To be a fan of Donald Glover is to also know self-loathing. You greatly appreciate his work and his talents but you can’t help but think about all he’s already accomplished and wonder what the hell you’ve been doing with your life. I dare say most of us won’t make our mark on television, music, AND stand up comedy in our lifetime, let alone by the age of 28.
With Community in the middle of an epic fort war and his “Weirdo” comedy special releasing this month — marking yet another milestone in his young career — it’s time to take a step back and learn from Donald Glover’s meteoric rise in the entertainment industry. The whole thing should be rather easy to duplicate, assuming you’re an uber talented black nerd with writing skills, comedy chops, screen presence, and some serious flow.
“Know Your Donald Glover” trivia in the final slide. First three people to identify all the quotes correctly will win a copy of the the “Weirdo” special.
When Glover was a guest on Marc Maron’s “WTF” podcast (full length here) he discussed how he thought he might be gay in high school since everyone else assumed he was due to his interest in the arts, but he spent so much time jerking off to Susan Sarandon in White Palace he figured out that wasn’t the case.
Important DG Lesson: Be yourself and let people think whatever the hell they want to think if it means you’re pursuing your passions.
Glover grew up as a Jehovah’s Witness in Stone Mountain, Georgia, so needless to say going to New York to study Dramatic Writing was a necessary transition. At NYU he started started Derrick Comedy with Dominic Dierkes and DC Pierson. They specialized in video sketches, which culminated in the 2009 film Mystery Team. Derrick Comedy was also Glover’s way into the New York comedy scene and UCB.
Important DG Lesson: College > High School
Important DG Lesson: Always trust Wu-Tang Clan.
Glover went straight from NYU to writing for 30 Rock. There are worse places to start your comedy career.
Important DG Lesson: Learn from Tina Fey.
In 2008, Glover auditioned for an SNL opening that ended up going to Bobby Moynihan. Needless to say, if he’d gotten the gig Troy Barnes wouldn’t have happened and he’d have spent years getting Jay Pharoah’d.
Important DG Lesson: Some of the best opportunities are the ones you lose to Bobby Moynihan.
In 2010 when a Community fan suggested Glover should be cast as the new Spider-Man, Donald ran with it, starting the hashtag #Donald4Spiderman, which led to a full-on internet campaign. Glover didn’t land the role, but lots of awesome photoshops were made and Community worked in a few nods.
Important DG Lesson: The internet is your friend.
Important DG Lesson: Fake Nepotism > Real Nepotism
Childish Gambino’s most popular track isn’t actually an obscure homage to the ironic Don Johnson classic, but it is catchy as hell while also reminding me Crockett’s music career. NSFW audio.
Important DG Lesson: Be better at music than Don Johnson.
First three people to correctly identify 1-10 as “Troy Barnes” or “Childish Gambino” win a copy of the “Weirdo” comedy special. Good luck!
1) “An elephant never forgets, so my dick remembers everything.”
2) “Did you know Go-gurt is just yogurt?”
3) “I have the weirdest boner.”
4) “I’m going straight for your thighs like the cake you ate.”
5) “We all got chloroformed.”
6) “My uncle was struck by lightning. Now he masturbates in theaters.”
7) “Shout out to my Blerds”
8) “Are there Asian girls here? Minority report.”
9) “I’m taking on your city like I’m Carmen Sandiego.”
10) “I wanna go to rehab and compare penises with famous people.”