Comedian Jerrod Carmichael comes out as gay during HBO special then slays SNL performance over the weekend

Jerrod Carmichael

Jerrod Carmichael has been extremely busy.


In his latest comedy stand-up special, Rothaniel, comedian Jerrod Carmichael said that he no longer wants to keep his true self a “secret” and came out. Just days later, Carmichael made his hosting debut on Saturday Night Live.

So quite a busy week, all things considered.


The comedian’s hilarious opening SNL monologue addressed his recent coming out, as well as that Will Smith moment at the 2022 Oscars

‘I’m not going to talk about it. I want to be clear up top. I talked about it enough,’ he started.

‘This is going to really blow your minds. Can you believe it’s been six days? This happened a week ago,’ he noted, referring to the now infamous moment that took place following Chris Rock’s commentary on Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair.


Referencing his coming out “like 48 hours” earlier, he was met with supportive applause from the audience and joked that he moved to NYC because “you can ride the bus for free, and people just give you a free pizza” if you say you’re gay.

“Honestly, if you say you’re gay and in New York, you get to host Saturday Night Live – this is the gayest thing you can possibly do. We’re basically in an Andy Warhol fever dream right now”, he said.


Jerrod Carmichael comes out as gay during HBO special Rothaniel


Rothaniel, Carmichael’s third HBO stand-up comedy special, which was filmed by fellow comedian Bo Burnham at NYC’s Blue Note Jazz Club, sees the star open up about how he discovered that his father was unfaithful to his mother:

“After that was out in the open, I was left alone feeling like a liar, because I had a secret,” he said during the episode, which aired on 1 April but was taped earlier this year. “One that I kept from my father, my mother, my family, my friends, and you. Professionally, personally. And the secret is that I’m gay.”

“I thought I’d never, ever come out,” Carmichael continued. “At many points I thought I’d rather die than confront the truth of that, to actually say it to people. Because I know it changes some people’s perceptions of me. I can’t control that.”


Carmichael had referenced his sexuality publicly once before, in 2019, when he told his mother that he’d been sexually involved with men during a HBO documentary short titled Home Videos.

The comedian said that his relationship with her has suffered as a result of his coming out and they had not spoken for several months.


Carmichael went on to discuss how the relationship with his mother had shifted following his coming out, but maintained his hope that it would improve in time, saying, “As much as she believes in God, I believe in personal growth and feeling free,” he said. “And I do feel freer.”


Rothaniel is available to stream now on HBO Max. See the trailer along with the SNL opening monologue below.