Comedian Jerrod Carmichael has officially come out in his new HBO special, which premieres Friday night (April).
Rothaniel, which was taped in February at the Blue Note Jazz Club in New York City, tells the story of the comedian interweaving his upbringing and coming out as gay. In the monologue, Variety reports that the North Carolina native told the story of how he caught his father cheating on his mother and then later got personal on his own journey.
“After that was out in the open, I was left alone feeling like a liar, because I had a secret,” he says. “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.”
After the audience remained silent for several moments they began to applaud for the comedian.
“I’m accepting the love, I really appreciate the love. My ego wants to rebel against it.” Later, he adds, “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.”
As for what’s next, “Rothaniel” drops tonight on HBO at 9 p.m. ET (April 1) ahead of the comedian hosting Saturday Night Live on April 2.