Comedians Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele have an advantage over their peers when it comes to political humor. The sketch performers are comedians of color, allowing them to satirize President Barack Obama without being accused of being racially insensitive.
The duo ignored that advantage during the first two seasons of their Comedy Central show, opting to regularly defend the president from his political enemies.
They haven’t changed their tune in the first episode of season three.
When Key & Peele returns Sept. 18, the comics will resume their defense of the Obama administration, this time explaining away the disturbing revelations about the government’s domestic spying program. Peele once more plays Obama while Key serves as Luther, the president’s “Anger Translator,” presumably speaking without the filters that prevent presidents from saying what they really feel.
“I can assure you the American people we are not reading every individual e-mail. Rather, we’re searching for keywords that would indicate a threat,” Peele’s president says. “These keywords are being used … to prevent terrorists from using weapons of mass destruction….”
“These policies have already foiled numerous terrorist plots … I assure you that the country’s gotten safer since the end of the Bush era.”
Spin, spin spin.
Wouldn’t it be funnier if the pair brought up the NSA spying on “love interests?” Or simply the fact that we still don’t know the full extent of the domestic spying program? Or that new, shocking revelations about the scope of the spying arrive virtually every week in the news cycle?
Luther is obsessed with the NSA spying on porn searches, the sketch’s comic through line and a calculated distraction.
The sketch, like many the pair have presented previously, protects the powerful, not their fellow Americans. Before 2008, comedians did precisely the opposite with their political gags.