Comedian, musician, actor, talk show host and deacon Rickey Smiley is the source of comedy and controversy among Christians. Because of his supporters and despite his critics, Rickey Smiley is blessed to have the ears and eyes of hundreds of thousands of listeners & viewers across the country.
Clearly, Rickey Smiley introduced church folk to the joys of faith-inspired stand up comedy. His hilariously accurate depiction of a church mother in the character of Sister Bernice Jenkins will cause you to burst into a fit of laughter every time someone begins to sing the hymn, “Pass Me Not.” However, he endearingly discloses that her character is built on a pillar of strength in his life – his praying grandmother.
There is no denying that Christians’ love affair with Rickey’s portrayal of events and characters in the church culture reveals his own upbringing- rooted and grounded in faith. Can anyone in the industry rival his comedy? According to him – Yes! However, it’s not comics who Rickey says gives him a run for his money. It’s the gospel artists he has befriended. The names on his “Who’s who” list of side-splitting, church fan waving funny may surprise you.
“Yolanda Adams, Bishop Joseph Walker, Charles Jenkins, Fred Hammond,” he rattled names with laughter in his voice.
It’s no surprise that Fred Hammond would be on his list. His recent cameo on Rickey Smiley’s new #1 television show drew in the masses.
Rickey relayed that he’s had relationships with many of the contemporary artists in Gospel music for decades. Yet, if we pull out his Ipod and scrolled through his heavy rotation we’d find gospel artists that our parents and grandparents have on vinyl records.
Rickey Smiley’s Gospel Playlist
1. If I Can Only Make It Heaven – Rantz Allen
2. Lord, Don’t Move This Mountain – Ines Andrews
3. What is this? – Dorothy Moore
4. Amazing Grace – Aretha Franklin
5. Where is the love? – Donnie Hathaway
His playlist is as eclectic as his career – attempting to find the balance between living a Christian life within a secular world. When he was asked what scripture keeps him grounded, he responded with Psalm 37 which begins:
“Fret not thyself because of evil doers neither be envious against the workers of inquity.”
It’s a comforting scripture in an industry where criticism hits like a tidal wave and a thick skin is a requirement for survival. Still, Rickey adds title after title to his resume. He just completed a film with actor/songstress Jill Scott called, “Baggage Claim” – reaffirming his actor title. These days, keeping up with Rickey is simply a matter of picking your favorite media outlet. You can catch his televised radio show on Dish Nation by checking your local listing. You can spot him on his #1 telvision show on TV One, The Rickey Smiley Show – Tuesday nights 9 pm. If that’s not enough, he’s available every week day on the airwaves. The Rickey Smiley Morning Show is on every day from 6 am – 10 am. Whether you are friend or foe one thing is ‘fo sho’, Brother Smiley has been blessed with divine favor and multiple platforms to reach the masses.