Gary Kordan Q&A: ‘Key and Peele’ production designer

“I hate to use such a term, but you really do have to pinch yourself,” admits “Key and Peele” production designer Gary Kordan during our recent webcam chat (watch above) about his first Emmy nomination. He’s already won an Art Directors Guild award for his work on the sketch comedy series’ fifth and final season, his first honor from that group after two consecutive bids. “The first time winning or being nominated for anything is a huge achievement in the creative arts industry,” he adds, “because there’s so much other great talent out there doing such great work.”

Kordan, whose credits include “The League,” “Workaholics,” and “@midnight,” was with the series from the very beginning. “We on the visually creative side never looked at it as a sketch comedy show,” he divulged. “We never even looked at it as a TV show. We thought and behaved like we were making $100 million features twice a day, ten times a week.”

Such a high production value is rare in sketch comedy shows. Kordan explains, “as funny as Key and Peele are, and as funny as the show was, each one of those sketches were dramatic in a way, or political, or timeless relationship problems that felt to me like a drama sometimes.”

He reflected on the show’s acclaimed run, which ended last year. “It’s quickly become this beloved show that I think people miss,” he states. “I think it’s going to hold up as a timeless sketch comedy show, but even more than sketch comedy. Maybe even like a political statement of our times. That’s how I’m sort of starting to feel about it when I re-watch sketches.”

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UPLOADED Aug 12, 2016 7:51 pm