Comedian Jerrod Carmichael is getting his very first standup special, and it’s going to be a big one: an hour-long special for HBO. The untitled special will be taped May 7th at The Comedy Store, and it will air later this year. Carmichael’s HBO hour is being produced by Funny Or Die and directed by Spike Lee. This will be only the second standup special Spike Lee has directed, following the 2000 standup concert film The Original Kings of Comedy.
In an interview with us back in 2012, Carmichael discussed plans to do a special:
I have an idea [for a special]. I think it’s a good idea. It’s very specific to me … If you do a special, you want to do it not just to do a special. You want to do it because you have something to say, and you think it can be impactful. So, what I want to say is coming out more, and I’m excited about that.
It’s very rare for HBO to give an hour special to a comedian as new as Carmichael, who, although he’s been doing standup since 2008, has never done a set on TV. Most comedians start with late night spots or a half-hour Comedy Central special, so Carmichael getting an hour on HBO, which is a prestigious and sought-after gig in the industry, as his first televised performance says a lot about how much faith HBO has in him.
Carmichael, who ranked first in a 2013 poll we conducted amongst LA bookers and hosts to determine their favorite up and coming standups, has appeared on Fox’s The Goodwin Games, the upcoming movie Neighbors, and created and starred in a sitcom pilot that’s currently in development at NBC.