“Keegan-Michael Key will be attending events this weekend, including Pete’s rally tomorrow, to encourage early voting and voter registration across the state in advance of the Nevada caucuses,” Buttigieg spokesman Chris Meagher said in a statement, adding: “Pete’s campaign is excited for the voter registration support Mr. Key brings, although Keegan-Michael has not officially endorsed any candidate.”
The campaign first told CNN that Key was set to announce his support for the former mayor in Nevada, appearing at early voting locations Saturday before joining a canvass kick off in Las Vegas, and introducing Buttigieg on stage at the rally. The campaign later walked back the support comment and said Key has not officially endorsed any candidate.
“With his extraordinarily diverse skill set and wide-ranging talent in both comedy and drama; Emmy and Peabody Award-winning writer, actor, and producer Keegan-Michael Key is one of Hollywood’s most in-demand forces,” the Buttigieg campaign told CNN earlier Saturday.
Key isn’t new to politics.
In his Comedy Central Show “Key and Peele,” which ran for five seasons, Key and his comedy partner Jordan Peele featured a recurring sketch parodying former President Barack Obama and his “anger translator,” Luther, portrayed by Key, a man who was able to express the irritations Obama felt, but was unable to convey as President. The sketch was so popular that Key, in character as Luther, joined Obama onstage at the 2015 White House Correspondent’s Dinner to help deliver Obama’s remarks.
In 2016, the actor expressed ambivalence when asked if he’d lampoon then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
UPDATE: This headline and story have been updated to reflect the Buttigieg campaign’s statement that Key has not officially endorsed any Democratic candidate for president.