael Key stars as Cal Flavell starring as Jamison Teague, a mulleted martial arts master with one very effective manoeuvre. A glorious send up not just of ’80s American one-man-army movies, but the particular offshoot that was the direct-to-video sequel.

L.A. Vice

Around 2:20mins of this sketch is an absolutely beautiful ode to Michael Mann’s unique cinematic stylings. In fact, if the punchline didn’t kick in, you’d probably be wondering if some mastermind had simply green-lit a Key & Peele Miami Vice remake. Also, big props to the fantastic power synth underscoring everything.

Slow Brotion

This one’s for lovers of John Woo, and anyone who has a complicated relationship with Zack Snyder. Filmed entirely in slow motion, the duo make a point of showing that, while things will always have an epicness when slowed down, it also prolongs any embarrassing moments that can occur.


Think of what it might look like if Ridley Scott had directed the Tag movie. Did anyone know the prank where you tell someone they have something on their shirt and then flick their nose is called Flicker? Well, they do now, and this sketch sends that interaction up to the nth degree.

The World’s Worst Liar

A treat for fans of The Usual Suspects, it even comes up with a unique twist at the end. What exactly would have happened in Bryan Singer’s 1995 thriller if the back wall of the interrogating detectives office wasn’t so cluttered with handy material?

Being a Deranged Clown’s Prisoner

It’s Saw… but not as you know it. What if being tortured in a dungeon isn’t actually the worst part of your life? How would that affect your attitude to being held captive with serious injuries? Two optimistic prisoners dare to ask the important questions, with an almost unrecognisable Brendan Hunt (Ted Lasso’s Coach Beard) playing their psycho clown captor.


Somehow Peele’s dying child in this sketch is scarier than 90% of the M. Night Shaylaman horror films it references. What happens when a disturbed child is signed up for the Make-a-Wish Foundation’s scheme? The results are disturbing but hilarious.

Non-Scary Movie

And finally, a sketch for all the fans who’ve gone to see a late-night horror film and then had to do a walk somewhere directly afterwards. Two friends, convinced that what they’ve just seen was not scary, decide to escort each other to the car park so they can… keep talking about how non-scary everything was.

Honourable mention – An Unwelcome Reunion

Naming the film reference would give the game away, but this one’s worth a look just to make you go “Oh yeah, what would the aftermath of that be like”. It also has one of the show’s best punchlines.