Comedian Ricky Smith's Crazy Adventures as King of the #RAKE Movement
When it comes to Cleveland native Ricky Smith, this comedian, writer and editor for Adult Swim's Black Dynamite is as funny and as modest as they come. Also a do-gooder, Smith founded "Random Acts of Kindness Everywhere" (or R.A.K.E) because he just wanted to get out there and be kind. What a concept right? A ton of people are taking notice and jumping onboard allowing this movement to spread like wildfire around the world. Don't believe us? Just check out the hashtag #RAKE on Twitter or Instagram and you'll see people from all over following his lead. It has left him feeling great and if you get in on the fun of simply being kind, you can get the same wonderful "warm and fuzzy" feeling as well. The best part about this movement? You don't even need money to deliver a smile to someone's face. We had the chance to talk to Ricky to see how this all started and to see how we can all do our part to R.A.K.E because let's face it, we could all use a little kindness.
OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): I heard something about Twitter being the reason that you ended up in California. True or false?
Ricky Smith: Yeah this guy who worked at Comedy Central at the time found me and was like, "You're pretty funny. You should think about doing something with comedy or TV." I was thinking, oh yeah, that sounds so Hollywood. Whateva, salt and peppa. But then I was like, maybe I should move out to L.A. so I did and I actually lived with Tichina Arnold who played Pam on "Martin." I owe a lot of it to Tichina because she believed in me. We met randomly in New York at four in the morning when she couldn't get a seat in a restaurant. I helped her get a seat and then she didn't have any silverware so I literally took all of the silverware off every single table and gave it to her. She was like, you might be the craziest person I've ever met. So that's really how I ended up out here. It was Twitter that gave me the idea.
And then you started this R.A.K.E movement. How did that come to be?
Long story short, I was gaining a little weight because I love Little Caesars pizza. [Laughs.] I was walking home one day thinking, I don't need to eat this whole pizza. I saw a homeless woman on the street and started thinking, how cool would it be to have a pizza day? Everyone loved pizza day back in school! So I gave one homeless lady a slice of pizza, then another person a slice, and by the time I got home, I had no pizza left but I felt good. I put it on Instagram or "Insta-brag" because people just go on there and are all like, look at me, look at me! But this time I was like, look at me! I'm doing something kinda fun because I had everyone make funny faces in their photos. People thought it was awesome. Fast forward a week later and I was auditioning for my first ever movie role and I bombed horribly! Then I went home and thought, how cool would it be if someone actually bought me a pizza? So I put it on Twitter. There were a bunch of replies and I found the most normal person because I had to give them my address, and it was a random guy from Chicago. Within thirty minutes, someone from Dominos was at my door with a large pizza!
That is insane. It's cool, but crazy.
Yeah. I then started thinking, how cool would it be to do something like this with my Twitter followers where I'd just go across country doing nice things with nothing but my cell phone and my ID. The next day I put it up on Facebook and some guy was like, "I have a car in Cleveland that you can borrow for three weeks if you just come and get it." I had never met even met this guy! I was like, that's weird, but I'm going to go and get that car. Then a Twitter follower said, "I'm an airline stewardess and you can use a buddy pass to get there." I was like, "Whoa! This is real!" So I went to the airport, got the buddy pass, and went to pick up the car. I just wanted to give back to people doing random acts of kindness!
So you took some random guy's car and traveled around the country?
Yeah! And I still hadn't met him at that time! He was overseas when I went to pick up the car so I got it from his friend's house. I ended up going to seventeen places across the country.
What has been your favorite R.A.K.E so far?
That's hard. [Laughs.] I know this is going to sound stupid but, they all give you a rush. I went to this old folk's center in Atlanta and I hung out with them for three hours. I kind of did an impromptu stand-up show and then ended up making-out with a 92 year-old woman who said, "We now go together."
Pause. Did you tongue kiss this 92 year-old woman?
Yeah. It's on Instagram.