Anthony Anderson - "Black-ish" and Giving a Voice to African-American Families

May 16, 2016 - Anthony Anderson 05/16/2016 Views: 8,831

Anthony Anderson reflects on a documentary he produced about Trevor's stand-up career in South Africa and discusses how his show "Black-ish" depicts African-American families. (7:06)

Watch Full Episode

My guest tonight is the starof ABC's Black-ish.

Please welcome Anthony Anderson.

(applause and cheering)

-Thank you.-Thank you.

-Stop it!-(applause and cheering)

Stop it!

Okay, keep it going!Keep it going!

-Keep it going!-(applause and cheering)

-(applause and cheering)-All right.

I like this place.

Oh, man.This place likes you.

-Welcome to the show. Welcome.-Oh, thank you. Thank you.

This is such an insaneexperience for the two of us.

I'll share this with youreal quick.

-This has nothing to do withan interview really. -Right.

But a lot of people don't know.

Anthony Anderson is oneof the reasons

I am in the United Statesof America

because you executive-produceda documentary

that some random American guywas making.

You were, like, "I'm gonnagive you the money

to make this documentary aboutSouth African comedy." -Yes.

-Mm-hmm.-Why would you do that?


I mean, thank you,but why would you do that?

I... You know, David, uh,you know, just came to me

with-with these...some footage he had.

You were part of it, and othercomics from South Africa.

And I just found it intriguing.

Uh, not only your story,but the story

of South African comicsafter Apartheid, and, uh,

I was like, "Yo, man, go overto South Africa and make this.

-Let's do it."-That was in 2009. That was...

-Yes. -And because of thatdocumentary, as part of it,

I came to America, and I didstand-up for the first time,

and I've been doing itever since.

Well, if we're gonnatell the story,

-you know, of howyou got here... -(laughter)

...let's really tellthe coming-to-America story.

-(laughter) -Um... so, yes,I executive-produced this,

so, yes, uh, because of me,the world knows who you are now.


-Well, you and my mom. You andmy mom. -Uh, yeah, yeah, yeah.

But not only that. I mean,not only that, but what...

I don't knowif the audience knows this,

but he was the standout

in-in this documentary.And the documentary became

all about Trevorand his one-man show.

And to that time, one-man comedyshows really hadn't been done

in-in South Africa.And, you know, they-they looked

at Trevor as like, "How-how darehe have-have the arrogance

to think that he can do this?"

And he produceda one-man comedy show

that went on, uh,to be the-the biggest, uh,

one-man comedy showin South Africa. He produced it.

It ended up... He didn't thinkpeople were gonna show up

the first night-- he ended updoing two nights in a row.

Sold out in the biggest arenain-in Joburg.

And the DVD ended up being thebiggest selling, uh, comedy DVD

in history in South Africa.

-Yeah. Yeah. -Yeah.-(cheering and applause)

And then...

and then, because of that DVD,

he got his own talk showin South Africa.

The show Black-ish, um,really started off--

I mean, many people wouldagree-- on a very light note.

-Mm-hmm. -And all the time,I mean, the message in the show

has become really strong.

It's become oneof the preeminent voices

in terms of what's happening

-in-in the American blackculture. -Right.

Do you think there's a chancethat you guys may just change

the name of the show to Black?


Then we would not beon the Disney network.

We have to keepthat "-ish" there.

Um, if we just change itto Black, we'll be on BET.

And, um, nobody will see us.

-Um...-Oh, wow.

I'm just sayin'. No.

Uh, no, but, you know what,it-it's crazy.

You know, Kenya Barris,who-who created our show based

on both of our families, um, uh,

is-is runningan extraordinary writing room

and-and tellingsome-some amazing stories,

-uh, that-that resonateswith the people. -Yeah.

Not-not only black peoplebut just across the board.

Because, you know,we're-we're dealing with issues

that everybody deals with,you know?

Wanting to, uh, give a betterupbringing to your children...

for your childrenthan what you had, you know?

Living the American dream.This is what it's all about.

We're just telling it froman unapologet-unapologetically,

um, black point of view,from-from Andre, uh, Johnson.

And, um, you know,the people dig it,

and we dig doing it every week.

I think what I...what I dig most about it

is the fact that it also,to a certain extent, redefines

what people consider"the black experience."

-'Cause that's what the showdeals with a lot. -Mm-hmm.

A lot of people have been,I guess, conditioned to believe

that black must be associatedwith suffering,

black must be associatedwith a certain way of acting,

-as opposed to being.-Mm-hmm.

And the show really tacklesthat, I find.

Like you, Andre deals with thatwith his children

-and so does Andre's dad.-Yeah.

Well, I mean, you know, th-thisis what we had to deal with,

you know? It's-it's pulledfrom our lives, man.

And, uh, you know...and we pride ourselves

on being authenticin the stories that we tell.

And I think that-that's whatreally hits home with people.

It's-it's just authentic.And-and we tell these stories

as truthfully as we canand as funny, uh, as we can.

And, you know, it's... You know,a-a lot of people think,

you know,we're pulling the veil back,

-uh, uh, you know, of what goeson in our community -Yeah.

and giving them a sneak peek in.Well, it's-it's just life,

and it's just how we liveand what we do.

It's somethingthat's also gotten you

into some, uh,pretty fancy establishments.

I mean, I've noticedon your Instagram

-you are a-a frequent visitorof the White House. -Mm-hmm.

-Yes, I am.-Yeah, yeah?

-Yes, I am. A frequent...-Your-your whole, uh, family

went to the...Well, it was interesting.

-Your-your mom, that was...that was a fun story. -Right.

Well... Okay, I'll tell you.It's funny. Um...

So, this is the Obamas'last year in office.

So I-I made it a pointthat our entire cast

could bring their entire familyto the White House.

So there... So we were therefor Easter.

Um, I called my mom up.I was like, "Hey, Mom, uh,

what are you doingthis weekend?" She said,

"Oh, why, baby?" I said,"I'm going to the White House.

"I want you to come to the WhiteHouse and meet the president

with me." She said...(hisses) "Ooh."

I said,"What do you mean 'ooh'?"

She said, "Ooh, baby,I'm going to Vegas."

I said, "Mama, Vegas? For what?"

She said, "Ooh, I'm goingto play bingo, baby."

My mother's been addictedto bingo for 35 years.

I was like, "Mama..."I was like, "Mama, this is...

"this is your one andonly chance to meet the first

"andprobably last black president

-of these United Statesof America." -Don't jinx...

-don't jinx America. Don't jinxAmerica. -Okay. O-Okay.

I won't jinx. And-and so she waslike, "Well, baby, you know,

I paid my $300."

I was like, "Mama, it's $300.I'll give you $300."

She said, "Mm, I don't know ifI can change to the girls' name.

"So, you know what,this is what you do, baby.

"Me and the girls are goingto DC in August.

"Why don't you callthe president and tell him

it's me plus six?"

I was like, "Mama..." I said...

I said, "I don't have it likethat. I just can't call up..."

"Hey. Hey, Barry. Oh, yeah.

"Uh, my mama's comin'.It's her and six of her girl...

her bingo buddies." So I said,

"Mama, either you comewith me now or you don't meet

the president." She said,"Okay, baby, look, I know six

is too many. Just me plus two."I said, "Mama,

come with me now oryou don't meet the president."

My mother went to bingoin Vegas.


Went to bingo in Vegas.And lost all...

and lost all her money!

Oh, man. Thank you so muchfor being here.

-That's it.-Anthony Anderson, everybody!

The Black-ish season finalewill air Wednesday

at 9:30 p.m. on ABC!

-We'll be right back!-(cheering and applause)

All Shows