Chicago comedian Lil’ Rel premieres comedy special on Comedy Central June 7, 2013

lil rel (with mic)

Comedian Lil’ Rel Howery

*“I knew at probably about nine or 10 years-old when I watched ‘In Living Color’…it was so funny,” said Chicago native Lil’ Rel (pronounced Rail) Howery about his venture into comedy. “People forget ‘In Living Color’ was the first sketch comedy with a black cast. Families watched it just glad to see sketch comedy on a Black show. I was introduced into comedy (because of ‘In Living Color’).”

Lil’ Rel’s journey and style of comedy has landed him his own half-hour comedy special on Comedy Central as part of their “The Half Hour” stand-up series. Howery’s special airs Friday June 7, 2013 at midnight ET/PT. The Comedy Central series premiered May 3rd highlighting a long list of comedians of which Lil Rel is one. Lil’ Rel’s comedy is so fresh, clean and real it left me in tears from laughing so hard as I watch one of his performances on “BET’s Comicview.”

“When I first saw ‘Eddie Murphy Raw’ I was at a church reunion,” Lil’ Rel laughed at the irony when explaining why his comedy is ‘clean.’ “He was the first person to do characters, that’s why a lot of what I do is characters. I had been praying about it…I had a break-through one day that I don’t have to do what everybody else is doing, that’s not me. My comedy grows as I grow as a person.”

The second season of the Comedy Central Stand-Up “The Half Hour” series is produced by Triage Entertainment. John Bravakis, Stephen Kroopnick and Stu Schreiberg served as executive producers and Joe DeMaio is director. JoAnn Grigioni served as executive in charge of production for Comedy Central.

Lil’ Rel’s comedy landed him on such shows as “BET Comicview,” “Baisden After Dark” and “Chelsea Lately.” He was also part of “Russell Simmons presents Stand-up at the El Rey,” “Cut ‘n It Up: Chicago,” “The Big Black Comedy Show Vol. 3,” with Michael Colyar and “P. Diddy presents the Bad Boys of Comedy” (television documentary). Lil’ Rel hosted “Unleashed Comedians Off the Chain” and last year was part of “In Living Color Reboot.”

“I’m honored…performing on Comedy Central is #1 on my goal list,” Howery pointed out to me about the show. “I’m a student of Comedy Central. It launched careers; Wanda Sykes and even Kevin Hart. The first time I was introduced to him he was on Comedy Central. It puts you on the map…Hollywood knows now. It’s honestly kind of surreal.”

You can follow Lil’ Rel Howery on twitter at @LilRel4 and Comedy Central at @CCStandUp.

Grammy winning Hip-Hop violinist Miri Ben-Ari and The Tony Rich Project perform at ‘On The Vine’ reception in Beverly Hills

Howard Hewitt on red carpet of an exclusive reception to announce "On The Vine" benefit for break-through kidney disease research. (Photo credit: Eunice Moseley)

Howard Hewitt on red carpet of an exclusive reception to announce the “On The Vine” benefit for break-through kidney disease research. (Photo credit: Eunice Moseley)

*An exclusive reception to announce “On The Vine,” a four-day music, comedy, art and fashion experience to benefit break-through kidney disease research among African-Americans, with Natalie Cole, was recently held in Beverly Hills where Grammy Award winning Hip-Hop violinist Miri Ben-Ari and The Tony Rich Project performed.” “On The Vine” will be held on Martha’s Vineyard’s island August 22 – 25, 2013.

Natalie Cole performs opening day and other stellar performances throughout the event include Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Jazz greats Kahil El Zabar, Roy Hargrove and James Carter; music legend Smokey Robinson, comedian Richard Lewis (a kidney disease survivor); Miri Ben-Ari, and Angie Stone. The annual event will benefit the Rambam Health Care Campus located in Haifa, Israel where break-through research is conducted by Professor Karl Skorecki.

Statistics note that 40 million Americans have kidney disease of which 12 million are Black. African-Americans account for 14% of the U.S. population and make up 30% of all patients being treated for kidney failure. Dr. Karl Skorecki and his team at RambamHospital in Israel have isolated the genetic markers that are linked to contracting kidney disease, the first step to prevention and a cure.

“My mom had kidney disease,” said Howard Hewitt (“Say Yes”), one of many celebrities that came out in support of the “On The Vine” reception. “She eventually past away…she went through kidney failure and the last two or three years she was on dialysis…that’s why when I was told about this event I wanted to diffidently support.”

“My father’s brother just recently past away from kidney disease,” said actress Malinda Williams (The Undershepherd, Soul Food) about why she came out in support of the benefit announcement reception. “It has affected my family, that’s part of it…I think proportionately it affects African-American, which is why I am here.”

More about “On The Vine” can be found at www.OnTheVineEvents.com.

(Event: Saturday Oct 19th the Los Angeles “Uplifting Minds II” FREE one-day entertainment conference (two intense seminars, talent and competition showcase) at the Celebrity Centre in Hollywood, sponsored in part by www.EURweb.com. Syndicated Column: The Pulse of Entertainment is written weekly by Eunice Moseley, also a PR/Business Management consultant – www.ThePulseofEntertainment.com, www.FreelanceAssociatesInc.com