Jerrod Carmichael’s Best Sketches, Ranked
Saturday Night Live came back last night with the host for the first time Jerrod Carmichael alongside the musical guest Gunna. During an episode of Awards Chatter podcast, the comedian, actor, writer and director said he’s dreamed of having a show on NBC since he was just 13. However, growing up in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, with no connection to the industry, made that dream less achievable. “Growing up in the neighborhood I grew up in, what you expect from the world, what you think you’re capable of, is kind of naturally inhibited. It’s the biggest fight, just to break that inhibition.
From an early age, Carmichael revered television in all its forms. He watched everything from sitcoms on Nick at Nite, to the soap opera dallas with her grandmother, to the iconic and long-running hit fraser before going to bed with his family. He hoped to one day contribute to the era of “must-see television” and to do so, he realized he would probably have to quit his job at the shoe store and move to Los Angeles. After a nudge from a customer in the store, Carmichael moved across the country and never looked back. In fact, the weekend he landed in California, he dove headfirst into stand-up for the first time. “I arrived [in Los Angeles] Friday I went to the Comedy Store, watched the whole show, stayed until 2 a.m., and then that Sunday night, I was doing an open mic there.
Talent, perseverance and a strong work ethic are three reasons why Carmichael was able to realize his childhood dream before the age of 30. In 2015, NBC created The Carmichael Show, a multi-camera sitcom following Jerrod as a fictionalized version of himself navigating everyday life with his argumentative and insightful family. The series, which also starred David Alan Grier, Loretta Devine, Tiffany Haddishand Lil Rel Howery, lasted three seasons. In that relatively short amount of time, they’ve managed to tackle a number of controversial and contentious topics that aren’t usually covered in sitcoms, including gun rights, depression, protests and Bill Cosby, in a thoughtful and digestible way. One of his priorities when developing the show was to make sure it respected “audience intelligence”, which is something multi-camera shows have struggled with in recent years. “It can’t be ‘too edgy’ if it’s from a real place.”
Although his sitcom has created a loyal fanbase for him, most people probably know him from his successful acting career. He was a scene stealer in the Seth Rogen, Rose Byrneand Zac Efron the comedy Neighbors in 2014, and that same year, delivered its first stand-up special Jerrod Carmichael: Love at the Storedirected by Spike Lee. He followed up with another HBO special 8 and a documentary series Home Videos, in which he interviews his family about their lives and different events in the world. His latest stand-up special, Jerrod CarmichaelRothaniel was led by Bo Burnham and is available to stream on HBO.
Let’s revisit some of the best moments from the April 2 episode of Saturday Night Live. Live from New York, it’s Jerrod Carmichael!
5. Dispersal of remains
Nobody wants to think about it, but inevitably, we will have to say goodbye to those we love. This family knows this heartache all too well, as they recently lost their beloved Pop-Pop. To honor the man’s life, the family decides to scatter his remains at sea. But somewhere along the way, communication with the morgue broke down. really messed up, and now they have to figure out how to do it.
There is always that person who interrupts a good story. For Brian (Carmichael), that switch would be Bradford (Kyle Mooney), an overeager and socially awkward man who is absolutely pump to be in New York for the first time. Bradford does his best to fit in and show enthusiasm for Brian’s restaurant story, but ends up doing more harm than – uh, Bradford, can you do not interrupt my description right away?
3. Post-COVID game show
COVID may be (mostly) over, but its brutal effects continue to wreak havoc on our systems. Specifically, our memory. Don’t you feel like the simplest things in life suddenly become confusing? How do we start conversations with other humans? What is a normal greeting? And what month are we in? Three brave competitors Derek (Carmichael), Jennifer (Sarah Sherman) and Viktor (Bowen Yang) ask the question everyone asks after COVID: “Is my brain okay?”
2. Buy the TV
Hey everybody! Welcome to Shop TV. Bringing fake smiles and forced chemistry, as always, your hosts, Dot (Cecile Forte) and Rhett (Mikey day). Today they welcome the cutest doll maker around Kevin Lickitt (Carmichael) who is proud to show off his latest toy creation: Rhylee Rainbowlocks. Described as a “student by day and a magical popstar by night”, Rhylee is a perfect toy for any child. Fun fact about the doll! You can give her a haircut, then press a button and her hair grows back. But uh, the end of the rainbow hair reel is in an unfortunate place. It’s not what you think it is, it’s just the “anchor point” of the doll. Any doll maker would know that.
1. Monologue by Jerrod Carmichael
… He’s not going to talk about it. It’s only been a week since this happened but, doesn’t it feel like it’s been years too? Have we always lived in a post-slap era? Lorne Michaels is right though, the nation needs to heal. Hey, barack obamamaybe you can take a break from writing books and weigh in on Will Smith? All kidding aside, Jerrod knows a lot of people probably have no idea why he was hosting SNL, or even who he was, but that’s okay. From the moment he took the stage, he disarmed audiences with the charm and conversational humor his fans know and love. If you didn’t know who Jerrod was before tonight, you certainly do now. And you probably blame yourself for not having known it sooner.
Watch Carmichael’s New Special Jerrod CarmichaelRothaniel available now on HBO. Next week, Jake Gyllenhaal returns to Studio 8H to host alongside a musical guest Camila Cabello.
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