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  #1  
Old 01/15/2004, 3:08 AM
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Full Name: Keegan-Michael Key [news]
Date of Birth: March 22nd, 1971
Place of Birth: Southfield, MI
Height / Weight: <unknown> / <unknown>
Seasons on MADtv: 9+ (2004 - present)

Recurring Characters:Celebrity Impressions:
  • Al Roker
  • Demond Wilson
  • Dennis Rodman
  • Eva Longoria
  • George Foreman Jr.
  • Isaiah Washington
  • Jack Haley
  • Keith Richards
  • Kobe Bryant
  • Lawrence Fishburne
  • Ludacris
  • Matthew Lillard
  • Naveen Andrews
  • Phylicia Rashad
  • Sherman Hemsley
  • Snoop Dogg
  • Taboo
  • Terrell Williams
Biography:
Keegan-Michael Key has a fond, significant memory of his Detroit, MI, childhood. The father of his three best childhood friends was a coach at Little Flower High School, which Keegan, a self-described "good Catholic boy," happened to attend. Although Keegan says that the memorable coach has mellowed since then, his intense, piercing eyes left an impression on the youngster. Keegan also recalls that the Dean of Students at Little Flower would always tuck his tie into his pants and that his grade-school gym teacher always wore yellow bike shorts. Of course, by themselves, these childhood memories would be little more than amusing anecdotes; however, when one melds the various traits into what would later become "MADtv" recurring character Coach Hines, one has an early inspiration for Keegan's various entertainment pursuits, including the aforementioned sketch comedy series that gave him his big break.

Still, at first, Keegan decided to concentrate on drama, not comedy. While in high school, he starred in productions of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Godspell. After graduation, Keegan pursued a theater degree at the University of Detroit Mercy. Although he had the chance to perform some improvisation there (primarily commedia dell'arte), Keegan was more interested in classical Greek works and Shakespeare than comedy. After he received his first degree, Keegan moved on to Pennsylvania State University. His post-graduation plans were to perform commedia dell'arte and absurdist theater, but fate would soon lead the young actor in another direction.

In 1996, Keegan abandoned his plans to attend the Illinois Shakespeare Festival, opting instead to return to Detroit to perform in a dramatic film. Two other performers in the film, good friends of Keegan's, told him that he should audition for the Detroit division of Second City. The legendary improvisational troupe opened up a whole new world of possibilities for Keegan. While at Second City Detroit, Keegan created Coach Hines, the aforementioned character who was inspired by those early childhood memories. Another Keegan mainstay, Jovan Muskatelle, surfaced as well during his Detroit tenure. Almost four years after joining Second City Detroit, Keegan found himself in Chicago performing with the Second City e.t.c., the troupe's experimental theater company.

Since 2001, however, Keegan and his wife have split their time between Chicago and Los Angeles, CA. With several other performers from Second City Los Angeles, Keegan formed yet another experimental improv troupe, the 313. All the while, he set his sights on bigger things: "You're always going to have eternal discussions about 'Saturday Night Live' and 'MadTV.' It's hard to work at Second City, certainly in Chicago, and not think about that." On one eventful Saturday night in Chicago, the executive producer of "MADtv" was scouting for possible female cast members; however, Keegan, who was performing in Chicago at the time, also grabbed the executive producer's attention. When Keegan's agent called Tuesday morning to tell him that the show was interested in hiring him, he was floored: "It came out of the blue, completely out of the blue."

On Thursday, Keegan flew to Los Angeles to audition for "MADtv." Keegan ran through some of his Second City characters with the producers and then was asked to do a reading with one of the show's writers. After the producers secretly discussed Keegan's audition, he was invited back into the room and presented with a contract. At the time of Keegan's hiring, though, the producers decided not to take him immediately to audition for FOX executives, adding that he would instead be slotted in mid-season as a featured player. In Season 10, however, Keegan indeed became a regular cast member on "MADtv"; and to this day, he continues to perform on the show that first introduced him to viewers everywhere. From an initial childhood spark of inspiration to his current vast array of characters and impressions, Keegan-Michael Key has definitely come full circle as a comic.

Where are they now?
As of June 2008, Keegan has been confirmed for Season 14 of "MADtv." It will mark Keegan's sixth season overall on the series, his fifth as a repertory cast member. Keegan also moonlights as the host of Animal Planet's "The Planet's Funniest Animals" and continues to perform improv with Second City and his own 313 comedy troupe whenever possible.

Television - Starring Roles:Television - Guest Roles:Film - Starring Roles:
  • <none at this time>
Film - Supporting Roles:Other Credits:
  • <none at this time>
Fun Facts:
  • Keegan played Romeo opposite Nicole Parker's Juliet in "The People vs. Friar Laurence, the Man Who Killed Romeo and Juliet" in 2004 and was nominated for a Joseph Jefferson Award for his performance.
  • Keegan is a born-again Christian.
  • A few years ago, Keegan found his birth parents.
Famous Catch-Phrases:
  • <none at this time>
Memorable Quotes:
  • <none at this time>
Pertinent Links:
  • <none at this time>
Special Thanks:Sources:__________________________________________________

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Last edited by mizzimad; 06/25/2008 at 10:15 PM. Reason: Updated "Where Are They Now?"
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  #2  
Old 01/15/2004, 5:45 AM
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Default secondcity.com bio

Keegan-Michael Key was born and raised in the Motor City, where he attended the University of Detroit. He then pursued and graduated with a Master's degree in Fine Arts at Penn State University. Other theatre credits include: "eBay of Pigs," Keegan-Michael's tenth revue on the Second City-Detroit stage, "My Children! My Africa!"; "Detroit Stories;" "My People, My People" with Malik Yoba of Fox TV's New York Undercover; "Measure for Measure" and Aristophanes' "The Birds," which he performed on tour in Greece. Keegan is one of the founding members of the Planet Ant Theatre in Hamtramck. He is also the author of the interactive play "Big Mama's Wedding," and contributed additional comedic material to the play "Moms Mabley: The Naked Truth." Keegan is an instructor for the Second City Training Center, he has taught at the Mosaic Youth Theatre, and he occasionally does improvisational workshops at Wayne State University.

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Old 01/15/2004, 12:29 PM
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who is this guy?
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Old 01/15/2004, 1:48 PM
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I already told you who he is, lol, for more read here.

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Old 01/21/2004, 4:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by nichbob
hello....does anyone and i mean anyone know when Keegan-Michael Key makes his debut on MadTV???? i've had the pleasure of watching his sketch work and more impressively his improv work at the second city in chicago the past 3 years and this dude is about to take this show to the next level....he's that fing good

i feel the need to pipe in on the comments on keegan....i agree that photo is awkard as hell, but he's a normal looking dude...i had the pleasure of studying improv under him at the second city and you will ABSOLUTELY NEVER meet a class act like this guy, the most humble man in the world who deflects all praise to his fellow players, but everyone around him knows he is one of if not the best that's come through second city (think about that, you're talking akroyd, belushi, murray, curtain, farley, meadows) this guy is genius, snl wanted him bad and he opted for madtv...he's a classically trained actor you was born with the gift of improv and sketch, his range of characters is going to blow you away and he is far and away the most intelligent man i've ever meant.....as you can see, i have a cult-like affinity towards keegan, a lot of it has to do with his character, talented in a a business where people often basque in praise, this guy is all class......you all are in for a huge treat when this guy starts..........where does it mention him starting in January?? is it anymore specific in terms of dates?

keegan is a malado (spelling?)....grew up in detroit, got his masters in theatre and performance at penn state....met a guy named joshua funk (a long-time and current director at second city) while doing an independent film....josh saw the genius in him and got him the audition....i spoke recently with the musical director who saw keegan's audition and said within 30 seconds they made up their mind, he was in......now you have to understand, to get cast on a second city stage, it traditionally takes years, going through some form of training and touring on one of their touring companies, this guy walked right in and set the place on fire since he's been there.....i'm not sure of the status, whether or not he'll be a featured player or not.....like you said he looks middle eastern, which gives him amazing flexibility in his characters, his middle eastern character(s) are incredible, his yuppie is genius, his street thug is amazing and each time you see these characters, you forget you're watching keegan.....oh yeah, he has the best bill cosby i've ever seen.....and again, i must stress how much of a class act this guy is, purely geniune and a giving player, on top of all this, he was the best improv teacher i have yet to come across in chicago

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Old 01/29/2004, 1:47 AM
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Im hoping what this nichbob guy says is true because IMO this sounds really good for the show, im guessing he will be a regular in season 10 if he's that good?

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Old 02/08/2004, 12:22 AM
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2nd City's Keegan- Michael Key

Quote:
"If you're out of sight you're out of mind, because people are busy and it's really that simple to me. If you want the work, you have to make a lot of effort to get out there and have people see you so that there's sort of strange pedestrian comfort to people seeing you. Then one day, magic happens."


While the producers of "MadTV" were discussing Keegan-Michael Key in their LA office, the Second City Chicago actor was doing his own reconnaissance. He went back to the receptionist and chatted with her while he waited, because for Key, one of the true tests of a work place is whether or not he gets along with the administrative staff.

It's unlikely he would have turned down a spot on the nationally-televised comedy show if he hadn't found he liked Gloria, a "sweet lady" from New York, but Key, in his own way, auditions the administrative staff because "they really help the thing go round."

Gloria was just one of the friendly people Key met that July day in the show's offices, and when they offered him a seven-episode contract joining the program mid-season, Key signed on. "I sense that they want to work with me and they want to nurture me."

It was a surprise to Key that they were even interested. When the show's executive producer came to Chicago on a Saturday night scouting talent he was actually looking for women, so Key, who has performed on Second City's e.t.c stage for the past four years, didn't think anything of it. When Key's agent called Tuesday morning to say the show wanted a meeting, "it came out of the blue, completely out of the blue." On Thursday he flew out to LA and, he says now, speaking by phone from California, "it all just turned out the right way."

He was introduced to the producers, they moved the conference table back, and he ran through some of the characters he had performed in his years with Second City Chicago and, before that, Second City Detroit, and then he did some impressions. After he'd showcased his material, they asked him to read with a writer. Then they simply asked him to leave the room while they discussed him.

When they invited him back in, they offered him a contract to sign. Instead of taking him over to audition for Fox Network executives, they said they were just going to sit tight and slot him in mid-season. "One of the reasons I was so happy about getting the job was that it was really, really casual," the 32-year-old said. Key now plans to split his time between Chicago and LA, where he is scheduled to start work this month.

The next step for him at "MadTV" is to meet with the show's writers, present his ideas and characterizations to them, and try to forge a working relationship with the people who pen the show's sketches. He'll go to his first table read Jan. 20 and could possibly be on the air that weekend. By May 1 the show's producers will let him know if they're going to option his contract. If they do, he'll be signing up with them for the next four years.

For Key, landing at "MadTV" is a surprise, although he admits that of course the program was on his radar. "You're always going to have eternal discussions about 'Saturday Night Live' and 'MadTV,'' he said. "It's hard to work at Second City, certainly in Chicago, and not think about that."

However, if you'd told Key 10 years ago that this was where he'd be in 2004, he probably would have laughed at the joke. Although he did improvisation at University of Detroit, he was more interested in classical Greek works, Shakespeare and commedia dell'arte when a graduate student at Penn State. He thought it would be great to get work after graduating performing only commedia dell'arte and absurdist theatre, a goal he concedes his professors used to giggle at.

In 1996 he planned to go to the Illinois Shakespeare Festival, but he had given a friend his word he would perform in his film. That sent him back first to his hometown of Detroit, and it was there that he joined Second City. When his friend, Joshua Funk, moved on to Chicago, Key was invited to audition for the Detroit ensemble. He began performing with the company there in 1997. Funk was also instrumental in getting Key to perform at Second City Chicago too, Key said. "I believe that everything I have at Second City, he's the blessing that was put in my life, he's responsible."

While working at "MadTV," Key would like to see them do more classically comic scenes. One of his favorites from the show is a scene from last year in which a guy trying to win a golf tournament misses the final, easy putt. He does so again and again and again. Until the No. 2 player ends up winning the tournament. When the award is presented, the expected winner chases his opponent around the green trying to reclaim his prize. It was ostensibly a silent scene in the vein of Buster Keaton or Charlie Chaplin, but Key says, "I love how it escalated and grew."

The way the show handles parody is fantastic, he says, adding that "the no-holds barred freneticism that they have," makes the show a perfect fit for him.

But just don't expect Key to be seen in any scenes that require him to swear, be prurient or make scatological jokes. The comic actor is a born-again Christian and sticks to his beliefs even in his comedy. At Second City his co-workers were very supportive, he said, "I'm not running into the room and waving a flag and proselytizing, and I think that helps the situation," he said with a laugh. Plus, he says, he's learned the truth behind the adage necessity is the mother of invention. "I have to think of more innovative ways to be funny."

That innovation has paid off. He's not only making a living as a comic actor, he's also being recognized for his work. Key has won a Jeff Award and was listed last year as one of Crain's Chicago's Top 40 under 40. Key is gracious about both acknowledgements. "They're both equally important because it just shows how the city just embraced me," he said. "How can a community be so large and so kind?"

Key is quick to say he's going to miss working at Second City Chicago, where he performed in e.t.c. revues such as Pants on Fire and Curious George Goes to War, played a villain in the mainstage children's show Big Bad Wolf! (vs. Lord Underwearface von Schtinker), and endured a grueling 24-hour improv-a-thon last month.

One great part, he says, is "the collaborative process with the other cast members." There were days, he admits with a disclaimer that he doesn't recommend doing this, when he'd be on-stage doing a scene and be struck by this sense of awe, "How did we ever write that? Where did that come from?" And knowing that all the work he did at Second City lives on in its canon of material is pretty exciting too. "No one can never take away from you that you wrote it, this eight piece organism," he said. "The best thing is, and this typically happens, you cannot remember who wrote the scene and when you do remember who wrote the scene, it wasn't you. You usually bask in the creativity of the others."

He agrees with the assessment of returning Second City alum who have said, "This is the best job you'll ever have in terms of camaraderie."

Even after he signed with "MadTV" he continued to feel the love, he says. "They always were so supportive of me. Never did I feel a current of jealousy or anything like that. It was just really great to have that kind of untainted support."

Second City's Kelly Leonard says he's sad to see Key go but he's "been in the gig long enough to know [Second City] can't hold onto these guys forever."

Key's talent is abundantly obvious, Leonard said. "He's brilliant. He literally leaps off the stage as a performer. Keegan just has it all, and it's on display for everyone."

He said it was a "no-brainer" to bring such a talented individual to perform in Chicago, but he was just as pleased to learn what a good person Key is off-stage too. "Dignity will not leave a room if he's in it," Leonard said. "You don't behave improperly around him, because you would feel so bad, because he's such a generous spirit. That level of good-naturedness combined with that much talent, it's lethal, there's no getting around it."

What won't Key miss while he camps out in LA? Although he's lived in the Midwest his entire life, he doesn't think he's going to miss the cold. And he's excited about the idea of going to work at the same time as other normal people. Working nights always meant there was something impending, he always had someplace he had to be later that day. Plus, he says, "I really believe that God made the world so that things happen in the day."

Unfortunately, though, he's finally going to have his nights free and work on the same schedule as his wife, but she's a dialect coach and professor at UIC Chicago and isn't making the move to LA with him this winter. "It's just too bad that 'MadTV' isn't in Chicago."

What advice does he offer aspiring improvisers?

"Here's the thing that I guess I've noticed. It's not good, it's not bad, it's just in regards to being hired; if you're out of sight you're out of mind, because people are busy and it's really that simple to me.

"If you want the work, you have to make a lot of effort to get out there and have people see you so that there's sort of strange pedestrian comfort to people seeing you," he said. "Then one day, magic happens, and they say 'Oh, I love [that actor]."'

The way Key looks at it, giving credit to his wife for the insight, is that his job is to audition. When he gets the part, that's the vacation. "You have to find a way to look at it as your lifestyle," he said. "You're legally hustling and peddling and that's your job."

One reason he's so "completely overjoyed" to be working at "MadTV" is that "it's a paid audition for future work." He says, "We're all Tarzan swinging from one vine to the next vine."

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Old 02/08/2004, 11:01 AM
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mr. cockhurtz....thank you for posting that, it had a few tidbits i was not aware of in regards to the process of him landing the job at madtv....i've ranted and raved enough about this guy, he debuted last night in the bride of funkenstein sketch, i'm really excited for all of you to see his range once they allow him to explore the limits of what he's capable of........that message also made me realize how spoiled i am in chicago, i mean every thursday and saturday nights i walked into a free improvised set at second city and watch this guy and his cast members do their thing for 40 minutes or so and got to witness scenes that no one will ever see again.....i must say, it hasn't been the same since he left, but his influence is all over that place, he's revered more so than andy dufrane at shawshank prison........keep tuning in, i hope he gets to do his thing in these 7 episodes
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Old 02/10/2004, 5:03 PM
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Don't forget Keegan-Michael Key's on TV tonight.

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Old 02/10/2004, 9:12 PM
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GOD! That show was on in this room and I still didn't watch it! God damnit!

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Old 02/10/2004, 11:47 PM
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Born again Christian? How does someone with such stringent beliefs perform on a show that is overrun with potty humour. I mean I hope he doesn't try and make the whole show devoid of some of those things...........They can be funny too.

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Old 02/11/2004, 12:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by DaNiKsTa48
GOD! That show was on in this room and I still didn't watch it! God damnit!
You didn't miss much, is all he did is call out bingo numbers at a retirement home.

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Old 02/11/2004, 8:49 AM
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what was the show he was on last night? rest assured keegan will not try and impose a certain style on the show....when he was at SC in chicago, one of his cast members was the token guy that liked to say "****"...it was often funny, keegan was kind of the ying to that yang, he'll compliment the show well and in his own way do very smart classic humor....not sure if any of the cast members peak at this stuff, but keegan, you're missed in chi-town, peter has done a great job taking over and the new cast is starting to gel now that caelti was added
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Old 02/15/2004, 11:48 AM
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peoples thoughts on his skit last night? i found the subtlety of some of the lines to be genius...."it's pandamonium 3200 B.C....whatever the hell that means" things like that, dude is a smart comedian......hop everyone continues to enjoy
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Old 02/15/2004, 12:29 PM
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Yeah I noticed that too.

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Old 02/20/2004, 10:42 AM
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anyone know where to see a good list of sketches for this week's show?
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Old 02/23/2004, 12:28 PM
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does anyone have episode #915 downloaded? i'm looking to get my hands on the "crazy as hell newscast" sketch if it's available somewhere, does anyone have any idea where i may be able to find that? thanks
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Old 02/23/2004, 12:43 PM
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nichbob, please dont post the same request multiple times. I've already moved your thread to the requests forum.

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Old 02/24/2004, 5:13 PM
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Keegan-Michael Key


By JILL FEIWELL, PAMELA MCCLINTOCK

Comedian Keegan-Michael Key has joined Fox Television's Saturday latenight show "Mad TV" as a featured cast member.
Key's credits include guest appearances on NBC's "ER" and ABC's frosh sitcom "I'm With Her."

Key is a Second City alum, having worked in both the Chicago and Detroit troupes.

At "Mad TV," Key joins regular cast members Frank Caliendo, Mo Collins, Bobby Lee, Michael McDonald, Aries Spears, Stephanie Weir, Ike Barinholtz, Josh Myers, Rod Pederson and Paul Vogt.

Date in print: Wed., Feb. 11, 2004, Gotham

Found this at Variety.com. Nothing new, really.

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Old 03/12/2004, 11:42 PM
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KEEGAN-MICHAEL KEY | 32
Comic
Second City

Keegan-Michael Key is a comic, but an actor first. Not the "I'm-an-actor"-while-waiting-tables kind, but the master's-degree-in-acting-from-Penn-State-University kind.

His interests and accomplishments befit his pedigree. He has voiced commentary for the NFL Blitz 2004 video game, helped an advertising agency brainstorm ideas, started a theater company, made a name for himself in improv, won a local Jeff Award and is headed to national TV in January.

On a personal level, he's gotten married and found his birth parents.

Perhaps those diverse experiences have enabled him to tap into the emotion of any situation.

"Keegan is a master of getting to that 'I've been there' element that makes you laugh," says Tom O'Keefe, executive creative director of Foote Cone & Belding in Chicago, the ad agency that hired him.

Mr. Key acknowledges that his approach to generating laughs currently on the Second City E.T.C. stage is different from the "Jackass"-style humor that pervades comedy today. "If I am watching a movie and you have to show me nudity to make me laugh, then you're not working hard enough."

Mr. Key came to Second City's Chicago stage in 1997 from his Detroit hometown, where he performed with the comedy troupe for four years. Next, he heads to Los Angeles to join the cast of "MadTV" on the Fox network. He plans to split his time between the two cities next year, but Chicago is home now.

"You have to remember, I'm from Detroit. The CTA is a miracle to me. There are these trains in this city that will take you anywhere you want, and when you look at the board at the station, the train actually shows up when it says. Where am I? Heaven?"


Source

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