Earlier today, Audible announced the upcoming release of The History of Sketch Comedy, an Audible Original episodic podcast, written and performed by Emmy Award-winning actor Keegan-Michael Key (The Prom). Directed and co-written by Elle Key, and produced by Bigger Picture Media group and Clamor, Audible describes the series as "equal parts master class, personal journey and performance. Key weaves his vast knowledge of sketch comedy’s rich history together with his own experiences; offering laughs and insight to listeners over ten half-hour episodes." That would seem to be a format similar to what has become popular with shows like Office Ladies and Fake Doctors, Real Friends, which ostensibly tell a history, but with a lot of stops along the way for personal anecdotes and subplots.
The audio series will premiere on January 28, 2021, and will be available exclusively on Audible. Audible members will be able to access the series as part of the newly launched Audible Plus catalog.
In The History of Sketch Comedy, Key will visit major moments in sketch history, highlighting performers and sketch shows from the first acting troupes that toured Europe in the 1500s to the rise of Variety television, and training grounds such as The Second City in Chicago. He’ll share some influential moments and sketches along the way. He offers in-depth studies on some of the landmark characters, concepts and performers that shaped the comedy, and influenced Key’s own comedic path.
"Keegan-Michael Key has created and performed some of comedy’s most memorable sketches over the years," Rachel Ghiazza, Executive Vice President, Head of US Content at Audible, said in a statement. "We can’t wait to bring this immersive comedy experience, brimming with Keegan-Michael’s unique sense of humor and brilliance to our Audible listeners."
"Audible has raised the bar for audio storytelling and I’m excited to take this deep dive into the world of sketch comedy, share some iconic sketches, and show some appreciation to the legends who helped shape this world," Key said.
Recently made available, Audible Plus is a new all-you-can-listen service in the vein of ComiXology Unlimited or other premium services embedded within existing, paid platforms. It provides users with access to an array of Audible Originals, audiobooks, and podcasts that span genres, lengths, and formats, which can be streamed instantly or downloaded for offline listening. Audible Plus allows members greater selection through unlimited access to the Audible Plus catalog, in addition to Audible’s new offering of tens of thousands of podcasts, now available free to members and non-members alike. Audible Premium Plus members will also have access to the constantly expanding Audible Plus catalog in addition to one credit per month which can be used for any piece of content outside the Plus catalog, regardless of price or length.
The History of Sketch Comedy will join other Audible Original audio projects including recent releases such as Kevin Hart’s best-selling Audible Original, The Decision: Overcoming Today’s BS for Tomorrow’s Success, The Pursuit of Healthiness with Blake Griffin, the #1 New York Times best-selling audio fiction The Sandman from Neil Gaiman, performed by James McAvoy, Kat Dennings and Michael Sheen, Letters from Camp, produced and performed by Jamie Lee Curtis, in addition to Common’s Bluebird Memories: A Journey through Lyrics & Life.