For several years now, the inevitable response to people first learning that I do prominent names in horror for October has been, “Oh, you should write about Jordan Peele!” And I have not. Because this is the first year I’ve considered him eligible—because I changed the rules. You see, up until December, the rule for this column was that I only wrote about people my own age or older. That was it. By those rules, Jordan Peele was ineligible, and he’s only acceptable now because, as of last December, the rule is that I only write about people five years younger than I am or older. He is two years and a bit younger than I am.
I try not to find this depressing. He has four Oscar nominations, including one win, and I rely on the kindness of strangers (not that most of my Patreon or Ko-fi supporters are strangers, come to that, and are mostly people I’ve known at least online for years) to supplement the pittance that is my disability check. I’ve never been published anywhere that actually pays. Now, a lot of that has to do with my mental illness; if Jordan Peele is suffering from a mental health condition that prevents you from following through on things the way bipolar disorder can, I don’t know about it. Still, I’m also not at all claiming to be as talented as he is.
Honestly, I’m not fully familiar with his work. This is in no small part because his movies are not the sort of thing that I watch with the kids around. I did manage Get Out, because my son was in preschool and my daughter was a baby at the time, but the rest of his movies have all come out while my daughter is old enough to notice what I’m watching. I’ve seen a bit of Key and Peele, but I definitely need to watch more of it. It’s one of those things I didn’t think I’d like because it was advertised badly but has consistently been something I’ve liked when I did watch it.
All of this, and he’s only 43. I’d be shocked if he doesn’t EGOT within the next few decades. He can narrate an audio book for his Grammy; that’s a popular choice. Or, of course, he can do a comedy album. I’m less sure about what he’d do for a Tony, but I’m sure there’s something. Obviously, he could just, you know, act, but it seems to me as though he’s moving away from acting and into more behind-the-scenes stuff. Presumably he could write a play; they give Tonys for those.
One of the reasons I have traditionally stuck to older people for the column whenever possible is that their careers are further developed and there is less sense of “there are many tales yet to be told.” There’s a lot to discover yet in Jordan Peele’s career; there are a lot of possibilities regarding what he’ll do next. His first horror movie came out the year my daughter was born, and she’s in kindergarten now. That is a very young career, even though Peele has been puttering around in comedy since 1999, and his career there is established, he’s been experimenting enough that I don’t know where he’ll go from here.