Key & Peele: “Severed Head Showcase”

30 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Key & Peele’ Is Ending. Here Are A Few Of Its Code Switch-iest Moments.

It’s no secret that sports play a huge part in our everyday lives, and the occasional analysis of every draft, dash, dish or drive has given way to round-the-clock coverage of stray tweets and ill-timed twitches.Their preview for tonight’s new episode is a hilarious SportsCenter-style parody that depicts a world where educators are treated like star athletes—complete with classroom play-by-plays, crazy contract deals, and televised teacher drafts. Not in the alternate reality of Comedy Central’s Key & Peele, who recently debuted a hilarious send-up of the breathless sports journalism of the SportsCenter variety. From English teacher Ruby Ruhf’s decision to switch schools, a very LeBron James move, to the news ticker of student test scores, the classroom becomes an exciting, high-stakes world like it’s middle of the NBA playoffs.

The show has earned a Peabody Award and a whole slew of Emmy nods for its thoughtful and hilarious deconstructions of topics like race, sexuality and relationships. We even see a breakdown of what makes a great teacher when one educator calls on a student who didn’t have his hand raised and asks him to answer a question. From teachers signing $80 million guaranteed contracts with $40 million incentives based on test scores – told you the SAT was important – to muscled-up highlights of American History class and hyperbolic coverage of the Teacher Draft (complete with scouting reports and a ticker to update you on the best ACT scores), the duo put a hilarious spin on ESPN’s signature show. “Mike Yoast is an unbelievable story,” Jordan Peele says of the first teacher taken in the 2015 Draft. “His father living from paycheck-to-paycheck as a humble pro football player, the kid was a natural mathlete.” Of course, with the average public school teacher making less than $50,000 a year, part of the reason they’re laughing is to keep from crying. Of course, any such list has to begin with “Luther” (played by Key), who acts as President Obama’s “anger translator,” saying the things Obama can’t say as leader of the free world.

The president, an admitted fan of the program, even went so far as to invite Luther to speak on his behalf at the 2015 White House Correspondent’s Dinner. We’d love to see them cover the Scripps National Spelling Bee. 2015 may not bring everything that Back to the Future II promised it would: flying cars, self-lacing shoes, we don’t see ’em happening over the next 12 months. (Then again, don’t bet against Nike.) But this year will definitely pack plenty of punch when it comes to cultural happenings. Obama, portrayed by Peele on the show, is often used to illustrate how good lots of black people get to be at code-switching in America — how they greet other black folks as opposed to how they greet whites, for instance. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school teachers in the US made an average salary of $56,383 during the 2012-2013 academic year. Mad Max will roar back out of the apocalypse while Mad Men rides off into the sunset, rock’s Antichrist Superstar and hip-hop’s Yeezus will rise again.

Compare to the average salaries of professional baseball athletes ($3.82 million during the 2014 season), professional basketball athletes ($4.9 million for the 2013-14 season), and professional football players ($2 million for the 2013 season). Same-sex marriage is also examined — specifically through the lens of a supportive family concerned by the lack of “gay hymns” in a cousin’s upcoming wedding. The duo have had no reservations in letting their political leanings seep into their sketches — especially through their characterization of black Republicans.

As Slate’s Aisha Harris noted, “the lament about how our culture privileges athletics over education is an old one,” but it’s still useful to periodically remind Americans of our rather absurd and hypocritical prioritization of resources. One day after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced he was upholding Tom Brady’s four-game “Deflategate” suspension, the Patriots’ quarterback let it be known that he doesn’t intend to take a seat without a fight. Despite the series’ soon-to-come finale, the real-life comedy duo Key and Peele will not be “breaking up” — they’ve got tons of projects on the table, including a movie and an animated series based on two of their many characters. As the proud daughter of a lifelong teacher, I personally think obsessing over one’s teachers isn’t just a normal pastime, it’s a noble one. (Shout out to Elena Bennet crushing it over at Sacramento Country Day School!) The US education system has more than its share of problems and controversy.

In a statement posted Wednesday on his Facebook page, Brady said he was “very disappointed” with Goodell’s decision, dismissed several findings of the Wells Report and denied he played a role in – or had any knowledge of – the deflation of game balls used in the Patriots’ AFC Championship rout of the Indianapolis Colts in January. “I did nothing wrong, and no one in the Patriots organization did either,” Brady wrote. “Despite submitting to hours of testimony over the past six months, it is disappointing that the Commissioner upheld my suspension based upon a standard that it was ‘probable’ that I was ‘generally aware’ of misconduct. The fact is that neither I, nor any equipment person, did anything of which we have been accused.” Brady also addressed the “new evidence” Goodell mentioned when announcing his decision – the destruction of a cellphone the commissioner said contained “text messages and other electronic information” – denying that he had purposely tried to obstruct the league’s investigation or hide his role in the “Deflategate” scandal. “I disagree with yesterday’s narrative surrounding my cellphone.

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