When Milton Howery, Jr. was balling out on the court in high school, friends and family back home on the West Side of Chicago were reminded of his older cousin, Darrel, and nicknamed him as such. While Lil Rel had trouble getting out of his cousin’s shadow on the basketball court, he’s been able to carve out quite the career for himself in the comedy arena. From sold-out stand-up tours to beloved roles in The Carmichael Show and Jordan Peele’s Get Out, Lil Rel’s more than two-decade-long career has culminated in a number of coveted awards and now, his first HBO special.
The 90’s were spent studying the elites, from Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence to Louie Anderson. Instead of indulging in all of the tempting activities happening in the neighborhoods of West Side Chicago, Rel focused on perfecting his craft, even starring in the school play. That early validation he received from both teachers and his peers would eventually give Rel the confidence to continue performing and pursue his ultimate goal: to make the world laugh.