Last night’s Keegan-Michael Key-hosted Saturday Night Live was something of a letdown, considering they had a sketch comedy genius in the house and all. Still, one sketch saw the host (alongside cast member Kenan Thompson, who admonished the monologue crowd that “Kenan” and “Keegan” are two separate people) scoring big laughs, as The Muppet Show came to town.
With some on-point muppets setting the stage, perpetually put-upon boss Kermit The Frog found himself once more beset by the box seat wisecracks of longtime showtime nemeses Statler and Waldorf. Heartily guffawing at their own hacky heckling, the octogenarian (at least) contrarians were finally confronted by security team Kenan and Keegan, who told the pair, in no certain terms, to shut the hell up. (Not even Melissa Villaseñor’s spot-on Muppet Show guest Lily Tomlin could keep those jerks quiet.)
“I’m not gonna tell you again, fellas,” Key’s gesturing bouncer cut short the duo’s self-impressed yucks, “What happens next is up to you.” Another interruption brought another stern talking to, with Kenan and Keegan’s team assuring the puppet-y punters that they don’t give a crap what “little dragon” Kermit (who Key calls “Kramer”) is doing up on their stage. “We work for the venue!,” Key warned, waving away Statler and Waldorf’s protestations that this is their whole schtick. “But the show is bad,” stated Waldorf, attempting to reason with the burly security detail, to which Key responded firmly, “Then you are more than welcome to leave!”
Sadly for two elderly puppets with no lower halves, they did not, in fact stop, leading to the sort of strong-armed beatdown usually reserved for guys who try to swindle Robert DeNiro’s gambling establishment. There are few performers committed enough to the bit to truly square up with a puppet, but Keegan-Michael Key isn’t about comedic half-measures. A quick Texas switch of Statlers later, and you’ve got one seriously messed-up muppet, with the rattled Waldorf only able to look on in twitchy horror. Now on with the show—Yayyyyy!