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  • Writer's pictureStand-Up Comedy Historian

Jerrod Carmichael and Comedy Clubs: A thread published on Twitter on 3/29/22

Updated: Dec 26, 2022

It's Day 2 of Jerrod Carmichael Week with the #BoBurnhamHistorian, and today's focus will be on Jerrod and comedy clubs.

In an amazing podcast interview with (now Academy Award-winning) Questlove, Jerrod delves into his history with comedy.

I unfortunately can't find the audio, but this article contains some highlights.

The most exciting item for me is learning Jerrod's first comedy show that he saw was Dave Attell at the Comedy Cellar while visiting from NC: "I’d only been in one comedy club before in my life. It was at the Cellar in New York. My family visited. I saw Dave Attell perform."

Now why is that so mind-blowing? Well, besides Attell being an excellent comedian (check out his old show Up All Night for evidence), Rothaniel was literally taped across the street from the Comedy Cellar!

Here's a pic I took from the line while waiting to get into Jerrod's show.

Jerrod later moved to LA in 2008 and performed anywhere he could:

"Carmichael [was] crashing in shared studio apartments and hitting open-mike nights not just at proper clubs but also in living rooms and bars. 'I annoyed so many people who were trying to watch hockey games.’'"

After finding his footing, Jerrod became known for his acerbic wit and dark comedy.

Per the NYT: "Carmichael’s special is unrelentingly bleak — even toxic in its nihilism. And yet Carmichael remains supremely affable, speaking in a slow, honeyed voice and smiling throughout."

After the success of The Carmichael Show and 8, Jerrod moved away from stand-up, instead focusing on exploring familial dynamics in his HBO docs.

During that time, Jerrod did a few unannounced sets at the Largo (often with Bo and other famous comedians—check out Taika Waititi and Rhys Darby in that last shot, Our Flag Means Death fans!)

Then, in January of this year, Jerrod announced a new set called "alone, work in progress" that he took to comedy clubs in LA, San Fran, Austin, Atlanta, and NYC

Finally, there was the taping (the first one I've ever attended!) in February for two nights at a small jazz club in Greenwich Village (no announcement of Bo as director, but we'd all expected it haha).

And now we have Rothaniel to look forward to on April 1.

The trailer already looks beautiful (Bo truly is the MASTER of lighting imo!)

I hope you enjoyed this deep dive into Jerrod and comedy!


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