Jerrod Carmichael is about to become unavoidable.
That's the buzz in the LA comedy scene, anyway, and based on his work in the new film “Neighbors,” I would agree that it is only a matter of time before everyone knows this young comedian and his work.
This past week, he was on the road going college-to-college to promote the film, along with co-stars Dave Franco (who we spoke to yesterday) and Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and it sounds like it was an insane trip. I remember talking to Mintz-Plasse when he was just coming off of a similar promotional tour for “Role Models,” his first major experience interacting with the public, and he was sort of blown away by the entire thing. Now Chris is an old hand at this stuff, and it's Carmichael who got the crash course in what it's like to be out there promoting a movie to a truly rabid audience.
When we were at SXSW this year, Universal had a hefty “Neighbors” presence, taking over a bar and transforming it into a frat house. I spoke with several of the people involved with the movie, and I got a great sense of excitement from everyone involved, especially after the reception the film got from the audience the night before. One thing I noticed in talking to Nick Stoller, Seth Rogen, and Evan Goldberg is how excited they all were about the work done by Jerrod Carmichael in the film, and the idea that they had managed to get him for the film at all. It was apparent that they felt like it was a privilege to be able to cast him at this point in his career, before he blows up and starts headlining movies of his own.
One of the funniest moments in the movie is this weird digression between Carmichael and Hannibal Buress, another comedian who I feel like should be much bigger than he already is. That's one of the benefits for Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen as producers. They can find roles for these funny people who they believe should get more exposure, and it's nothing but win for them. They get to make their films even funnier, and these comics end up getting major exposure that can help push them to the next level.
I was struck by just how self-effacing Carmichael was. He's so relaxed and confident on stage, but it doesn't seem to come from a place of ego or swagger. This was one of the interviews I really wanted to make sure we had on the books now, because in five years, when Carmichael's a giant star, it'll be great to be able to look back at who he was in those last few moments before everyone was in on the secret.
“Neighbors” opens everywhere this Friday.