OnlyOnAOL: Pharrell and Jerrod Carmichael have this crazy thing in common

Jerrod Carmichael On "The Carmichael Show"

By: Donna Freydkin

His show is all about family. And in real life, comedian Jerrod Carmichael is just as devoted to his niece and nephew, who accompany him on this day as he does press -- and he visibly dotes on them.

The genial Carmichael saves his sharper side for his work. His NBC series airs Sundays and deals with such topical and thorny issues as Islamophobia, gentrification, unplanned pregnancies and Bill Cosby.

In that particular episode, which struck a nerve, Carmichael wonders whether it's still ok to like Cosby, even as women accuse him of drugging and raping them. "What do you do whenever that happens to a musician or an actor or athlete? Do we distance ourselves from the entertainment we enjoy? How much are we going to overlook? We all have our own rules," he says.

You won't believe how and where he gets his ideas. "I have a dry-erase board in my shower. I pace back and forth and walk in circles," he says.

Jerrod Carmichael  visits AOL Hq for Build on April 4, 2016 in New York. Photos by Noam Galai

Funny enough, Pharrell Williams said that he too gets his best ideas with water running. "If I can do anything like Pharrell – maybe I too can pull off the hat," says Carmichael.

He knows when something is worth pursuing because that particular thought "won't leave my mind in the shower. I keep thinking about it and thinking about it. I write towards that," he says.

His role model: Mark Twain.

"Comedians have an insight that a lot of people don't have. We're able to be removed from everything and not take ourselves too seriously. We're able to analyze. I look at Mark Twain and the way he articulated what culture was going through and that's inspirational to me," says Carmichael.

And here's a look at Pharrell's many hats.

Pharrell Williams and his hats
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OnlyOnAOL: Pharrell and Jerrod Carmichael have this crazy thing in common

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