"Slap-Ass: In Recovery" - Key & Peele Review

Key & Peele
“Slap-Ass: In Recovery”
Season 4, Episode 4

Key and Peele have done wonders for what seemed to be one off characters. Barack Obama and his translator Luther have become staples in the series; the name pronouncing Mr. Garvey has proven so popular that he’s getting his own movie; even the creatively named football players have popped up more than once. In last week’s episode, Slap Ass came out of ass slapping rehab in order to play more baseball. The duo has also been experimenting this season (as I previously mentioned). This time out, the first two sketches are abnormally long. They’re like character studies that focus on Slap Ass and Carl from Family Matters.

The episode starts off with a fear that many people have about their dentist. What would you do if you woke up in the middle of a procedure to find him suited up in sexy S&M gear? Anything that came into your head at this moment would be the appropriate reaction. Unless you’re into that shit. In that case, I don’t care.

Slap Ass’s team celebrates a victory in the next sketch. However, upon seeing a congratulatory pat on the butt, he is quick to remind his team that their ass slapping teammate is coming back. They would have to stop all of the grab ass because of him! What a joy killer. This one proved a little more mature than its premise makes it out to be. Each shot is followed by an unsettling silence as Slap Ass walks his way around the locker room trying to high five everyone. The accent seems heavier here as Peele does his best as the lisp ridden Slap Ass. Cedric Yarbough is here as well playing the newest teammate with an extra-large posterior. By the time he shows up, you can see the length limit for a sketch is greatly being teased. Seven minutes is long for any type of sketch. But when it’s developing a story line, it could work. These guys have room to experiment with their episode order but let’s hope that their note as dry as this one.

The Family Matters sketch that everyone was clamoring about the week before it aired came on next. Jordan Peele played  Reginald VelJohnson’s Carl who was complaining about the show becoming more about Steve Urkel than actual family matters. He’s right too; the show turned to more wacky adventures than the preachy subjects it had before. The crux of the sketch is Tyler James Williams’s appearance as Urkel. He doesn’t quite have the voice but the ominous way he shows up is extremely funny. As it turns out, my 15 year theory that Urkel ran the show was correct. Can someone please alert the message boards? You’ll notice halfway through the argument that this is the second of the long sketches.

The final noticeable sketches both include restaurants. The first begins at an French restaurant. Peele is on a date with a woman he’s trying to impress. He tells the lie of being able to speak the language fluently.  Of course it doesn’t turn out well. The second is a mob-esque restaurant story. Peele plays a fat mob boss that is meeting with another mob boss. Sudden;y, Key walks in and begins beating the other guy up. But then he starts to clean him up too. For example, he messes up his hair then he fixes up the guys hair, making it look even better. All of this is done with Peele’s commentary. What’s really memorable about this sketch is the lighting. The set comes with beautiful direction coupled with soft lighting that mixes well with the hard hitting.

Long Story Short:

This was a good episode that tested the limits of what a sketch is. Direction was also top notch in the last two thirds while teetering on decent in the first. Key and Peele deserve to go all out when it comes to sketches.