I know this video was probably supposed to be funny since its from the Key & Peele show, but I found it very eye-opening instead. Not that it was offensive or anything, just actually addressed real life issues.
It makes me very happy that this little sketch, Honest Bully, which was on the network’s chopping block for quite some time, has really connected with people and is provoking some discussion about bullying. We didn’t put it online on the Comedy Central account, but I hope the network lets this stay up, since it’s getting out there all on its own.
Shooting this sketch was a ton of fun. Our art department put together a fully furnished period-accurate late ’70s / early ’80s dorm room, and we had a bunch of great background actors in period clothing who all had a backstory that we’d made up for them. We had some scripted lines we wanted to hit, but I also spent a lot of time letting Jordan just play and improv lines in the scene, and to make it feel as authentic as possible I walked around shooting everything on an early ’80s Magnavox Newvicon camcorder that our DP had rigged to record to a hard drive. There’s a bunch of extra footage that I really love, but we didn’t use it because we were tight on time and didn’t want the sketch to drag, so at some point I’ll definitely put out a longer director’s cut of this one. A small piece of trivia: because of the drug / sex references in the sketch, Occidental College wouldn’t let us use their name, so the sweatshirts in the piece are from “Accidental College.”
If there were a late-night comedy show completely run by comedy writers, without any interference from a host, producer, or network, that show would probably be called The Darkest and Most Impossibly Horrible Things You Can Imagine, Presented as Comedy. Every sketch would end with a gunshot or an infant’s stroller engulfed in flames, and the show would be canceled halfway through its opening titles. That’s because most comedy writers are so inured by humor that only the most shockingly toxic ideas can achieve the proper velocity to penetrate their indifference.
The employees of Cobalt Accounting are used to bizarre events occurring at the office. There’s the suicidal CPA (Larry Joe Campbell) who plays Russian Roulette in the bathroom stalls, the porn addict who pays for it in his cubicle (Keegan-Michael Key), the sleep-deprived accountant who is staring to hallucinate (Maribeth Monroe), the bigwig who keeps his family stashed inside his office (Eddie Jemison), the cranky old man with an abacus (Art LaFleur), the jaunty janitor whose life is in danger (Gary Anthony Williams), and crazy Mr. Cobalt himself (Tom Kenny), who may or may not be dying of a yet-to-be-identified chronic illness.
Created / Written by Allen Keller and directed by Peter Atencio
Wow, I am super flattered to have my work featured in this week’s Vimeo staff blog. Thank you to Matt and everyone else at Vimeo for making an amazing platform and community that I’m proud to be a part of!