Obama's "Anger Translator" Keegan-Michael Key Gives President a (Rave) Review

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"He has great comic timing — he's really, really funny!"

This story first appeared in the May 15 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

While postmortems had Keegan-Michael Key of Key & Peele upstaging President Obama as his "anger translator" at the April 25 White House Correspondents' Dinner, the starstruck comic saw it differently. "I was rehearsing with the president for the skit just before the doors opened," Key said, recounting his nervousness to a group that included THR and UTA's Jeremy Zimmer at an April 30 Paris Photo dinner hosted by UTA and Barneys New York.

"I was trying to hold it together and he kept saying, 'I got you on this,' like, he wouldn't let me mess it up. Then I went into the rehearsal room and I lost it, right in front of the Franklin D. Roosevelt portrait! I could not believe I was doing a gig with the president! He has great comic timing -- he's really, really funny!"