Childish Gambino 48

Hey, You’re Cool! Donald Glover

Before he was Childish Gambino, Donald Glover was just a staff writer for 30 Rock with dreams of making it big.

Words by Nichelle Dailey

“Community” kicked off its fifth season on NBC this week (Thursday at 8 p.m. EST), and though Donald Glover’s Troy will take on a diminished role, we’re still hyped to return to Greendale. In case Glover’s Because the Internet has you jonesing for more from the comedian/rapper, we revisit Issue 48’s Hey, You’re Cool! with the one and only.

My recurring nightmare of having 5 million channels and nothing to watch has finally come true. The internet odyssey of YouTube has been destroyed by girls with no morals and guys who think they’re funny. But I guess that’s life. And Dateline NBC’s “To Catch a Predator” television specials make life and the Internet both seem scary as hell. But “Bro Rape,” the amazing mockery of “Predator” by the New York-based sketch comedy group DERRICK, somehow manages to spin everyday dudes and loneliness into hope for the world wide web. These guys are so normal, their collective humor is as unexpected as a blind date taser attack. Twenty three-year-old, Atlanta native Donald Glover and three of his best college homies from NYU formed DERRICK just two years ago. A former intern at Upright Citizens Brigade, Glover’s since made the other small screen a lot brighter, having recently been hired as a staff writer for “30 Rock.” With more than 11 million combined hits to his crew’s internet sketches, Glover is quickly experiencing how the public simply wants sex, lies and videotapes. And as the web continuously overflows with self aggrandizing filler, Glover and his boys are handling their video streaming duties like veteran comedic champs. Nightmares are for kids, anyway.

Do people recognize you on the street and scream ‘Bro Rape’?

That’s exactly what happens, people scream, “Bro Rape!” And when you’re walking down the street with your mom and it’s a Sunday, it’s pretty weird. We were making videos, then YouTube got big and people started paying attention to us, so it kind of came out of nowhere.

How did you get the “30 Rock” gig? 

I, um, well I slept with Tina Fey [Laughs]. I guess it was a lot of being ready. It’s not like I was awesome and I was ready to do it, I was definitely not ready. I got an e-mail from David Meyer who’s now our manager and executive producer. I think maybe Amy Poehler had thrown my name out there. I interviewed and I got the job. It was pretty much just word of mouth, like, ‘This dude’s young and doing stuff.’ I was very lucky. I don’t deserve this. [This article] Shouldn’t be “Hey, You’re Cool!” It should be, “Hey, You’re Lucky!”

So what are you working on for the future?

“30 Rock” keeps me busy, but I’m writing a movie about my experience in high school and college about being basically the only black kid in a group of white kids.

Do people think you’re Danny Glover’s son?

All the fucking time, and I want to say yes ’cause Danny Glover’s this cool guy and then he has this son doing videos called “Bro Rape.” It’s like, take that dad! Every now and then I’ll get, ‘Are you Savion Glover’s son? Did he take you to Sesame Street when you were young?’ Maybe we are related somewhere down the line. I mean, I want to be, they could help me pay off my student loans.

Childish Gambino 48

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  • Dude is all over the blogs and doing his thing. I wanna see him keep winning. I don’t watch 30 Rock or none of that. I only know him from him working hard and being creative enough to stand out.