I would worry that this post would embarrass Jerrod terribly and he'd just leave a bunch of "No you're the best" comments on it, except I know that Jerrod won't read this because he's too busy getting funnier and funnier to Google himself. So I'm free to be as unabashedly mushy as I want.
Last Wednesday, I checked out this new monthly - Socially Awkward - at the Improv. It was the kind of show that's unremarkable in a good way. The lineup was totally solid, no swaps or bringers in sight. The one black mark against the show was the front center table, consisting of folks who'd received free tickets and felt that gave them license to chit chat and otherwise disrupt the show. Though it was kind fun in an anthropological way to see the entire lineup go through their own personal heckler tactics - from stern dad, to making fun of them before they realize it, to outright making fun of them, to trying to befriend them.
Anyway, but what was pretty remarkable was Jerrod Carmichael. Jerrod is the kind of person and comedian that reminds me how much I love this art and community no matter how negatively I might have been feeling moments before.
I was watching him for the second time in two days, weaving in and out of just riffing on what was happening, trying new stuff out and even pulling out a pretty random (but totally perfect fit) old bit he hasn't done in months. And I couldn't help myself from thinking, "You are watching greatness form."
It reminded me of a story Jerry Rocha recently told me. He was opening for Dave Couilier and they got to talking and Dave talked about sitting in the back of The Comedy Store, watching Pryor work on what would become Live from the Sunset Strip . And they knew how good what they were watching was and would become and how lucky they were to witness it. And that's how I feel about Jerrod.
You don't even have to be a comedy expert to see it. He's charming and open and connects with almost any audience under any circumstances. He makes passing thoughts look like rehearsed bits and old bits feel like he just thought of them. And all that charm and approachability lets him say some fucked up things and totally get away with it. The ultimate Jester's license to laugh at dark or hard truths. But you don't ever feel like his set is dark or hard or edgy. It's sort of the good version of how women don't notice the misogynistic lyrics to a hip-hop song, as long as they can dance to it. Jerrod's sets are the kind of dissection of personal and social truths that you can dance to.
I could write pages and pages about my love for Jerrod, but that's enough for now. But I'll wrap it up with this, I was just as excited to watch Jerrod's set as I was to watch Bill Burr's.