After a lengthy spring hiatus, ‘Saturday Night Live‘ came back with a bang on Apr. 2nd, with comedian Jerrod Carmichael, 34, taking the hosting reins. Fresh off his brand new HBO special “Rothaniel,” where he publicly came out as a gay man for the first time, Jerrod didn’t hold back when it came to laughs, hilariously embodying characters from a frustrated dollmaker to an unlucky Oscar’s “seat filler,” not to mention nailing his opening monologue.
From the moment he set foot onstage after the raucous cold open (complete with a Cecily Strong-as-Judge-Jeanine-Pirro appearance), Jerrod demonstrated his confidence (and prowess) working a crowd with his comedy. Rocking a low-cut white suit jacket that showed off his golden chain and a matching pair of tailored pants, he came onstage and immediately addressed the moment in his recent special where he publicly came out as gay for the first time…by not addressing it.
First off, he immediately makes clear to the audience “I’m not gonna talk about it.” Jerrod continued in an on-point skewer of how popular his coming out has been, sharing it feels like everyone has been “living in the wake” of it since it happened, and it feels like it’s been “years” since his announcement. Then, he jokes as to why it feels like everyone has been talking about it to endless cheers upon saying: “I feel like I’m the least famous host in SNL history.” Finally, he skewered the audience for their support one more time, as they cheered after he again publicly said he’s gay: “An expected response in New York.”
It’s been a big week for Jerrod, whose hosting slot this Saturday is his first on SNL. He also released his brand new stand-up special, ‘Rothaniel,’ which premiered on Apr. 1 on HBO. In the special, Jerrod reflected on his family life growing up in North Carolina, and in the process of discussing family “secrets” publicly identified as gay for the first time to raucous cheers from the audience. “I was left alone feeling like a liar, because I had a secret, one that I kept from my father, my mother, my family, my friends, and you,” Carmichael said when discussing finding out his father had cheated “Professionally, personally. And the secret is that I’m gay.” As the audience’s wild cheers went on, Jerrod continued “I’m accepting the love, I really appreciate the love. My ego wants to rebel against it.”
With his hosting slot, Jerrod joins a lengthening list of celebrities who’ve joined the cast of Season 27 to host, including Zoe Kravitz, Oscar Isaac, John Mulaney, Ariana DeBose, and Paul Rudd. Jerrod and accompanying musical guest Gunna were first announced via SNL’s time-honored Instagram Post-It note post, alongside upcoming duos Jake Gyllenhaal with musical guest Camila Cabello, and Lizzo doing double duty as both host and musical performer.