We’re currently in the midst of the fifth and final season of the critically heralded, blisteringly funny sketch series Key & Peele. Week after week, Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele have been delivering subversive satire and wacky gags. And we hate to see them go. But an interview with the show’s primary helmer has shined some light on the whys of this final curtain, and what to expect in the big finale.
Speaking to THR, Peter Atencio explained that Key & Peele’s success is part of the reason it’s ending. Of course, he didn’t put it that way. But the show’s demanding schedule meant that both its stars and Atencio had to turn down a lot of other gigs. (Though you wouldn’t know it the way the Key has been popping up in everything from Tomorrowland and Pitch Perfect 2 to Vacation and Rick and Morty.)
But rather than bailing, the team decided to give Comedy Central two more seasons, four and five, to close out the show. And in that time, they dared to do the sketches that always seemed to tricky or “unproducible” before. “We tried to go out with a blowout in terms of everyone got the stuff that they always wanted to do,” Atencio explained. “Everyone gets their favorites that we never shot into the pile. It ended up being very challenging.”
Like this one: (NSFW)
And if you thought that was Key & Peel at its best, just wait. “Ultimately, we engineered the last episodes, and particularly the very last episode, to be a nice send-off for us.” Atencio added:
“[The final episode] has some of our weirdest [content]. Ultimately, we just really enjoy stuff that we felt like we hadn’t seen before and stuff that nobody else is really doing. That episode contains some of our more bizarre, more personal sketches in that realm of, we don’t think anybody but Key & Peele is doing things like this. And then it also has stuff that we’ve never done on the show, like we have bloopers for the first time and we have an ending to the ‘Driving Through the Desert’ portion of the show. So we tried to make that a wrap-up thematically for the show.”
Thankfully, Key and Peele won’t leave us hanging. They’ve reunited with Atencio for the Will Forte-fronted comedy Keanu. Look for it next spring.