David Alan Grier explains ‘In Living Color’ Easter egg in ‘Dad Stop Embarrassing Me!’
The Netflix star is breaking down the blink-and-you'll-miss-it tribute to 'In Living Color'
Dad Stop Embarrassing Me! may be based in the 2020s, but it includes a reference straight from 1990.
In an exclusive interview with theGrio, David Alan Grier broke down the inclusion of one of his iconic In Living Color characters, Calhoun Tubbs, in the new comedy series.
In a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment, Grier’s Netflix character, Pop, picks up a guitar and says the legendary line, “I wrote song ’bout it! Like to hear it? Here it go,” before strumming a simple note and breaking out into song. He ends the song with the same hilariously memorable note from In Living Color: “Ahhhh haaa! Thank you very much!”
“That was Jamie [Foxx]!” Grier explained about including the ’90s sketch character in the final episode of Dad Stop Embarrassing Me!. “It is a sitcom, but there is open space for us to expand, contract, and go in any direction. I mean, he told me on the first day, ‘You can say whatever you want.’ So we’re doing that scene and Jamie came over to me and he said, ‘Do you mind?’ I was like, ‘Nah, I don’t mind.’
“[Jamie] said, ‘We gotta get David a guitar.’ I said, ‘It’s right at home, brother. Give me 20 minutes, and I’ll be there and gone.’ So it was good, it was organic. We put it in there, then it’s in there. That’s the beauty of it. Jamie was so excited. He got me excited. You know? It’s contagious. Yeah, that was just one of those moments, spur of the moment. And you know, all the kids—the two girls they are like 15 and 16—looking at us like we’re crazy.”
Dad Stop Embarrassing Me! reunited Foxx and Grier for the first time in decades. The two co-starred on In Living Color for three seasons in the ’90s and formed a lifelong friendship that continues to this day. Grier said that working with Foxx again was “real easy” and he was “surprised” by Foxx’s call to do the show.
“I didn’t know anything about it,” the 64-year-old Detroit native shared about preparations for the Netflix series. “I said, ‘Well, Jamie’s gonna call me because he wants to do like, Django 2 or something like that. Something heavy where we yelling and screaming. He says, ‘I’m doing a sitcom.’ And I was like, ‘Wow.’ Then my second question was ‘are you going to be on this show?'”
“Because I didn’t want to get on the show where the first episode is banging. Then Jamie gets in a car and he’s gone till next season. So I asked, ‘Are you going to be in it in it?’ He said, ‘Absolutely.’ Once I heard that, it was beautiful. He’s brought his enthusiasm, which is natural, just like my energy and my enthusiasm are natural. It’s not a put on, and every day has been a ball. Jamie comes on the soundstage, and he always has his backpack, and it is a sound system in this backpack. So you can’t be depressed. You can’t be in a bummy mood, because it’s too lively.”
Grier’s character, Pops, is father to Foxx’s character, Brian, and grandfather to Kyla-Drew‘s character, Sasha. While Grier hasn’t become a grandfather in real life, he has added father to his resume with the 2008 birth of his daughter, Luisa.
The Michigan graduate told theGrio that he incorporated many of his real fatherhood experiences into his performance on Dad Stop Embarrassing Me!.
“I have one child. I have a daughter and she’s 13 now, so I’m living it every moment of the day,” he dished. “I used to be like a rock star, you know, and when I’d come over [it was] ‘Daddy! Daddy, Daddy, Daddy!’ Now it’s like, ‘Hi. I see you.’ Like everything’s embarrassing.”
“This has been a crazy challenging year. It’s actually one of the strange things. It’s not just me. My daughter and I, we’ve gotten really, really close because we’ve had to spend all this time together. That has been a blessing. But do I embarrass her? Yeah. I embarrass her every day that I walk in on her Zoom class to give her any item. If my shoulder gets in the shot, she’s like, ‘Dad!’
Dad Stop Embarrassing Me! is available to stream on Netflix now. Fans watch theGrio‘s full interview with David Alan Grier above.
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