I love stand-up. It’s my favorite. I’ve said it 1,000% times. But I don’t like being told what a comedy special or a stand-up set is about by a journalist through the lens of a publishing editor – the clickbait-ness of it all undermines the comedian. Did you watch Jerrod Carmichael’s new stand-up special? Jerrod
I love stand-up. It’s my favorite. I’ve said it 1,000% times. But I don’t like being told what a comedy special or a stand-up set is about by a journalist through the lens of a publishing editor – the clickbait-ness of it all undermines the comedian.
Did you watch Jerrod Carmichael’s new stand-up special?
I think this special is important for many reasons, but the very people who may need to see it- the fanbase for Jerrod Carmichael, may not see it based on the PRESS announcing everything the moment it came out. Carmichael specifically addresses it IN HIS SPECIAL, that people will try to walk out, turn it off, or hate this special once they realized he came out. But the press printed it anyway. Because they don’t care about the art.
That was a nice blurb about his special, however, you wouldn’t know based on the headline of the piece. Because these headlines are dragging these comedians down.
Here is a series of headlines about this really fabulous comedy special:
Washington Post, “Jerrod Carmichael complicates coming out and redefines what comedy can be” By Inkoo Kang (quoted above) (My take: COMPLICATES what, exactly??)
Variety “Jerrod Carmichael Officially Comes Out as Gay on His HBO Special ‘Rothaniel’” By Kate Aurthur, Caroline Framke (My take: SPOILER ALERT)
NY Times “‘S.N.L.’ Spends a Night at the Oscars With Will Smith“ By Dave Itzkoff (My take: not accurate)
Indiewire “Jerrod Carmichael’s ‘Rothaniel’ Isn’t Just Standup, It’s a Brilliant Documentary About Community” by Eric Kohn (My take: it’s not a documentary, that is very off-putting to describe a special in this way)
Vox’s “Jerrod Carmichael’s new comedy special is everything Louis C.K.’s Sincerely is not” By Aja Romano (My take: Why the f*** are they being compared AT ALL)
Other relevant examples about other 2022 artists:
Vulture’s “Ali Wong Embraces Unrelatability” (My take: negative spin)
Esquire’s “In Trying To Speak For Everyone, Ali Wong Loses Herself“(My take: negative spin)
Fast Company’s “Aziz Ansari’s new Netflix special demonstrates the pitfalls of COVID comedy” (My take: suuuuuuper negative)
Paste Magazine’s “In His New Netflix Special, Jim Gaffigan Talks About the Pandemic in a New Way” (My take: it’s not about the pandemic)
These headlines are mostly negative, BUT the articles do not take it apart and trash the work like it is trash.
And honestly, these headlines are either wrong or misleading at best. BUT they are not just hindered by the short nature of headlines or the need to get people interested in ‘comedy,’ it’s that they are rather negative, off-putting purposely, and meant to undermine the punchlines. Not one person watching Jerrod’s special realized that coming out was a hidden gem, that it counts as a spoiler. It’s a F***ing spoiler!
Yes, stand-up fans will watch comedy. It’s an easy choice – people who love comedy will choose it from powerhouses like these. But sometimes the art is more than just base-baiting, sometimes the comedy has important things to say. And steering people away from the art or giving misleading negative headlines STOPS people from watching.
I had a close friend give me a quick thought on Chapelle’s last special and I asked them if they had seen it, because the information seemed inaccurate to what I remembered, and they said “no” because they already knew what they needed to know. They don’t need to watch, but the press gave out a false impression of what was actually in the special vs the real consequences of what was in the special – those are two different things. The general press is NOT an actual comedy critic, those are different people from the ones spoiling Carmichael’s latest special. This isn’t the “coming out” special as the first third handles very delicate and important issues around women.
Carmichael said very important things about women who had no recourse for being cheated-on for generations (aka: cheating men being the real issue), issues within the culture of complicity, the value of truth, the VALUE OF TRUTH (!!!), speaking about the unspeakable, healing over time, Christianity as a multi-faceted cultural issue, the relationships men have with their Fathers, being Gay, being Black and Gay, being Black, and Gay, and Christian, and so many other wonderful moments.
But I don’t know how many people were turned off from Carmichael’s coming out in his own time, his own way, as a moment of vulnerability, because the press announced it from the rooftops because their SCOOP and negative spin is the best way to garner clicks. These tactics are predatory and hurts the artist’s process. If they were reporting news, they’d announce a scoop inside, share the backstory, and attach a vid of Carmichael’s coming out (or a transcript of the important moment), because that’s the only way to let the artist tell his story AND bring people to your publication AND be a supporter of the arts.
Click To Watch Jerrod’s Comedy Special HERE