“It was time for us to explore other things, together and apart,” Keegan-Michael Key tells TheWrap
The current season of “Key & Peele,” the Comedy Central series that received multiple Emmy nominations earlier this month, will be the series’ last, co-creator and star Keegan-Michael Key told TheWrap on Friday.
“This is our final season – and it’s not because of Comedy Central, it’s us,” said Key. “It was just time for us to explore other things, together and apart. I compare it to Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor. We might make a movie and then do our own thing for three years and then come back and do another movie.
“I’m thinking we could do that every three years – take a year, go bang out a movie. That’s the plan right now.”
The fifth season of the sketch comedy series began on July 8 and will run into September. All of its episodes, Key said, have already been filmed.
Key and Jordan Peele first worked together during six seasons on “MadTV,” with “Key & Peele” launching in January, 2012. The series spawned such viral hits as Luther, the “anger translator” for President Obama.
The show won a Peabody Award in 2013, with a citation that noted, “They tackle racially charged issues and ideas like no one else on television … They break new ground even as they lay claim to all of comedy’s traditions.”
Their shows received one Emmy nomination in 2013, four in 2014 and eight this year, including Outstanding Variety Sketch Series and Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for Key.
In an interview for an upcoming edition of TheWrap’s Emmy magazine, Key said he and Peele have been keeping quiet about the their show ending its run, “but Jordan and I were talking yesterday, and we decided it’s probably a good time to let people know.”
They recently shot the comedy “Keanu,” co-written by Peele and directed by frequent “Key & Peele” director Peter Atencio. In the coming months, said Key, he will act in a film in New York, while Peele will direct a horror film that he has written.
“There will be Key & Peele productions coming up,” he said. “We’re doing the reboot of ‘Police Academy,’ and there’s a TV show in the works that me might do for Comedy Central. There’s lots of stuff we have cooking up.”
Keri Russell ("The Americans") Jussie Smollett ("Empire") Gillian Jacobs ("Girls") Jesse Lee Soffer ("Chicago P.D.") Anna Faris ("Mom") Mike O’Malley ("Survivor's Remorse") "Tichina Arnold is portraying a very unique mother on this show. She has to be firm, yet affectionate. Very tender and maternal, yet forceful. Balancing those things constantly, while also tackling certain material fearlessly, has been pretty amazing to watch. She’s a fearless actress." Sophia Bush ("Chicago P.D.") Matt Czuchry ("The Good Wife") Téa Leoni ("Madam Secretary") Murray Bartlett ("Looking") Sam Richardson ("Veep") Abigail Spencer ("Rectify") Finn Wittrock ("American Horror Story") Joe Morton ("Scandal") Kristen Schaal ("Last Man on Earth") Chris Geere ("You’re The Worst") Kyra Sedgwick ("Brooklyn Nine-Nine") Jeremy Piven ("Mr. Selfridge") Gillian Anderson ("The Fall") Rupert Friend ("Homeland") Zooey Deschanel ("New Girl") Jack Falahee ("How to Get Away With Murder") Tatiana Maslany ("Orphan Black") Jonathan Groff ("Looking") Sutton Foster ("Younger") Jane Krakowski ("Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt") Robin Lord Taylor ("Gotham") Anna Chlumsky ("Veep") Sam Heughan ("Outlander") Gina Rodriguez ("Jane the Virgin") Michael Kelly ("House of Cards") Wendi McLendon-Covey ("The Goldbergs") Jon Hamm ("Mad Men") Keri Russell, Sam Heughan, Jussie Smollett, Jon Hamm, Anna Faris, Gina Rodriguez among stars who TheWrap put on awards hot seat
33 Emmy Contenders Answer: Who Deserves an Emmy And Why? (Photos)
"Oh, Matthew Rhys, for sure. For sure! I mean, he’s so fucking good! I always say, and it’s so true, that there’s that term in cycling when you draft someone. Like, I’m just drafting, man. You get out there and I’m like, 'Thank God I get to work with him today.' He just elevates everything… And he’s also not a tortured person that’s tough to work with. He’s just easy. It’s fun."
"If I couldn’t vote for anybody [on my show], if I couldn’t vote for Taraji [P. Henson], if I couldn’t vote for “Empire,” if I couldn’t vote Terrence [Howard]... Viola Davis and Robin Wright. I think that they’re so phenomenal."
"The obvious answer is I would vote for Alex Karpovsky as Ray [Ploshansky], who is perhaps my favorite character on the show. Then, I would say Becky Ann Baker as Hannah’s mother. I would also have to give a nod to Zach Quinto as Ace."
"Elias Koteas has done some phenomenal stuff and is definitely deserving of an award. Sophia Bush has done some great stuff at the end of the season with her character dealing with Nadia’s death. And obviously Jason Beghe, our fearless leader. And he is truly a fearless leader. He’s always so strong that he deserves an Emmy, absolutely."
"Chuck Lorre is my answer. He is so brilliant. He’s truly a genius. I’ve never worked with somebody whose instincts are so incredible. He sees the macro and the micro. It’s really thrilling to watch. Chuck Lorre deserves a gazillion Emmys. And Mimi Kennedy [Marjorie], too."
"I think everyone is doing such great work. Brian Geraghty, Jesse Soffer, Jason Beghe, all of the guys, really… I feel the same way about Elias. I think Elias Koteas is one of the great gifts to our group of actors. He’s so talented, and I really have so much fun in big scenes just watching him work."
"Robert and Michelle King are the creators of the show and everything begins and ends with them. They won the Writer’s Guild Award last season, and I would love for them to get recognition for writing Season 6."
"I would really have to push for Tim [Daly] in that one. It’s a bit of a groundbreaking role, but he’s managed to make it work. I wonder if people would be willing, in a way, to accept and be able to rally behind this character, the man alongside a very powerful woman. This is the most modern man we’ve seen. In the wrong hands, it could be rejected and that would be tragic. Tim has made Henry [McCord] graceful and hot."
"That’s a tough one because I love everybody. But I just adore Lauren Weedman and the character of Doris and I feel that in Season 2, she really had a chance to shine and I think she absolutely did. Her performance was stellar. I’d go for her."
"Kevin Dunn was really brilliant this season as Ben Caffrey. He plays with so many levels. He’s a mess. He’s a pill-popping, drunkard mess who’s also in charge of the key staff of a president… And he has some of the best insult deliveries on the show."
"I think the show, in general, because it’s such a collaboration and Ray McKinnon deserves an Emmy. He writes, he directs, he edits, he does everything so I would love to see him win an Emmy. I know that’s not an actor-focused answer, but he is an actor and I feel like he’s the third scene partner in every scene."
"There’s a lot of talent all over the cast, but I think Sarah Paulson‘s challenge was greater than anybody’s, having to be two people at once [the conjoined Bette and Dot]. It’s a very hard, laborious, technical, tedious process… and she was a real pro throughout all of it. It literally takes three times as long to film those scenes than any other scenes, and to be able to do that and maintain two separate characters is pretty extraordinary."
"Kerry Washington, first of all. I think her work is spectacular. She brings a lot to that character. I think Jeff Perry [Cyrus Beene] deserves an Emmy for his work on the show. He was one of the reasons I wanted to be on that show. And Bellamy Young, who really broadened and deepened the role of Mellie [Grant]."
"Forte, Forte, Forte. It’s definitely [Will] Forte — it’s his show. Everybody’s talented, but definitely Mel Rodriguez. There’s some moments on that show that really caught me off guard. Like, physically when he finds out that Phil is going to kill him, and Melissa [January Jones] knocks on the door and he has potato chips all over his shirt. That moment is so good. That guy is just brimming with so much emotion, and he’s just effortlessly able to convey it. He’s just a great actor — we’re really lucky that we have him."
"They all do. They are all fantastic, everyone from the writing staff to the production team. I think a couple of the production team were nominated last year, for different shows that they’ve done. All of us are very grateful to be considered in any light, really. The main one would be the show itself, or [creator] Stephen [Falk]. Because he’s done this whole thing. That would be an incredible achievement for him. Stephen or the show itself."
"Well, I think Andre [Braugher] deserves an Emmy. But honestly, the truth is that the whole cast deserves an Emmy. They’re a really great ensemble."
"Tom Goodman-Hill plays Mr. Grove and Amanda Abbington plays Ms. Mardle, and their relationship is heartbreaking and they both deserve Emmys. I think anyone could take the lead at any moment and do it beautifully. I’m just very blown away by the talent pool over here. It’s really impressive and inspiring."
"Definitely Jamie Dornan, I would say, who plays Spector. Definitely in the last scene that we have together, there’s an interrogation scene, and it’s the first time that the characters have been face to face. I would say we definitely see Jamie’s acting talent in that exchange."
"Mandy Patinkin. Mandy has extraordinary commitment to his work and working with him raises my game. I think he sets the bar impossibly high and I think he attains it. To me that makes him a champion and it makes him absolutely deserving of all the awards that there are."
"I think Season 4 was the season of Winston [Morris]. I think it took just a little while for them to figure out exactly how to write for him. And I think Hannah’s [Simone] had a bunch of really amazing stuff this season too — everybody has really had their moment."
"Viola [Davis], of course. But oh man, everyone. All of them. They’re all so beautiful and amazing. It would be really tough for me to–is there an Emmy for writing? Is that a thing? I mean, Pete should probably get an Emmy. I feel like he deserves one."
"I think Kathryn Alexandre, my clone double, deserves an award for her incredible, diligent, generous work. She does all the character work, physical, dialect, emotional and yet is never seen on screen. Jordan Gavaris, the physicality and elegance he brings to Felix is so far from himself, it’s astounding. Our amazing writers room deserves an Emmy. John [Fawcett] and Graeme [Manson], our creators. Stephen Lynch and Debra Hansen, who have created the looks for the characters. Our incredible special effects guys at Intelligent Creatures. The list is endless."
"I can think of so many people. But I feel like the unsung hero of “Looking” — who doesn’t get a lot of credit but is so essential to our creative process — is Danny Glicker, our costume designer. Even though we wear contemporary modern-day clothes, he is meticulous about picking out every piece of everybody’s costumes based on the emotional arc of the season and the emotional arc of the character. I’ve sat in Danny Glicker’s costume fittings and wept or laughed and learned so much about my character."
"First of all, this whole thing is crazy to me. I think that everybody on the show deserves to be recognized. All the characters are nuanced and complicated when they could be one dimensional characters. They are incredibly nuanced and layered and earnest and deep. I feel like everybody on the show is kicking major ass, it would be amazing if everyone was recognized in that way. I can’t pick — you can’t make me pick!"
"I really do hope that Ellie and Tituss [Burgess] will be recognized. And I’m going to say [songwriter/composer and Tina Fey’s husband] Jeff Richmond, because I think he has given everyone such musical joy — not only in 'Kimmy' with 'Pinot Noir' as the theme song — but also everything from 'Muffin Top' and 'Werewolf Bar Mitzvah' at '30 Rock.' It’s long-deserved that he be recognized for the musical joys he has given us. I hope the show gets recognized because that means we all get to go!"
"I would say, first of all, Jada Pinkett Smith. She brought so much vivacity and she created this character, which I think should live on in the comics. I think it left such a lasting impression on everybody… I would also say Ben [McKenzie] because he had the hardest job of any of us. He carries the show, he brings us down to a place of reality… Finally, I have to give a huge shout-out to my very good friend, Cory Michael Smith… the stuff that he did this season was just so perfect."
"Definitely Julia and Tony [Hale]. But, oh gosh, I think Tim Simons’ job is always very award-worthy. ‘Cause they give him some really difficult things to tackle, and he plays it as such a real human being, yet a completely despicable human being. But it’s hard to single people out, because then I could go to Matt [Walsh], who is just brilliant. He’s funny because you believe him. And then there’s Kevin Dunn, the most relaxed and effortless performance. It’s a nice problem to have, that I can’t single anybody out."
"I think everybody does. Caitriona [Balfe] is terrific. She has so much stamina and she carries the show. She has to show up everyday and just give her best. Tobias, equally, he’s an amazing actor. Those last couple of episodes where I really sort of got to go to some interesting places, he was there and we really supported each other and trusted each other. I think trust is the most important thing. If the actors and the director and the crew trust each other and you set up perimeters and boundaries, you give everyone space to do great work. I think we’ve got an amazing costume department, amazing writers, directors — just give us an Emmy for everything."
"Oooh, all of them! Every single one of them. I’ve seen them transform and stretch and thrive this entire season. It was a joy and an honor to be a part of that. To have this relationship with each and every one of them, I couldn’t even pick one, I think they all really worked their buns off and I’m very lucky."
"Rachel Brosnahan, I mean, that girl… what she did on that show — I just think that she’s such an amazing actress. And so young, she’s so good. Rachel Brosnahan is just a real talent."
"George Segal deserves a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Emmys, the SAG Awards, the Golden Globes, etc."
"For my money, I think the one person who has been really criminally overlooked through the years has been Vincent Kartheiser [Pete Campbell]. His work on the show from the beginning has been really spectacular. He’s created this character that is so easy to dislike but if you really look at the character of Pete, he’s on the right side of a lot of the arguments and you can see the frustration in that character."
Keri Russell ("The Americans")
Jussie Smollett ("Empire")
Gillian Jacobs ("Girls")
Jesse Lee Soffer ("Chicago P.D.")
Anna Faris ("Mom")
Mike O’Malley ("Survivor's Remorse")
"Tichina Arnold is portraying a very unique mother on this show. She has to be firm, yet affectionate. Very tender and maternal, yet forceful. Balancing those things constantly, while also tackling certain material fearlessly, has been pretty amazing to watch. She’s a fearless actress."
Sophia Bush ("Chicago P.D.")
Matt Czuchry ("The Good Wife")
Téa Leoni ("Madam Secretary")
Murray Bartlett ("Looking")
Sam Richardson ("Veep")
Abigail Spencer ("Rectify")
Finn Wittrock ("American Horror Story")
Joe Morton ("Scandal")
Kristen Schaal ("Last Man on Earth")
Chris Geere ("You’re The Worst")
Kyra Sedgwick ("Brooklyn Nine-Nine")
Jeremy Piven ("Mr. Selfridge")
Gillian Anderson ("The Fall")
Rupert Friend ("Homeland")
Zooey Deschanel ("New Girl")
Jack Falahee ("How to Get Away With Murder")
Tatiana Maslany ("Orphan Black")
Jonathan Groff ("Looking")
Sutton Foster ("Younger")
Jane Krakowski ("Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt")
Robin Lord Taylor ("Gotham")
Anna Chlumsky ("Veep")
Sam Heughan ("Outlander")
Gina Rodriguez ("Jane the Virgin")
Michael Kelly ("House of Cards")
Wendi McLendon-Covey ("The Goldbergs")
Jon Hamm ("Mad Men")
Keri Russell, Sam Heughan, Jussie Smollett, Jon Hamm, Anna Faris, Gina Rodriguez among stars who TheWrap put on awards hot seat