Pancocojams showcases the music, dances, language practices, & customs of African Americans and of other people of Black descent throughout the world.
Wednesday, November 30, 2022
Key & Peele -"Substitute Teacher" (A 2012 Comedy Central Sketch About Mispronouncing Names) Part I: YouTube video, transcript, & article excerpt
Comedy Central, Oct 17, 2012
While taking attendance, inner-city substitute teacher Mr. Garvey has trouble adjusting to a classroom full of middle-class white students.
About Key & Peele:
Key & Peele showcases the fearless wit of stars Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele as the duo takes on everything from "Gremlins 2" to systemic racism. With an array of sketches as wide-reaching as they are cringingly accurate, the pair has created a bevy of classic characters, including Wendell, the players of the East/West Bowl and President Obama's Anger Translator.
Statistics as of Nov. 30, 2022 at 9:30 AM:
Total # of views: 209,869,283
Total # of comments - 66,391
WARNING: This video includes profanity and other content that some may consider objectionable.
Edited by Azizi Powell
This is Part I of a two part pancocojams series on Key & Peele's 2012 Comedy Central sketch entitled "Substitute Teacher".
This post showcases the official YouTube video of that sketch and provides a transcript of that sketch. This post also presents an excerpt of a 2021 article about that sketch which quotes Keegan-Michael Key and other members of the sketch's cast.
In addition, this pancocojams post includes my interpretations of two African American Vernacular English phrases/sentences that are part of that sketch.
Click https://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2022/11/key-peele-substitute-teacher-2012_30.html for Part II of this two part pancocojams series onKey & Peele's 2012 Comedy Central sketch entitled "Substitute Teacher".That post showcases the official YouTube video of that sketch and presents a compilation of comments from the discussion thread of that video. I'm particularly interested in archiving and sharing some of the comments from people who gave their opinion about what the sketch means, and/or didn't find the sketch funny, and/or wrote that the sketch had a negative effect on them. Some comments from other sub-categories are also included in this pancocojams compilation.
The content of this post is presented for socio-cultural and entertainment purposes.
All copyrights remain with their owners.
Thanks to Key & Peele and all of the cast of that now iconic sketch. Thanks also to all those who were associated with that sketch.
Click https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAxi5a2BsVU&t=188s for a somewhat related 2016 YouTube vlog entitled "White People Baby Names." That vlogger discusses her negative reactions to the growing trend throughout the United States of White Americans coining unusual names for their children, including newly invented names and non-traditional spellings of common American names. Many of the strategies used for creating and/or spelling these new age White American personal names are the same as or are modeled after Mormon (Church of Later Day Saints) spelling and name creation customs. Click https://nameberry.com/blog/mormon-baby-names-traditions-and-trendsfor the 2015 article entitled "Mormon Baby Names: Traditions and trends". by Linda Rosenkrantz.
TRANSCRIPT OF THE 2012 KEY & PEELE "SUBSTITUTE TEACHER" SKETCH
All right, listen up y’all. I’m your substitute teacher Mr.
Garvey, I taught school for 20 years in the inner city, so don’t even think
about messing with me. You all feel me?
Okay, let’s take the roll here. Jakequaline, where’s
Jakequaline at? No Jakequaline here? Yeah?
Uh, do you mean, Jacqueline?
Okay, so that’s how it’s going to be, you all want to play,
okay then; I got my eye on you Jakequaline. Balakay, where is Balakay at? No,
Balakay here today? Yes, sir?
My name is Blake.
Are you out of your God damn mind? Blake? What? Do you want
to go to war Balakay?
Because we couldn’t go to war?
I’m for real, I’m for real, so you better check yourself.
De-nice, is there a De-nice? If one of y’all say some silly
ass name, this whole class is going to feel my wrath, now De-nice?
Do you mean Denise?
Son of a bitch!
You say your name right, right now?
Say it right?
That’s better, thank you.
Now a Ay-Ay-ron, where are you, where is a Ay-Ay-ron right
now, no Ay-Ay-ron, huh? Oh, you better be sick, dead or mute, Ay-Ay-ron?
Here. Oh man.
Why didn’t you answer me the first time I said?
I’m just asking, I said it like four times, so why didn’t
you say it the first time I said Ay-Ay-ron?
Because it’s pronounced Aaron.
Son of a bitch, you done messed up Ay-Ay-ron, now take your
ass on down to O. Shag Hennessy’s office right now, and tell him exactly what
O. Shag Hennessy.
Get out of my God damn classroom before I break my foot up
in your ass.
*I corrected the spelling of the word "principal" which was given in this transcript as "principle".
"You all feel me?" is African American Vernacular English for "Do you understand me?"
In African American Vernacular English "I’m for real, I’m for real, so you better check yourself." can be interpreted to mean something like "I'm not pretending here so you better seriously consider the consequences of your actions before you get yourself in trouble.
Please take your seats and turn your attention to the making of Key & Peele's "Substitute Teacher" sketch, remembered here by the cast and Mr. Garvey himself.
By Kristen Baldwin, January 28, 2021
"What's in a (badly mangled) name? Over 195 million YouTube views and counting. Key & Peele's 2012 sketch "Substitute Teacher" has a simple premise — a tightly wound sub (Keegan-Michael Key) who taught in the "inner city" mispronounces white students' names — but the result is hall-of-fame-level hilarity. EW asked the stars to share their memories of that very tense roll call in Mr. Garvey's classroom.
KEEGAN-MICHAEL KEY (MR. GARVEY, KEY & PEELE EXEC
PRODUCER: During the pitch meeting, once the premise was announced, the whole writers' room — it was like sharks in a frenzy after some chum had been dumped in the water. Everybody had an example of a name that they thought could work.
JULIAN SERGI (BLAKE/"BUH-LOCK-AYE"): [The sketch] was described to me as, there's a substitute teacher who mispronounces basic Caucasian names.
SERGI: We were basically told to play it super serious. It was the job of the students to be normal students who were dealing with this psychotic substitute teacher.
KEY: They didn't know I was going to improvise. I mean, Shelby didn't know I was going to say, "Say it right! Say it right! Say it correctly! Say it right!" She's an improviser. She got on the same page
with me immediately, so I was going to let it go as long as she wanted to let it go. I think in the actual [sketch], it's four or five [exchanges]. We might have done it 13 times in a row, and then we cut it down in the editing bay.
KEY: I improvised that line, "insubordinate and churlish." I cannot tell you where it came from. I don't know how thatcame out of my mouth. I don't know why Mr. Garvey knows the word "churlish," or anybody for that matter who's not a dandy from the 1780s. It just came out of my mouth.
FERO: Jordan [Peele] wasn't actually supposed to be in it.
It was supposed to be one more kid [playing Tim-OH-thee], but at the last second, they took his line out and gave it to Jordan.
KEY: If my memory serves me correctly, the big debate in the room was, do we button the scene with the word "present" or "PRE-sent"? Is "present" enough of a joke? His name is already "Tim-OH-thee." I was like, "Does it hurt us if we do a double button?" And it got real academic. That was like a 10-minute discussion….
KEY: All four of them were stellar in this sketch. Some of my favorite sketches on Key & Peele are ensemble sketches. Though Mr. Garvey's driving the sketch, it's their priceless performances that really take it to another level. I think that Zack deserves a lot of credit, because if someone recognizes me on the street, very often, they go, "Ha ha ha, there he is, A-A-Ron." They identify the sketch as "A-A-Ron."
PEARLMAN: I am very happy to be known as A-A-Ron, even though my brother's name is Aaron and we've ruined his name.
KEY: The two most popular sketches in Key & Peele history are both about names: "Substitute Teacher" and the "East/West College Bowl." I think it has to do with [the fact] ownership of your being is connected to your name, and if you've ever had your name pronounced incorrectly, it's something that resonates. That's my unscientific, unproven theory as to why it continues to bring joy."
Read my comment about the way that the substitute teacher "Mr. Garvey" pronounced those students' names.
This concludes Part I of this two part pancocojams series.
Thanks for visiting pancocojams.
Visitor comments are welcome.
In the article excerpt about Key & Peele's 2012 "Substitute Teacher" sketch, "JULIAN SERGI (BLAKE/"BUH-LOCK-AYE")- one of the cast is quoted as saying- " [The sketch] was described to me as, there's a substitute teacher who mispronounces basic Caucasian names."ReplyDelete
In 2012 and since, instead of "basic Caucasian names", I've often come across the term "White people's names". These names are often referenced in discussion of "Black people's names" or "names that are distinctly Black", usually without any explanations of what makes a name "White" or "Black".
I really don't like the terms "White names" or "Black names" and prefer the longer terms "names most commonly given to White Americans" and "names most commonly given to Black Americans".
Be that as it may, if I were to state a "basic" definition, I would say that "White people's names" are (mostly) names that come from White Europeans. (I purposely use the term "White Europeans" because there are [and there have been for decades] people of other races in Europe besides White people).
According to that definition, "White people's names" are mostly names that most names that originate from European nations such as Great Britain, France, Germany, Greece as well as some Hebrew (Biblical) names.
What people usually mean when they say "Black people's names" are names outside of that sub-set of familiar White people's names or which are spelled differently and sometimes pronounced differently than the standard spelling and pronunciation of those White European/Hebrew names
It's also important to note that for a number of reasons, some White European names have come to be considered as "Black names". Two examples are the male names "Leroy" and "Tyrone".
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African-American_names " provides some information about African American names and indicates that African Americans have a wider (deeper) name pool than most White Americans. That Wikipedia page presents information about non- [White] European sources for contemporary African American names including Biblical names (many of which are also widely given to non-Black children), Arabic names (which they refer to as "Muslim names" although many Black Americans with these names aren't Muslim), and invented names.
That article doesn't complicate things by discussing the Mormon (usually White American) naming traditions which most Americans would say result in "different" names some of which are similar to so-called "Black names".
Here's a list of some Mormon names:
In choosing certain non-standard "American" personal names, contemporary African Americans show preferences for certain prefixes and certain suffixes. In addition, African Americans show preferences for personal names that are two or three syllables long and don't have consonants clusters that are unfamiliar to Americans.ReplyDelete
Furthermore, we usually follow the tradition of English names (names from Great Britain) which usually puts the stress on the first syllable in names with two syllables and puts the stress on the second syllable in names with two syllables whether those names are from Great Britain or not.
Also, I believe that we (African Americans) usually pronounce the vowels in our non-standard names like the vowels are pronounced in Spanish.
After watching Key & Peele's 2012 "Substitute Teacher" sketch several times, I don't think that the substitute teacher followed any pattern for the way that he pronounced those standard American names (i.e. "White names").As an aside, all of those names except for "Blake" are still rather commonly given to Black Americans.Delete
I didn't see any pattern in how he divided the names into syllables and there was no consistent way that he pronounced the vowels.
For instance, the way he mispronounced the "a" in Blake and the two "a"s in "Aaron" aren't the same.
The subtitute teacher didn't divide the name "Denise" into three syllables as he did with other names, but used the
"D-nice" ("De-nice" with the "nice" rhyming with the word English word "ice').That name was probably borrowed from the 1990 hit Hip Hop record "Call Me D-Nice" (also called "My Name Is D-Nice) by (DJ) Derrick Jones. Several comments in a YouTube video of this song refer to Key & Peeles' sketch. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbWnRyPzce4
The name "Timothy" was divided into three syllables with the stress on the second syllable -"Tim-O-thy". I suppose that Greek name might be pronounced that way somewhere in the world, but not among African Americans (inner city or not).
And I haven't heard the word "present" (meaning "here" in a roll call) pronounced PRE sent, but I suppose that might be the way it is pronounced in some urban Black American neighborhoods. At least, the substitute teacher responded like that was a response he was familiar with.