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‘Have to Sit Here and Do Comedy, While My Insides Rot’: Rickey Smiley Breaks Down in Tears on His Way to ‘Get Laughs’ Following Son’s Death, Fans Send Him Love

Comedian Rickey Smiley says it has been tough trying to keep working as he mourns the passing of his son. The radio personality took to social media to share how difficult it has been for him to perform for his fans while he is bereaved.

The celebrity’s son Brandon Smiley, 32, was discovered by a friend inside his Birmingham home on Jan. 29.  Brandon Smiley, a comedian like his father, had struggled with addiction since high school, and drugs are believed to have played a part in his premature demise.

In an interview with Tamron Hall, he said, “Just struggling for years, had been struggling probably since the 11th grade.”

The father of four said he never understood why his son turned to drugs, even at one point throwing his hands up.

With a recent post on Twitter, he shows he is still trying to understand his son’s struggles and death.

In an early morning tweet on Friday, April 21, the “Rickey Smiley Show” host said, “Have to sit here and do comedy, while my insides rot smh.”

“This sh#t gets worse by the day,” he declared.

Smiley says as he seeks to comfort others, he feels helpless and paralyzed because he is struggling to help himself.

“Then seeing other good people go thru this and you can’t do nothing to save them,” he continued. “Then I got to perform all weekend, sit in the back of a van and cry headed to get laughs.”

Usually upbeat and leaning on his Christian faith, his recent post shows Smiley has hit a base of despair.

While explaining the brokenness he feels with the loss of his son, he states, “A real part of me is dead.”

As his message came to a close, the Omega Psi Phi member found a bright spot in those who remain in his familiar circle.

Smiley said, “If I didn’t have other kids and grands I would be gone by now. And my son’s mother probably feel this times 20 … it’s a nonstop nightmare.”

His fans refused to let him weather the storm alone.

Jema, an author and adjunct professor, said, “Sending prayers of comfort and peace. God is still carrying you and others are lifting you up in prayer. There is no time table on grief. And, we all grieve differently. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. Take your time and trust the healing process.”

Asani Charles showed her frat some Coleman Love, praying, “Holy Spirit, please cover Rickey with a double anointing of the peace that surpasses all understanding. You are the comforter Lord, please comfort him. In Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Other fans poured their prayers over the family, but some tried to give him tools to help him make it through.

“Sometimes you want to say something to bring comfort to a person and you realize it won’t so you just send them a virtual hug and I hope they know you care and you are praying for them in that moment,” Melani Ismail wrote to him.

An old school fan said it reminded him of a Motown song, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles’ “The Tears of a Clown.”

The fan added, “It is often the ones with the brightest smile who love to bring joy and laughter to others but suffer so much behind closed doors.”

After that observation, he too said he would continue to pray for Smiley and his entire family.

What people are saying

2 thoughts on “‘Have to Sit Here and Do Comedy, While My Insides Rot’: Rickey Smiley Breaks Down in Tears on His Way to ‘Get Laughs’ Following Son’s Death, Fans Send Him Love

  1. TAFFY WHITE says:


  2. Maxine says:

    It has been said …even a tow truck occasionally has to pull a tow truck…so no matter how strong we appear to be times we all need somebody ..Jesus is close to the broken hearted ..believe that

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