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Talking Key and Peele with Series Director Peter Atencio

Comedy Central’s newest sketch series, Key and Peele, premieres tonight. The show is the creation of Mad TV alumni Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele. I should acknowledge a bias — a friend of mine, Peter Atencio directed the show’s first season. OK, now on on to the facts: Key and Peele is truly one of the most original, subversive and howl-inducing shows I’ve seen in the last decade. It’s a smart and robust sketch series that that manages to satirize politics, movies, black culture, and white culture, without condescension or pandering to one group. In all truth, it may be that I find the show so sensational because I got to visit the set when Ty Burrell was dressed up like Nazi playing a scene that was spiritually somewhere between Inglorious Basterds and The Producers. Or because I saw Peter stay up for 48 hours straight editing a 45 second single take sketch about the Tea Party, choreographed to perfection like a Gene Kelly dance number. Or I could love the show so much because its just, really, really good.

I interviewed the director (Peter!) about the show, its process, directing comedy, axing canned laughter and black women! READ MORE