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SYFY WIRE Toy Story 4

How an improvised Key & Peele song wound up in a Toy Story 4 scene

By Matthew Jackson
Toy Story 4 Woody Buzz Ducky and Bunny

Toy Story 4 is exciting for many reasons — from the return of old friends to an apparently worthy installment in a franchise we long thought was over — but there's one more reason to be happy the film is almost here: It features a new collaboration from Key & Peele. 

Though they've since moved on to other, often separate work, for five seasons between 2012 and 2015, Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele made up one of the most popular and acclaimed comedy duos in the world on the Comedy Central series Key & Peele. The series launched numerous viral sketches and made the duo into living comedy legends, and though they've since gone on to other things, any time they can get back together for a project means instant chemistry for filmmakers. 

Key & Peele provide the voices for two new characters in Toy Story 4, Ducky (Key) and Bunny (Peele), who happen to meet Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) on a prize wall at a carnival game. Key stopped by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Monday night, and revealed that the duo actually got to record their dialogue for the film together (a rarity in animated films), which led to a particularly fun moment of improvisation. 

Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele Improvised Songs for Toy Story 4

"They put a bunch of lyrics down for us one day and said, 'Once you guys find out that this thing's gonna happen, we wonder if you could just kind of burst into song.' And we're like, 'Oh yeah, whatever song you want,'" he recalled. "They were like, 'No, we don't really have the song. Could you write a song right now?'"

The duo looked at each other and burst into improvised song, which you can hear a little bit of in Peele's interview with Fallon. Then, because they're Key & Peele, the duo just kept going, even after the filmmakers had everything they needed.

"We sang like three other songs. We sang for like 20 minutes. They recorded for like three minutes, and there's about five seconds of it in the movie," Key said. 

Toy Story 4, featuring about five seconds of a brand-new Key & Peele song, is in theaters Friday.