Carrey to play a TV host in a downward spiral in Showtime series

By James Hibberd
September 14, 2017 at 12:30 PM EDT

After two decades, Jim Carrey is returning to television — and the role sounds perfect for him.

Carrey is re-teaming with Oscar-winning director Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) for a new Showtime half-hour comedy series titled Kidding.

Here’s the pitch: “Carrey plays Jeff, aka Mr. Pickles, an icon of children’s television, a beacon of kindness and wisdom to America’s impressionable young minds and the parents who grew up with him – who also anchors a multimillion dollar branding empire. But when this beloved personality’s family – wife, two sons, sister, and father – begins to implode, Jeff finds no fairy tale or fable or puppet will guide him through this crisis, which advances faster than his means to cope. The result: a kind man in a cruel world faces a slow leak of sanity as hilarious as it is heartbreaking.”

Some of Carrey’s best work has been tragi-comic (like in Spotless Mind and The Truman Show), so it will be interesting to check out this one. The project was created by Dave Holstein (Weeds), who will serve as showrunner. “No one inhabits a character like Jim Carrey, and this role – which is like watching Humpty Dumpty after the fall – is going to leave television audiences wondering how they went so long without him,” said Showtime president David Nevins said. “With his Eternal Sunshine partner Michel Gondry on board to direct, we are on our way to a magnetic, volcanic and emotional viewing experience.”

The order represents an expansion of Showtime’s relationship with Carrey, who is an executive producer on the stand-up comedy dramedy I’m Dying Up Here. It’s also Carrey’s first series regular gig since Fox’s In Living Color two decades ago.