*Season three of “Rickey Smiley For Real” returns to TV One with more drama, more conflict and more funny on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 8pm ET.
While Rickey Smiley continues to struggle to maintain his sanity by juggling his hectic business, family and personal schedules, the show will also follow the hilarity and hi-jinx of his family and co-workers, including Gary with da Tea, who is on a mission to host his own talk show.
Meanwhile, rapper Da Brat is now an artist manager, and she tries to get her first act signed– a temperamental rapper named Cornbread. She meets with record labels, artists and her mentor Jermaine Dupri, and quickly learns that being an artist was a lot easier than managing one.
EUR/Electronic Urban Report caught up with Smiley to talk about the latest season of his reality show, how he plans to spend Thanksgiving with his multi-generational family, and Rickey gets candid about Donald Trump’s not-so-surprising victory over Hillary Clinton.
Peep our Q&A below:
What’s the hardest part about opening up your home to cameras?
RS: Having people in your house with cameras. And not the fact that cameras are in the house but, ya know — once you clean up, you don’t want nobody touching furniture, or opening doors and letting flies in, and a lot of cars in your house. I’m kind of private, and I just don’t like people walking on and touching my stuff sometime. I’m kinda funny acting when it comes to stuff like that… germaphobe type of dude. Other than that, I don’t mind filming. I think the hardest part is making the people I work with know that this show is real. It’s not scripted. We’re not going to be fed lines, and I want the show to remain natural and organic, cause you know, sometimes people get to excited and have ideas and I’m like, no, this is not Love and Hip Hop Atlanta, or New York. This is a real show, and we’re dealing with real issues. We’re not going to add to or take away from. The minute there’s no more content then we will just do something else. People love the show because it is real.
What was your hardest moment filming this season?
RS: The hardest moment was a scene I did with my son with counseling. He just has some issues that he’s going to have to address, and that’s always tough sitting in a setting like that with one of your kids, especially on national television. But it’s something that he just had to work through, and I think a lot of families will learn from it. That was the toughest thing about this particular season, and being in a race car with Gary going 200mph with professional NASCAR drivers. Gary just had a fit. He was in the front seat crying, and I couldn’t be scared cause I was too busy laughing at Gary being scared. I was scared but it was more funny than I was scared. That’s going to be a drama filled moment.
What are we going to see in an upcoming episode that you think will shock or educate viewers?
RS: Some stuff I go through with my oldest son will educate you about having a relationship, being an adult and trying to maintain a respectable relationship with your parents, or talk about real issues about alcoholism — we’re going to be addressing some real issues. My daughter moved out of the country, and she’s my youngest. She’s moving to Bogotá, and so there’s going to be some issues with that. It’s going to be a lot of content, and it will keep you at the edge of your seat. Da Brat has things going on, Gary has things going on, so there’s definitely going to be a lot.
READ RELATED STORY: Teaser: ‘Rickey Smiley for Real’ Returns to TV One [Watch]
We learn from your 18-year-old daughter in the premiere episode that you don’t mind if she dates older men, and I remember thinking how if I had a daughter her age, I would prefer she dates older males too, for various reasons. Why are you okay with your teenage daughter dating outside her age group?
RS: Well, long as they’re not too old. Guys her age are just not respectable, and most of them are either momma’s boys, or just not respectful and not considerate. And these guys, some of them don’t open the door, and my daughters are trained to be respected, I set the standard for them. So them dating somebody 25-29, I’m open to that. But it’s a conversation I’ll have to have with somebody that she’s dating.
How do you protect your family from missteps and public embarrassment?
RS:I just have a conversation with them about how to handle themselves. I talk to them all the time, and I just keep it open and honest with them at all times about everything. Communication is the key.
Have you learned anything surprising about yourself over the past three seasons?
RS: No, (laughs), other than when I sit back and look at myself, I just kinda see my granddad when I see myself cause I have the same no-nonsense rules and regulations and principals.
What is the top advice you have for parents today?
RS: Stand on your principals and don’t compromise integrity just to get aligned with someone that don’t pay for anything. It’s not a popularity contest, you have to stick to your guns and say no to certain things and have zero tolerance when it comes to certain things. ‘No. Absolutely Not, and Hell No!’ And just like I told my kids, I’m not changing and I make no apologies about it.
With Thanksgiving and Christmas around the corner, what are some of the Smiley family holiday traditions?
RS: I do a big Thanksgiving dinner at my house and I cook all of the food. I don’t allow anyone to bring anything into home. I take three days to cook. I have a prep day, and then I cook the meals Thanksgiving Day. After dinner, I turn on the Christmas lights, everybody goes in the basement and we watch football and sit around the fire pit out in the courtyard and have a good time. I just try to make it a great experience for everybody. And I make sure everybody helps me clean up before they leave.
I keep my menu simple. I do chicken and dumplings. I have collard greens. I do two fried turkeys. I do a ham. I do green beans, sometimes black-eyed peas, and dressing and giblet gravy, and salad. That’s it. It’s a simple menu and the presentation is awesome. We listen to upbeat, contemporary Christian music, family atmosphere. No cell phones at the table. People actually talk to each other at my dinner table because there’s no phones.
Which three celebrities would you invite to one of your holiday dinners?
RS: Anybody in the Braxton family cause they’re close friends of mine. I defiantly love when Da Brat comes over. Comedian Corey Holcomb, he always enjoys my cooking and likes to come over and eat. And I would love to have the Obamas over one day. That would be a dream.
Will Trump’s win and any fears or concerns that you may have about his presidency find its way into your stand-up?
RS: If we can get through Regan and eight years of Bush, we can get through these next four years of Trump. Black people have been through Jim Crow, slavery and everything. I just think that Donald Trump has pulled the Ku Klux Klan hood off of America, now people are openly comfortable saying what they want to say, and none of it surprises me. They voted Barack Obama president because Bush was that bad — worse administration ever. I don’t think that Trump will be as bad as W, because George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell hijacked this country, and they all should be in jail for war crimes.
And I can add that we are to blame for some of this because we don’t turn out during mid-term elections. We elected Barack Obama president of the United States but we turned around and didn’t support him during mid-term elections. We didn’t come out like we do for presidential elections. Until we understand that mid-term elections and local elections has a direct effect on us — district attorneys, county commissioners, judges that sit on the bench, they have a direct effect on us. Some of the national polices won’t really even have a direct effect on us. We need to get smarter and get more involved, and start investing money into black banks and businesses — black wall street, and have our own. And we need to hold the Democratic party accountable, or any party accountable, or start our own political party.
I think the democrats take the black vote for granted, and we come up short sometimes, even with Democrats. Hillary was just a bad candidate. Donald Trump came with the same flag that Barack Obama came with but with a different message. America voted against the establishment. When they saw Hillary Clinton, they saw John McCain and they saw Mitt Romney and they rejected that. They wanted something new, out of the box.
Is there anything else you haven’t tackled yet that you’d love to try and get into and experience?
RS: Yeah, I want to drive a boat from the United States to the Bahamas. I’m a boater, and I love the water. I’m obsessed with the ocean, and I want an opportunity to swim with the sharks again, and I want to get my pilot’s license, cause I do fly. I love adventure. I’m a nature boy.
Tune-in to the Season 3 premiere of “Rickey Smiley For Real” TONIGHT at 8:00pm ET on TV One.