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Thursday, May 26, 2022
Donald Glover and his litany of talents invade SXSW

Donald Glover

Donald Glover and his litany of talents invade SXSW

Today's world isn't always friendly to Renaissance men. It seems triple threats like Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra are fewer and far between. But every once in a while, somebody like Donald Glover comes along to remind us just how talented people can be.

Perhaps best known for his role as the lovable nerd Troy on NBC's ""Community,"" Glover has already packed more into his career at age 27 than many TV Land veterans. Prior to landing his critically-acclaimed role on ""Community,"" Glover served as a writer on ""30 Rock,"" and even earlier was a member of the troupe Derrick Comedy, in addition to working regularly as a stand-up comic. On top of his comedy work, Glover has also released three rap albums under the stage name Childish Gambino, with his latest untitled EP released on March 8.

The Daily Cardinal spoke with Glover via conference call to discuss his upcoming IAMDONALD tour, a show which debuted at South by Southwest and is designed to showcase all of Glover's talents. According to Glover, the choice to group his stand-up, acting and music together was a no-brainer, since he sees them all tying in with each other.

""I really do feel that they're all the same, they're not me just putting on costumes as much as me just stepping out and trying to express something else,"" Glover said. He continued to say they often blend together in a more literal sense, mentioning that many of his jokes often find their way into his raps in some shape or form. According to Glover, the connections between his work stem from his need for honesty.

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""The more I'm myself in the things I do, the more people respond because they know it's not bullshit,"" Glover said. ""I think Tina Fey does the same thing, all of the movies and stuff she wrote on ‘SNL', that's her.""

Glover has often spoke of his admiration for Fey, who he has credited as a mentor ever since she gave him one of his biggest breaks, bringing him on board the ""30 Rock"" writing staff. The parallels are fairly obvious, as Fey is entrenched as one of entertainment's Renaissance women as an acclaimed writer, producer, actress and comedienne. With the IAMDONALD tour, Glover hopes to dabble in just as many fields as his mentor, but wisely shies away from making it too much of a narcissistic glory trip.

""My friend was like ‘This is the Donald Glover Experience,' but I didn't want to call it that, because I'll sound like a dick if I do. It sounds like there's massage oils involved,"" Glover said. His responses underlined his desire to stay down to earth, something which he has visibly maintained, whether it was through his sincere wishes of ""Thank you"" following every question or his gleeful reaction to Jessica Alba following him on Twitter.

""What blew my mind away was [Alba] said ‘It took you long enough to follow me,'"" Glover said. ""First of all it's crazy that she would even thank me like that, and second of all, I thought, I follow you in real life. Like, I'm stalking you in real life. I don't need to follow you on Twitter.""

Glover has an endearing quality, much like his ""Community"" character Troy, which is apparent both in conversation or in his performance as host of the mtvU Woodie Awards, which broadcast from South by Southwest last Wednesday. But he is quick to clarify that his IAMDONALD act is something different and more personal.

""I try and immediately tell people I'm not Troy. I feel like a lot of people bring little kids, and then I start talking about my dick, and they change really fast,"" Glover said. ""I just want people to understand that IAMDONALD is a show about being able to do whatever you want and lately I've been doing as much stuff as possible just because I like doing a lot of stuff.""

And if Glover continues to do everything as well as he does now, the IAMDONALD tour may just be the start of a much bigger career.

""I want to be like Will Smith on cocaine,"" Glover said. ""I want to do everything. I hope that gets back to him.""

- Kevin Slane contributed to this report.

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