Fresh off the release of his critically acclaimed HBO comedy special Rothaniel and SNL hosting gig, Jerrod Carmichael appeared on Late Night With Seth Meyers on April 6 to debrief on his eventful week. But he was thrown for a loop when, on his way to the taping, he received a call from his mother for the first time since the release of his special, in which he talks about the strain their relationship has endured since coming out to her as gay.
Carmichael told Meyers the conversation was “emotional” and “dramatic,” and he appeared to be processing it in real time while on Late Night. “It was almost very nice until my mom said, ‘These sins are tearing the family apart,’” Carmichael told Meyers. “It just speaks to the core of the problem, you know — that there’s this insurmountable mountain that we can’t get over … So that’s where I’m at.” It’s a rare late-night moment that feels honest and genuine — and, for what it’s worth, it also happened on Carmichael’s birthday: “I was afraid that the call would just be about my birthday, when I feel like there’s obviously more pressing matters.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Carmichael discussed his week on SNL — no talk with Seth would be complete without this — and pulled the curtain back on the artistic process behind Rothaniel, but it’s hard to shake just how unique this appearance felt relative to a boilerplate late-night chat. It’s a credit to Carmichael that, in spite of the emotional nature of the conversation, he remained open, charming, and funny throughout — not unlike his special. He also shared a rule he’s begun applying to his work that he’s ported over from therapy: “Don’t lie. It’d be a waste of time.”