How would Neil deGrasse Tyson, one of the most respected and prolific scientific geniuses of the modern era, resolve a minor conflict with a nagging wife? According to a brand new Key and Peele sketch, exactly how you would expect the brilliant scientist to.
The sketch which premiered on Comedy Central's Key and Peele, was also released on the the show's Facebook account. It depicts Neil deGrasse Tyson (portrayed by Peele) lazily lying in bed reading a science magazine when his wife comes in and begins to complain that he isn’t ready to leave the house for a funeral yet. Slowly and deliberately, Tyson rises from the bed and begins to address the audience, explaining the scope of the universe, the time it takes light to cross it, and the inconceivably limited amount of time human beings have inhabited the cosmos. He declares to his dumbfounded wife – complete with handy computer generated visual aids – that based on this scale of time and space that he has provided, it makes no difference if he gets ready to go or not. Defeated, she acquiesces and leaves without him. As she departs, he merely looks to the camera and deadpans “goodbye honey,” in hilarious – yet somewhat sociopathic – fashion.
It’s almost unnerving how well Jordan Peele impersonates the famous scientist; from the moustache, to the general cadence of his voice, the comedian nails Tyson down perfectly. The entire sketch plays out like a segment from the wildly popular Seth MacFarlane produced reboot of Cosmos, of which Tyson is the host. In less than two minutes, Key and Peele perfectly captures the highly scientific, yet easily digestible, lecturing style of Tyson that has endeared him to the public at large. It’s funny, but also easy to imagine a man such as Tyson taking advantage of the fact that he is likely the smartest man in any given room that he happens to find himself in.
Over the last few years, Tyson has become something of a pop culture icon in his own right. He regularly makes television appearances to promote and discuss the latest breakthroughs in science – as well as certify the scientific authenticity of Hollywood films such as Gravity and Interstellar. He has become so iconic that he has even begun playing fictional versions of himself, such as in the trailer for the upcoming Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, and the viral marketing campaign for Ridley Scott’s upcoming adaptation of Andy Weir’s novel, The Martian.
Nerd culture has grown in popularity at an exponential rate over the last few years, and with that growth, Tyson has become one of the world’s leading figures in promoting rational, scientific thought. Perhaps he should take Jordan Peele’s impression as a compliment, as it means he has become a big enough celebrity that mainstream audiences can appreciate a spot on impersonation of his mannerisms.
Originally from Connecticut, Conner grew up in San Diego and graduated from Chapman University in 2014. He now lives in Los Angeles working in and around the entertainment industry and can mostly be found binging horror movies and chugging coffee.
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