Rickey Smiley was born Broderick Dornell Smiley. He is an American comedian, television host, actor, and radio personality. He is known for his unique brand of humor, syndicated radio show, and the role of Robber Santa Claus in Ice Cube’s Friday After Next. He got his start on BET’s Comic View in the early ’90s. From there, he appeared as a host and comic on programs like Showtime at the Apollo, HBO’s Def Comedy Jam, Uptown Comedy Club, and more. He became very popular and eventually scored a huge radio show and notable movie appearances.
Rickey Smiley and Ice Cube forged a friendship that resulted in them being in 3 films together. Friday After Next is the most famous one of the three. Smiley also appeared in All About the Benjamins and First Sunday. Their Friday cast members Mike Epps and Katt Williams also starred alongside them in those films. Rickey Smiley joins a long list of Friday alumni to have shocking stories about how much they got paid to feature in the iconic film series. While many of the actors in the first Friday understood their low wages due to it being a real low-budget film, by the third installment, the property was already a proven success. Smiley does not regret the movie at all and says it was the springboard for his career in many ways. Smiley says that the residual checks from Friday After Next used to be great since the movie was played regularly during the Christmas holiday. Nowadays, he says he’s lucky if the check is $40 or $60 bucks.
Smiley is looking to hopefully re-up the holiday residuals and last year starred in Miracles Across 125th Street with Nick Cannon and Lil Kim. Its unclear if the movie will become a holiday classic like Friday After Next because it currently has no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. Even if the Friday checks stop coming, Rickey is still going to do well. His radio show is the crown jewel of his empire and has helped establish him as a powerhouse in radio, thanks to his charismatic personality and signature prank calls.
In 2008, after only being on the radio locally in Dallas for four years, Smiley signed a deal with Syndicated One to move his show to a nationwide market. The Rickey Smiley Morning Show can now be heard on urban radio stations across America. Syndicated One eventually merged with Reach Media expanding their audience even further. This past February they re-up’d his deal for another 5 years. The official announcement states “The contract also includes the creation of The Rickey Smiley Podcast Network to elevate voices in the black community. The deal comes on the heels of Rickey winning his second NAB Marconi Award for Network/Syndicated Person of the Year in November, 2021.”
He also stars in the reality show Rickey Smiley For Real on TV One. The series debuted in 2015 and is currently on its 5th season. It follows his family life and how he juggles his radio empire with being a father. “We see his real job, real friends, real kids, and his really crazy life. As a successful member of our Radio One family, Rickey’s return to TV One is sure to resonate with our audience,” the network said around the time of the show’s debut. Prior to that, he had a scripted series as well called The Rickey Smiley Show.