Comedian Jerrod Carmichael Comes Out as Gay on HBO Special

Jerrod Carmichael: Rothaniel (Credit: HBO)

Comedian Jerrod Carmichael shared a “secret” on his new HBO special Rothaniel — he’s gay.

In the special, which premieres tonight, Carmichael spoke candidly about things his family had kept hidden. “I want to talk about secrets,” he told the audience, according to Variety.

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Carmichael, 34, talked about the impact of learning that his father had been cheating on his mother for years.

“After that was out in the open, I was left alone feeling like a liar, because I had a secret,” he said. “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.”

Carmichael told the audience he felt relieved to finally be sharing his truth.

“I rebelled against it my whole life. I thought I’d never, ever come out. 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,” he said.

The comedian rose to prominence after he co-created, co-wrote, produced, and starred in his semi-biographical NBC series, The Carmichael Show, from 2015 -2017. The sitcom addressed important issues, including the Black Lives Matter movement, gun rights, LGBT issues, and inclusion in politics.

His standup special, Jerrod Carmichael: Rothaniel, was filmed in February 2022 at the Blue Note Jazz Club in New York City. It debuts Friday, April 1 at 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT on HBO, and will be available to stream on HBO Max.

To coincide with the release of his new special, Carmichael will host Saturday Night Live on April 2, with Gunna serving as musical guest.