Who knew that a dare from a childhood friend would turn into a career in stand-up comedy for comedian Rallo Boykins. The Prince Georges County native first performed in 2008 in Northeast, D.C. at a friend’s house. Rallo was dared by a college classmate to use his comedic gift to make a modest group of 50 people laugh at a Fourth of July dinner party.
“I was always the type to lighten up the mood or the source of comic relief amongst friends; it just happened that this was the time I did it formally.” said Boykins.
It wasn’t until he was invited and performed at his alma mater Howard University at a Homecoming Comedy Show in the summer of 2008 when he instantly realized stand-up comedy was something he wanted to pursue.
“Howard Homecoming Comedy Show 2008 was probably my proudest moment. I hadn’t even been doing comedy for a year, and I performed in front of thousands that night. I was nervous, but I got through it,” said Boykins.
Born and raised in Hyattsville, Maryland, Boykin relocated to Washington, D.C. after high school and enrolled in Howard University where he majored in Communications. His parents are from Sierra Leone in West Africa, and he is the youngest of three boys.
As a child, Boykins displayed characteristics of a good comedian although he describes himself as reserved. Yet, he still considers himself funny, and he is always cracking jokes. Growing up he idolized famous comedians such as D.C.’s own Dave Chapelle and the late great Patrice O’Neal. “I would tell my younger self to get better grades in high school and college, so you don’t have to do stand-up comedy.”
It was not always easy for Boykins and comedy. He’s had hard times. There were nights he flopped; he just didn’t have it. But he’s learned from those experiences, he said. “I remember doing a show in Georgetown, in front of a white crowd, which was fairly new to me at the time. Nobody in the audience laughed,” Boykins said. That didn’t stop him, and he’s been working harder to make a name for himself in the comedic world.
Rallo has appeared on New York’s Funniest and performed at notable comedy clubs such as Carolines on Broadway, The DC Improv, and The World-Famous Comedy Store. He’s also performed with prominent stars including Bill Bellamy, Nick Cannon, Anthony Anderson, Dee Ray Davis, Corey Holcomb, Tony Roberts, Tony Woods, Sheryl Underwood and more.
Boykins’ hard work and determination is an inspiration to many especially up and coming comedians. “I would tell a younger comedian to always have fun. Having fun is the most important thing, then get your money.”
When Rallo is not working on his comedy, he enjoys playing video games and going to the movies.
If you want to see more of Rallo’s work, visit his website at www.ralloboykins.com and/or follow him on Instagram @ralloboykins.