From Community To Atlanta: 13 Donald Glover Facts
What better way to celebrate the release of Atlanta’s final season that taking a trip down memory lane with our sweet boy Donald Glover? Check out these 13 facts about someone so talented that he wrote for 30 Rock at age 23.
He Was A Writer On 30 Rock
At 23 years old, Donald Glover still lived in his NYU dorm and served as a Resident Advisor until Tina Fey asked him to write for 30 Rock. The wide-eyed comedian based a lot of the character of Kenneth on himself, as he too was just a young man trying to please his superiors. He even stepped in to replace Tracy’s voice for the song “Werewolf Bar Mitzvah,” because of his dynamite impression skills.
Donald Glover’s Early Internet Success With Derrick Comedy
Donald’s NYU video sketch group Derrick Comedy was an early internet viral sensation. The three members - Donald Glover, Dominic Dierkes and DC Pierson met each other in NYU’s sketch comedy group Hammerkatz NYU. Some of their most notable videos were “New Bike,” “Opposite Day,” and “Girls are Not To Be Trusted.” The trio even went on to produce and star in a 2009 feature film entitled Mystery Team.
He Auditioned To Be Barack Obama On SNL
When he hosted SNL in 2018, Glover joked about how he had actually auditioned to be the resident Barack Obama impersonator for the show all the way back in 2008. The role ended up going to Fred Armisen, but if Glover had locked down that spot, we may have never seen him in Community which premiered just a year later.
Dan Harmon Thinks That Donald Glover’s Departure Was The Death Of Community
Harmon told the Hollywood Reporter that the Community writer’s room was full of Harvard graduates who would argue all day about how to button scenes, but in the end, Glover would usually improvise the funniest lines on the day. Harmon even said that at a certain point, ”We literally started writing in the script, ‘And then Donald says something funny.’” After Glover decided to leave the show, Harmon feared that the show would go downhill, going as far as to say, “I needed to convince myself that Donald leaving wasn't the death of the show, but now that it's all over, I think we can agree that it was.”
The Name “Childish Gambino” Came From A Wu-Tang Clan Name Generator
Glover admitted on Fuse’s Top Twenty Countdown that he had a relatively easy time choosing his rap name, as all he did was plug his name into a Wu-Tang Clan name generator online. You can choose your name just as easily here.
He Nearly Created A Deadpool Animated Series
In 2017, it was announced that Donald Glover and his brother Stephen Glover were working on an animated Deadpool show for FXX. The show sadly fizzled out due to creative differences. Some even claimed that Glover didn’t have time for the project, but he squashed those claims by tweeting that he desperately wanted to do the show and released a script for it on Twitter. It has jabs at both Marvel and FXX, saying they thought the show was too black and that they need to make toys for children and “50-year-old pedophiles.” You can read it here.
He Lied About His Vision For Atlanta So That FX Would Greenlight It
Donald Glover had higher ambitions than what FX originally saw for him. He told The New Yorker, “I knew what FX wanted from me. They were thinking it’d be me and Craig Robinson horse-tailing around, and it’ll be kind of like Community, and it’ll be on for a long time.” Glover knew that if he told them his true vision of Atlanta he’d never get greenlit, so instead he watered down the premise of the show in his pitch. His brother and Atlanta co-collaborator Stephen Glover said, “Donald promised, ‘Earn and Al work together to make it in the rough music industry. Al got famous for shooting someone and now he’s trying to deal with fame, and I’ll have a new song for him every week. Darius will be the funny one, and the gang’s going to be all together.’ That was the Trojan horse.”
He Is Of No Relation To Danny Glover
Donald Glover told Esquire in 2012 that he is constantly mistaken as being Danny Glover’s offspring, but alas that is not the case at all. He said, “Yes, people think I’m Danny Glover’s son. I get called Danny all the time because it’s a name that makes more sense than Donald.” He’s said before that he is not a fan of his birth name as “Don Glover” could be read as “Dong Lover.”
His Star Wars Gig Allowed Him To Cut Lines At TSA
In 2018 Glover took over the role of Lando Calrissian in Solo: A Star Wars Story. Glover told an interesting story on a behind-the-scenes featurette that when the casting was announced, an airport security guard allowed him to skip the line in exchange for an autograph, only referring to him as “Lando” during the entire interaction.
He Was Raised As A Jehovah’s Witness
Just like his character Troy on Community, Donald Glover was actually raised as a Jehovah’s Witness. He said on The Juan Epstein Radio Show, “I lost my virginity junior year of college, I was 21…I was awkward, and I was raised Jehovah’s Witness so I thought sex was bad, I thought I was going to go to hell and get AIDS immediately.”
He Didn’t Leave Community To Pursue Music
Contrary to popular belief, Donald Glover didn’t leave Community to focus on his music career, he instead revealed on Instagram in 2013 that he was overwhelmed with stress at the time. He said, “I didn’t leave Community to rap, I’m afraid Dan Harmon hates me.” Although with the announcement of Dan Harmon's intent to create the Community movie with the original cast, it is apparent that there are zero feelings of ill will.
He Is An Award Winning Machine
Donald Glover has won a LOT of awards over the years, including a 2017 Emmy for both outstanding director and lead actor in a comedy series, an American Comedy Award for breakout performer of the year, A Gold Derby Award for Best Ensemble with Community, some Writers Guild Awards for 30 Rock, and five Grammy’s for various Gambino projects along with seven other nominations.
Glover Insisted On Hiring Inexperienced Writers For Atlanta
Glover told The Guardian that one of the reasons the show feels so unique is that he insisted on hiring writers that had no previous television experience. He said he wants the show to take risks and that, “You are much more willing to take a risk if you don't know you are taking one, if you aren't aware of the problems that could arise." Glover has also mentioned that Atlanta, which is entering its fourth and final season, will go down as one of the greatest shows of all time along with “The Sopranos.”
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