Actor, comedian, producer, and screenwriter Keegan-Michael Key and his partner, director and producer Elle Key, are confirmed to give the closing keynote for the adult books program at the U.S. Book Show on Wednesday, May 24. Appearing in-person, the Keys will interview each other about their debut nonfiction book, The History of Sketch Comedy: A Journey Through the Art and Craft of Humor (Chronicle Books, Oct.). Hosted at NYU's Kimmel Center, the event will also be livestreamed.
“Keegan and I love our local bookstores and libraries, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to be in person with you at the U.S. Book Show and share some stories about the creation of our first book,” Elle Key said in a statement about the event.
The Keys' The History of Sketch Comedy is a riff on their podcast of the same name, which began in 2021. Publisher Chronicle Books describes the forthcoming book as “part masterclass, part memoir,” which will walk the reader through the long and venerable history of sketch comedy, including personal interviews with comedic virtuosos such as John Oliver, Mel Brooks, and Carol Burnett.
As part of their keynote, the Keys will also host a live Q&A session with the audience.
In 2022, Elle won the People’s Voice Webby Award for Best Writing for their podcast.
Keegan-Michael Key, whose 2004 TV debut on the sketch comedy show Mad TV made him a star, has gone on to have a wide-ranging career in TV, film, and theater, winning two Emmy Awards and a Peabody Award.
Additional keynote speakers appearing in person, previously announced, include Sarah Jessica Parker, in conversation with Kim Coleman Foote; bestselling author Lauren Groff; The New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast; and National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and Newbery medalist Meg Medina.
For more information about the U.S. Book show, click here.