Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele are some of the biggest YouTube stars on television and vice versa.
The comedic pair’s eponymous, pre-taped sketch TV show first debuted on Comedy Central in January 2012. Less than two years later in December 2013, the final episodes of the third season of Key & Peele averaged more than 2 million viewers a week and first in their timeslot among 18-34 year-old males. Meanwhile, Key & Peele sketches on YouTube have been viewed upwards of 300 million times, are by far the most viewed videos on Comedy Central’s YouTube hub, and have amassed a following so great the duo has to remind online video viewers that they do have an actual television show on Comedy Central, too.
Having a successful TV show and an even more successful YouTube presence is not a bad problem to have. In fact, it may get Key and Peele a second television show.
The Viacom-owned cable channel announced this week it has picked up Key & Peele for a 22-episode fourth season (which includes 20 regularly scheduled episodes and 2 specials). Also in the announcement was news that Comedy Central is in development with Key and Peele for an animated spinoff based on the duo’s popular YouTube series, Critiquer’s Corner.
For the uninitiated, Critiquer’s Corner (which was exclusive to YouTube before it also became available on Comedy Central On-Demand) features Key and Peele as “Vandaveon and Mike”, two Key & Peele fans with a webcam, an internet connection, and a lot of opinions about the Comedy Central series. It’s smart, silly, all kinds of meta, and shows that Key and Peele aren’t only popular on YouTube, but understand the idiosyncrasies of the content and tools available on the site well enough to make a great series parodying YouTube comment videos. Here’s an example:
The Critiquer’s Corner animated series in development features Vandaveon and Mike as 12-year-old hall monitors navigating their way through middle school. Hopefully it will get a green light, if only so we can see how Vandaveon and Mike will react to their own television series, and if Key and Peele will make another YouTube commentary series commenting on the animated series spun off from the commentary series they made that comments on episodes of their own Key & Peele.