I don’t watch the Key and Peele show regularly, but I happened to catch a rerun earlier today and saw this sketch from last year. It’s a pretty silly routine where they make fun of the difference between white college movies and black college movies using the classic comedy template of “white people do this, black people do that.” I was delighted to run across this bit, which I take as yet another example of academic fiction in the popular consciousness. As someone pointed out in the YouTube comments, the film How High does bust their “theory” that there are no college movies featuring black folks that are all about partying and having fun. Though K&P are still right, because the comic energy in that movie comes from the “fish out of water” story of two young black men (Method Man and Redman) who one would not expect to see as students on an Ivy League campus. (And yes, I know I totally missed How High in my list of academic movies. I finally viewed it a couple of months ago, and was shocked to see Spalding Gray made a cameo in it. Who knew?!)
So anyway, here’s Key and Peele, in the first clip joking about the subject matter of college movies, and in the second clip doing a skit about a couple of black frat brothers performing a branding ritual that goes hilariously wrong.
Check out John Conklin’s Campus Life in the Movies for more (serious) critical analysis of academia on screen.
P.S. The dissertation is mostly done and I’m defending in the fall. I swear!