Jordan Haworth Peele is an American actor, comedian, film director, and screenwriter. He is best known for starring in the Comedy Central sketch series Key & Peele and for his five seasons as a cast member on MADtv.
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I’m back and ready to answer you questions. Check out the trailer for my new movie Get Out in theaters February 24th - https://youtu.be/sRfnevzM9kQ. Ask me anything.
Edit: Thank you guys so much. We are closing down shop on this session of Ask Me Anything, but this was so fun. You had great questions. Please rush out and go see Get Out. It is scary, it is fun, and it opens February 24th. Love you guys.
You said bitch though, right?
Yeah…I done said it. Biiiiiiiiiiiiiiitch. I did, I did. (pats sweat off brow)
Everyone wants to know: does "Get Out" take place in the same cinematic universe as "Keanu"?
First of all, shoutout Jonas. I know who you is. We're Twitter buddies.
I didn't intend it to be in a connected universe, but I will say, Jonas, my next three or four films I will be looking at possibly connecting them.
Jordan - major congrats on GET OUT. I got to see it last night and was impressed with how gripping the movie was from start to finish, through moments of comedy and terror. The tone and urgency reminded me of Wes Craven's underrated thriller RED EYE, and I was curious if that might have been an influence. I'm also a big fan of your baby-mama-to-be Chelsea Peretti (congrats!) and there were a couple of pieces of quirky dialogue that felt like her voice might have crept into the script a bit. Did she have any influence on the movie?
First, with Red Eye, that specifically wasn’t an influence, but Scream was and The People Under the Stairs was. As for whether or not Chelsea’s voice snuck into the script at all, I wrote it before I met my wife. But, there were elements of the character, Rose, that I did pull from Chelsea’s innate coolness and really found that the sense of humor at the center of the love story was the most important thing.
How did it feel switching to the horror genre when comedy has been your focus for the longest time?
How did it feel switching to the horror genre? Horror is my favorite genre. I think comedy and horror are very closely related. They’re both about grounding absurdity. So that just means applying whatever crazy notion you have to reality. They also are about timing. So it was a pretty natural fit for me.
What celebrity did you geek out over meeting?
Stephen Root is in my movie. He is from Office Space and many other things. He's kind of a comedy hero.
Hi Jordan! Big fan of your key and peele sketches. How was your daughters quinceanera? Also is key and peele done forever?
My daughter's Quinceañera was good. She didn't sit down though. Not once. Neither did I.
The show Key & Peele may be finished forever, but the concept of the Keegan and Jordan working together has just begun.
In "Rick and Morty" you and Keegan portrayed inter-dimensional talking scrotums. How did you mentally prepare for that role?
Well, Jonas, I'm a method actor, so I go throughout the entire day as a scrotum before I get to the booth. And then after, it takes me a couple hours to de-scrotify after the voiceover session.
How was it like working with Weird Al in the "White and Nerdy" video?
Amazing. Weird Al is genuinely one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met. He’s a legend. Anyone in my age group views him as a god and I certainly do as well.
Do you plan on writing more horror movies?
Great question, u/tittymilkshakes. Yes, I've got several social thrillers marinating and I intend to write and direct all of them. So, that's what you're going to see me be doing the next couple years.
Will you be on my podcast?
Let’s pretend this is your podcast. Ask me the question you would ask me and I’ll answer, and you can do an impression of me on you podcast.
I will do my best but ill probably sound like a busted Levi.. I appreciate you being a guest.
1) How often do you get mistaken for my friend Yasil? You guys look near IDENTICAL!
2) How hard is it to not laugh when filming?
Thats all I have for you I know you're busy. Thanks again for coming on - Listeners don't forget to see GET OUT written and directed by the amazing Jordan Peele. Jordan, thank you and God bless.
1) All the time. I’m constantly getting tweets of people seeing somebody that I look like. Whether it’s ILoveMakonnen, Big Baby D.R.A.M., or Adam Levine…le-veen? Le-vine? Workaholics Adam.
2) When I’m filming with Keegan, it’s almost impossible. The whole name of the game for us is to try and crack each other up. He is right up there with my wife as one of the funniest people in the world.
Hi Jordan! If you could do a sketch with anyone dead or alive who would you pick?
If I could do a sketch with anyone dead or alive, I would go with Eddie Murphy.
Whats the best fast food restaurant in your opinion?
What's your favorite pizza topping?
Okay. Hard hitting questions. Don’t know if I’m comfortable sharing this, but…pepperoni.
What are you favorite horror movies that inspired you to write and direct your own? Btw I'm really looking forward to GET OUT. It eerily feels like an allegory based on my experiences with the TSA in Spokane, WA.
The Stepford Wives, Rosemary's Baby, CandyMan, Halloween, and The People Under The Stairs.
This is your directorial debut, so how different is the combination of writing+directing compared to only writing? Does your thinking process differ in both the cases?
Also, any personal tips to those passionate about writing/directing?
Thanks a lot for the AMA :)
Writing and directing is very different from just writing. Obviously, you have the control to execute it the way you want to execute it. I was lucky enough to have worked the last few years with Peter Atencio, who really shared a vision, but this was a very welcome departure, as well because it was fun.
I would say, first off, write your favorite movie that you haven't seen. Don't worry about whether it's going to get made. Write something for yourself. After you have that draft then worry about what you need to do to sell it. I would also say, as a director, enjoy yourself. It's such a stressful job and if you take the time to take a breathe and have quiet moments for yourself to just say how the fuck did I get here? This is awesome. That will seep into the work and people will feel it. People will feel the joy.
I read an INCREDIBLY funny spec script about "Mike and Vandaveon" in middle school. Now that "Get Out" is completed, will you ever get back to the Mike and Vandaveon animated series?
Jonas, Jonas, Jonas, I haven’t read it yet, I’m so sorry, I’ve been busy. Look, Mike and Vandaveon, the cartoon, it’s not dead, yet. It’ll be a little bit a while until the momentum can come up and I can put a little more attention into it. But I still have it.
Hey Jordan, I'm sure there's a lot of fans out there like me who almost feel like they know you from watching your skits for hours and hours. I maintain that the Continental Breakfast skit was not only educational about European culture, but it also is pure genius from beginning to end with its levels of satire and mystery. How do you manage to brainstorm and write the ideas for your skit while executing them to perfection (like how the Spanish banana is baked)?
Every sketch comes about a different way and you need to give it enough time to sort of find itself. So, in other words, a sketch is ready when it's ready. The execution of the sketch takes the help of many geniuses with whom I surround myself with.
What were your original expectations for Get Out? How has that changed given the incredible feedback and reception the movie has been getting?
My original expectation for “Get Out” was that there was no way going to get made. Still, I wanted to make a movie that addressed the fact that we are not in a post-racial world. Now, I think it’s quite clear to everybody; no one has any mistake as to whether or not race in a problem in our society and culture. So, I feel like fate has brought this movie to a point where it’s even more needed and more interesting than what I originally intended it to be.
What do you think the pinnacle of comedy is? What kind of music do you listen too?
The pinnacle of comedy is, for me, a combination between the British Office and Martin, the Martin Lawrence show.
Right now, I'm listening to Chance the Rapper, Donald Glover, Lana Del Ray, James Blake, and Bon Iver. Bone Iver? I don't know how to say his name, but I listen to him.
Hi Jordan, big fan of your sketches on Key and Peele! If you had the chance to bring one of your sketch characters to life and meet him, who would it be? Thanks for doing this!
I’d bring Meegan to life and I’d fuck the shit out of her.
Did you ever come up with an idea for, or write a script, that had references that were too obscure and you ended up scrapping it? If so, what were the references?
One of the big questions that came attached to many of the sketches I wrote for Key & Peele was is this too referential? Does it alienate people? Yeah, there were some sketches that were deemed too specific. I will say that the Gremlins 2 sketch was a sketch that got put on hold for the longest time and I didn't think we were ever going to do it because it was so highly referential and finally in the last season I made them do it.
Would you rather have a talking banana with infinite wisdom that only speaks in Fran Drescher's voice and wakes you up at all hours of the night or a horse named Nathan Scott Phillip that was as fast as a car and never required food but smelled like the inside of a belly button?
Can't beat infinite wisdom.
Have you considered remaking The Power of Wings music video now that you can obviously afford a bigger budget for it?
That’s a great idea. I would love to do a full Wendell movie that is his existence in the fantasy world that he likes to see his life in. Yeah, if we can get an online campaign started right here and right now, let’s do Wendell Meets Middle Earth. Let’s do it guys. I need you.
What is the most obvious mistake people make when attempting to impersonate you?
Thinking that I have a good sense of humor about myself and my shortcomings.
Hi Jordan, thanks for doing this. As a big nerd and someone who plays Dungeons and Dragons a couple of times a week, my favorite sketch is Dungsons&Dragons&Bitches. My question is, Do you remember the first sketch you wrote?
I'm a huge nerd. I played many role-playing games growing up. Dungeons & Dragons, Gurps, Rifts, the Paladin games. The one game I never played growing up was bitches. Bitches and role-playing games usually don't go together very well.
The first sketch I wrote was when I was a kid and I must have been ten years old and my white friend and I did a little video where he was playing piano and he wished he could be a better piano player and then the wish came true. I replaced him and because I was black, I was a better piano player. That's Key & Peele 101. OG shit.
When's the last time you used Meegan's voice? Also are you and Keegan making an adaption of "Subsitute Teacher"? I hope so!!
Meegan’s voice comes out fairly often. It’s my wife’s favorite character, so she asks me to be Meegan from time to time. Not in the kinky way. The substitute teacher film is low key in discussion. I’ll leave it at that.
What's up Jordan? Welcome to Reddit. When did you first realize you could really make people laugh?
What's up, u/TheFlyingFetus?
When I was maybe five years old, I had an impression of Ronald Reagan that would crack my mom up. It was one word and all I would say was, "Well?". Maybe throw in a Nancy. That's the first time I've done that impression in 32 years.
First of I just want to say that your Macedonian Cafe skit is pure comedic gold. How did you know that Serbs are sons of mother bitches?
That was a sketch written by Keegan and it was based on somebody that he knows in Detroit. I leave all my Macedonian trivia to Keegan.
Which K&P quote is the most annoying when somebody sees you and yells it in public?
Which makes you happiest?
I think the best is when people go, “I said, biiiiiiiitch”, because it’s discreet. It doesn’t grab a lot of attention. I think the worst is probably “NO” (Meegan’s voice) because it’s loud. All the sudden everybody looks and then there’s a crowd of people.
I need to know - will Hingle McCringleberry or D'Jasper Probincrux III be making an appearance in Get Out?
We couldn't get Hingle and D’Jasper was busy. For Get Out 2, I hope to book Kobe Buffalomeat, who was an actual college player. Look him up. That's true. Kobe Buffalomeat was a real person.
The genesis was D'Brickashaw Ferguson. He's the alpha. The omega is Kobe Buffalomeat.
If this movie becomes successful enough, will you consider letting them make a Lego version of the film?
I would loove to see a Lego version of Get Out. I think Lord and Miller are geniuses and I would be honored.