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Brain Games exclusive: Keegan-Michael Key learns about synesthesia while eating chocolate

Keegan-Michael Key has been in a lot of movies and a few television series as well, but you’ve never seen him like this.

On Brain Games, Key is teaming up with science correspondent Cara Santa Maria to help some of the biggest celebrities on the planet realize their brainpower.

In this Brain Games sneak peek, we get to see Keegan-Michael Key alongside Cara Santa Maria and Jack Black. In it, Keegan is eating chocolate, which turns into a whole new experience.

Jack Black looks on in wonder as Cara explains synesthesia to them.

Keegan Michael Key’s chocolate tastes like rock and roll

In this case, Keegan-Michael Key experienced eating chocolate a bit differently than one might expect.

“Mmm, tastes like rock and roll,” Keegan said, while still chewing on his chocolate bar.

“Do you want to know why it tastes like rock and roll?” Cara asks and naturally, we all want to know.

Keegan Michael Key eats chocolate and learns about synesthesia with Jack Black and science correspondent, Cara Santa Maria
Keegan-Michael Key eats chocolate and learns about synesthesia with Jack Black and science correspondent, Cara Santa Maria. Pic credit: National Geographic

She continues, “There are a ton of studies that show that our senses in our brain are not as compartmentalized as we thought. There’s a lot of crossover. Like we can smell taste, and we can hear sight. And there’s an extreme example of that called synesthesia. Have you heard of that?”

Keegan-Michael Key tells Cara that he has heard of synesthesia before.

What is synesthesia?

Synesthesia is a phenomenon in perception where a person can experience multiple senses at once, and it’s pretty extraordinary. For example, a person experiencing synesthesia may hear the sound of music but also see it as a series of patterns or swirls.

As Cara Santa Maria explains, “It’s when people can literally smell words or taste memories. And it looks like we might all just have a little touch of synesthesia.”

“I love it,” Keegan says, clearly impressed to learn something new about the way humans experience their senses.

Jack Black was there too, silent and looking mindblown about what he was just taught.

Keegan-Michael Key declared synesthesia to be fascinating. “Delicious science,” he said as the live audience began to clap.

More celebrities will be appearing on Brain Games for the eight-episode season produced by Magical Elves along with Alfred Street Industries.

Tune in to see Anthony Anderson, Kristen Bell, Jack Black, Mark Cuban, Ted Danson, Tiffany Haddish, Dax Shepard, Megan Trainor, and Rebel Wilson as they expand their minds.

Brain Games airs Mondays at 9/8c on National Geographic. 

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