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The Rush: Actor, comedian Lil Rel Howery on the art of trash talk and his tourney favorites

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Actor and comedian Lil Rel Howery stops by The Rush to discuss his love of (Chicago) basketball, the subtle art of trash talking and why he’s not ok with the concept of load management.

Video Transcript

LIL REL HOWERY: I'm a huge trash talker. Well, I thought I was the best until I did "Uncle Drew," and they gave me Reggie Miller. Like, Reggie-- Reggie, we at Dave & Buster's, brother. Why you-- just-- it's not even a real hoop. What are we doing, man? Like-- you know what I mean? [LAUGHS]

JARED QUAY: What's up, everybody. Today, we're grateful to have one of the hardest working men in show biz on "The Rush"-- actor and comedian Lil Rel Howery. What's up with you, Rel? How are you doing?

LIL REL HOWERY: What up, fam? How you doing? What's going on?

JARED QUAY: I'm doing good, man. Not as good as you, though, man. I know you were just in the movie, "Judas and the Black Messiah," which has been nominated for almost pretty much every Oscar. So you want to practice your acceptance speech right here on "The Rush"?

LIL REL HOWERY: I usually don't tell-- I'm one of those people, I don't care about award shows, right? And-- but it feel good, though. As much as I'm always like that, I'm so happy for that great crew, and just such a powerful film to be a part of. Man, it's just-- the impact has been great.

JARED QUAY: Man, that's great to hear. Well, you might not talk on the stage for that, but you can talk here. So you want to talk a little college hoops with me?

LIL REL HOWERY: Oh, definitely. I'm-- man, I've enjoyed so much college basketball. So far, the conference tournaments were great.

JARED QUAY: Well, who's your squad? I mean, you excited about Illinois. I mean, you from Chicago. They got a number one seed. They got Loyola Chicago's there.


JARED QUAY: Who you rooting for?

LIL REL HOWERY: I didn't like that. That was unfair, to put them in the same bracket. I thought that was [INAUDIBLE], you know what I'm saying? I have to be honest with you, that did make me a little upset.

But I am excited for Illinois-- looks great. They well-coached. Loyola Chicago is a sleeper, to be honest with you. Those are two of my teams.

LSU, I like a lot. Georgetown, I don't care, but 13 and 12. They look like they don't care what they record is. Like, if you watch them play in their conference tournament.

JARED QUAY: Well, I hear that you and Rod Riggle are doing something really cool for March Madness. I was wondering if you could tell me a little bit more about your project.

LIL REL HOWERY: Well, you know, first of all, we did these amazing commercials with the cool Aflac duck, who is just-- he's hilarious. Yeah, he only says Aflac, but he's hysterical. [LAUGHS] We're doing "Trash Talk Deliveries." That's right-- we're delivering trash talk.

And I'm a-- I'm a huge trash talker. Well, I thought I was the best until I did "Uncle Drew," and they give me Reggie Miller. Like, Reggie-- Reggie, we at Dave & Buster's, brother. Why you-- just-- it's not even a real hoop. What are we doing, man? Like, you know what I mean? [LAUGHS]

Look, all you got to do is use the hashtag #PostPainTrashTalk on Twitter. The Aflac people will see that. Aflac will send a comedian to whoever crib you want them to get talked to-- you know what I'm saying, to talk trash to. And that's what Aflac going to do.

Now, look-- look, you've got some real beef with somebody? Please, please don't-- don't involve us in that. That is not covered, and I don't want anything to do with that.

JARED QUAY: But you up there on "Trash Talk," and you saying-- because you used to play high school basketball. Is that where you developed trash talking?

LIL REL HOWERY: No, I've developed that playing on the playgrounds of the west side of Chicago. Like, you know, high school, you get [INAUDIBLE] doing that high school basketball. We talking about like, when you at the park, and you almost scared to trash talk, because like, OK, he is a gang member, so I [INAUDIBLE] not great chance I might get my [INAUDIBLE] kicked, you know what I mean?

JARED QUAY: Is there a limit? You know, like, you know the limits, you know how far you can get away with, you're like, no, that's too far.

LIL REL HOWERY: You really do.

JARED QUAY: You talked about their mama out there.

LIL REL HOWERY: You almost got to let somebody score a couple times, if you like, aite, I don't want to get jumped for killing these dudes, so like, I'mma just-- I'mma just let this brother score two times straight. We'll still win. We just-- [INAUDIBLE] he don't think I'm over-defending him. [LAUGHS]

JARED QUAY: That's hilarious, yo. Speaking of trash talk, one of the people who likes to talk a lot on Twitter is Kevin Durant. Him and Mike Conley actually are producers on an Oscar-nominated short. And it seems like a lot more athletes are getting involved in-- in film. And I'm wondering, as you being a sports fan and an actor, who is an athlete you would love to play their biopic?

LIL REL HOWERY: Ooh. Wow, that's a great-- wow, that's a great question, brother. You know something? This is a weird pick-- Andre Dawson.


LIL REL HOWERY: Chicago Cubs, man-- one of the coolest baseball players of all time. You know what I'm saying? He wasn't all swole up, but he was a home run hitter. He just knew how to make contact.

Andre Dawson's Jheri curl was one of the realest curls-- ever. It never looked like it was dry. Even when he played a nine-inning game, you like, that brother curl still juicy!

JARED QUAY: Yeah, that [INAUDIBLE] glow.


JARED QUAY: Yo, you're in seven films coming out this year, which is mind-blowing amount of numbers. What would happen if you talked to one of your producers, and you said, hey, man, I need a load management day?

LIL REL HOWERY: (CHUCKLING) A load management day-- I wouldn't even ask for that. Which-- and also, too-- look, the load management thing is overrated to me, you know what I mean? Like-- like, if you was like, Robert Parish, or like, somebody that played in the league for like, 30 years, OK, I get it. But like, man, you like, 28 years-- no, brother, no-- no load management.

Because you know, I'm from-- look, the era of the '90s is my era. So like, it wasn't no load management. Them dudes was playing whatever games they can play, every game, you know what I mean? So like-- load management, please.

JARED QUAY: And they would practice hard back in that day. You'd get fouled in practice. I remember when Jordan be out there trying to-- they be having full-on five-on-five games.

LIL REL HOWERY: You saw "The Last Dance."

JARED QUAY: I know your Bulls-ed out, man. You a Jordan fan, you got the Bulls hat on right now. Let's talk about the Bulls. Look, let's say the movie "Free Guy" goes out and makes $20 trillion in the box office, and you get enough residual money to buy the team. What would you do to make the Bulls back to the '90s relevance, you know?

LIL REL HOWERY: Well, honestly, I believe we're on our way back. I like Billy Donovan a lot as a coach. I love the way the team is coming together. Zach LaVine was an All-Star this year, that's great. I love our rookie, Patrick Williams. Coby White, once he's gonna stop turning the ball over so much, will be great.

I think it's a few moves we need to make, you know? That's just my opinion.

JARED QUAY: Well, look, Rel, man, I appreciate your Rush with me today. I look forward to all of March Madness, hearing you guys trash talk with [INAUDIBLE]. You have fun with the Aflac duck. Thank you-- come on again soon, man. We appreciate it.

LIL REL HOWERY: Hey, we are excited. Thanks for having me. I can't-- hopefully, y'all enjoy these hilarious commercials, [INAUDIBLE].

JARED QUAY: All right, brother man. Take care.