It’s been a week of milestones for Jerrod Carmichael.
Tonight, the 34-year-old comedian made his Saturday Night Live hosting debut along with first-time musical guest Gunna. The episode aired live just a day after Carmichael premiered his HBO comedy special Rothaniel, in which he came out as gay. The North Carolina native spoke about the brave moment during his SNL opening monologue.
Also in his monologue, Carmichael, who had an eponymous NBC sitcom that ran between 2015-2017, addressed Will SmithslappingChris Rock at the Oscars—sort of. Although he spent a good chunk of the monologue on the incident, Carmichael said that he wasn’t going to get into it and didn’t actually say the names of Smith, Rock, or Jada Pinkett Smith. He also didn’t use the words “slap” or “Oscars.”
“I’m not going to talk about it. I’ma be clear up top. I’ve talked about it enough. Kept talking about it. Kept thinking about it. I don’t wanna talk about it and you can’t make me talk about it” Carmichael began.
He continued, “Can you believe it’s been six days? Six days. This happened a week ago. Doesn’t this feel like it happened years ago?”
You can watch Carmichael’s full monologue above.
Following the monologue, Carmichael did a sketch on the much-talked about incident. But that wasn’t all. Michael Che and Colin Jost also spoke about it during Weekend Update.
You can check those out below.
During his HBO special, which was filmed back in February, Carmichael recalled the time he caught his father cheating and how the incident forced him to reflect on his own “secret.”
“After that was out in the open, I was left alone feeling like a liar, because I had a secret,” he told the audience at New York City’s Blue Note Jazz Club. “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.”
The crowd went silent for a few moments, before breaking out into applause.
“I’m accepting the love. I really appreciate the love,” Carmichael said. “My ego wants to rebel against it [...] 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.”