MADE Legends Edition - Page 27

MADE MADE FEATURES XXXX shows and comedy clubs. So, I’d been looking at this newspaper forever and I’d spend every weekend just circling the comedy clubs. I just had to wait until I was old enough to actually go and perform in them. And I really wasn’t old enough, (when I finally went to the clubs), I was still under 21, but man, yes, Lyon’s Den was the first place I went to, on Chicago’s Northwest Side. I was just talking to some friends about that place because it created a lot of dope comedians you see out here now, actually. MADE: And let’s fast forward to today. You have gone far beyond being just a dope comedian; you’re a TV and movie star! You keep coming back to standup comedy, though. Why? What’s the draw? LR: Stand up is therapeutic. It’s what opened all of the doors for all of the things that I’m able to do now. That’s the one place you can go to on that stage, by yourself and create and say whatever you want. And there isn’t a script. I can go up there and do whatever I want. It’s more therapy than anything. There’s nothing like going on stage and telling your truth. MADE: And now, you’re teaming up with MTV for a new stand-up comedy series, “Acting Out.” How did that partnership come to be? LR: MTV was already interested in doing something with me. I had a chance to meet the execs at an MTV awards show and we had a really good conversation. And I was telling them that if we do something together, I would love to host something on the network. They said that my name had come up for a project and that project was “Acting Out.” My name had come up to just be featured on the show, though. And I knew the producers because I’d done Last Comic Standing. So when the first host, turned the show down, they’d called me to just be featured on the show, and I told my manager “well before we say ‘yes’ to me doing the show, can you tell them I want to host?” And my manager took that back to the executives. They (the executives) had a meeting and said: “oh, this would be the perfect show for Rel.” And it happened that fast. It became my show. MADE: Wow. Talk about making your own luck! Now, tell me more about “Acting Out.” You all are doing something very innovative with standup comedy, correct? LR: You know something; it’s amazing to watch these jokes come to life. And that’s so fun to watch to me! People who love standup comedy in general and love watching comedians know that the comedian is usually good at painting the picture. On this show, though, you don’t have to paint a picture in your mind. We’re actually showing you the painting. Viewers will be able to actually see the jokes come to life. That’s what’s so amazing about this show and that’s the funniest thing about it so far. MADE: You’ve credited the show “In Living Color Reboot” with giving you your “big” break. You’re going to be giving a lot of fresh faces the chance to shine on this show. What does it mean to you to be able to give other comics the same sort of “big” break someone gave you? LR: It means a lot to me, actually. With this show, I was able to get a lot of the talented comics on this show and also get them acting in this show. And that feels great. I’ve always done that. I still come back to Chicago and I have showcases I do all of the time for comedians to actually perform in front of big management or agents or producers and that’s only going to get bigger. I LOVE helping out, I love giving back, I love opening doors. And this is just the beginning for me. *Acting Out airs on MTV on Thursday nights, 10:30 EST/9:30 C | 27