Lil Rel Howery was the life of the party. As a FOX fete quickly became a scene, with actors, publicists, executives and reporters crowding into a Los Angeles restaurant, the music grew loud, and the booze flowed. It felt a bit like a social hurricane, and at its eye was a compact man wearing a bright yellow leather jacket, sizable diamond studs in both ears and a necklace with an ankh (the Egyptian symbol for life).
Lil Rel Howery, star of the FOX sitcom Rel had people swirling around him, slapping him on the back and whispering in his ear as he tried to make his way to his costar Sinbad, who plays his dad on the show. “He’s still insanely funny,” Rel says. “I’m happy to have a legend on my show. He is turning into my second dad.”
The congratulations kept coming for landing his own show. In the sitcom, Rel plays a sweet but hapless guy whose wife left him for his barber. “Not my mailman, not my garbage man, but my hair confidant,” he says in the pilot. He is talking to a customer service rep, which just goes to show how bad of a shape he’s in.
After plugging away for years on the comedy circuit, Rel shot to fame in the Oscar-winning Get Out as a TSA agent, and on the beloved The Carmichael Show as Bobby Carmichael.
In between posing for photos and accepting congratulations, Rel answered our “7 Questions.”
- What were a few of the jobs you had before you got into acting?
I worked at Victoria’s Secret (in the stockroom) and at Walgreens until I was 20.
- What are three foods you have to have in your refrigerator or pantry at all times?
Cookies-and-cream ice cream, a pack of hot dogs and Freeze Pops.
- What movies can you watch over and over and never get tired of?
Coming to America and Boomerang.
- If you could invite a handful of people (dead or alive) to a dinner party, who would they be?
Bernie Mac, Eddie Murphy, Moms Mabley, Redd Foxx, Chris Rock, Tiffany Haddish, Wanda Sykes and Ellen DeGeneres. I love Bernie Mac — if they ever do that movie [about his life], I better play him.
- Once you knew you had some extra money, what was your biggest splurge?
Taking my kids to Disneyland — and with all the stops.
- Tell us about a time you were starstruck.
When I saw Eddie Murphy in the audience at my comedy show. I just stared at him.
- What is your most treasured possession?
I don’t really care about things. My TV show — I am so excited it’s here.