Profile: Jaboukie Young-White (Actor)

The moment it “clicked” that Young-White had made it as a comedian was right before his first set on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in December 2017. “I had to readjust the narrative I was telling myself,” he says. “I don’t think I’m an underdog anymore. I might just be a dog now.” From there, the Illinois native went on to write for Netflix comedy Big Mouth and land a gig as a correspondent on The Daily Show. “I went from grabbing coffee and people getting my name wrong to ‘Mr. Young-White, your trailer is ready’ in less than a year,” he quips.

Tempering his perfectionism to keep up with the show’s grueling schedule has been a challenge, and so has coming up with clever commentary in the current climate. “When the raw materials you’re working with are already so absurd and so dark, how do you take that and build satire?” The Set It Up and Rough Night actor is also attached to a new Bo Burnham-scripted movie at Paramount.

I HOPE I DON’T GET TYPECAST AS

“A really hot and smart and amazingly talented person. I hate it when people typecast me as that. Really: as the sassy best friend.”

PERSON I’M DYING TO WORK WITH

“Either Donald Glover or John Waters.”

I’D LOVE TO STAR IN A REMAKE OF

“A really dark live-action remake of Coraline as Wybie.”

IF I WEREN’T AN ACTOR, I’D BE

“A middle school social studies teacher.”

FIRST APP I USE IN THE MORNING

“Twitter, obviously. 100 percent.”

ONSCREEN CHARACTER I MOST IDENTIFIED WITH AS A KID

“Honestly, I didn’t see myself represented in TV when I was growing up and that’s why representation in Hollywood is so important.”

PERSON I’VE BEEN MOST STARSTRUCK BY

“Triple-H. I haven’t watchedwrestling since I was like 14. I saw him backstage at South by Southwest and I started shaking. He hit a primal part of my brain and I was really starstruck.”

CRAZIEST WAY MY LIFE HAS CHANGED

“I got to take my family to Jamaica for the first time in years. I hadn’t been since I was 5.”

I’D LOVE TO HAVE A CAREER LIKE

Tina Fey