Rickey Smiley (born in Birmingham, Alabama) is a standup comedian, television host, actor, and radio personality best known for his prank phone calls. The calls feature Smiley disguising his voice and carrying on a conversation with the recipient of the call. He is the host of the nationally syndicated Rickey Smiley Morning Show based in Atlanta from its flagship affiliate WHTA “Hot 107.9,” the star of The Rickey Smiley Show which airs on TV One and is a featured columnist on the Fox-produced tabloid show Dish Nation.
Smiley graduated from Woodlawn High School in Birmingham and went to Montgomery Job Corps Center, and attended college at Alabama State University in Montgomery, Alabama. He is a member of Omega Psi Phi fraternity and Kappa Kappa Psi National Band fraternity is known for informing audiences of his membership in his acts. Smiley is also a pianist, often playing the piano in his shows, and an organist and sometimes refers to himself playing it at his home church.
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Smiley appeared as the host of the 2000 season of BET‘s “ComicView” program. He has also appeared on “Showtime at the Apollo”, HBO‘s “Def Comedy Jam”, HBO’s “Snaps”, “The Nashville Network”, “Uptown Comedy Club”, and “Comic Escape”. His original comedy routines often feature the role-play of fictional characters such as “Bernice Jenkins” (AKA Granny Swims, Ms. Johnson or Mrs. Francis), “Lil’ Daryl”, “Rusty Dale” and “Beauford”. Bernice Jenkins has a grandson named Rufus, who’s a stereotype of the modern day “Gangsta“. He is referenced in “Two Of My Toes Fell Off” and another prank phone call where Smiley calls a pharmacy.
Smiley became the morning show personality for radio station KBFB in Dallas, Texas in April 2004. The show features the trademark prank calls, as well as news, information and the latest hip hop music. In 2008, Smiley signed a deal with Syndicated One (a syndicated radio division of Radio One) to take the show nationwide, and The Rickey Smiley Morning Show is now heard on a number of mainstream urban radio stations.
He has also released several humorous songs based on his bits, such as “Roll Tide” featuring his redneck character Buford, and “We Miss Robert”, based on a routine of his in which a friend of a deceased drug dealer performs a rap song called “We Miss Robert” at the funeral, which is actually a song about a woman, performed in hopes of landing a record deal. He currently has a syndicated morning show that is aired on urban radio stations throughout the United States.