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  • -My first guest is an Emmy-winning actor,

  • writer, and producer.

  • He co-wrote and performs the new audio series

  • called "The History of Sketch Comedy,"

  • which is available today exclusively on Audible.

  • Here is Keegan-Michael Key!

  • -[ Laughs ] Jimmy Fallon!

  • -If there was an audience here, they'd be going bonkers for you.

  • Buddy, it's so great to see you. Thank you for being here.

  • -You, too, my friend.

  • -Last time you were on our show,

  • we did a thing called "Wheel of Musical Impressions."

  • -Yes. -And you crushed it.

  • And it went viral. Thank you for doing that bit with us.

  • I knew you could do some impressions,

  • but I don't think everyone knew that you could sing like that.

  • It was unbelievable.

  • -Yeah. That was so much fun that I got --

  • that we had the opportunity to do that together.

  • Because I really, I love to sing.

  • And a lot of folks don't know that about me,

  • let alone that I could sing in a style or styles as it were.

  • -It was Bob Marley. We did Michael Stipe.

  • You did Sinatra.

  • -"Sinatra, baby."

  • Yeah, that was -- Oh, my God. It was so much fun.

  • -Do you do any other musical impressions

  • that we didn't touch on?

  • -I can do impressions of certain musicians.

  • So, I can do an impression of Snoop.

  • Oh, you know what I can do? I can impersonate Eddie Vedder.

  • I think Eddie Vedder's always good, 'cause it's like

  • [Mumbling Pearl Jam's "Even Flow"]

  • You know, it's -- [Sings indistinctly]

  • I don't know any words to any Pearl Jam songs.

  • I just know --

  • [ Mumbling Pearl Jam's "Even Flow" ]

  • And you can't open your eyes. And you have to keep your eye--

  • -Yeah, you got to keep your eyes -- and get into it.

  • -The only other thing else that I do is, I can do Snoop Dogg,

  • not rapping, per se.

  • But I was in "Pitch Perfect 2,"

  • and he was in it, and he and I were in a scene together.

  • I was playing a music producer. And I remember he came on set,

  • and everybody was, like, really giddy.

  • And he walked past me,

  • and as he was walking past me, he looks at me,

  • because he knows that I used to impersonate him on "Mad TV."

  • So he walked past me, and he went, "You a bad, bad boy."

  • [ Laughs ]

  • -Yes!

  • I love that he said that.

  • "You're a bad, bad boy." Oh, my gosh.

  • -Yeah, that was it.

  • -How do you impressions?

  • Like, how do you figure out how to do them?

  • -Frankly, the way I get into them

  • is often by -- The way I started

  • was by listening to other people do impressions.

  • In fact, you, listening to you and Jordan

  • and a really amazing impressionist

  • named Frank Caliendo, who was on "Mad TV" with me.

  • -Oh, he's fantastic.

  • -Amazing, right? -He's unbelievable.

  • -For us, what was always interesting was, it's --

  • It's when somebody else found the hook,

  • then I could jump into the hook.

  • So, like with -- Think about Rich Little,

  • when Rich Little used to do President Reagan,

  • anybody can kind of do, like, "that husky voice."

  • But what it was, was that word "Well, well."

  • -It was. -Oh, that's right,

  • The president does say "Well."

  • It was like, "Well, as a nation, we are going to --"

  • And so, that was --

  • Remember that? And so, I always used to go,

  • that's how I would get into it is by going,

  • what's the little hook that you have to find?

  • -I know you have a President Obama impression,

  • and you had the chance to meet him a few times.

  • Have you ever done your Obama in front of Obama?

  • -[ As Obama ] "Uh, I've done it for him,

  • and, uh, a couple times, so..."

  • [ Laughs ] And it's --

  • Last year, I got to do it for him,

  • like, explicitly almost for him.

  • I was telling him a story about impersonating him.

  • I was telling the story about the fact

  • that I was impersonating him to Ethel Kennedy,

  • to Robert F. Kennedy's wife.

  • And her kids put me up to it.

  • And then, I got to relay that story to him

  • and tell him that I was doing this impersonation.

  • And he was giggling and laughing at the story,

  • and then at the end, Jimmy, he goes, "You know, um,

  • my register's a little bit lower than what you're doing."

  • [ Laughs ] -Love it!

  • -Duly noted, sir. Thank you. Thank you, sir. Appreciate that.

  • -I think I tried to do an impression in front of him,

  • and he was like, "Is that supposed to be me?"

  • -[ Laughs ]

  • You're like, I'll be over here.

  • -Yeah, exactly. What am I gonna do?

  • -But how do you do it?

  • How do you hook in to impressions?

  • -I just start doing people.

  • I had this thing when I was a kid, I think,

  • like I would watch "Rocky," and at the end of "Rocky,"

  • I thought that I was Rocky.

  • So I -- -Ah, interesting.

  • -So I started acting like him, "and talking like him

  • and yo, hey. Hey, Mickey, you know," you know, whatever.

  • I remember, like, I watched "Seinfeld,"

  • by the end of the episode I was talking,

  • [As Jerry Seinfeld] "Everything was like that!

  • I was doing that.

  • I was trying to be him," and --

  • -It's -- You're so good at it.

  • I mean, I've always enjoyed

  • your Dave Matthews and your Robin Williams.

  • Those are two that have always, like, blown me out of the water.

  • I'm just like, how is he -- Where did he find that rhythm?

  • It's just so good.

  • -This is so exciting. "The History of Sketch Comedy,"

  • how did this whole thing come about?

  • -So, basically, El, you know my wife, El.

  • -Of course, I love El.

  • -Yeah, my wife El and I,

  • we have always shared this love of comedy.

  • And during quarantine, she suggested

  • that we put our combined knowledge together

  • and then try to create, you know, something for everyone.

  • And this is what we came up with.

  • It happens that, you know, it's what happens

  • when you live with a DGA director and a PGA producer

  • and a brilliant writer. So I just had the opportunity.

  • She did it all. She was just like,

  • "Hey, you know more about sketch comedy than anybody I know.

  • Let's smack our knowledge together and do this thing."

  • And I was like, "Yeah, that sounds like a good idea."

  • And then she -- She kind of created this format,

  • and we started doing all the research.

  • And then we pitched it to Audible.

  • And it was amazing, because the way she pitched it,

  • she was like, "What about this, guys?"

  • She was like, "If Keegan-Michael Key was a guest lecturer at NYU

  • and was going to give a 10-part class

  • on the history of sketch comedy,

  • I think that would be very popular.

  • I think he would get a lot of apples at the end of the class."

  • And then they bought it. -Good pitch.

  • -That was her pitch. That was her pitch.

  • -It's a good pitch. -And then, she was --

  • So we started doing it, and we're doing the research,

  • which of course was a blast for me.

  • I love -- I'm a nerd about this kind of stuff.

  • And she goes -- I said, "You know, it's fun,

  • because we'll be able to get the clips

  • and do this and that and the other thing."

  • And El goes, "Oh, no, no, no, there's no clips.

  • You're going to be performing all the characters,

  • and you're going to be doing all the sketches."

  • I was like, "I'm sorry, I'm going to be doing what, now?

  • I'm doing all the what to the who-who's?"

  • [ Both laugh ]

  • -Wow. -But that is what we did.

  • -You stepped it up. -So I do all the foley,

  • all the sound effects, all the characters.

  • I'll do two-person scenes, three-person scenes.

  • I'll play all three people in the scene.

  • And then, in the middle of it, I'll, like, analyze it.

  • So sometimes there will be like a sketch,

  • like, there will be a guy saying, you know,

  • from the Marx Brothers, there will be somebody saying,

  • you know, "We have to stop war

  • because it's prohibitive for our taxes!"

  • And then Chico Marx will be like,

  • "Hey, I got a uncle who lives in Taxes."

  • "No! Not Texas. Dollar, money, dollars!"

  • "Ha-ha! That's where he lives. Dallas, Taxes."

  • [ Mumbling as Chico Marx ]

  • You know?

  • -Dude, there's some Marx Brothers bits that I honestly,

  • I have to just pause it or turn it off 'cause I'm laughing --

  • It's too funny. There's levels of funny.

  • -Jimmy, it's crazy. We start at like the beginning.

  • I mean, I think some people might go,

  • "Oh, he's going to do a history of the last 30 years.

  • He's going to -- You know, maybe he's going to start with 'SNL.'"

  • But I start with the ancient Sumerians

  • from the 19th century BC

  • and work all the way up to today. So --

  • -That's wild. But, I mean, like, you go, yeah.

  • I mean, you do touch on "SNL."

  • Are there any sketches. now that it's done,

  • that you go, "Ah, we should have talked about that."

  • Or are there any performers -- Let's not even say performers --

  • any performer that you might have --

  • -[ Laughing ]

  • No, Jimmy.

  • No, there is no performer that I forgot,

  • because you're in it.

  • You're in the Audible series. -Where?

  • -Jimmy, Camp Winnipesaukee,

  • with you and me and Justin Timberlake.

  • -That's right, bud. -And Billy Crystal.

  • -Oh, that's right! -You are in it.

  • I talk about you, and there's a whole section

  • about variety entertainment and talk shows. You're in it.

  • -That's why, everyone, get out there right now.

  • Go to Audible, download "The History of Sketch Comedy."

  • Keegan-Michael Key, you are the best, buddy.

  • Thank you so much for being here.

  • -Thanks, Jimmy. Good to see you.

  • -Good to see you, buddy. -Jimmy Fallon is in this series!

  • Listen -- -We'll be right back.

-My first guest is an Emmy-winning actor,

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Obama Critiqued Keegan-Michael Key’s Impression of Him

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/01/29
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