Jim Carrey dons a Mr. Rodgers-esque persona for his return to the small screen. Carrey is joining forces with Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind director Michel Gondry once again for Kidding, a Showtime original. The 10-episode series premieres on Sept. 9.
Carrey’s character Jeff, aka Mr. Pickles, imparts happy words bolstered by puppet friends to his child audience, but falls apart behind the scenes, trading his on-camera smile for a melancholy straight face.
The first trailer for the series opens with Jeff in front of an audience of kids and parents. “It’s the part of you that no one can see, but you know it’s there and I do, too. That’s the part of you that no one can take away, ‘cause that’s the part that’s really you,” he proclaims. “You see, the stuff I like about you isn’t the stuff on the outside. What I like about you is the other stuff, the inside stuff.”
Meanwhile, we see Jeff’s life untangle: His wife leaves him because he’s a pussy, according to his own son, and he can be seen about to shave his head, reminiscent of a 2007 Britney Spears during her own downward spiral. You see the difficulty with which Jeff dons his persona as he stands in front of a broken mirror in a Conan O’Brien dressing room before taking a minute to force himself to smile.
The reunion between Carrey and Gondry is enough cause for excitement, because Gondry picked up an Oscar for his original Eternal Sunshine screenplay and helped Carrey give one of his best dramatic performances as an actor. Both men are credited as producers for the half-hour dark comedy, and Gondry directs multiple episodes. The cast also includes Catherine Keener, Judy Greer, Frank Langella and Justin Kirk.
Watch the trailer for Kidding below.