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Keegan-Michael Key got his "masters degree in comedy" growing up in the Motor City

Keegan-Michael Key (fourth head from the left) and his comedy group, The 313
Courtesy of The 313
Keegan-Michael Key (fourth head from the left) and his comedy group, The 313

Never underestimate the power of the class clown.

The Southfield-born Keegan-Michael Key took his "class clown" talent (or "class theater nerd" as he put it) from Gesu Grade School and Royal Oak Shrine High School in Detroit to roles in television and film.

Key made his name when he was one-half of Comedy Central's show Key & Peele. The national success of that show led him to a gig working side-by-side next to President Barack Obama at the White House Correspondents' Dinner.

See below:

Now, the University of Detroit Mercy alum is heading home to lead a benefit show at the Detroit Institute of Arts: An Evening with Keegan-Michael Key and The 313 with special guest Tim Meadows.

He honed his comedic craft while working with the now-defunct Second City Detroit starting in 1997. Over the nearly four years, he "cut his comedy teeth and it felt more like I was getting a degree -- getting a masters degree in comedy".

He also founded the improv comedy groups Planet Ant and The 313, the group that he is performing with at the DIA event, which is made up of a number of Second City alums and friends.

Listen to the full interview above to hear about how Michigan played a role in Key's career, his early days of working in Detroit and what it was like performing with the President of the United States as his "straight man."

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See more from The 313 improv group


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