Catching the Last Laugh with Key & Peele

Photo by Vincent Ta
Photo by Vincent Ta

UCR’s “Last Laugh” 2013 was a night of jokes about ethnicities, popular movies, sex and even students. The stars of the performance were Comedy Central’s Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, also known as Key and Peele. As they were presented on stage, the packed audience burst into applause. Excitement buzzed in the Student Recreation Center (SRC) as students talked and cheered once the lights went down.

Key and Peele immediately took advantage of the blaring applause and began directing the crowd when to scream and when to stop, instigating a contest between both halves of the audience. The duo began poking fun at the students when they each chose one person from the crowd to scream their loudest. When Key pointed toward his person to scream, a group of about six people stood and screamed. “Clearly not math majors,” he commented, garnering tons of laughs from the audience.

They definitely started out with a great approach by interacting with the crowd. Both comedians stayed on the stage together for most of the show and had great comedic chemistry with each other. They both had similar attitudes and ideas towards their jokes, and both headed in the same direction during the improvisational scenes which made their act natural and successful.

During part of their set, Key and Peele suddenly began calling out ethnicities to scream their loudest. They yelled for Caucasians, Asians and lastly Hispanics, who were the loudest despite being “only 16 people,” the comedians said. This had the audience roaring with laughter, as did most of their comments about racial stereotypes.

Their show didn’t have a general topic or theme and the comedians bounced from one subject to another. However, this didn’t have a negative effect on their performance, because even during the improvisation set they responded to each other well. Between smooth transitions they left the audience waiting for more.

The crowd was booming when Key and Peele began to imitate the “Alpha Male” sitting at the bar getting drunk, and the phases in which the “Alpha Male” gets into a fight with another white guy. First, both comedians kept their hands behind their back while standing face to face. The tips of their noses were practically touching, although they managed to retain tough, angry faces. After five minutes, they broke down and started expressing their love for each other, with such expressions as, “Fucking love you, man.” Five seconds after that, they were yelling in each other’s faces again.

Peele imitated the typical Valley girl in an irritating high-pitched voice, saying, “You guys, stop fighting!” about a million times and giggling uncontrollably. His spot-on impersonation of those annoyingly loud girls we see at the bar who have had a bit too much to drink drew huge laughs from the audience, particularly because of the way he said “Betch” and “Cray-cray” with his dramatic facial expressions.

Key and Peele then decided to surprise the audience with never-before-seen videos of their television show, “Key & Peele.” The first video showed Peele playing a husband being questioned by his wife about their computer history constantly being deleted. As the wife questioned her husband, the camera zoomed in on the sweat dripping off Peele’s extremely guilty face, which was funnier the longer you looked at it. The audience responded strongly to the whole video by laughing throughout, especially as the wife described the porn she hopes her husband is not watching, including “sick, twisted S&M stuff.”

The duo also played improvisation games and interacted with the audience, including a game related to films chosen by the audience. Their improv turned into charades between the two comedians, with one acting like he was from the movie in question while the other tried to guess the title. Some of the funny choices were “High School Musical,” “The Hangover” and “The Little Mermaid,” during which Key described himself being saved from a shipwreck by a beautiful woman in a bikini who had dad problems. Making fun of the movies had the audience constantly laughing throughout their whole set.

The performance took a turn into dirty jokes when the comedians started talking about how to “Go down on bitches right,” to which most of the audience responded well. They laughed comfortably, and did not care about the crude sexual humor besides a few occasional awkward glances between women. Fortunately for me, it was over almost as soon as it began and the actors moved on to their next never-before-seen video.

One of the videos toward the end of the show was a parody of “Les Miserables” and had the audience continuously roaring with laughter. Key and Peele sang in their costumes and even featured a character resembling Anne Hathaway, who sang lines such as, “Why are we all facing the same way?” Key tried to get his solo in by constantly saying, “One at a time!” but no one listened to him, and all the actors continued to sing in serious tones and faces despite their witty lines.

As the show came to a close, Key and Peele made a comment on the great diversity of UCR students by singing their own original song, “What The Fuck Are You?” which drew numerous laughs from the audience. They proceeded to sing in tune with each other as they listed a number of ethnicities, and made one final comment: “Find the person who looks different than you, and make love to them.” The audience gave a standing ovation and cheered as the comedians left the stage, grateful to have a night off and a good show.

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