Anthony Anderson Reveals Why He's Now Working With His Mother

Plus, the "Black-ish" star talks about how he's spending Father's Day.

ByLESLEY MESSER
June 14, 2016, 4:01 AM
PHOTO:Anthony Anderson attends the FYC event for "Black-ish" at Dave & Busters, June 10, 2016, in Hollywood, Calif.
Anthony Anderson attends the FYC event for "Black-ish" at Dave & Busters, June 10, 2016, in Hollywood, Calif.
David Livingston/Getty Images

— -- "Black-ish" star Anthony Anderson grew up watching "To Tell the Truth," and he's now going to be a part of the show's legacy.

Beginning tonight, the actor will host a reboot of the game show for ABC, which features Betty White, who first appeared on the show in 1958, reality-TV star Nene Leakes and former NBA player and ABC-ESPN sports analyst Jalen Rose. A rotating celebrity guest will fill the fourth chair.

Anderson's mother, Doris Hancox, will appear on the show as the scorekeeper, a job she landed after she impressed producers with her outgoing personality during an appearance on "Celebrity Family Feud."

"We eventually lost to Toni Braxton and her family, but at the end of the show the producers came over to me and said, 'Anthony, can we talk to you about your mother?' and I immediately went into apologetic mode. I was like, 'I am so sorry! I should’ve known that my mother was going to be a little risque,' and they were like, 'We love that, and we want to talk to you about bringing your mother onto 'To Tell the Truth' with you,'" Anderson, 45, recalled.

"They’re like, 'Do you have a problem with that?' I was like, 'No, not at all. That’s one less check I’ll have to write every month.'"

Soon it will be time for him to return to the set of "Black-ish" to work on the show's third season. Anderson said his two children — Kyra, 20, and Nathan, 16 — are already prepared for stories from their personal lives to make their way to the screen.

"They all love expensive things, so it goes in the show," he said with a smile. "[I'll say], 'Do you want to go to this private college? We're going to talk about your relationship with your boyfriend. Son, you really love that private high school that you're in, right? Oh, you're 16 now. It's car time. You've got your license. You really want that car, don't you? We gotta talk about this.'"

But, growing more serious, he added that he understands how important their contributions to the show have been. The show's authenticity, he said, comes from the fact that they can tell honest, true-to-life stories, and his children's willingness to open up has made for quality TV.

"This year when the show won an NAACP Image Award, I had awards sent to my children with their names on them, and they said, 'Why are you doing this?'" he recalled. "And I said, 'Because of you, we got these awards. I’m telling stories about you two, so I should’ve done this last year when we won, but I’m doing for it you now.'"

They can pay him back this Sunday. For Father's Day, he said, his only requests are to have brunch with his family and maybe squeeze in a golf game. But if his kids insist on getting him a gift, his requests are simple: "socks, T-shirts and drawers."

"I would tell the children of whomever, the spouses, the girlfriends, the significant other: Know your man. Know whoever it is you’re getting the gift for. Know what they like, know what they’re into and get creative that way," he said.

"My children know I love golf, I love travel, I love cooking and being in the kitchen, and I love T-shirts, socks and drawers. I’m a very simple man with simple pleasures.”

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