Comic Roy Wood Jr. is the imperfect messenger we need right now


Roy Wood Jr.: Imperfect Messenger debuts Oct. 29 at 10:30 p.m. ET.

Mindy Tucker

This story is part of I’m So Obsessed (subscribe here), our podcast featuring interviews with actors, artists, celebrities and creative types about their work, career and current obsessions.

One of my favorite comedians is Roy Wood Jr. Since 2015, he’s been a correspondent on The Daily Show With Trevor Noah, where he consistently and expertly mixes satire and social commentary with things that are just stupid funny. On Friday, Oct. 29, his new stand-up special, Roy Wood Jr.: Imperfect Messenger, premieres on Comedy Central.

Apart from his Daily Show duties, Wood is an accomplished stand-up comic, with two previous one-hour specials under his belt: 2017’s Father Figure and 2019’s Noboby Loves You. He’s also an actor and has been on shows like Space Force, Better Call Saul and The Last OG. And he hosts two podcasts: Roy’s Job Fair and The Daily Show’s Beyond the Scenes.

In an interview on CNET’s I’m So Obsessed podcast, Wood explained the overall theme of his Imperfect Messenger comedy special.

“In a sense it’s, ‘Here are some ideas that I have for everyone, but I’m probably not the right person to be saying all of them,'” he said. “I will acknowledge that I’m probably not the right person, and I’ve also done some dumb shit.”

You can pregame for Imperfect Messenger by following on Twitter: Roy Wood Jr. – Ex Jedi (@roywoodjr). It’s there where he’s matter-of-fact, funny and a bit silly. He once did a series of shorts called The Coalition, which was a Sopranos-style show revolving around fast-food chicken sandwiches, animated by Wood. Each sandwich represented a different crime family, all of which conspired against Popeye’s. It’s obvious to say that Wood has a solid approach to his social media game.

“Social media is me, but only in my happiest and purest form. For the most part, if you go through my social media feed, I don’t express anger. I don’t express disappointment. I consider those emotions to be private. And so more often than not, I’m just not going to fucking talk about those things,” said Wood. “For the most part, social media for me is a place to unplug.”

During our interview, we discuss a number of topics, including video games, cartoon theme songs and his poignant column for The New York Times about his home state, Alabama, and how he’s hopeful for its future in terms of social equality and equity. At one point, Wood explained the appeal of playing online VR poker late at night.

“VR poker is probably one of the most realistic games, because it really does capture the sadness of being in a casino at three in the morning, where it’s you and five other people from around the globe gambling with fake money.”

You can listen to my interview with Wood in the podcast player at the top of this article. Subscribe to I’m So Obsessed on your favorite podcast app. In each episode, Connie Guglielmo or I catch up with an artist, actor or creator to learn about work, career and current obsessions.

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