Over the course of the past decade, Jerrod Carmichael has gone from being one of the most promising up-and-coming names in the world of stand-up comedy to one of the most genuine voices in all of show business. In that time, he’s released multiple HBO stand-up specials, including the strikingly personal and revelatory Rothaniel, had his own sitcom on NBC, and even hosted Saturday Night Live.
But, if you haven’t had the chance to watch any of those comedy specials, sitcoms, SNL appearances, or anything else he’s been in, don’t worry, because we’re about to break down several options to check out if you want to see more, and know more, about Jerrod Carmichael.
Released in March 2022, Jerrod Carmichael’s latest HBO special, Rothaniel, could very well be the most personal and honest 55 minutes of stand-up comedy released in recent memory, if not of all time. Directed by Bo Burnham, who knows a thing or two about unique comedy specials, this incredible set sees Carmichael bear it all in front of a full house at a New York City comedy club, opening up about his childhood, philosophies, and his own sexuality.
Just before some of the major revelations featured in the special, Carmichael tenses up and his body language tells the audience that something big is about to happen. When the big moment passes you can feel the weight being lifted off his shoulders. Absolutely brilliant.
Jerrod Carmichael: 8
The 2017 stand-up special, Jerrod Carmichael: 8, the comedian’s second HBO performance, doesn’t necessarily welcome the audience into the comedian’s closet to pick through the skeletons like his 2022 follow-up, but this exceptional one-hour routine has that same charm and vulnerability. Over the course of the special, Carmichael takes to the stage to discuss everything from climate change to the complexities of being a young black man in the 21st Century.
Also directed by Bo Burnham, Jerrod Carmichael: 8 has a unique feel to it that really sets it apart from a lot of the stand-up specials that have flooded streaming services in recent years, and really plays into the performer’s distinct style and mannerisms quite well.
Jerrod Carmichael: Love At The Store
In 2014, Jerrod Carmichael: Love at the Store (the comedian’s first HBO special) debuted and introduced viewers to one of the most promising, entertaining, and honest performers the comedy world has seen in years. There are traces of the artist he would later become visible throughout the hour-long set, but also an edgier and critical side that takes aim at the world around him as opposed to the more introspective style he would adopt later on (though there are still some very personal stories).
One of the specials directed by the incomparable Spike Lee, this electric stand-up special is great on its own, as well as to see how far Carmichael has come over the course of the past decade.
The Carmichael Show
Jerrod Carmichael’s North Carolina upbringing, and family history in general, comes up throughout his various stand-up specials, and the same can be said about his NBC sitcom, The Carmichael Show, which ran for three seasons between 2015 and 2017. The series, which featured the likes of Lil Rel Howery, Tiffany Haddish, Loretta Devine, David Alan Grier, and Amber Stevens West in its cast, was able to make light of delicate situations with a humorous take on a number of topics.
Throughout its run, The Carmichael Show tackled mass shootings, sexual assault, police brutality, and even a rare, unedited “n-word” at one point, all of which made the series feel like something more than a regular weeknight sitcom.
In 2019, Jerrod Carmichael released two HBO documentaries that saw the comedian and TV star return to his North Carolina hometown to conduct interviews with his family and other members of his community. One of those documentaries — Home Videos — sees Carmichael talk to his loved ones about everything from education to race to community outreach and more over the course of less than 30 minutes, creating an intimate portrait of family life in a small southern town.
If you want to get more background on some of the stories and characters featured in Carmichael’s comedy, this is the perfect place to start.
Sermon On The Mount
Sermon on the Mount, the second Jerrod Carmichael documentary released on HBO in 2019, spends a considerable amount of time detailing conversations that took place after it was discovered that his father had been cheating on his mother for years, including talks with his parents, family members, and even a preacher who gets caught in the middle of it all.
This 45-minute documentary provides a great deal of context for some of the most personal stories told in Rothaniel.
Lucas Bros. Moving Company
The FXX animated series, Lucas Bros. Moving Company, focused on identical twin brothers Kenny and Keef Lucas (voiced by comedy duo and Judas and the Black Messiah writers Kenny and Keith Lucas) as they operate a moving company in Brooklyn while also navigating life and run-ins with various celebrities.
Featured on most of the episodes during the show’s two-season run was Jerrod Carmichael, who voiced a character named Jerrod. Although he was not the star attraction of the series, Jerrod did have some great run-ins with the likes of Jay-Z and Arsenio Hall, each offering some classic moments.
Saturday Night Live
Not long after the release of Rothaniel, Jerrod Carmichael made his Saturday Night Live debut when he hosted the April 2, 2022 episode, which also featured Gunna as the musical guest. From talking about the response to his latest stand-up special in a great opening monologue, to appearing in some of the night’s best sketches, it was another way for even more people to get acquainted with Carmichael’s comedy stylings.
These are some of the best options to choose from for anyone who wants a nice taste of what Jerrod Carmichael has to offer, but you can see and hear even more of him in movies like Neighbors, Ferdinand, and multiple other movies and shows.
Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop yelling at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.
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