Few people are blessed to do what they love while doing it with their friends. Comedian Jordan Carlos is among the few who work with people he admires and calls friends.
Proudly claiming the sidekick mantle, Carlos hosts a funny and insightful podcast along with the effervescent Michelle Buteau. The dynamic duo is well into the second act of their hit podcast “Adulting with Michelle Buteau and Jordan Carlos.”
Put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Buteau and Carlos are back and in precisely the right place on the Exactly Right network. Not only is the “Adulting” podcast on its season two victory lap, the show returned with in-person live shows.
There’s no sugar coating it. Adulting sucks.
Carlos recently spoke with NewsOne about relaunching the podcast and the joy of working with people he calls friends. Losing friends and loved ones during the pandemic took its toll but put life in perspective for the team.
“I don’t take doing the shows with her lightly anymore,” he began. “Because we just don’t know. We lost people during COVID, and it’s a funny show. I have so much fun, and we live in a crazy time. But when we’re there doing the show together, it’s just like all that just disappears at least for an hour or so.”
The beauty of their podcast is that it’s just a conversation between two old friends, covering all the bases of living life. From talking with Carlos, it’s clear he has the same energy on and off stage.
Carlos’ energy and wit shine even over a Zoom interview. Showing off his hip hop chops during the interview, Carlos dropped a well-placed OutKast lyric from the classic “Elevators” when talking about the creative grind.
If you don’t move your feet then I don’t eat, so we like neck-to-neck
Anyone who can drop a well-placed classic hip-hop verse in a conversation is worth a listen.
Laughter is medicine for the soul
Comedy can serve as a vehicle for healing, even more so when it is grounded in everyday relatable experiences and not focused on punching down on others. His imprint can be seen in shows such as “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore,” “Divorce” and BET’s “First Wives Club. He also hosts a show on AMC+ called “Can We Talk About This?” where guests explore problematic old movies.
Carlos said the podcast guest helped have engaging conversations and weave in humor. The humor doesn’t come at the expense of genuine conversation.
“I feel like people aren’t afraid anymore, especially funny people, to go there on some topics because it’s like hey, if not now, when?” he said. “It doesn’t always have to be funny every moment because we know it’s gonna be funny at some point.”
Carlos says allowing a natural conversation between the comedians gives the payoff of being entertained and informed simultaneously. He also reflected on the recent losses of young Black comedians like Jack Knight and the need for more than casually checking in with people we admire every once in a while.
“All too often, we don’t get catharsis as comedians,” he said. “We just live with darkness, and we just lost another comedian Jack Knight, a very funny Black comic in LA so funny. We have to have a candid conversation with each other.”
Those are the moments Carlos has tried to capture, whether as a stand-up comedian, show writer or actor. And despite the world being a dumpster fire and everything being trash, including the person who didn’t pick him for the high school improv team his freshman year, the “Adulting” team breaks through the noise.
Carlos also stars in the Freeform show “Everything’s Trash” alongside the phenomenal Phoebe Robinson, Nneka Okafor and Toccarra Cash. He recalled watching Robinson manifest opportunities over the years. He said she would proclaim something and then make it come true.
“She made it all happen,” he said. “And it was just very kind of her to consider me for that part. Then on top of that, it’s just fun watching your friends make their dreams come true.”
“Everything’s Trash” features the antics of the main character played by Robinson, a provocative podcast host named Phoebe Hill. Carlos plays her older brother, Jordan Hill, a Brooklyn Obama type running for the state legislature. The hijinx ensues, and gems are dropped in each episode.
Robinson made space for her dear friend to join the show. According to Carlos, they were looking for a “Jordan Carlos” type to fill the role. Well, who better for a “Jordan Carlos” type of role than the man himself?
But something special about both “Adulting” and “Everything’s Trash” is the focus on brilliant Black creatives making magic out of the mundane nature of everyday living. Carlos says one of the great things about “Everything’s Trash” is the depiction of varying Black experiences.
“Within that circle, there’s definite variety, and we have each other’s back and nothing but like love coursing through it,” he said. “Maybe somebody’s struggling. Then they’re also cool with somebody doing better. And maybe someone’s a little farther along emotionally and in their path. I love the show for that. Plus, it’s just wacky goofball, hilarious.”
Whether he’s the spunky sidekick always down to ride shotgun or the big brother turned political candidate on a new comedy show, Carlos is showing up as his full self. He again credited Robinson with providing space for the team to create the show they wanted, not just something to be on a network.
Not only is he a cast member and social media hype man, but Carlos is also behind the scenes in the writer’s room. His writing and witty AMC show “Can We Talk About This?” Ca
“This is just a journey that started long ago,” he said. “And it’s nice to have this kind of affirmation and faith in your own talents.”
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