Lil Rel Howery has a new sitcom loosely based on his life — and casting the actor who would play his father was a crucial part of the puzzle.
“We looked at every black TV dad,” the Get Out and Carmichael Show actor said at the ATX Television festival panel for his new Fox comedy, Rel. “Carl Winslow, man,” Howery continued, remarking at watching the audition of Reginald VelJohnson, who played the father character Carl Winslow on Family Matters.
“But no one felt right,” explained Howery, who revealed that the team behind the show resorted to Googling something like “older funny black actors” — and Sinbad popped up.
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“The minute we saw Sinbad, we were like, ‘Of course!’ [But] when we first went to Sinbad, his team was, like, ‘Sinbad’s good.’ But then he called me and was, like, ‘Hey man, let’s do this,'” recalled Howery.
Rel tells the story of a man who is starting life over after finding out his wife cheated on him with his barber. In addition to Howery and Sinbad, the comedy stars Jessica ‘Hilarious’ Moore and Jordan L. Jones.
Rel is slated to air Sunday nights beginning this fall on Fox.