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Showtime's Kidding Looks Like Peak Sad Jim Carrey

He's reuniting with his Eternal Sunshine director to play a depressed Mr. Rogers type

Liam Mathews

Jim Carrey has not been a regular on a TV series since In Living Color introduced him as a rubber-faced clown back in the early '90s. But he's returning to the small screen for Showtime's Kidding, doing the "tears of a clown" persona he developed after he left TV in movies like The Truman Show or Man on the Moon or his best film, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Carrey is reuniting with the 2004 classic's director Michel Gondry on Kidding to create a similarly surreal, tragicomic vibe. The series got its first trailer on Thursday, and it looks really good.

Carrey stars as Jeff, aka Mr. Pickles, a Mr. Rogers-esque kids' show host who exemplifies kindness and wisdom to a generation of children and their parents. But off-camera, his family is falling apart, and no one can bring him the comfort he brings to millions of children. The result, according to Showtime, is "a kind man in a cruel world faces a slow leak of sanity as hilarious as it is heartbreaking," which sounds like exactly the kind of thing I'm into. It's exactly the kind of melancholy whimsy Gondry excels at. You know there's going to be some amazing fantasy sequences.

Frank Langella plays Jeff's conniving executive producer, Catherine Keener plays the show's head puppet maker and Judy Greer plays his estranged wife. Gondry will direct several episodes, and Weeds' Dave Holstein is the creator and showrunner. The first season will consist of 10 half-hour episodes.

Kidding premieres Sunday, Sept. 9 at 10/9c on Showtime.

(Full disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS, Showtime's parent company.)