After just ten episodes of darkness, intensity and a whole lot of violence, the Fargo mini-series wrapped up last night.
While I won’t give anything away about the finale, I will say the show had some surprising highlights throughout its ten-episode run. But perhaps the most paradoxical element of the show wasn’t its mix of horrific violence and Middle America whimsy, but the appearance of Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele — better known from Comedy Central’s Key and Peele — for four episodes as FBI Agents Pepper and Budge. The fact they showed up was shocking, but that they didn’t derail the super-serious tone of the show was downright astounding. Perhaps we should have seen it coming when Bob Odenkirk of Mr. Show starred in the pilot, but then again, we’ve been so accustomed to watching him as the comedic relief in Breaking Bad that he hardly raises a macabre eyebrow amidst the dark mayhem.
In honor of both the well-received mini-series’ conclusion and Mr. Key and Mr. Peele’s off-beat inclusion, I decided to look back on the times that actors best known for comedy made the jump to drama. It’s sometimes incongruous but occasionally — like in Fargo — brilliant. Without fail, however, it always invokes the same immediate response.
“Hey, it’s that guy!”