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The classic sketch makes an epic comeback.
Now more than ever, Americans are oddly nostalgic for the Obama administration, and one meme featuring the president is going wild across the internet. That’s right, we’re talking about the Key & Peele Obama meet-and-greet skit.
A couple years back, Key & Peele did a sketch satirizing “code-switching,” or “the practice of shifting the languages you use or the way you express yourself in your conversations,” as NPR describes it. In this case, the skit casts Jordan Peele as President Obama as he goes about meeting Black and white Americans who just attended a presidential address. Obama shakes white Americans’ hands and cordially tells them that it’s nice to meet them, but when he comes across any Black people in the room, he hugs them, pounds fists, “tucks it in,” or quips how he “started from the bottom, now we’re here.”
“Never forget about that,” Obama tells one Black man after bumping fists. “‘Cause that’s all we got.”
Meanwhile, Obama has to fend off white people who either think they can hug him or awkwardly watch as he meets other Black people in the room. Check out the full clip below.
Of course, Key & Peele’s sketch has been out for a couple years now, but its premise is incredibly exploitable: Anyone with basic video editing skills can superimpose words onto its characters, which means dozens of memes have popped up in the past few days around the sketch. Instead of focusing specifically on code-switching or jokes about Obama, the meme version ranks shows, albums, and video games by choosing which installments stand out among the rest.
Case in point, Complex shared one meme that superimposed Kanye West albums onto the sketch, with Obama kissing a baby version of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, shaking hands with Kids See Ghost, and walking past Ye.
Getting ready for Yandhi like… pic.twitter.com/cmNg2CKDBr
— Complex (@Complex) September 28, 2018
Another version features Jay-Z albums.
Jay-z Albums pic.twitter.com/ByIOux0PpY
— The.Wav (@thedotwav) September 27, 2018
Lady Gaga has her own handshake meme too.
Key & Peele Obama Meme – Little Monsters edition. pic.twitter.com/kKaU9mWdMr
— John Kobritz (@JohnKobritz) October 3, 2018
Then there’s a meme for NBA players.
I'm addicted to the Key & Peele Obama handshake meme so I made an NBA players one. pic.twitter.com/zRyBvvN57S
— Corey Cohen (@CoreyECohen) September 29, 2018
There’s one ranking animes too. We’re ecstatic about the Yu Yu Hakusho shoutout.
The anime version of the key and peele obama meme pic.twitter.com/LN2LTtjuQD
— Memento Moriah (@memento_moriah) September 29, 2018
Oh, and there’s plenty of Key & Peele memes about video games. Like this one ranking Sonic games.
If Sonic Games Were People… pic.twitter.com/7yivDzWsKb
— PREM. (@premydaremy) September 27, 2018
Another one focuses on fighting games, from Street Fighter IV Ultra to Super Smash Bros.
The FGC meet and greet.
— Painbot (@painbot_tv) September 27, 2018
One of the most popular memes by far ranks the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Then there’s this one that hits a little too close to home.
How I deal with my depression.. pic.twitter.com/brfNtiiX4B
— 𝕭𝖑𝖚𝖊𝖋𝖆𝖈𝖊 (@88GHz) September 28, 2018
At least there’s always Cartoon Network cartoons for when we’re down.
I love the Key and Peele handshake memes so I made one for Cartoon Network. pic.twitter.com/1LGIHDyBIW
— Ghost (@GhostIsHost) October 1, 2018
By the way, the “tucking it in there” joke references another Key and Peele sketch all about snapbacks. At this rate, it won’t be long until that skit gets its own meme, too.
The funniest part of the Jordan Peele Obama Handshake meme is when he sizes up Key, decides he sufficiently black and then they start the “tuck it…I’m in there, dog” back and forth.
That always makes me laugh especially hard because it’s a reference to another skit. pic.twitter.com/lVU2UBhXAf
— NOT KYLE (@kyalbr) October 1, 2018
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Know your memes. Introducing 2 GIRLS 1 PODCAST:
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Ana Valens is an LGBTQ reporter and essayist for the Daily Dot. Her work has previously appeared in Bitch, the Establishment, Vice's Waypoint, Rolling Stone's Glixel, and the Toast. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.