“Everyone’s looking for rules to follow, and the sooner you realize there aren’t any, the better art can be.”
– Jerrod Carmichael
Jerrod Carmichael is pushing the boundaries of comedy with his groundbreaking work in stand-up, television, and film. Now just 29 years old, what this driven North Carolina native has accomplished is mind-boggling, and 2017 is going to be his biggest year yet.
Jerrod stars in the hit NBC series The Carmichael Show, which he also writes and executive produces. The third season of the show premieres in 2017. In March of 2017, Jerrod will star in his second stand-up comedy special on HBO, directed by Bo Burnham. He made his debut on HBO in 2014 with his critically acclaimed one-hour special, Love at the Store, directed by Spike Lee.
Love at the Store is the funniest standup special I’ve seen in many years, and it’s the reason I reached out to Jerrod. It left me in hysterics on a transatlantic flight and terrified everyone. I couldn’t stop laughing out loud. It’s that good.
On the big screen this June, Jerrod joins the cast of Michael Bay’s Transformers: The Last Knight, opposite Mark Wahlberg, Josh Duhamel, and Anthony Hopkins. He’ll also appear in James Franco’s The Masterpiece (originally titled The Disaster Artist), set to be released in 2017.
In the summer of 2016, Jerrod reprised his role as ‘Garf’ in the Universal comedy sequel Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising opposite Seth Rogen and Zac Efron. He also starred as ‘Freddy’ opposite Rose Byrne, Susan Sarandon, and J.K. Simmons in Lorene Scafaria’s The Meddler, which was released in April of 2016.
Jerrod recently announced his upcoming authorial debut with an as-yet-untitled memoir. The novel will be published by Random House.
Please enjoy my wide-ranging conversation with Jerrod Carmichael!
- Listen to it on iTunes.
- Stream by clicking here.
- Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as.”
Want to hear another episode with a standup comedian? — Listen to Whitney Cummings on the podcast. In this episode, we discuss emotional intelligence, how to overcome workaholic tendencies, managing instant gratification and much, much more (stream below or right-click here to download):
This podcast is brought to you by 99Designs, the world’s largest marketplace of graphic designers. I have used them for years to create some amazing designs. When your business needs a logo, website design, business card, or anything you can imagine, check out 99Designs.
I used them to rapid prototype the cover for The 4-Hour Body, and I’ve also had them help with display advertising and illustrations. If you want a more personalized approach, I recommend their 1-on-1 service, which is non-spec. You get original designs from designers around the world. The best part? You provide your feedback, and then you end up with a product that you’re happy with or your money back. Click this link and get a free $99 upgrade. Give it a test run…
This podcast is also brought to you by Wealthfront. Wealthfront is a massively disruptive (in a good way) set-it-and-forget-it investing service, led by technologists from places like Apple and world-famous investors. It has exploded in popularity in the last two years and now has more than $5 billion under management. In fact, some of my good investor friends in Silicon Valley have millions of their own money in Wealthfront. Why? Because you can get services previously limited to the ultra-wealthy and only pay pennies on the dollar for them, and it’s all through smarter software instead of retail locations and bloated sales teams.
Check out wealthfront.com/tim, take their risk assessment quiz, which only takes 2-5 minutes, and they’ll show you — for free — exactly the portfolio they’d put you in. If you want to just take their advice and do it yourself, you can. Or, as I would, you can set it and forget it. Well worth a few minutes: wealthfront.com/tim.
QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.
Scroll below for links and show notes…
Selected Links from the Episode
- Connect with Jerrod Carmichael: Facebook
- The Carmichael Show on NBC
- Love at the Store HBO special
- Transformers: The Last Knight
- The Masterpiece
- Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising
- The Meddler
- The Sellout: A Novel by Paul Beatty
- A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
- The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley by Malcolm X, Alex Haley, and Attallah Shabazz
- Bogart by Ann Sperber
- Discover the Power Within You: A Guide to the Unexplored Depths Within by Eric Butterworth
- Shay Carl — From Manual Laborer to 2.3 Billion YouTube Views
- Jerrod Carmichael on How He Fought NBC to Do a Show About Bill Cosby & Why He Thinks Diversity Should Not Be a Hot Topic — Emmys by Pete Hammond, Deadline Hollywood
- When jotting down ideas, old-fashioned notebooks and pens do the trick for Jerrod.
- My introduction to Jerrod and his work. [07:08]
- We swap Evan Goldberg stories. [10:23]
- First memory of being funny. [12:35]
- On childhood freedom, family, and growing up in North Carolina. [16:12]
- What drove Jerrod to move to Los Angeles and pursue comedy as a career? [18:36]
- If comedy doesn’t work out, Jerrod can always go back to his last profession: selling shoes. [23:15]
- Jerrod’s daily habits — and why he calls his mom first thing every morning. [24:21]
- Jerrod’s first time on stage as a comedian. [30:41]
- Advice Jerrod would give to a novice comic whose set just bombed. [31:38]
- Why Jerrod was so persistent about taping his first special at The Comedy Store. [33:12]
- Bryan Callen and Dov Davidoff bought Jerrod his first car in L.A. [34:38]
- The benefits of being a creature of habit. [36:42]
- Work music. [37:48]
- Best decisions of Jerrod’s early career and having supportive friends who understand the importance of work. [38:25]
- Where did Jerrod’s deep work ethic originate? [41:57]
- Jerrod’s first time at “a proper dance party.” [43:19]
- Common mistakes Jerrod sees novice comedians make. [44:30]
- Three comedians Jerrod would combine into one super-comedian. [45:19]
- What separates a good comedian from a great comedian? [47:30]
- How does Jerrod’s onstage persona differ from his real-life persona? [49:26]
- On achieving a state of “zero fear” before performing. [51:05]
- Has Jerrod gone through any periods of self-doubt? [52:10]
- Overcoming writer’s block. [53:06]
- Books Jerrod likes. [55:36]
- Advice to anyone who’s still trying to discover who they are. [57:42]
- Who comes to mind when Jerrod hears the word “successful?” [1:00:24]
- On the joy of sharing and the wisdom of cliches. [1:01:16]
- If Jerrod were to give a TED Talk about something for which he’s not known, what would the topic be? [1:05:23]
- Bad advice Jerrod hears frequently. [1:08:05]
- Favorite failures? [1:09:42]
- Establishing a unique style without getting pigeonholed. [1:11:49]
- Did Jerrod have a plan B in case comedy didn’t work out? [1:14:41]
- What might Jerrod do if he ever decided to take a break from comedy? [1:16:11]
- What would Jerrod’s billboard message say? [1:17:14]
- Unusual practices in the creative process. [1:20:44]
- Recent purchase of $100 or less that had a positive impact. [1:22:47]
- On thoughts and goals worth writing down. [1:23:38]
- Parting thoughts and Jon & Vinny’s bolognese. [1:26:10]
- Bo Burnham
- Spike Lee
- Michael Bay
- Mark Wahlberg
- Josh Duhamel
- Anthony Hopkins
- James Franco
- Seth Rogen
- Zac Efron
- Rose Byrne
- Susan Sarandon
- J.K. Simmons
- Lorene Scafaria
- Evan Goldberg
- Jamar Neighbors
- Argus Hamilton
- Kwame Nyerere
- Malcolm X
- Steve Jobs
- Bryan Callen
- Dov Davidoff
- Bret Ernst
- Al Madrigal
- Bill Burr
- Richard Pryor
- Ari Katcher
- Lisa Goldberg
- Tupac Shakur
- Lewis Black
- Ellen DeGeneres
- Bill Cosby
- Chris Rock
- Dave Chappelle
- Marvin Gaye
- Humphrey Bogart
- Jay Z
- Jerry Seinfeld
- Oprah Winfrey
- Shay Carl
- Groucho Marx
- Oscar Wilde
- Dr. Seuss
Posted on: February 18, 2017.
Please check out Tribe of Mentors, my newest book, which shares short, tactical life advice from 100+ world-class performers. Many of the world's most famous entrepreneurs, athletes, investors, poker players, and artists are part of the book. The tips and strategies in Tribe of Mentors have already changed my life, and I hope the same for you. Click here for a sample chapter and full details. Roughly 90% of the guests have never appeared on my podcast.
Who was interviewed? Here's a very partial list: tech icons (founders of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Craigslist, Pinterest, Spotify, Salesforce, Dropbox, and more), Jimmy Fallon, Arianna Huffington, Brandon Stanton (Humans of New York), Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ben Stiller, Maurice Ashley (first African-American Grandmaster of chess), Brené Brown (researcher and bestselling author), Rick Rubin (legendary music producer), Temple Grandin (animal behavior expert and autism activist), Franklin Leonard (The Black List), Dara Torres (12-time Olympic medalist in swimming), David Lynch (director), Kelly Slater (surfing legend), Bozoma Saint John (Beats/Apple/Uber), Lewis Cantley (famed cancer researcher), Maria Sharapova, Chris Anderson (curator of TED), Terry Crews, Greg Norman (golf icon), Vitalik Buterin (creator of Ethereum), and nearly 100 more. Check it all out by clicking here.