I wrote up eight thoughts worth sharing and exploring while watching Jerrod Carmichael’s new hour of stand-up, 8, on HBO.
Bo Burnham directed Carmichael in 8 for HBO, which made for some interesting and special choices, from the formal dress code and setting of putting young people in the Masonic Hall in New York City, to jumping both in and out of the hour at either end without a formal introduction or applause.
Do Carmichael’s rigorously honest assertions work better in a broadcast network sitcom or on a stand-up stage? The Carmichael Show may be subject to NBC’s prime-time standards and censors, but the series — a throwback/tribute to the Norman Lear sitcoms of the 1970s — not only forces audiences to take a longer look at societal problems, but also finds the laughs to keep us together and find a way out of the problem within 22 minutes. His TV parents, brother and girlfriend provide characters to debate him and counter his points. Onstage by himself in a comedy club or a theater, Carmichael raises the questions without easy answers or sometimes any answers. Instead, he forces you to confront your own philosophy.