Anthony Anderson has more in common with his All About the Andersons character than name only. His new WB comedy Fridays at 9:30 pm/ET starting Sept. 12 is about a struggling actor who moves back into his parents' home with an 8-year-old son in tow. And he's not exactly welcomed with open arms.
The sitcom's headliner and co-creator says the story is "92 percent" based on his own post-college experiences at home. Before landing co-starring roles in Barbershop and Me, Myself & Irene, he faced some un-starlike treatment! "To make it tough on me, my father took all the phone jacks out of the house and put a pay phone in the family room for us to use," recalls Anderson. "He put a pay washer and dryer in the garage. Then, once he realized he wasn't going to break me, he started putting padlocks on the refrigerator, so I couldn't get to the food."
His father's tough love 'tude was uncomfortable at the time, but Anderson saw its comedic potential from the start. "The reality of comedy is we love to laugh at someone else's pain," he points out. "My buddies, who understood the seriousness of it all... still laughed, even though they saw what I was going through."
While Anderson says his dad doesn't admit to much except the bit about the pay phone the actor says his show won't cause drama at home. "I bought my dad a La-Z-Boy," he says. "He enjoys having [veteran actor] John Amos portray him. He [will love] being able to turn the television on, sit back and [laugh], 'Yeah, I did that to him.'"