Whatever you say about Public Enemy’s founding member or VH1’s “Flavor of Love” star Flavor Flav, you must add this: this brotha knows how to market himself. He wasn’t known as P-E’s ultimate hype man for nothing.
The nearly 50 year -old oversized clock wearing, gold toothed grill flashing rapper turned reality star and now actor has landed his own network TV sitcom, “Under One Roof.”
“I’m happy about the transition I have made,” Flav said about his new sitcom which he says “feels like Fresh Prince of Bel-Air all o’er again.”
Making the transition from reality - where the Black Hugh Hefner said what he wanted while women ferociously fought for his love and attention - to following a scripted show wasn’t a piece of cake.
“”I ain’t gonna lie,” said Flav. “I had a bad case of “c.r.s.” that means can’t remember stuff . In reality, I was going by my own thing and now coming from that into a sitcom, it’s been a challenge.”
With an acting coach in tow, Flav got it together. “I’m actually now remembering and delivering lines.”
The premise of his new show is much like the 90s sitcom that launched a little known rapper named Will Smith into the Hollywood stratosphere. Instead of moving from Philly to Bel-Air though, Flav plays a guy (Calvester Hill) who just got out of jail. He ends up at his well-to-do brother’s mansion. The brother, Winston, played by actor Kelly Perine (UPN’s “One on One”) allows his jailbird sibling to move in with his family - a white wife and 2 kids because Winston owes his brother big time.
“The story goes like this,” Flav explained. “When me and my brotha were younger, we stole a car, Winston crashed the car, I jumped behind the wheel and took the weight for him and I went to jail for him.”
“While Flav’s character was in jail, little brother becomes a wealthy real estate developer. When I got out of jail, I didn’t have nowhere to go, I went and found my brother and I say, ‘yo bro, you know I don’t have a place to go. You know I took the weight for you….I ain’t got no place to go.’”
You know the rest of the story. Flav moves in and all hell breaks loose at the Hill home - well actually - the Hill estate. And it isn’t long before Flav’s character, Calvester, begins parading his old convict club homies through the house driving the family crazy and butting heads with Winston’s trophy wife Asheley (Carrie Genzel); his seventeen year old princess, Heather (Marie Michael); and housekeeper Su Ho (Emily Kuroda). Calvester even teaches Winston’s sixteen year-old son, Winston Jr. (Jesse Reid) to be a gangsta rapper.
“They’re not street oriented at all,” joked Flav about his brother’s family. “His wife tries to kick me out of the house everyday, but he can’t kick me out because he owes me the favor.”
Producers predict Flav’s prison homies will bring a lot of drama and laughter to the show. In the premiere episode, Actor Tiny Lister shows up (you may remember him as the neighborhood bully Deebo in the “Friday” movies) to re-unite with his prison friend and then reveals he’s in love with Cali Cal. Somehow, the two men end up in leopard pjs with Tiny - who goes by “Pumpkin” starts trying to romance his old jailhouse friend. The scene is hilarious!
This week, it was jail cellmate Jamal (Kadeem Hardison) who shows up at the Hill house and the family becomes impressed with how much he knows about the stock market. Everyone falls for him including Winston’s 17 year -old daughter.
“Under One Roof” films in Vancouver, British Columbia and from the looks of the first two shows, they are putting a lot of African American to work including Lister, comedian Michael Colyer. Flav was doing all of his promotional interviews , NFL star Terrell Owens was making a guest appearance. Producers weren’t willing to give away the storyline for that episode just yet - we’ll have to keep watching.
For those looking for the latest Flavor Flav fashion in this show, take note - he’s traded in his signature mega clock for a few massive gold chains - one with the words Cali Cal. Remember his name is Calvester.
So, Cali Cal is in the House, not the Big House, but his brother’s mansion. They’re all “Under One Roof.”
You can watch it Wednesday nights on My Network/My 13.
If you missed the premiere episode featuring Tiny Lister, it’s worth watching. You can catch up online www.my13la.com