Q: In addition to the entertainment and comedy aspect of this series, will the episodes subtly or overtly explore any social things that affect the black community?
A: No. Well, it’s not going to overexploit the black community, but humanity. This isn’t a black show. This is a show about humanity. This is the show about second chances. This is a show about redemption. We’re not just going black with it like that. I mean, it’s a black cast. There’s black people in it, but this is dealing with Josh and his issues and all that, the humanity. I wanted to transcend that. Black people ain’t the only ones that live here. Everybody lives here. Who are we to say others don’t matter? There are white people coming home from prison, too. So we didn’t want to deal with that like that. I wanted to deal with humanity.
Q: Obviously you’ve come from a really traumatic incident prior to filming this. What was it like physically for you? How did you deal with the actual physical demands?
A: No. I have production. I have my crew and I love them and they make sure I sit down. And Cedric (the Entertainer) and Al (Maldonado) and Ryan (Gaul) and Tiff (Haddish), they all sit down. … They don’t ask me. They sit and make (me) “Sit down for a little while. Sit down.” So I’m good. I’m taken care of by my people, and I love them with my heart.
Q: Second chances is a big theme of your life right now. What does it mean to you that you’re even able to be here, doing a whole show at this point in your life?
A: What does it mean to me? … Thank God. That’s all I’ve got to say. Self explanatory. Thank God.
George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.