Jerrod Carmichael reveals his mom’s heartbreaking response to him coming out

Jerrod Carmichael talks about coming out as gay with Seth Myers
Jerrod Carmichael on Late Night With Seth Myers (Photo: YouTube)

Jerrod Carmichael appeared on Late Night With Seth Myers on Wednesday and reflected on his coming out as gay.

The comedian came out in a stand-up special he filmed for HBO Max entitled Rothaniel. It premiered last Friday. Carmichael followed it up by hosting Saturday Night Live last weekend and again refernecing his sexuality.

In the special, Carmichael, 35, talked about his father’s infidelity, and the impact it had on him and his family.

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

Talking to Myers, he said he’d told his mom on several occasions that he was gay, but it was something she did not want to hear.

“My mom practices a lot of cognitive dissonance with it, or denial rather, so I have to come out every other conversation.”

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Carmichael went on to reveal he’d been nervous about her reaction to his latest TV special, and that she had called him while he was being driven over to be interviewed by Myers.

“I was nervous because it was a lot, in the special, a lot of things that I was afraid to say to her. So she called,” he said.

“My family can be very polite and we can smile… through things and not talk about things. There’s a lot of elephants in the room. I think my family lives inside an elephant. I think the elephant is the room.”

He said the “emotional” conversation actually seemed “almost very nice” and “she expressed a lot of love, so did my dad,” but then his mom dropped another bombshell.

“It was almost very nice, until, you know, my mom said, ‘I just … these sins are tearing the family apart.’ And it just speaks to kind of the core of the problem, that there’s this insurmountable mountain that we can’t really get over.”

You can watch the whole interview below.

On a lighter note, Carmichael said he had been overwhelmed by the reaction to the TV special, and the support he’d received, which he’d need to supplement, “a little bit of a rift” with his family.

“So I’ve been receiving love from strangers. Sexually and non-sexually,” he quipped.

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Rothaniel is Carmichael’s third stand-up special for HBO Max. He also starred in the semi-autobiographical NBC sitcom The Carmichael Show between 2015 and 2017.

You can watch his SNL monologue from last weekend below.