By Jannah G. Johnson, Special to the AFRO
Fox’s new sitcom “Rel” is a multi-camera comedy show based on comic Rel Howery’s life. In it he portrays a recently separated husband whose wife had an affair with his barber.
The show chronicles Rel’s transition from a married to single man and a live in to long-distance father. Although Rel is the star of the show a lot of buzz for the show has been garnered by its supporting actress Baltimore’s own, Jessica Moore.
Known as “Jess Hilarious,” Moore is a standup comedian best known for her appearances on Nick Cannon’s “Wild ‘N Out” and her Instagram segment “Jess with the Mess.” Moore has amassed an enormous following on Instagram with more than 3.5 million followers. She has also used her social media platform to launch her career as a comedienne opening for Martin Lawrence and Mike Epps and recently receiving the Clapback Award at BET’s recent Social Media Awards.
“I knew I made it when Martin Lawrence called me and asked me to open for him. I had only done five stand-up shows and I had to perform in front of 1,300 people that night in my city. I was prepared. I had a whole script and everything but when I got out there I just threw it all away and ran with it. After the show he said ‘You’re the best opening act I’ve had, like you’re good.’ That’s when I knew I could do something with this, I could do something with being funny,” Moore says at a preview event for the Fox show at Landmark Harbor East on September 6.
How has Jess risen to fame so quickly? She credits God and her work ethic to her success.
“God is in everything I do. Rel and I facilitate prayers on set before we even start shooting…God is the only way I can make it out in LA on my own,” says Jess, who has recently moved to Los Angeles from Baltimore.
Coming from Baltimore has proved to be a barrier she must hurdle in the industry, but Jess is prepared to deal with this obstacle and encourages other young artists to as well.
“I feel like Baltimore is overlooked in the industry. There’s so much talent out here and they don’t trust us. Fox originally didn’t want me because they said I was too green. You know? It’s so much talent out here but all we’re known for is “The Wire.” I encourage everyone from my city to get out there. If I can do it you can too.”
Moore hopes to eventually branch out into a show of her own and says she has some huge things planned in order to bring her Jess with the Mess segment to the big screen.
“I’ve always wanted to be famous, I wanted to model but you know it didn’t work out like that,” Moore chuckled. “What’s next for me? Television, “Jess with the Mess” is coming to TV. I’m also working on a standup special. That’s why I haven’t been posting to Instagram as much. I don’t want to water down my content because soon you’ll be getting it for 30 minutes at a time.”
‘Rel’ premiered September 9 and will air regularly on Sundays Fox.