Laughing Matters: Key & Peele, “Ray Parker, Jr. Theme Songs”

Sometimes comedy illuminates hard truths with a pointed urgency that other means can’t quite achieve. Sometimes comedy is just funny. This series of posts is mostly about the former instances, but the latter is valuable, too.

There’s obviously an admirable surplus of material from the sketch comedy series Key & Peele that is engaged in the most significant political and social concerns of the current era. Much as I admire that, my true weakness when it comes to the collaborative work of Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele is for their jabs at the entertainment business. I find that material to be cunning and novel, getting at the weird hollowness of the industry by taking on relatively obscure targets that somehow become perfect stand-ins for the lot of it. Since I tend to immerse myself in the trappings of that particular world, the specificity they bring to the endeavor is especially welcome. I don’t click on a piece of modern comedy expecting an inspired Apt Pupil joke, but there it is. And it makes me laugh every time. Someday I’ll surely write about one of the weightier sketches from Key & Peele. For today, though, a well-constructed extended gag that starts with Ghostbusters (or rather, “Ghostbusters”) seems highly appropriate.

Previous entries in this series can be found by clicking on the “Laughing Matters” tag.

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