Comedy Issue EW 1331

Putting out our comedy issue turned out to be quite a drama this year. From old classics streaming online to new upstarts shaking up the networks, there’s simply too much to laugh at these days. So to help, we enlisted two of the funniest guys we know—Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, the comic geniuses behind that Comedy Central laugh-factory Key & Peele—to guest-edit the issue for us.

Turns out they’re better at our jobs than we are. Not only did the guys take the Must List and Bullseye pages off our hands, but they also went ahead and assigned an entire issue’s worth of features. Their hand-picked stories include: A revealing blind date with Chelsea Peretti and Ike Barinholtz, stars of Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Mindy Project respectively; a (phone-enabled) reunion interview with Bob Odenkirk and David Cross of HBO’s sketch classic Mr. Show; a ludicrously comprehensive guide to MTV’s cult-comedy favorite The State; and Key and Peele’s ultimate comedy syllabus, complete with 28 people, shows, sketches, movies, and moments that every card-carrying comedy nerd should know. We’re not sure, but we think they even answered the phones for us all week.

But there was one story they didn’t think to assign: Their own. Fortunately, we profiled them anyway, and learned a lot in the process. The guys gave full access to the Key and Peele enterprise, letting us in on how they got started, how they make their show, and how they’ve become busier than the President—sort of.

The story goes like this: Obama had been looking to work with the duo to make a comedy short designed to promote the Affordable Care Act. (Yes, the same assignment that eventually led to a memorable Between Two Ferns episode.) But: “We had to turn him down,” Peele says. “We were making the season.”

“We literally couldn’t fit it in to our schedules,” Key adds with regret.

“So we actually had to relieve the president of his duties,” Peele adds. “We couldn’t help him out on that one particular time. But this is a country where we technically have status over our elected officials. So you gotta remember, Obama works for us.”

Key and Peele, however, work for us, so pick up our/their comedy issue this Friday to check out all their stories, picks, jokes, and Liam Neesons.

For more, check out Key and Peele’s issue of Entertainment Weekly, on newsstands Friday.