A big week for Jerrod Carmichael

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To paraphrase Amy Schumer circa 10:30 p.m. on Oscars night, “Anything happen this week?”

The last seven days have provided SNL with an approximate metric fuck-ton of topical inspiration. One piece, of course, was Will Smith clocking presenter Chris Rock (an SNL alum) at the Oscars

Oscars, a true record-scratching, WTF cultural moment. In the endlessly fragmented dropped pie that is the television landscape, it’s rare that live TV unites everyone in the world

Five days later, host Jerrod Carmichael—an established comic and star of the late, lamented (at least by me) NBC sitcom The Carmichael Show—earned a few headlines

 The Carmichael Show—earned a few headlines of his own by coming out as gay in his new HBO standup special, Rothaniel, which debuted on Friday.

That doesn’t happen every week, and Carmichael is uniquely candid and moving in Rothaniel as he details this bumpy ongoing process.

So despite Carmichael’s less-than-household-name status, this SNL episode arrived with more anticipatory buzz than usual.

Will the show summarize and contextualize the Smith situation in a way that only SNL can? 

Will the host—so perceptive and inventive in his standup—push the show to go afield on gay themes

A direction that led to one of the most laugh-out-loud-funny sketches of season 45)? Are both of these questions setting up unrealistic expectations?

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