What would you ask 'Silicon Valley' star Jimmy O. Yang?
- Apr 17 '17
Actor, comedian, and all-around great guy Keegan-Michael Key discusses everything from his recent work with Mike Birbiglia to diversity in America and his reunion with his biological mother in this wide-ranging and intimate interview. Plus, Key’s impressions of Snoop Dogg, Cory Booker, and the host sitting across the table from him.
Key plays protagonist Jack Mercer in Birbiglia’s newest effort, ‘Don’t Think Twice,’ about the unraveling of an improv troupe when one member hits it big. The idea that “not everyone makes it” leads Key to reminisce on his own early days, from his dramatic training to Second City in Detroit to his big break on Mad TV. Key also reveals the roundabout way he met Jordan Peele, his tips on improvisation, and the impact he hopes ‘Key & Peele’ will make on popular culture.
“It makes me crazy that nobody's communicating,” says Key on the status of current events. But does he fear a Trump election? The answer may surprise you.
QUOTES FROM THIS 'LARRY KING NOW' INTERVIEW WITH KEEGAN-MICHAEL KEY:
*Posted Online on Ora.TV on AUGUST 10TH 2016:
“It's going to sound very interestingly backwards, but what made me cry is the hopefulness of the script. There's actually something – it was a – it has lots of comedic elements to it, but there is this hopefulness to it and it had everything I'd ever want in a script. It was tragic and loving and hilarious and sarcastic and – but there's an effusiveness to the script that I couldn't deny. I had to do it.” – Keegan-Michael Key on why he cried reading the ‘Don’t Think Twice’ script.
“Mike Birbiglia, who is just about the most amazing person ever, I think. He's a storyteller. He's a guy that derives a lot of material for his projects out of biography, out of himself. And I find that the work that he does is – it's full of heart. He's not snarky and he really loves the subject matter that he writes about.” – Keegan-Michael Key on Mike Birbiglia, writer-director of ‘Don’t Think Twice.’
“Everyone was working toward the same thing. Everyone knew what they were working toward. And I think that you get that in indies more than sometimes you get in studio movies.” – Keegan-Michael Key on why he likes doing independent movies.
“My first taste was when I was at the Second City in Detroit. So I started at my home town in Detroit, we had a Second City there and Bob Saget came to see a show. He was in Detroit for a charity event. He came to see the show and my very best friend in the whole world, he and one of our other colleagues, they kind of just got snatched up because Bob Saget said, "Oh gosh, you guys are fantastic. I'm going to send my agents to come see you next week." So he sent his agents, they came that the next week and they just they took our two friends and they were gone.” – Keegan-Michael Key on seeing fellow comedians reach success before himself.
“We wanted to make sure that all we were doing was doing comedy that made us laugh. And in turn, what ended up happening was that there's this weird voice, this interesting voice that people had not heard before.” – Keegan-Michael Key on ‘Key and Peele.’
“The most important thing is making everybody understand that the African-American experience isn't a monolith. That certain black people say to other black people, ‘Oh, you're not black.’ or ‘You're not as black as I am.’ There's no such thing as ‘black as I am.’ What it means is you're culturally different than I am and so for us it's always – that was breaking the cipher.” – Keegan-Michael Key on finding the voice of ‘Key and Peele.’
“The problem isn't even racism as much as it's ignorance. It's the fact that as a citizen I don't understand exactly what a police officer goes through, and as a police officer they don't understand exactly what I'm going through. And if there's any way that we can interface or have it happen – that should be a matter of course, I think, in society that we should sit down frequently and have people talk to each other about, well, when you do this it I feel that way or that could be a trigger for this kind of stressor for me. But instead what we do is we yell at each other and one of us has a gun and the other one doesn't.”
“The greatest thing that could happen to my show, is that a kid watches something on whatever the equivalent of YouTube is 75 years from now and goes, ‘why is this funny? I don't understand this.’ The greatest thing that's happened in the last five years was me watching this Cheerios commercial with the interracial couple and then people watch these children interview children and said, ‘So what's – is anything weird about the commercial?’ and all the kids said, ‘Well, the dad is taking a nap and it's like, shouldn't you be at work?’ They never comment on the fact the dad's black and the mom's white. They don't care.”
“Everybody thinks that what I see on TV is what's existing in America. There's a whole middle of the spectrum of people who are sensible, who care about their children, who want there to be fiscal stability. All those people have not been – they've not weighed in. They won't weigh in until November. They don't weigh in because they don't make interesting news. People who solve problems are boring.” – Keegan-Michael Key on the upcoming election.
“I thought there was going to be like some ticker tape parade and Oprah was going to appear, you know? But it wasn't. I was just everybody else just living their lives.” – Keegan-Michael Key on meeting his biological mother in his twenties.
“Improvisation is about listening and it's about investing completely in the last thing that happened. The mistake is everybody thinks improve is that you're quick and you're thinking out here. I'm not thinking out here, I'm thinking back here. What's the last thing that happened?” – Keegan-Michael Key on the art of improv comedy.
“I'm desperately afraid of people not liking me.” – Keegan-Michael Key on something he fears.
“We laughed so hard we had a 46 minute take, Larry, a 46 minute take. There's only three usable minutes in it. We couldn't stop laughing.” – Keegan-Michael Key on filming with Bryan Cranston for ‘Why Him?’
“I feel like he's always trying to explain something. Like somebody always caught him like, ‘Did you just step on that bug?’ ‘No I didn't step on the bug! I didn't step on the bug! That bug happened to be there. That was all timing and that just happened to happen!’ I mean he's excited all the time. I can't even imagine being in a cabinet meeting with him.” – Keegan-Michael Key on his Cory Booker impression.