Though Key & Peele is less driven by recurring bits and characters than other major sketch shows, the series’ impending finale will still take some memorable roles off the airwaves for good. Since Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele have announced this season of their Comedy Central series will be its last, we’ve rounded up the denizens of Key & Peele‘s wild, weird world we’ll sorely miss. Click through for the full list, from political figures to feminist evangelists.
Zadie Smith herself called Meegan one of Jordan Peele’s “most successful creations,” and who are we to disagree? Along with her devoted boyfriend Andre, Meegan showed what it is to be basic long before that word became the subject of a tidal wave of thinkpieces. With all the ego and obliviousness of a reality television star, Meegan showcases Peele’s mind-blowing vocal range like no other character.
Of the many, many wigs that have come out of Key & Peele‘s costuming department, DeVon’s easily ranks in the top five. The kind of oddball landlord familiar to Key & Peele‘s coastal, city-dwelling target demo, DeVon is the kind of sunglasses-indoors type who busts into your apartment at all hours looking for fugitive crackheads. Gotta respect his fashion choices, though.
Vandaveon Huggins and Mike Taylor
As a person who has written about comedy for an online outlet and will probably do so again, I’d be remiss not to include Key and Peele’s most outspoken Internet critics. They’ve never made an appearance on Comedy Central, but these YouTubers have an insider’s take on what’s gone wrong with their creators’ show. Note the awesomely low-grade quality of the videos compared to Key & Peele proper’s increasingly fine-tuned aesthetic.
Shaboots Michaels & T-Ray Tombstone
The dominant trend of season five thus far seems to be feminist-leaning sketches like “Pirate Chantey,” but gender isn’t exactly a new theme in the duo’s comedy. Take “Cunnilingus Class,” in which Michaels & Tombstone — resurrected in this season’s faux-TED talk “Menstruation Orientation”— memorably encourage their students to communicate with their “bitches.” The insane plaids help drive the message home. Remember, every vagina is a snowflake!
Luther is the obvious answer here, but Jordan Peele’s Obama is to the current president as Kate McKinnon’s Hillary is to the woman who’s trying to become the next one. (For the record, Key also does an excellent impersonation; SNL tried to hire him away from MAD TV for it, but his contract wasn’t up yet.) Jay Pharoah’s may be technically impressive, but Peele’s captures the essence of the rare politician who’s notoriously hard to parody — even without his famous anger translator, as in the sketch above.
KILLT! The two most respected pop culture critics since Ebert and Siskel may have peaked with their take on Game of Thrones, but they’ve also given us their take on everything from Liam Neeson to “the Batmans.”
The upcoming star of the Substitute Teacher movie, Mr. Garvey was one of Key & Peele‘s first breakout hits, and one of the first online sensations of Comedy Central’s new era of sketch. Key & Peele has introduced a few other substitute characters since, including Mr. Nostrand, the self-styled hardass who has his students’ respect until he farts in front of the class, but Mr. Garvey and his pointed mispronunciations have endured.
Proving that “substitute traffic reporter” is the single most promising sketch description ever devised, though Favors seems equally ill-suited to every assignment he lands. Keegan-Michael Key perfectly channels the petrified flier — and later, petrified person-standing-near-police-dogs—in us all. (Though to be fair, “fucked up” is always an accurate description of the 405.)
“Overweight geek” is about as well-trodden ground as “annoying white girl,” but just like Meegan, Wendell works because of Jordan Peele’s commitment and specificity. Whether he’s telling a sex addiction support group about his hot and heavy encounter with a pizza or making a hilariously low-budget music video about his fantasies, Wendell fends off any pity the audience might feel with his unshakeable confidence, even as he’s polling his action figures for input on the delivery order.
The East/West Bowl Players
Key & Peele have made sports and its various conventions a mainstay of their comedy (see this parody of a post-game interview for proof), but East/West bowl serves as a testament to both their understanding of the athletic world and their ability to craft memorable characters in seconds, along with the show’s stellar production team. Also, the names are funny.