This weekend, Keegan-Michael Key will host Saturday Night Live, with musical guest Olivia Rodrigo.
A Sketch Comedy Ringer
Keegan-Michael Key is best known as one half of the comedy duo Key & Peele. Teamed with now A-List horror director Jordan Peele, the two had their own show (descriptively titled Key & Peele) which became enormously popular during its five year run.
Keegan-Michael Key got his big start (along with Jordan Peele) on Saturday Night Live’s late 1990s/early 2000s sketch comedy competitor, MADtv. There was a long running rivalry – for a good chunk of MADtv’s initial 14 year run – between Saturday Night Live and MADtv. But SNL won out always, with its 30+ year head start, generally stronger talent, slew of top tier celebrity hosts and being actually broadcast live.
But MADtv produced some gems, in both sketches and talent. And, they actually shared a couple of cast members, though with no overlap: Jeff Richards and Taran Killam joined the SNL cast after being featured on MADtv. But MADtv‘s biggest contribution to comedy is and will always be Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele.
So this weekend, Saturday Night Live has the best performer of its two biggest sketch competitors from the past twenty years. It’s exciting to see a top-tier sketch comedian host the show. Keegan-Michael Key is going to take it to a whole new level.
More fun facts about the SNL/MADtv rivalry:
- Seth Meyers’ younger brother, Josh Meyers, was a cast member on MADtv while Seth Meyers was on SNL. Seth Meyers made reference to it during a Weekend Update segment.
- With the exception of Seth Meyers’ brief mention, SNL never acknowledged MADtv on air, despite MADtv making consistent references to SNL.
- The MADtv producers wouldn’t let Jordan Peele out of his contract to join the Saturday Night Live cast.
- Jeff Richards left MADtv in the middle of the season to join SNL
- Despite being a competing show, MADtv and SNL only overlapped by an hour; MADtv started at 11pm on Saturday nights, and only ran for an hour. Saturday Night Live airs at 11.30, for an hour and a half.
The show had its great moments, but it couldn’t quite find the footing SNL had. And Keegan-Michael Key’s follow-up, Key & Peele, is still more popular than MADtv ever was.
So catch the best of what it has to offer as Keegan-Michael Key hosts Saturday Night Live this weekend at 11.30 et/8.30 pt on Global!
Saturday Night Live can be streamed live and On Demand on the new Global TV App and on STACKTV. Global is also available through all major TV service providers.