Brow Beat

Hopefully All With Bob and David Is As Good As This Sketch About Police Misconduct Starring Keegan-Michael Key

On Nov. 13, Netflix will debut With Bob and David, its accurately-named sketch comedy series starring Bob Odenkirk and David Cross of Mr. Show. The sketch released last week spoofed implausible New Year’s resolutions, and now a new sketch called “Know Your Rights” tackles the theme of police misconduct. David Cross plays Gilvin Daughtry, the nebbishy white host of a segment called “Citizens Against Unlawful Abuse,” which seeks to expose systemic injustice in action. The emphatically law-abiding Daughtry repeatedly drives through the same police checkpoint in the hope that he will become an on-tape victim of police harassment. Instead, he manages to mildly irritate a cop (Keegan-Michael Key), while incessantly turning to the camera and reminding his viewers of the bare minimum amount of cooperation that is required by law.

Many comedy sketches unfold according to a series of escalations that follow from the initial premise. Ironically, the escalation in Know Your Rights comes from Daughtry’s own repeatedly unmet attempts at escalating a police conflict. That is, until the sketch’s final beat, in which Daughtry tries to take advantage of racial injustice. This works, but not for the reason he expects.