“Everything is just not funny right now,” said comedian Lil Rel Howery on Thursday. “I’m more tired and annoyed most of the time.”
Howery took his turn at guest hosting Jimmy Kimmel Live this week, but declined to spend the time cracking jokes or promoting his work. Instead, the Get Out actor used his platform to address racial injustice, call for schools to be funded instead of the police, and plead for people to vote in elections big and small.
“We have the right to select the right people to be in office,” said Howery. “I know we always focus on just the presidency, but it all starts from the bottom.”
In his powerful nine-minute monologue, Howery laid bare the hypocrisies surrounding how Black and white people have been treated in the U.S. This included Kenosha police shooting unarmed Black man Jacob Blake seven times in the back, then failing to even apprehend an armed white shooting suspect the very next day — even when he was walking toward them with his hands up.
Howery also took note of Nick Sandmann, the white teen whose confrontation with Native American activist Nathan Phillips went viral in 2019. Sandmann was subsequently invited to speak at the Republican National Convention, doing so this week.
“The things he was saying that was fascinating to me was he kept talking about being cancelled, and how the media made him look like a bad guy,” said Howery. “This teenager, who said he didn’t do anything, didn’t mean any malice about what he was doing, got a chance to tell his side of the story…
“And that made me think, right. I thought about all the teenagers that didn’t get the chance to tell their side of any story. I can name a couple of Black teenagers who I would love to hear their side of the story.”