Keegan-Michael Key’s latest film might imitate his real life just a tiny bit. The actor-writer-comedian, formerly of the Comedy Central sketch show Key and Peele, joined The Jenny McCarthy Show to discuss his new film, Don’t Think Twice. The Mike Birbiglia-penned comedy features an improv troupe struggling to deal with different levels of success among their ranks.
“It’s a love letter to improvisation,” Key told McCarthy. “…This thing may as well be a documentary in the world that I’m from.”
Since his time as an improviser at Chicago’s Second City, Key spent six seasons on MadTV acting alongside Jordan Peele with whom he would eventually create Key & Peele. The sketch show lasted five seasons, ending in 2015. Key earned an Emmy nomination for Best Comedy Supporting Actor for his work on the show.
Although the film features skilled improvisers playing members of an improv troupe, the scenes featuring improv comedy were, in fact, completely scripted.
“Everybody’s a little bit guilty of it,” Key admitted, explaining the realities of improvisational comedy, recalling a time 15 years ago when his own troupe’s bits were “borrowed” by Saturday Night Live.
The actor explained the differences between comedic improvisation and writing comedic roles, referencing his work on stage as an improviser and working in films and on TV.
The two also discussed Key’s recent appearance on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert where he played Frank Walters, an African-American man attending the Republican National Convention and, to his surprise, being embraced by the other attendees.
Watch Keegan-Michael Key’s sketch from The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
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