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Pay TV: Thursday, January 24

Key and Peele, Comedy, 8.30pm

THE second series from comedians Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele (both former cast members of MADtv) continues to attract criticism in the US, but also continues to attract viewers. Both comedians are biracial - they describe themselves as ''moving between two worlds'' - and use their comedy to explore race and what it means to be black in America. Or as Slate's television critic Katrina Richardson recently described it, ''translating a particular black experience for liberal white sensibilities'' in an ''edgeless, post-racial lie''. Perhaps because the divisive nature of America's treatment of racial issues doesn't weigh as heavily on us in Australia, we can enjoy most of the program's sketches without deep analysis, although Richardson seems to have taken the comics' ''messages'' more personally than most critics. Among the mix of live banter and pre-recorded sketches, Key and Peele explain the inspirations behind each sketch, with some interaction with their live audience. It's a curious mixture that, in some instances, does make it seem as though they feel the need to explain their motivation for the more risque sketches. But the comedy isn't all overtly controversial (although Chris Brown might disagree with tonight's duet featuring him and Rihanna) and while some of the US references don't translate here, most of the themes are universal and their characterisations genuinely funny, particularly their ''Obama: The College Years'' sketch.


The Colbert Report, Comedy, 7.30pm

We're merely weeks into the new year and the American comic Stephen Colbert is already in terrific form fronting this frequently hilarious political satire.

NBA: New Orleans v San Antonio, ESPN, 12.30pm

Live action from the best basketball league in the world. Today, the Hornets are up against the Spurs. It's showtime.