TGJ: How are you?
Rickey: I'm good, I'm good!
TGJ: Good to hear! So Rickey, let's hop right into it! You're a very busy man with a nationally syndicated radio show, the top rated 'Dish Nation', and now your own sitcom! Given your storied career, do you feel like all of this exposure and recognition is long overdue?
Rickey: No, not really. I've had a successful career and everything comes in its time. One thing about it, you don't want to be put out there and not be prepared. I just like the fact that I prepared, seasoned, disciplined, and a little older so I could take it seriously. When you're young and you get a lot of fame too fast, you're not wise with yourself or financial decisions and eventually it will take a toll on you. I would rather it come in its due time and having it quickly from the beginning.
I think that's what happens to a lot of celebrities. They get overwhelmed because their lives go from zero to ten within a short period of time. It's like being at the bottom of the sea and going to the top too fast…the pressure will kill you (laughs)!
TGJ: So with that stated, as it's coming now, does it ever feel like too much?
Rickey: Whenever it gets to be too much, I slow it down. We slowly plan my calendar and we take our time. If we're working really hard during the week, we take the weekend off so we can refresh or vice versa.
I like to go to Hollywood, FL and lay out on the beach! I will go to Alabama and fish or wherever! Then when I'm relaxed, I get creative. And…I go back to work!
TGJ: We definitely like to hear that! So, now that we have 'The Rickey Smiley Show' (sitcom), which gave TVOne its highest debut ever, how does that feel?
TGJ: Tell us more about the show and the rest of the season…what should we expect? Any guest stars?
Rickey: We're going to have a few guest celebrities…Tom Joyner, some gospel artists, and more. You're also going to see a lot of the characters I've created that you've known and grown to love over the years.
TGJ: Any word on a season 2 yet? Rickey: I'm hearing they're going to order more episodes, but we don't have the official word yet.
TGJ: So while we're in season 1, what has been the most surprising or challenging part about doing a sitcom versus everything you've done already?
Rickey: Learning how to do it! Between the takes and retakes, the first episode was so hard for me. I had to figure out it wasn't about memorizing lines, but more so about just having a conversation the way you would naturally.
Gonna take awhile, but I'm getting the hang of it.
TGJ: And, speaking of characters we know and love, we're sure one of those characters is Mrs. Bernice Jenkins. With her in mind, can we expect any more prank cds in the near future?
Rickey: We're working on that now. It is a long process, but it's definitely coming by next spring.
TGJ: Awesome! So switching gears a bit, we've seen comedians like Ellen Degeneres and Steve Harvey really find success on the daytime talk show front. Did their success(es) inspire your decision to tackle talk media?
Rickey: No, not at all. 'Dish Nation' just came to me. But, I'm working on some things in the direction of a talk show. Can't give too many details right now though…
TGJ: Understood. But, we will definitely be on the lookout for that. Now, we have a quick segment called 'Four From Fans' where we've gathered four questions from our readers. Ready?
1) If Rickey Smiley wasn't a comedian, what would he be doing?
2) If you had to assemble a "Kings Of Comedy" tour with all new acts, who would you include not the roster?
TGJ: And finally, word has it you're in the process of developing a parenting book. Can you give us details on it?
Rickey: I haven't gotten started on it yet, but we are scheduled to sit down and try to put it together in the next couple of weeks.
TGJ: What was the inspiration behind this idea?
Catch 'The Rickey Smiley Show' Tuesdays at 9/8c only on TVOne! Find out more and watch full episodes by clicking here