Key and Peele, I miss you already. Come back to TV! I promise I won’t touch your hair.
Then there’s NBC’s just-concluded summer sitcom, “The Carmichael Show.”
The series is “All In The Family” for the 21st century, with a blue-collar African-American family in North Carolina instead of the white, working-class Bunkers of Queens. Dad is a truck driver who likes to say he’s a pilot. Devoutly Christian Mom is chirpy yet all-controlling.
In the penultimate episode, sharp-witted son (comedian Jerrod Carmichael, who also co-created and executive produces the show) and his girlfriend, Maxine, crash a family dinner, where his brother, Bobby, and the local reverend are guests. Maxine reveals she’s half-Jewish.
Mom: She’s a Jew. You’re a Jew? She’s a Jew.
Jerrod: Will you stop saying Jew like that, you’re making it sound like a racial slur.
Reverend: Jesus was a Jew. Then again look how that turned out.
Dad: You know what sounds like a slur? Mexican. It’s not but it sounds like one. You can call them that to their face. They don’t even mind!
Bobby: I think they mind a little.
That’s just how lots of families talk about race and other issues: with nutty logic and non-sequiturs! Fortunately, the quarrelling Carmichaels love each other, so there’s sweetness to go along with the bite.
NBC has only one hour of sitcoms this fall. Why not up it to 90 minutes by ordering a second season for “The Carmichael Show.”
Read more of Marc’s TV musings: