10 Sketches That Allude To Jordan Peele’s Penchant For Horror And Sci-Fi
While he stood out as a talent to watch in hit comedy sketches from Fox and Comedy Central mad tv and Key and Peelerespectively, no one would have guessed that in the space of a few years we would be mentioning Jordan Pele‘s as one of the best horror/sci-fi filmmakers of the past decade. Hailing from New York, Peele’s first break came in 2003, when he was cast as a cast member in the ninth season of mad tv, alongside fellow comedian Keegan-Michael Key. The two had previously met and quickly become friends at the Second City Theater in Chicago. After leaving the show in 2008, Peele made a few guest appearances – in the 2009 comedy Ben Stiller, little fockers; the 2010 Fox comedy pilot The train station; the adult swimming series children’s hospital; and the 2012 David Wain film spirit of adventure – before reuniting with his good friend Keegan Michael-Key, later in 2012, for the series of sketches Key and Peele.
Key and Peele, which ran for five seasons, was an instant hit with critics and viewers, and even received 18 Emmy nominations, winning one, in 2016, for Outstanding Variety Sketch Series. Featuring a healthy dose of satire and social commentary, the show’s sketches often used horror and sci-fi tropes to drive their points. For the discerning viewer, it was an early sign of Peele’s affinity for the aforementioned genres that would ultimately lead to his run as a famed director and as producer/host of the revamped classic anthology series. The twilight zone, which ran for two seasons, from 2019 to 2020, on CBS All Access. Here is a list of Key and Peele skits that foreshadowed his eventual foray into horror/sci-fi.
ten Season 2, Ep 6: Racist Zombies
In keeping with director George A. Romero’s theme of the walking dead as a metaphor for society, Key and Peele play two black men trying to make their way through a zombie-infested suburban neighborhood, after the death of their white friend, played by Kevin Sorbo (in an unanticipated ironic cast, given his possible right-wing leanings). The friends soon realize that not only are the zombies not interested in biting them, but they’re actually scared of them because they’re black. The story culminates with the duo stumbling across an oasis of black people taking full advantage of the apocalypse by having a huge barbecue in the backyard.
9 Season 3, Ep 7: Freddy Wong as Asian Ghost Roommate
In a nod to the J-Horror Boom of the 90s and 2000s, as described by The Guardian, four roommates sit down for a meeting to discuss which of them is responsible for the rather annoying events that have happened around the apartment, things normally attributed to your typical ghost or poltergeist. Unbeknownst to them, the author of the events, a fifth spectral roommate, does his best to disrupt the meeting.
8 Season 3, Ep 7: Sexy Vampires
Riffling on tired old tropes too often seen in modern vampire movies, Peele plays the leader of a clan of leather-clad, over-sexualized vampires as they initiate ‘new blood’ Tyrell (Key) into the family. . However, before the ceremony can begin, Tyrell asks the clan a few questions which makes them rethink their gratuitous ways.
The duo play extras on a zombie film. Key’s character, an experienced background performer, tries to advise Peele’s character, who revealed he’s never done background work before. Much to Key’s dismay, the director chooses the inexperienced Peele over him to be replaced by a star performer. Key’s frustration escalates as, take after take, Peele fails to follow the right direction, which ultimately results in a furious Key being ejected from the film.
6 Season 4, Ep 1: Alien Imposters
Aliens have invaded Earth, leaving a decimated landscape in their wake, dotted with survivors and alien infiltrators capable of taking on human form. As two armed friends (Key and Peele) attempt to navigate the decimated landscape, they occasionally encounter survivors, who express relief at having found another human, and attempt to join them. However, before letting their guard down, the two friends develop an interesting method to check if the people they meet are indeed humans.
5 Season 4, Ep 3: Georgina and Esther and Satan
As two old friends Esther (Key) and Georgina (Peele) kneel in their pews, awaiting the start of Sunday service, they share stories of family members who gave in to Satan’s pangs (drugs, give in to sexual urges, etc.). As the couple make colorful threats about what they would do to the devil if they could get their hands on him, they are visited by Satan himself, who attempts to possess the women. He quickly learns that, at the two old friends, he has bitten off more than he can chew.
4 Season 4, Ep 6: The Scariest Movie Ever
The scariest movie of all time has just ended. Two friends (Key and Peele) come out of the theater, seemingly unimpressed with what they’ve just seen. However, their actions speak differently. Despite their rejection from the movie, they decide to go back to Peele’s car together rather than be alone – not because they’re scared, of course. Along the way, the couple do their best to avoid innocuous objects/scenarios (a garbage can, a puddle, a car parked in a dark street) which represented certain details used for deceptive effect in the film that they just saw.
3 Season 4, Ep 9: Meltdown Aerobics
It’s the live taping of the 1987 Jazz Fit Championship. Two contestants, Flash (Peele) and Lightning (Key) are dancing for the cameras, when suddenly the director, played to perfection by genre veteran Clint Howard, uses cue cards to deliver tragic news to Lightning. Apparently, his wife and daughter were involved in a hit-and-run accident on their way to check-in to surprise him. Despite Lightning’s dismay, he is charged via the hastily scribbled cue cards of “Keep Dancing”. As the story unfolds, it becomes clear that his competitor Flash may have played a role in “the accident,” in this skit that simultaneously encapsulates the cheerful nerdy of the The 80s aerobics crazewhile conveying a rapidly escalating sense of dread.
2 Season 4, Ep 6: A serial killer is thwarted
A detective (Key) confronts a serial killer named Carlo (Peele) in a house of mirrors. As Carlo tries to use the mirrors to his advantage, the detective eventually gets the upper hand. Holding Carlo at gunpoint, the detective makes a list of Carlo’s victims and demands to know where “the girl” is. Unwilling to admit defeat, Carlo tries to convince the detective that he is, in fact, another reflection in the mirror, and not the real Carlo.
1 Season 2, Ep 6: Shining
New employee Ray (Key) is introduced into the office by his supervisor, who introduces him to another black employee, Dick (Peele), in a play on Stephen King’s character Dick Hallorann. the brilliant. Ray soon learns that Dick, and all other black people, possess the ability to shine. However, to unlock this ability, you must first be shined by another black person. Ray then reveals that he grew up in a white neighborhood and then moved to Dartmouth, suggesting he had never met another black person to shine with. As he familiarized himself with this newfound power, Ray found he was able to communicate with various black celebrities, including Kobe Bryant, Denzel Washington, Lil John, Samuel L. Jackson, Barack Obama, and Billy Dee Williams. Just as he learns to control the Shining, with the help of Morgan Freeman, Dick holds him up and orders him to kill his white supervisor.