Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, stars of Comedy Central's Key and Peele, have breathed new life into political satire with “Obama's Anger Translator.” The new season of the show premieres Wednesday night at 10:30, and I'll be shocked if Obama and his translator, Luther, don't make an appearance. The concept of the bit is simple, President Obama can't always express his anger, so he hires someone to be irate on his behalf. Luther says the things that Obama can't/won't, and says them with a passionate rage that perfectly counter-balances the president's perpetually cool demeanor.
While Peele's Obama impression is up there with the best of them, and Key's performance as Luther is on point, the best part of the sketch is its staying power. They debuted the bit in the first episode of their new show, and have revisited it several times since, never once failing to be hilarious. I still laugh every time Luther is introduced and growls his trademark, guttural, “Hi.” And as long as Obama still has things to get angry about, they can never run out of material. In fact, Key and Peele have so much to cover as Luther and Obama that they've released several web shorts during their show's summer hiatus.
Obama's Anger Translator is the perfect vehicle for political satire, because the absurd happenings in the world of politics demand a surreal, not to mention exasperated, response. Having Luther jump up and down in a childish fury and rant that Fox News wants to “create a society that believes I'm a socialist Muslim ... I mean can you believe that shit? After four years, I still have to defend my faith?” is probably the best way to address something so ridiculous. There's no need for clever wordplay or any other subtle comedy when what you're mocking just has absolutely no sense to it.
The 2012 Election promises endless fodder for Luther and Obama, as the president is sure to be attacked in some truly ludicrous ways. Take for instance Clint Eastwood's perplexing performance at the RNC in Tampa, where he talked to an imaginary president in an empty chair for several minutes. That was so insane that it basically makes fun of itself, so all Luther has to do for satire's sake is yell “CLINT EASTWOOD!?” when Obama is talking about the convention.
Watch the New Season of Key and Peele Wednesday night at 10:30 p.m. on Comedy Central