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  • Writer's pictureStand-Up Comedy Historian

Jerrod Carmichael and Clothing: Part 4—The Shirtless Era

Updated: May 26, 2023

Hey, everyone!

In this fourth installment of Jerrod's sartorial choices, I'd like to discuss a frequent addition (or rather deletion) from his wardrobe: a shirt.

From interviews and photoshoots to award ceremonies and recent comedy gigs, Jerrod has been eschewing wearing any type of undershirt. Instead, he has opted to don expensive jackets, fur coats or nothing at all on top to show off his well-toned torso.

Let's take a look at a few recent examples!


Jerrod's Emmy-winning comedy special ushered in a new era of sexual freedom and acceptance for the comedian, who came out of the closet and became his more authentic self in the process. He even advertised his shows earlier this year with a revealing image of his nipple!

As I've mentioned previously, one of the themes in the special is unburdening oneself, and Jerrod does this by literally shedding clothes.

He starts in a bundled-up ensemble for the snowy weather outside (despite the fact it was not snowing during the four tapings) and, once he enters the Blue Note, takes off his coat and hat.

After the show, Jerrod leaves the jazz club without his baseball hat, further demonstrating he is symbolically unburdened by coming out publicly.

And this would definitely not be the last time he has taken off clothes (see Part 2 for his interview with Seth Meyers and Part 3 for his one with Jimmy Kimmel).

But what quickly became apparent is that Jerrod is leaning into his model good looks to become a new gay Black style icon.

And then the shirtless photos started.

Saturday Night Live

While I've discussed Jerrod's gorgeous white suit that he wore for his SNL monologue in Part 2, I haven't really analyzed the purpose of this ensemble.

As the comic said himself, he was probably the least-known host that season (maybe ever?). So Jerrod knew this hosting job was likely his chance to make a first impression to the majority of Americans. And WHAT an impression he made!

A killer monologue in a shirtless suit, classic sketches, and he even garnered an Emmy nomination for being a guest host. And that open-chested outfit was a harbinger of clothing choices to come.


The same weekend Rothaniel debuted and Jerrod hosted SNL, Bo was up for two Grammys. While he lost one of them, Bo did receive a Grammy for All Eyes On Me and posted his "reaction" to the win on Instagram.

In the short video, you see Bo filming the win, then panning over to a smiling and shirtless Jerrod (they were both sitting on the couch in Jerrod's NYC apartment watching the awards ceremony). Bo also jokes about LeVar Burton exclaiming "Bo's not here, y'all" by saying "I'm not here, y'all" while he and Jerrod giggle.

Anyway, this one video sent shockwaves through the fandom and gave us a taste of what was to become a recurring theme in his appearances.

That was just the start of Jerrod's shirtless era.

Interview Magazine

On June 13, an interview with Jerrod that was conducted by A$AP Rocky appeared online and, with it, even more shirtless photos of the comedian.

Here, Jerrod is flexing his sexuality and showing off how hard he's worked on himself (perhaps similar to Bo's workout imagery in Problematic?).

In addition, June being Pride Month offered many more opportunities for Jerrod to present his gay self without hiding. Part of Jerrod's openness led to a phenomenal photoshoot and a new rivalry in his incredible interview with GQ.

GQ Magazine

Even though most people know it for Jerrod's quote about Dave Chappelle ("That's the hill you want to die on, bro?"), the June 15th in-depth interview discusses many other facets of his life and his art. Here's the entirety of his criticism of Chappelle:

It’s not hard to guess who he might be talking about. “Look, I get it. Everybody’s got to create a boogeyman to sell tickets. But it's not true,” he says, referring to the much-hyped threat of cancel culture. “Who’s getting canceled for what they’ve said? What does that mean, that people are mad on Twitter? Everybody’s fine. These grown men are fine. I think, a lot of times, people who offer nothing truthful or meaningful about themselves then complain about society at large and create this boogeyman. It's like, listen, that's the most urgent thing in your life? God bless you. I'm tired of hearing it. Chappelle, do you know what comes up when you Google your name, bro? That's the legacy? Your legacy is a bunch of opinions on trans shit? It's an odd hill to die on. And it's like, hey, bro. Who the fuck are you? Who do you fuck? What do you like to do? Childish jokes aside, who the fuck are you? It's just kind of played. But he's choosing to die on the hill. So, alright, let him.”

This interview also features some of the most stunning photos of Jerrod ever taken.

Here, Jerrod is once again putting his newfound sexual freedom to his advantage by showing off his buff physique in designer clothing.

After Pride Month ended, Jerrod began to move away from his thirst-trap imagery and started to wear jackets over his naked chest.

WTF Podcast

In August 2022, Jerrod did an episode of WTF with Marc Maron (he had been on once before in 2015 while working on The Carmichael Show), and the photo of the two comics depicted a new look for Jerrod that he continues to rock today: a bare chest with a heavy coat. Still shirtless, but a little bit warmer than the others. haha

Fun fact: Jerrod wore this exact same coat when I saw him at the City Winery on September 3rd. He also had on no shirt underneath, tan pants, white socks, and Birkenstocks!

Jimmy Kimmel

For his most recent interview appearance on Kimmel in August, Jerrod chatted with guest host Desus Mero while donning a letterman's jacket with no undershirt.

But none of these shirtless examples prepared us for what would happen in September at the Emmys.

Emmys 2022

While I had hoped Jerrod would go all out for the primetime Emmys ceremony on September 12th, Jerrod and Bo exceeded my expectations and then some!

I give you: the FUR COAT

Yes, Jerrod and Bo decided to cosplay as Puff Daddy and Kanye West at the BET Awards with Jerrod wearing a gigantic white fur coat that apparently is from Puffy's "P.E. 2000" music video.

And Bo, not wanting to upstage his best friend on one of the most important nights of his entertainment career, opted to pull a Kanye and don a black ski mask and goggles (how Repeat Stuff of him haha).

Back to Jerrod's ensemble. He paired the fur coat with no shirt (obviously) as well as a gold sun necklace, black pants, exposed underwear, no socks, and loafers (Ed. Note: See Part 3 for more information on Jerrod's shoe choices).

He made QUITE the impression with his now-iconic outfit, and winning the Emmy for Outstanding Writing was definitely the cherry on top!

While there was much discussion of Bo being Jerrod's "Vanilla King" from Rothaniel, I think his gamble paid off in the long run. Although he looked bizarre (we were all messaging each other like is that BO in a ski mask? Lol), Bo definitely focused more eyes on the true winner of the night.

And Jerrod is STILL rocking his shirtless looks! I saw him perform again last week (10/21) in Philly, and he had on a tan fleece jacket with no undershirt, tan pants, socks, and tan clogs (a very cozy-looking ensemble, to be honest).

Out Magazine

Plus, we got a bonus shirtless photo of Jerrod with the announcement yesterday that he had been chosen as Comedian of the Year by Out, with an accompanying interview. Congrats, Jerrod (and how serendipitous for my post)!

Time will tell if Jerrod's Shirtless Era will continue or not, but we certainly have seen some fantastic ensembles and iconic images that solidify Jerrod's place as a Black gay style icon.

For more on Jerrod's clothing, please click here for the full list of deep dives.


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