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‘Grand Crew’ star Carl Tart explains what’s off-limits when roasting friends

He also described a widely accepted party fail that really needs to stop.
/ Source: TODAY

Relatable and practical, Sherm in "Grand Crew" is calling out two widely accepted practices that have gone too far.

Season Two of the show premiered March 3 and stars Nicole Byer, Echo Kellum, Carl Tart, Aaron Jennings and Justin Cunningham. The group of friends are always either averting crisis together or playing matchmaker.

Tart plays Sherm, who regularly calls out minor yet annoying inconveniences.

Sherm’s gripe in Episode Six begins when Wyatt cannot blaze even though it’s a staple of their friendship. Sherm then teaches him how to in an improvised montage. By the end, Wyatt knows the structure and delivery of a diss and how to point to someone with his whole hand, not just one finger, a feature of roasting.

But now fully empowered, Wyatt becomes a monster and crosses the line with some of his disses.

Carl Tart as Sherm, Nicole Byer as Nicky, Justin Cunningham as Wyatt, and Echo Kellum as Noah.
Sherm (center left) will not be the one standing at a bar or in a club.Elizabeth Morris / NBC

'Real personal stuff'

Tart tells TODAY.com he’s been in that exact situation before and and can now distinguish friendly banter from hurtful words using one rule of thumb: personal fears are off the table when it comes to roasting friends, he says.

“If one of your friends who you confide in about your life — personal life and real personal stuff — if they start making fun of your actual insecurities, then we got to have a chat,” he said. “

"Because I told you that I felt bad about that in confidence. I was coming to you as my boy to help me with this situation and now you’re turning and throwing it back in my face.”

Sherm ends up hosting an intervention for Wyatt and the people whose feelings he hurt. They reconcile and hug it out in a beautiful display of Black men caring for each other.

Another inconvience that Sherm calls out involves the responsibilities of hosting. Earlier in the season, he and the guys go to a house party in which “there are not enough seats for the number of people here,” he says in Episode Three, disgruntled.

Enough seats means everyone has somewhere to sit, Tart says, agreeing with his character.

“If you are having a party in a big (event) space, you’re supposed to have enough tables and chair for everybody," he tells TODAY.com. "People are supposed to be able to go get them a plate and sit down.”

He says expecting people to stand for the duration of a party is unrealistic, yet it happens all the time.

"At a house party, a little kickback, it's called a 'kickback' because people need to have a chance to kick back," he says.

"I don't sit on the floor," he declared. "I played football for a lot of years and these knees don't like me getting up and down on the floor. So you gotta have some couch space, a dining room table, a couple of folding chairs here and there, a bean bag chair. Something."

Justin Cunningham as Wyatt, Echo Kellum as Noah, and Carl Tart as Sherm.
From left tor right: Justin Cunningham as Wyatt, Echo Kellum as Noah, and Carl Tart as Sherm.Elizabeth Morris / NBC

In the show, Tart's character is a rolling stone offering other people relationship advice. But that doesn't mean Sherm has his own love life all figured out.

Tart says it'll be a while before his character is ready to settle down.

"I think like Season 24. I'll be well into my 50s and finally, 'No more rolling with an entourage,'" he said, singing the lyrics to "Still Not a Player" by Big Pun.

"He probably dates the wrong types," he says. "He's messing with the wrong types and needs to chill out for sure."

As for what’s next for Sherm?

“He’s trying hard now (because) he’s looking at his friends move up and he feels like he’s here,” Tart says. “He’s watching all of his friends do other things, so keep that in mind. That’s kind of affected him in a way, so we might see some big changes.”

The real-life crew behind 'Grand Crew'

In March, Nicole Byer and Echo Kellum appeared on TODAY and said of all the cast members, Tart is the funniest.

"They said that?" he says in response to TODAY.com.

"Probably was something that I said in passing," he admits. "No planned joke, but we're together so much that we just have a good time. I think what they might be referring to is I definitely improvise a lot on set."

When filming early in the morning, he often forgets his lines, he says.

"They think it's very funny because I'll try to push through the tape and be saying gibberish as if it was written on ChatGPT or something," he says. "They're like, 'That's not what you're supposed to say.'"

The trio first met a decade ago at Upright Citizens Brigade, an improv theatre with locations across the country. The creator of the show, Phil Augusta Jackson, and most of the writers got their start at UCB, Tart says. The rest of the cast and writers met on this project and folded right into the friend group.

"It still definitely is work, and we definitely still get frustrated, but one thing we don't get frustrated with is each other," he says. "We all still love to come and see each other every day. We hang out in each other's trailers. We keep bothering each other, and we give each other gifts and hang out outside of work and everything."

The real life friend group behind "Grand Crew" fits with the show's intended audience, he explains.

“This show is designed for you to chill out on a Friday night with your friends, open up a bottle of wine, and maybe drink the whole bottle individually,” he says. “Everybody get their own bottle of wine and drink it within the 30 minutes that the show is on.”

"Grand Crew" airs on NBC Fridays at 8:30 p.m. and streams on Peacock the next day.

(Peacock is part of our parent company, NBCUniversal.)