By Darren Franich
October 03, 2017 at 03:26 PM EDT
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Brandon Micheal Hall made a big impression last year as a regular on Search Party, playing the crusadingly insidious journalist ex-boyfriend of Alia Shawkat’s amateur sleuth. Still, you would think nothing could prepare Hall for starring as the title character of The Mayor, the new ABC comedy about a rapper who runs for local high office. But in a strange way, the actor predicted his big break.

He laughs remembering a moment just one year after his graduation from Juilliard, when he confided in a friend about one hope for the future. “I was like, ‘Dude, I want to do a show where I get to talk about politics, but also I want to do some rapping.’ I made it as specific as possible.”

Soon enough, Hall heard that ABC was looking for someone to play Courtney Rose, a hip-hop artist who runs for mayor on a lark and accidentally succeeds. “Divine intervention!” Hall declares.

After a couple rounds of auditioning, Hall was working on a script with a writing partner at MatchaBar in Manhattan. He got a call from his agents and stepped outside. “I’m down on 14th and 8th Avenue, down at the MatchaBar. I tell you, I ran from 8th Avenue all the way down to Union Square and back. [My writing partner] just remembered watching me taking off, me just flying down the street. Everyone in New York was like, ‘Who is this crazy little black kid running down the street? What is happening in his life?’ I was just so exuberant.”

Check out Hall in all his magnificent exuberance when The Mayor debuts Tuesday on ABC at 9:30 p.m. ET. Read EW’s review of The Mayor here. Hall will also return as a regular on Search Party when the TBS mystery-com returns on Nov. 19.

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