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Jim Carrey Plays a Bizarro Mr. Rogers in His New Show ‘Kidding’

"Smiles are a little gift we give each other."

Showtime

The trailer for Jim Carrey’s new show Kidding debuted online yesterday, with Carrey playing Mr. Pickles, a children’s television icon who may be on the verge of losing it.

Carrey’s performance in the trailer shows Pickles as slightly creepy and possibly deranged, as his strangely intense interactions with children and adults alike hint at someone who could snap at any second. Even as Pickles is talking about smiles being “a little gift we give each other”, his voice and demeanor suggest a deep anger and frustration hiding beneath his cheerful facade.

Pickles is clearly inspired by real-life legend Mr. Rogers, as the show’s synopsis describes Carrey’s character as “a beacon of kindness and wisdom to America’s impressionable young minds and the parents who grew up with him.” Except instead of being impossibly good-hearted and kind to everyone he meets, Pickles is shown to have a dark side and might be losing his grip on his sanity after his family begins to fall apart around him. This is obviously a departure from Rogers, as he is famous for his unimpeachable reputation.

Based on the trailer, Kidding definitely falls in line with Carrey’s more serious work, like the Truman Show and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. That’s not a coincidence, as Eternal Sunshine director Michel Gondry is serving as an executive producer on the show. Kidding was created by Dave Holstein, the mind behind Weeds and Raising Hope, with Judy Greer (Married), Frank Langella (Frost/Nixon), and Catherine Keener (Get Out) starring alongside Carrey. It will be Carrey’s first regular television role since he starred in the sketch comedy show In Living Color in the early 90’s.

Kidding is set to premiere on Showtime on September 9.