STAND-UP TUESDAYS: Jerrod Carmichael

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Stand-Up Tuesdays is a weekly comedy spotlight written by the wonderfully talented Angie Frissore. Covering both known and unknown comics, Stand-up Tuesdays is your new source for all things funny.

This week, Angie puts a spotlight on Jerrod Carmichael’s comedy career. If you or your comedy troupe would like to be featured on Stand-Up Tuesdays, please email utgjames@gmail.com.

Comedian Jerrod Carmichael’s new special Love at the Store premiered last weekend on HBO, cementing his place as my new favorite comedian. The one-time feature act for Daniel Tosh is poised to make a (more) massive name for himself with the release of his Spike Lee-directed special, which was taped in Los Angeles at The Comedy Store.

Yes, that’s right. One of the most entertaining specials I’ve seen so far this year bucked the odd trend of filming in a theater to bring viewers a realistic comedy-club feel that meshes perfectly with Carmichael’s laid back comedic style – a style so laid back as to almost betray the hilarity of his words. Carmichael doesn’t need to shout or use physical comedy to get his punchlines across; he’s going to simply tell it like it is and if you’re not paying attention, you’re the one missing out.

Carmichael is an exceptionally likable guy, something that hits you immediately if you’ve had the chance to interact with him. There is no pretense or attitude in the Neighbors break-out star whatsoever, though his incredibly articulate brand of comedy is far from vanilla. Carmichael is like a mad scientist in his thinking – he quietly pushes the boundaries to see what he can get away with. And trust me, he can get away with quite a lot.

“I have enough money to where, like, after the show tonight, I could slap a white woman,” Carmichael quips, “and I’d be free by Friday. I make that kind of money now.”

What I love most about Carmichael’s style is his innate gift for public speaking. That sounds weird, I know, but there’s a big difference between a comedian who doesn’t understand the fundamentals of being a good orator and a comedian who can capture an audience’s attention without having to tell a joke at all. Carmichael gets that, and his set is far more engaging as a result. He establishes a level of trust that one might find from a skilled leader or corporate trainer easily, and his audience is hooked from the start as a result.

Carmichael addresses his recent successes with brutal honesty – he’s worked hard to get where he is, and he’s going to enjoy it.

“I don’t like the term ‘give back to the community’ because it implies that the community gave me shit in the first place, which they didn’t,” Carmichael cites. “The community didn’t give me shit. The community stole my bike, that’s what the community did. Fuck the community.”

If you don’t have HBO, you’re going to have be patient before you can enjoy Jerrod Carmichael’s Love at the Store, though I’m confident we will eventually see its release on DVD, securing its place within comedy fans’ collections nationwide. However, if you do happen to be an HBO subscriber, you can check out Love at the Store on the HBO Go app. Carmichael is a talent who is constantly rising, and I’m so excited to be seeing more and more of him (particularly in regards to news of his NBC pilot). He’s an absolute comedic delight who clearly knocked it out of the park on his first special.

GRADE: A+

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  • Brian Lion

    I saw Jerrod open for Pauly Shore 3 or 4 years ago. He was great.

  • nihilistic

    What are you smoking? That was one of the most derivative and uninspired ‘breakout performances’ I’ve ever seen. The tepid crowd response pretty much sums up how middling a show he put on.

  • Ricky Bones

    That was one shitty debut. What is HBO PAYING YOU?

  • Dave C

    Phenomenal