Key & Peele reenact Keanu movie scene with Conan O’Brien


Conan O’Brien replaces Method Man to recreate a scene from Key & Peele’s new movie Keanu

In lieu of showing a clip from their new movie Keanu, Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele – best known for their Comedy Central series Key & Peele – instead decided to do a live reading of a scene from the comedy during an appearance on Thursday’s episode of Conan, with host Conan O’Brien filling in for Method Man as a drug lord and gangster named Cheddar.

The duo began by claiming that they had forgotten a clip, but just so happen to have brought pages from the script. They then instructed O’Brien to read the lines belonging to Method Man, while his sidekick Andy Richter would play the titular character, a kitten who, naturally, didn’t have any lines.

“We need you to really go for it. Street it up, real gritty,” Key told Conan, who joked that there’s no better person to play the rapper.

The scene involved Key & Peele’s character pretending to be hard street thugs in order to infiltrate Cheddar’s gang so they can retrieve their stolen kitten, Keanu. However, O’Brien noticed that the first line of dialogue featured the n-word, which he refused to say even at the insistence of the comedians.

“People are very understanding when a guy like me uses that word,” Conan replied sarcastically. Instead, he decided to replace it with another n-word: “non-voter.”

O’Brien then gave his best gang leader/Method Man impression to recite the lines, receiving praise from Key & Peele for his “African-American dialect” (despite his insistence that he wasn’t doing one because he doesn’t see color), but he apparently went too far with his fake laugh, which Peele deemed “mildly offensive.” Key added, “I’m uncomfortable right now. The laugh felt a little stereotypical.”

Luckily, they continued to do the scene, with Conan delivering the often profane dialogue to the delight of the audience as Richter mimed licking his paws when the phrase “gangster pet” was mentioned. The comedy duo then suddenly interrupted to reveal that they had, in fact, brought the actual clip with them after all.

“There was no need for Conan to embarrass himself?” Key asked, while O’Brien added: “There was no need for me to walk a razor edge racial line? You just endangered my career for nothing?!” The host then threw to the real clip featuring Method Man, but Conan’s audience was so grateful for his courageous portrayal that they gave him a standing ovation.

Watch the entire segment below:

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Keanu, an action-comedy, follows Key & Peele as friends who are seeking those responsible for the theft of a beloved kitten, but they soon find themselves having to deal with violent gang members. The movie has earned mostly positive reviews from critics, including a 75% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with the site’s consensus stating that the film’s “absurd premise and compulsively watchable starring duo add up to an agreeably fast-paced comedy that hits more than enough targets to make up for the misses.” It co-stars Luis Guzman, Nia Long and Will Forte.

Conan airs Mondays to Thursdays at 11 p.m. on TBS.