White Famous premieres October 15th, 10pm on Showtime.
By Jack Faivish
After “parting ways” with Saturday Night Live, Jay Pharoah has found a television role perfectly suited for his do-it-all talents.
As Floyd Mooney in White Famous, Pharoah is able to use his myriad of abilities in a unique way, making the program an extremely likable comedy. Mooney is an up-and-coming comedian, who uses impressions and race jokes to pave his way to stardom, not unlike Pharoah in real life.
The episodes have a vibe similar to Ballers’, Dwayne Johnson’s show about the private lives of football players. In White Famous, we get an inside look at behind-the-scenes Hollywood, and an up-and-coming comedian in Pharaoh’s Floyd.
The minor characters are also well-rounded. Floyd’s on-again off-again girlfriend and mother of his child (Cleopatra Coleman) is likable, as well as his son (Lonnie Chavis, aka kid Randall on This Is Us). His agent (Utkarsh Ambudkar) is the only weird and off-putting performance.
Some of what Floyd has to deal with in just the first episode includes an overtly racist producer, which ultimately leads to him getting a major role in a Jamie Foxx movie. Foxx cameos as himself, continuing his shift from movie star to TV host and smaller television gigs.
I give White Famous an A-.