The show’s never been more popular with both fans and critics. Their videos constantly get millions of views on YouTube, and with a Peabody Award and multiple Emmy nominations already under its belt, Key & Peele is currently up for eight Emmy nominations this year (including Outstanding Supporting Actor for Key). But for the duo, who were performing together long before they appeared on Mad TV, it was time for them to end the show while it was still on top.
“This is our final season—and it’s not because of Comedy Central, it’s us,” Key told the Wrap. “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.”
Key & Peele currently has no end date, but the final eight episodes have yet to air. Both Key and Peele are grateful for what they’ve been able to do while looking ahead; their movie Keanu comes out Apr. 22, 2016.
Now we all get to see our destination. Thanks for the ride everyone. #KeyandPeele— Keegan-Michael Key (@KeeganMKey) July 26, 2015
Love u— Jordan Peele (@JordanPeele) July 25, 2015
Wait till you see what we do next tho.— Jordan Peele (@JordanPeele) July 26, 2015
And in the course of three years, they’ve accomplished quite a bit. Their sketches have entered the pop-culture vernacular and gone beyond the screen: A football receiver performed Hingle McCringleberry’s victory dance at an actual football game, and President Barack Obama brought in Key’s Luther—Obama’s “anger translator”—at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.
We’ve got plenty to look forward to in the next couple months, but we’re looking back at some of their highlights that made us laugh until we cried—but also got us talking.
1) Substitute Teacher
A teacher who subs in the inner city is out of his element when he’s brought in to teach a class full of white kids, mainly because they’re challenging him on something he’s always known: how to say their names. And we learn that we’ve been pronouncing them wrong the whole time. A movie based on the Mr. Garvey character starring Key and Peele is currently in development.
2) Obama’s Anger Translator
Luther is the guy Obama wishes he had. He likely has plenty of anger about plenty of stuff, but because of the unique position he’s in, he can’t really show it. He has to remain calm and collected, but Luther is pure, beautiful rage.
And considering Luther got his biggest audience at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in April, there’s no way Key & Peele could top it.
3) What About “Non-Stop,” Though?
These valets don’t have much to do while their patrons are inside the building, but their enthusiastic excitement on everything from Game of Thrones to Batman is infectious. The highlight, though, is how unprepared they are when the very person they’re praising actually shows up.
4) East/West College Bowl
Here is another fantastic series all about names. Key and Peele alternate on stating the names of college players and where they went to school like the NFL does with Sunday Night Football, each player more ridiculous than the last. By the third installment, they got real players to state their names, but the very first take was an instant classic.
5) Meegan, Come Back
Meegan (Peele) her boyfriend Andre (Key) go to extreme lengths in an ongoing argument about a jacket and drinks at a bar, but ultimately who’s right doesn’t even matter. We can relate but hope we never end up like them.
6) Auction Block
Key and Peele push boundaries to a new level of absurdity in a sketch about two slaves who wonder what the other slaves being sold have that they don’t.
7) I Said B***h
They will go to any lengths possible to complain about their wives and girlfriends in private so they can’t hear it—but the minute the women show up, it’s a completely different story.
Who would’ve thought that Key and Peele could take the concept of “that guy who tries to prank you by pointing out there’s something on your shirt” and turn into a suspense thriller?
9) Aerobics Meltdown
Something so fundamentally happy can turn into a dark moment with the aid of some cue cards and a tragedy, as long as you keep on dancing.
There’s always that guy who says “nooice,” but when someone else tries to go in, it can get ugly.
Screengrab via Comedy Central/YouTube