In a brief exchange before throwing to an action film parody in the forth episode of the second season of the beloved sketch comedy series, Key & Peele, Jordan Peele declares Muay Thai his jam.
“Do you like Muay Thai?” Keegan-Michael Key asks his partner.
“No, I’ve been learning,” Peele retorts, making goofy sounds and launching into a set of decidedly un-Muay Thai moves. “I’ve been practicing some of my techniques.”
“Oh, have you been studying from a Muay Thai master?” Key asks. Peele says he has, but Key is dubious. “You’ve been studying from a Muay Thai master?”
“On TV, yes. On TV,” Peele responds. “They’re on TV. You can study them yourself… MMA.”
The conversation quickly devolves into gleefully terrible slow motion combat.
It’s a small, throwaway bit, inconsequential and forgotten enough that I couldn’t even find a good YouTube clip of it to share with/ foist on other people. But when I was watching that display of self-aware enthusiasm and posturing as part of a Keanu-inspired revisitation of the series, I had a minor epiphany: there’s really no other comedian who approaches fight fandom the way that Jordan Peele does. And there’s definitely no one funnier when it comes to both celebrating and skewering combat sports.
There have been flashes of fight-inspired brilliance in comedy in the past. In Living Color managed to consistently skewer boxing and karate over the course of its five season run with a certain amount of fondness. The Kids In The Hall took a delightfully surreal stab at the history of boxing on their classic self-titled series, and Bob Odenkirk, David Cross, and company took a similarly weird and amusing look at MMA in their 2015 Netflix series With Bob And David. Silicon Valley did great things with the UFC last season. But most of these ….View full article