Lately it feels like Donald Glover is everywhere. The actor, musician and rapper (who records music under the name Childish Gambino) made history by winning three Grammy Awards on Sunday night, with "This is America" becoming the first rap song to ever win song of the year.
Last year, Glover was also nominated for multiple Emmy Awards for writing, directing, producing and acting on the second season of critically-acclaimed FX show "Atlanta." He also received a nomination for his guest appearance hosting NBC's "Saturday Night Live" — giving the 34-year-old star five total Emmy nominations for 2018. And, in 2017, Glover became the first-ever African-American director to win an Emmy for directing a comedy series.
In addition to his Emmy nominations, Glover performed (and won) at the 2018 Grammy Awards as his hip-hop alter ego, Childish Gambino. The video for his popular single, "This Is America," which serves up commentary on everything from gun violence to racial politics, has garnered over 483 million YouTube views since its May 5 debut.
Also in May, Glover added movie star to his resume when he starred in Walt Disney's "Solo: A Star Wars Story" as a younger version of Lando Calrissian, the intergalactic smuggler and gambler character made famous by actor Billy Dee Williams in the original "Star Wars" trilogy. The film made over $380 million at the global box office.
But when Glover got his start in show business over a dozen years ago, his abundance of talent was still just being discovered.
Glover, who graduated from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts in 2006, formed a sketch comedy group with two fellow NYU students while they were still in college. Called Derrick Comedy, the group made short comedy videos that they posted on YouTube at a time when the now ubiquitous online video platform was still in its infancy (it launched in 2005).
Some of Derrick Comedy's sketch videos went viral, including a 2006 video that skewers college frat-boy culture (called called "Bro Rape"), which today has more than 11 million views (despite being age-restricted by YouTube for potentially offensive language and content).
Before he'd even graduated from college, Glover's online video sketches caught the eye of David Miner, an executive producer on the NBC sitcom "30 Rock," who set up a meeting between Glover and Tina Fey. In a 2010 interview with The New York Times, Fey remembered that Glover showed up to the meeting with just "a packet of sketch comedy pieces" including one about going on a date with someone who turns out to be one of the puppet characters from the now defunct HBO show "Fraggle Rock."
"That sketch made me laugh," Fey said.