Key & Peele Asks, ‘What If We Worshipped Teachers Like We Do Pro Athletes?’
Imagine a world in which teachers are hired via a draft broadcast live from Radio City Music Hall, do commercials for major brands, and scoop up contracts worth tens of millions of dollars. Or, you know, just watch Key & Peele’s latest sketch, TeachingCenter, which does it for you.
(Screenshot via Comedy Central)
“Apparently, PS 431 has made Ruhf an offer she couldn’t refuse,” says Peele’s sportcaster, after a video announcement of a fictional AP English teacher explaining why she’s leaving Ohio to return to New York. “$80 million guaranteed over six years, with another $40 million in incentives based on test scores.”
“She’s bringing an introvert into the discussion, y’all! That’s a Teacher of the Year Play,” says Key, commenting on another clip of a teacher drawing out a hesitant participant.
It’s a good joke, visually: the SportsCenter crawl, the whooping talking heads, the image of bespectacled, less-than-athletic looking teachers being congratulated by their sports agents or announcing their decision to join a new school. Of course, it’s also a good joke substantively: PayScale’s Most and Least Meaningful Jobs report found that teaching occupations, while consistently high on the list of most meaningful jobs, are also relatively low paid, especially considering the education required to become a teacher – and the importance of what teachers do.
The faux BMW commercial, closing out the sketch and starring the LeBron-like Ruby Ruhf, drives this last point home. Over artily lit hero shots, Ruhf solemnly narrates:
Strength courses through me.
I am velocity.
I am power.
I am a leader.
I am the force that guides.
I am the gateway to what is possible…
…the path to the future.
I … AM … the future.
It’s funny, because it’s true.
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