Rickey Smiley is more than just a comedian that makes fans laugh in the morning and when he’s on stage. He’s a social justice advocate, father and mentor. Rickey has been doing standup for nearly 28 years and is known for his skits such as Bernice Jenkins, Lil Darryl and more.
The Birmingham Times recently talked about Rickey being raised in the Kingston Public Housing Projects in North Birmingham by his grandmother. Rickey got his start at The StarDome where he performed for audiences on several occasions. Bruce Ayers, the owner of The StarDome said, “When he puts his mind to anything he’s doing, he’s a perfectionist.”
Getting into comedy wasn’t easy for Rickey and with each rejection he pushed even harder to get another gig. Rickey said, “It’s hard if you’re not dedicated and committed. You have to surround yourself with good people and talented people and let it rub off on you. Then you gotta know how to mix it up and know how to network with people because it’s not all about who you know, it’s about who knows you.”
Over several years Rickey gained fans by touring with different comedy shows, hosting BET’s “Comic View,” acting in movies such as “Baggage Claim as well as “Friday After Next.” In 2004 he got the opportunity to become a radio personality for his own show, “The Rickey Smiley Morning Show.” Years later he got his own sitcom “The Rickey Smiley Show,” which aired from 2012 to 2015.
After that show ended he began his reality show “Rickey Smiley for Real,” which shows his life as a father, radio show host and mentor juggling life. Rickey takes time to mentor other comedians trying to get into the business as well as works with several charitable organization. Ayers said, “A lot of people don’t know about [Rickey’s] heart. He helps so many people, so many kids. He’s got the Rickey Smiley Foundation, and he’s sincere about it. Some people do it for publicity. He doesn’t do it for that. He just really wants to help people.” There is so much more to Rickey than telling jokes, he’s a man that shows the world that even with fame he still remains the humble person he’s always been that doesn’t take his opportunities for granted.
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