Tag: Key and Peele

BLACK HISTORY MONTH: The Best New Films to Watch this February

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Movies to see this Black History Month (photo collage via theguardian.com)

article by Rebecca Carroll via theguardian.com

Fences

If you’ve ever seen or read an August Wilson play, you know that writing is how the late playwright processed the world around him – a magnificently black world filled with funk and nuance in which language plays a central role. For Wilson, though, learning how to work with that language as a writer didn’t happen overnight. “For the longest time I couldn’t make my characters talk,” Wilson told me several years ago before his death in 2005. “I thought in order to incorporate the black vernacular into literature, the language had to be changed or altered in some way to sound more clear … until I realized that it’s no less romantic and meaningful to say, ‘It’s cold outside.’” As a play, Wilson’s Fences, which tells the story of a working-class black man – who was denied a baseball career in the major leagues – trying to raise his family in mid-century Pittsburgh, gives us that blunt romance and powerful meaning. As a movie, it gives us Denzel Washington and Viola Davis. Enough said.

Fences is on nationwide release now

Get Out

I don’t go in for horror films at all – not even horror film parodies – but I also can’t think of a brighter, more innovative voice in film right now than Jordan Peele, one half of the masterful sketch comedy series Key and Peele, which he co-created with Keegan-Michael Key. And while the potentially great Keanu, co-written by Peele and Alex Rubin, was a disappointing failure, Get Out, which Peele both wrote and directed, looks legitimately genius. The premise is a pretty straightforward Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner setup – rich white girlfriend brings her smart, learned black boyfriend upstate for a weekend to meet the parents – what could go wrong? It’ll be awkward, parents will remark more than once on how articulate the black boyfriend is, lecture them both on how hard it will be to maintain an interracial relationship in this day and age, and then finally concede that love is all that matters. Or will it?

Get Out will be in theaters February 24

Hidden Figures

In America, when it comes to the mainstream celebration of black historical figures, we primarily see the spotlight shined on our athletes, entertainers and a handful of activists who generally get depoliticized posthumously. Seldom do we hear about engineers, innovators and mathematicians, much less our black women in those positions. It’s thrilling and really quite long overdue for a film like Hidden Figures, which tells the story of “colored computers” Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson, who worked at NASA in the early 1960s and played a vital role in getting John Glenn and the Friendship 7 into space. As Katherine Johnson, Taraji P. Henson is on career-best form – pushing her glasses up on her nose, hustling to the coloreds bathroom carrying a stack of data research, doing mathematical equations on a chalkboard – creating a truly revelatory performance. Octavia Spencer as Dorothy and Janelle Monáe as Mary are icing on the cake. An added bonus comes in the form of Pharrell Williams, who is a producer on the film and wrote original songs for the soundtrack that give the movie a beautiful sense of joy.

Hidden Figures is in nationwide release now

I Am Not Your Negro

The thing about James Baldwin, beyond his utter brilliance and undeniable prescience as a writer and public intellectual, is that he was like the blackest man who ever lived. And he wore it like a badge of honor. In the newly Oscar-nominated documentary I Am Not Your Negro, Haitian-born film-maker Raoul Peck mines Baldwin’s unpublished writing about the assassinations of Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X to create an intellectual and visual mosaic that somehow captures Baldwin’s own very personal and stubborn sense of blackness. It hits hard, and the film will make you long for the leadership and integrity of Evers, King and Malcolm in these increasingly divisive times. But it will also, if only temporarily, let you sit in the glory that is James Baldwin’s company.

I Am Not Your Negro is out on Friday

To read full article, go to: The best new releases to watch during Black History Month | Film | The Guardian

Tracy Morgan Teams with Jordan Peele on FX Comedy Pilot

Tracy Morgan Comedy Tour
Tracy Morgan (MICHAEL BUCKNER/VARIETY/REX SHUTTERSTOCK)

Tracy Morgan’s plan to star in an FX comedy series is back on track now that writer-actor Jordan Peele and John Carcieri have signed on to write a pilot for the former “30 Rock” star.

Morgan’s life was up-ended 18 months ago by a car crash that came two months after he signed a straight-to-series pact with FX Networks.

The new project will see Morgan playing a career criminal who struggles to reintegrate into society after serving a 15-year prison sentence.

Peele and Carcieri will write the pilot and executive produce with Eric Tannenbaum and Joel Zadak, an alum of Peele’s Comedy Central sketch series “Key and Peele.”

“What an unbeatable combination – Tracy Morgan and Jordan Peele – two exceptional comics joining forces with a great team of writers and producers to create and produce this pilot for FX Networks,” said Nick Grad, president of original programming for FX Networks and FX Prods. “We’ve been committed to Tracy from the start and are thrilled that Jordan, John, Eric and Joel are joining him in developing this new project.”

Morgan’s deal with the cable network in 2014 called for him to work with the “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” gang — Charlie Day, Glenn Howerton, and Rob McElhenney — on an unspecified concept for a comedy to air on FXX. It’s unclear whether the new pilot will be bound for FXX or the mothership FX.

Morgan suffered brain injuries and broken bones after his SUV was rear-ended on the New Jersey turnpike in June 2014. The crash killed another passenger in the car, Morgan’s longtime friend and fellow comedian James McNair.

The severity of his injuries forced the former “30 Rock” star to endure a long recuperation period. He began a slow return to the public eye last summer with emotional appearances on the Primetime Emmy Awards telecast and a hosting gig on “Saturday Night Live,” his alma mater.

Morgan at present is headlining a national comedy tour dubbed “Picking Up the Pieces” that is set to run through May. He also just wrapped work on the Weinstein Co.’s biopic “Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said?,” in which he plays comedian Redd Foxx opposite Mike Epps in the title role.

Peele is coming off a five-season run on the much-praised sketch comedy “Key and Peele.” He was in the ensemble of the 2014 edition of FX’s “Fargo,” and he’s recently had recurring roles on CBS’ “Life in Pieces,” and Netflix’s “Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp,” among other projects.

article by Cynthia Littleton via Variety.com

Actor Justin Hires Cast in Chris Tucker Role for CBS’ “Rush Hour” Series Pilot

CBS' Rush Hour: Justin Hires Cast
Justin Hires (FRAZER HARRISON/GETTY IMAGES)

Actor Justin Hires has been cast in the Chris Tucker role in CBS’ drama pilot adaptation of the “Rush Hour” film franchise.

Hires had a small part in 2012’s “21 Jump Street” and more recently has made appearances on Comedy Central’s “Key and Peele.” In the Warner Bros. TV pilot he’ll play a cocky, maverick LAPD detective who is assigned to work on a case with a stoic detective from Hong Kong. Jon Foo has already been cast in the role played by Jackie Chan opposite comedian Tucker in three “Rush Hour” features.

RELATED: Networks Casting More Actors of Color This Pilot Season

Comedy scribes Bill Lawrence and Blake McCormick wrote the script for the TV redo and are executive producing with the director and producer of New Line Cinema’s “Rush Hour” pics — Brett Ratner and Arthur Sarkissian — and Jeff Ingold of Lawrence’s Doozier Prods. Jon Turteltaub is directing the pilot and also executive producing.

Hires got his start out of college as an on-air personality for the MTVU cable channel. He’s also produced sketch comedy videos for various YouTube outlets.

article by Cynthia Littleton via Variety.com

Hot Comedy Duo Key & Peele in Talks To Resurrect the “Police Academy” Franchise

Comedians (L) Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key attends The 2013 ESPY Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on July 17, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for ESPY)
Comedians (L) Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key attends The 2013 ESPY Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on July 17, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for ESPY)

If you’re of a certain age you may remember the unapologetically silly Police Academy movies — a comedy series which dominated the 1980s.  Now, rumor has it, Comedy Central stars Keegan Michael Key and Jordan Peele may produce a repeat of the beloved franchise.

According to Variety, New Line Cinema wants to reboot the films, nearly all of which starred Steve Guttenberg and featured Bubba Smith and Michael Winslow in supporting roles.  Winslow, whose character Sgt. Larvelle “Motor Mouth” Jones famously used vocal sound effects to play pranks and fool his foes, was a particular fan favorite.

No word yet on whether he, or any of the original stars, will be back for a new iteration.

article via thegrio.com

Key and Peele Land Cover of Time Magazine, Write Opinion Piece About Comedy

Key and Peele

Comedy Central duo Key and Peele are on a roll.  After landing on the cover of New York Times Sunday Magazine last year, this week they are cover boys for national weekly news magazine Time.  It’s the Ideas Issue, and Key and Peele offer an opinion piece about comedy that may or may not make you laugh, but at the very least will make you think.  Check it out below:

Would you make fun of a burn victim? Well, we did. Sort of… We’re comics. In the most recent season of our TV show, in a sketch titled “Insult Comic,” a traditional stand-up comedian professes that he is “going to get everybody” in his set (the guy toward the front with big ears, the fat guy, the woman with comically large breasts). That’s the phrase, isn’t it, when a critic wants to praise a comedian for the fearless nature of his or her comedy? That he or she “gets everybody”? That “nobody is safe”? One of the club patrons in our sketch, however, is a wheelchair-bound burn victim. “You skipped me,” he calls from the audience, with a robotic-sounding artificial larynx. “Go for it,” he says, “I can take it.”

But can we, as a society, take it anymore?

Today it seems that we live in a world of extremes. On one end of the spectrum, we have anonymous Internet trolls looking for opportunities to dole out cruelty with impunity. But in mainstream culture, it often seems we’re drowning in a sea of political correctness that lapped up on our shores a couple of decades ago and has yet to recede.

It’s amazing to think how popular television shows like All in the Family and Good Times might fare today in a Hollywood pitch meeting. Films like Blazing Saddles and Silver Streak wouldn’t make it past the development stage at a studio. Too edgy.

Continue reading “Key and Peele Land Cover of Time Magazine, Write Opinion Piece About Comedy”

“Key and Peele” Renewed For a 4th Season on Comedy Central

Comedians Key & Peele attend the 29th Annual Television Critics Association Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on August 3, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
Comedians Key & Peele attend the 29th Annual Television Critics Association Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on August 3, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Key and Peele, the popular sketch comedy show starring biracial MAD TV vets Jordan Peele and Keegan Michael-Key, has been renewed for a fourth season.  The show has grown from a cult success to a bonfide hit, with fans tuning in Wednesday nights and consuming their online clips by the millions.

With breakout sketches like the East/West Bowl, Luther the Obama translator, Mr. Garvey (“A-aron!”) and the Liam Neeson-loving valet guys, they duo have become comedy legends in the making.  Tonight the hilarious tag team host their very first Halloween special airing on Comedy Central at 10:30 pm EST.

article via thegrio.com

Comedy Duo Key and Peele Grace Cover of New York Times Magazine

Key & Peele

Comedians Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele grace the cover of this week’s New York Times Magazine, entitled “Is Giving the Secret to Getting Ahead?”  The Comedy Central duo illustrates the work of Wharton professor Adam Grant, and his theories on workplace dynamics.

Click to read the full nytimes.com article and view all pictures.

via Key and Peele grace cover of New York Times Magazine | theGrio.