Lil Rel Howery And Rickey Smiley Talk Laughter, Faith And Family Values
TV One’s original, documentary series UNSUNG HOLLYWOOD and UNCENSORED will air new episodes on Sunday, October 28. Kicking off at 9 p.m. ET/8C with untold stories from comedian/actor/radio host Rickey Smiley, the popular franchise UNSUNG HOLLYWOOD profiles influential black celebrities in Hollywood. UNCENSORED, which gives unprecedented access to your favorite personalities, follows at 10 p.m. ET/9C with actor Lil Rel. Over the course of three weeks (October 7 – October 21), the series have delivered a combined reach of 3.4 MM Total Unique Viewers 2+.
As a comedian, television star and nationally syndicated radio personality, Rickey Smiley has earned a reputation for delivering boundless laughter on-air, on-stage, and on-screen. On Sunday, October 28 at 9/8C, Smiley reveals to UNSUNG HOLLYWOOD his rise to fame, personal struggles that nearly claimed his life and his deep devotion to family.
Smiley shot to fame with his hilarious stand-up comedy, which won him loyal fans and sold out venues across the country. His invention of original characters like “Lil Darrl” showcased his creative genius and led to him hosting BET’s “Comic View.” He also made memorable appearances on “Def Comedy Jam” and “Showtime at the Apollo.” With Steve Harvey as his mentor, Smiley toured with the legendary “Kings of Comedy” and went on to star in his own sitcom “THE RICKEY SMILEY SHOW” and reality show “RICKEY SMILEY FOR REAL,” both of which aired on TV One. He took over air waves as a nationally syndicated radio host of “The Rickey Smiley Morning Show” and garnered movie roles in “Friday After Next” and “All About the Benjamins.”
A natural-born comedian, Rickey draws inspiration from his southern roots, upbringing in the church and close relationships with senior citizens, for his hysterical routines. Due to his father’s untimely death and mother’s drug addiction, Rickey Smiley spent his teenage and adult years filling a void for fatherless children in need of love. With all of his success and accolades, his life calling and greatest joy is being a strong father figure and caretaker of both his biological and nonbiological children.
UNSUNG HOLLYWOOD is a spin-off born of TV One’s longest-running, six-time NAACP Image Award winning franchise UNSUNG, and profiles some of the most talented, versatile, and influential black celebrities in Hollywood, from movies and television to comedy, sports and more. This final episode wraps up the series cycle until its return in 2019.
Comedic star Lil Rel has captivated audiences with his quick wit, undeniable story-telling ability and strong stage presence. On the next episode of TV One’s hit auto-biographical series UNCENSORED airing Sunday, October 28 at 10/9C, Lil Rel discusses his journey from performing in Chicago’s stand-up comedy circuit to Hollywood stardom with the blockbuster film “Get Out.”
Born Milton Terrence Howery, Lil Rel grew up on the West Side of Chicago with two brothers and both parents. He was bullied in school for being a “nerd” until he tried out for the basketball team, where he mirrored his older cousin Durrell’s skills that landed him the nickname Lil Rel. Off the court, he found a natural knack for performing in stage plays and perfected his craft by writing original comedy routines.
In his steady climb to success, he landed spots on BET’s “Comic View,” TV One’s “Bill Bellamy’s: Who Got Jokes,” HBO’s “Diddy’s Bad Boys of Comedy” and booked a small role in the film “Barbershop 2.” A chance meeting with Jordan Peele at a Hollywood party led to his break out role as the comical TSA agent in the Oscar-winning film “Get Out.” His performance earned him a MTV Movie and Television Award for Best Comedic Performance in a Movie. His career subsequently skyrocketed and Lil Rel has secured numerous coveted deals to cement his position as a bona fide break out star: his own FOX sitcom “REL,” a lead role in the film “Uncle Drew” and a guest starring role in HBO’s “Insecure.”
Lil Rel has faced life challenges, including his mom’s untimely death, but he never wavered in his belief that God prophesized greatness for him. His passion is to utilize his platform to create opportunities for fellow actors and comedians of color to grow within the industry.