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History of Sketch Comedy


From the beginning of time, there have been many important questions that have perplexed the human race, such as: Why are we here? What is the meaning of life?and Who’s on first? Two of these questions might be above their pay grade, but the last one, Elle Key and Keegan-Michael Key both actually know a thing or two about.

Expanding on their Webby-Award-winning podcast, The History of Sketch Comedy is their engaging literary debut. The Keys take you on an illuminating journey through all facets of comedy, from the stock characters of commedia dell’arte in the sixteenth century, the rise of vaudeville and burlesque, and the golden age of television—to the ascension of comedy films and TV specials and even a look at the future of sketch on social media platforms.

Part memoir, part masterclass, and hilariously embellished with priceless commentary,  The History of Sketch Comedy highlights the essential building blocks of sketch comedy while interweaving Keegan's personal career journey and the influence of his comedy heroes. With original exclusive essays compiled from conversations with influential performers, sketch writers, and uber comedy fans including Mel Brooks, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Mike Myers, Chris Rock, John Oliver, Tracy Morgan, Carol Burnett, Jim Carrey, Jordan Peele, and many more; this book is as entertaining as it is enlightening—a must read for fans of comedy and all who aspire to comic greatness.

"A boisterous debut… the authors are as funny as one would expect …this is a hoot.” Publishers Weekly

“Will entice fans of Key & Peele…a fun and funny primer on the art form.” Booklist

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