‘Lil Rel came up on the rough side of the comedy mountain and is reaping the rewards of his resilience and talent.
While all sorts of black comedians are running around cussin’ one another out, spazzing on Twitter or getting themselves locked up, Lil’ Rel Howery is still basking in the glow of creating and starring in his own comedy on Fox. Recently, The Shadow League caught with Rel as he sauntered down the red carpet during a New York City screening of his first episode.
Though it may seem like he popped overnight, this Chicago native has been trying to get put on for the better part of the last 15 years, appearing on Last Comic Standing way back in 2007. He became “relevant” with his appearance on the gone-too-soon hit comedy The Carmichael Show where he starred alongside Jerrod Carmichael.
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However, it was his role in “Get Out” that made the nation flock to become one of the legions of fans who say “I can be a fan of his work before ‘Get Out'”.
I asked him what viewers can expect to see from his brand of comedy on a nightly basis.
Surrealism is the 20-century avant-garde artistic and literary movement that sought to stir the creative potential of the unconscious mind position seemingly irrational imagery adjacent to one another. Artist Salvador Dali is among the most respect of that era.
“It just feels good doing a show based on all the shows I’ve ever loved. You’ll see some of Martin’s type of style, you’ll see stuff from Frasier, Seinfeld, that type of style. I literally took something from everything that I’ve ever watched and loved,” said ‘Rel.
Situation comedies all bend toward a very similar arc. If there’s a male and female “best friend” duo, barring sexual preferences, the writers will try to make them have a relationship. It’s just what happens. However, Howery told The Shadow League his show will not rely on that tired on the troupe. Here’s what he had to say about actress Jessica Moore’s character Jess, who’s something of a driving force to his character on the show.
Credentialed black press members have long lamented how publicists and big-time movie stars alike treat them like proverbial stepchildren at junkets and red carpets. Many of us suffered in silence because, despite seniority or acumen, we knew that it would be easy for an “offended” publicist to single out and ostracize any journalist who made too much of a stink about it.
“She’s based on most of my homegirls. For example, me and Tiffany Haddish are great friends. Jess’ character is based on Tiffany, my homegirl LaToya, it’s a bunch of homegirls that I’ve had who I’ve just been friends with. I think we don’t show that enough. It’s always like ‘Oh, the best friends fittin’ to hook up…’ No, we talk crazy to each other. I think that’s going to be fun to watch. She’s like one of the guys to me.”
Rel on the show’s setting:
“Specifically, the West Side of Chicago. That’s where I was born and raised and that’s where I’m from. It’s such an interesting setting to keep it in that community. It’s just freedom to talk about a lot of things that’s going on at the crib. We’re hitting topics here and I’m interested to see what people think of it. I’m actually excited and nervous at the same time. Every Sunday night at 9:30! It’s the Rel Show on Fox!”