Keegan-Michael Key knows you probably don’t know what the Peabody Awards actually are — and that’s okay.
“They are the most prestigious and amazing and august awards you’ve never heard of,” Key, who is hosting this year’s 75th anniversary show, tells EW. “Actually, that’s not true. Everybody’s heard of them, but nobody knows what they are.”
Here’s the answer: Each year since 1941, the Peabody Awards have honored achievements in broadcast media ranging from Key’s own Comedy Central sketch show Key & Peele to the Serial podcast to NPR’s reporting on the Ebola outbreak. The difference between this show and others is that everyone knows the list of winners before the actual ceremony.
“What we’re doing is we’re really showcasing the work. I feel like I’m almost Atlas with Earth on my shoulders. Earth is what you should be looking at, as much if not more than Atlas,” Key says before adding with a laugh: “There’s my Greek analogy!”
The work this year includes Transparent, India’s Daughter, Master of None, and Mr. Robot. “If you’re watching the Peabody Awards, what you’re looking at is a menu of programming that you should watch,” Key says. “It’s an awards show that’s about stories that matter, stories that can change lives, stories that can inform us, and, this might be more important than anything, it’s about stories that hopefully allow us to learn and empathize with our fellow humans.”