'America's Got Talent' Comedian Preacher Lawson Dives Deep on New NBC Comedy 'Connecting' (Exclusive)

Comedian Preacher Lawson appeared on two seasons of America's Got Talent, reaching the finals and increasing his fanbase's size with each outing. He has continued to tour and perform and has also made his mark on a new NBC series, Connecting. In the series, Lawson partners with a small team of actors and balances despair and hilarity while discussing COVID-19.

Speaking with PopCulture in an exclusive interview, Lawson discussed the series set against the backdrop of the pandemic and how people cope with increasing time in quarantine. He stars as Ben, one of six people stuck at home and who happens to be another character's romantic interest. While Connecting uses a very serious premise and features some intensely stressful moments, it's also interlaced with several jokes to lighten the mood continuously. The show manages to strike a balance between real-world issues and humorous relationships while providing entertainment, which is something that Lawson truly appreciates.

"I know it's so fast and I love stuff like that," Lawson told PopCulture of the type of comedians who are "super funny" but also make you think. "Those are the best comedians. So I think the same thing with the shows, the best shows are when they make you laugh and then make me cry."

Lawson also provided a specific example of the emotional rollercoaster as further evidence of the tonal shift and how viewers react. He said that he laughed at a line of dialogue while filming the third episode due to being "really immature and laughing at everything," but he had a very different reaction while sitting at home watching. Lawson said that he actually began to cry.

The comedian's favorite scenes are not necessarily those that prompt the biggest emotional reactions from the audience. Yes, he said that he appreciated when Annie (Otmara Marrero) accidentally fired a flare gun in her apartment. That scene sparked laughter from Lawson, but he also highlighted a quieter moment with his co-star.

"Man, one of my favorite parts is when — this is so stupid — the hardest I ever laughed on a show was when in the first episode, Annie was like, 'Oh, I got the recipe to make muffins,' or something like that. And she was like, 'But I didn't do it. I didn't do it,'" Lawson said. "It was just so funny. I was dying because I was like, 'Why would you bring that up?' And it was supposed to be like that, it's supposed to be super awkward. And I just remember they took my real laugh because I was really laughing.

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"There's been a couple of times where something like I was in a commercial, I was drinking the Schnapps and then it got in my nose and I spit it out," Lawson continued. "That was a real take. Yeah, I thought we were going to redo it. And then they didn't say 'Cut.' So we kept it in there and I was like, really? And then, so we just kept in there."

Connecting, created by Martin Gero (Blindspot), Brendan Gall and Universal Television, is available on NBC.com and the Peacock streaming platform. The series stars Lawson, Marrero, Shakina Nayfack, Parvesh Cheena, Ely Henry, Jill Knox and Keith Powell. Eight episodes are currently available.