Showtime has lured Jim Carrey back to his first regular television gig since he left In Living Color over two decades ago, to star as Jeff, AKA Mr. Pickles, in their new 30-minute series, Kidding. Carrey had been on a bit of a self-imposed hiatus while dealing with personal issues, until he recently began showing up on various specials for brief appearances. When his Netflix special documentary Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond received strong reviews and positive feedback from fans, Carrey opened up to the possibility of working regularly as an actor in the more immediate future than he originally planned, which is when the opportunity for Kidding manifested.
In Kidding, Carrey is taking on the role of Jeff, who is better known to hordes of children by his on-screen name Mr. Pickles. Jeff is going through some tough times, and may very well be entering the early stages of a mental breakdown, and it is beginning to bleed over to his time spent as Mr. Pickles as well. To make things even more complicated, Mr. Pickles works with a puppet, and that raises some serious issues, such as his willingness to be sexually gratified by the puppet. His breakdown slowly creeps into the lives of everyone around him in a way that makes him both sympathetic and at times revolting. The official Showtime synopsis describes the plot in a hopeful yet despairing way.
“Jeff, aka Mr. Pickles (Carrey), an icon of children’s television and a beacon of kindness and wisdom to America’s impressionable young minds and the parents who grew up with him. But when this beloved personality’s family begins to implode, Jeff finds no fairytale, 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.”
Collider described Carrey as “sporting a serial killer’s haircut,” and it’s just the type of project that they want to see him in at this point of his career. It seems as though perhaps Carrey may have a personal type of connection to the character that he wouldn’t have been capable of earlier in his career. Michel Gondry, Eternal Sunshine of Spotless Mind director, and Weeds showrunner Dave Holstein will be running the show behind the scenes. The cast includes Frank Langella, Judy Greer, Justin Kirk, and Ginger Gonzaga as primary players. The half-hour show will premiere on Showtime Sunday, September 9, at 10 pm.