Lil Rel Howery Talks ‘Live in Crenshaw,’ His Kids’ Involvement & More
HBO’s latest comedy special features none other than Get Out‘s breakout star Lil Rel Howery who has since become a household name.
Helming Lil Rel Howery: Live in Crenshaw, the comedian touches upon various topics including family, his experiences in the industry and much more. Below, Howery offers up some insight on what fans can expect from the unique set.
You talk about your family a lot in this special — would you say that they serve up the best material as a comedian?
Yes, I do believe that talking about family and keeping it personal makes for the best material. You’re like a fly on the wall when you’re a little kid, so when you become an adult, you’re basically impersonating all these people you grew up seeing and seeing how they talk and so my family has always been my inspiration for my stand-up.
You perform on stage in a less conventional setting than most stand-up routines. Was it your choice to film at Susan Miller Dorsey Senior High School? Why?
We decided to go with Dorsey. That was Jerrod Carmichael’s idea that he approached me with because he felt like that would be the best environment for me and for the type of comedian I am. I think that’s what is Jerrod Carmichael is brilliant at — understanding the comedian he’s working with and what’s the proper environment for them.
He knew that that would be the best place, and then it’s beautiful. The special looks like a rally and that was the goal. It looked like I could have been opening for whoever came to this, could have been Dr. King speaking after me. That’s what it felt like.
Your kids are credited within this special — what does it mean to get to share this together?
You know, it means a lot that my kids are credited on the special. It’s about, to me, my legacy, and they are a big part of everything I do. And I like that they’re hands-on, and I let them participate and be a part of all this. It means a lot to see their name in the credits and they’ve got their own card, consulting producers —Brittni and Judah Howery — it’s beautiful to see.
Is anything off limits for you in comedy?
I don’t think anything is off limits in comedy. But I’m not a fan of people just being mean for no reason. You know what I’m saying? I think comedy should make you laugh and it should be honest, but it doesn’t have to necessarily be mean. So I don’t think it is no limits on it. It’s unfortunate that it feels like it is nowadays, but I don’t believe it should be any limits of comedy.
Who has inspired you in your career? Any particularly favorite stand-ups?
Eddie Murphy, especially watching this special, is a huge influence on the way I do stand-up, especially with storytelling and character work within the story. Watching the way Eddie did, you know, Delirious is still probably my favorite special of all time. Just the way he tells a story. He’s just a brilliant man. And that’s a big influence on the way I structured and did Lil Rel: Live in Crenshaw.
Lil Rel Howery: Live in Crenshaw, Premieres Saturday, November 23, 10/9c, HBO