Aside from starring in the award-winning series black-ish, Anthony Anderson is the host of the long-running game show To Tell the Truth. The competition show follows a group of celebrity panelists who must guess which of the three contestants is telling the truth about their identity. For every wrong answer from a panelist, the contestant earns money.
While viewers love watching the actor host the competition show, everyone (including Anthony) can agree that his mom, Doris Bowman aka "Mama Doris," is the real scene-stealer.
Anthony, who is also a spokesperson for Northwestern Mutual, spoke exclusively with Distractify about working with his mom on set, the best financial advice she's given him, and more.
Check out our Q&A below. (Editor's note: This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.)
'To Tell the Truth' host Anthony Anderson says mom taught him the "value of a dollar."
Distractify: What financial advice did your mom give you growing up?
Anthony Anderson: Financial planning was not on our radar when I was growing up in Compton, and I know that’s the reality for so many people. My mom definitely taught me about the value of a dollar and saving up for Christmas and birthday presents, but beyond that, financial literacy was not a conversation we had in our home or community. Once I started acting in my early twenties and making money, I thought I was pretty good at managing my finances. I always applied the basics: I needed to spend less than I was bringing in and never live above my means.
What did you take away from that advice?
AA: What I didn’t realize is how much harder my money would be working for me if I brought in a professional. Think about it — if you need surgery, you’re not operating on yourself. The same idea applies with managing your finances. Financial planning is empowering. You’re already making plans, like saving for a trip and planning for birthdays and holidays to make those days special. Financial planning is just applying that approach to all the important moments and goals in your life by working with someone who gets you and knows how to make your money work as hard as possible.
What is it like co-hosting with your mom on To Tell the Truth?
AA: My mom will tell you she always wanted to be an actor at a young age, but she put her dreams on hold to raise us kids and make me the actor I am today. I’m so glad I’m able to perform with her and bring her in front of the camera these days, whether it’s a cameo on black-ish or co-hosting To Tell the Truth. She brings such a great energy to set and is always making the crew belly laugh.
Who is the better liar, you or your mom? What has been the most memorable lie that you told your mom?
AA: One thousand percent my mama! I can’t get away with lying to her because she calls me out right away. Meanwhile she spills little white lies all the time.
Working with your mom on set, what is a memorable moment between the two of you?
AA: Honestly, every day on set with my mom is fun, and she’s always making everyone laugh. There was this one time on To Tell the Truth when I had to let everyone know a secret about my mom, and that is that she doesn’t have any toenails and just paints the top of her toes! She came up on stage and threw her foot on the table to show our guests and had everyone laughing about it. They even took a selfie with her foot! There’s nothing anyone can say to shake my mama. She’s always rolling with the punches.
Watch To Tell the Truth on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.