Mike Epps at the Bar Americain in NYC (MMoore photo)

Mike Epps at the Bar Americain in NYC (MMoore photo)

*Back in the day before “The Hangover” movies Mike Epps hung with Ice Cube in the “Friday” series. Tuesday has now become Epps favorite day since his new ABC sitcom “Uncle Buck” airs that day at 9pm E/P (8c).  Actually, it debuts tonight, June 14. To celebrate the show’s premiere, Epps attended an intimate luncheon recently held for him at the Bar Americain in New York City.

A very funny man himself, I asked Epps if he had artistic license and as expected, he said “yes.” Needless to say, he had us in stitches the whole time while we ate and drank. But, he told me, with the happiness comes fear.

Will Packer called me and said, ‘Mike, I got a project for you,” he recalled. “It’s ‘Uncle Buck’ and is based on the film. I read the script and was really excited and then went, ‘oh sh!t! What did I just do’? You never know what can happen with networks. I’m just crossing my fingers and praying it really works out.”

uncle-buck cast including mike epps

Mike Epps as Buck, Iman Benson as Tia, Aalyrah Caldwell as Maizy, Sayeed Shahidi as Miles, Nia Long as Alexis and James Lesure as Will. (ABC/Craig Sjodin)

Another extra added pleasure for Epps is working with the children.

“Those little kids are off the hook,” he laughed. “That little girl, she’s like a grown woman. She was walking up to me and like, ‘you need to stop smoking cigarettes’ and I’m like ‘what the hell?’ And she was serious, too! I found myself hiding all kind of sh!t around this little girl.

“She made me feel like she was my auntie and I had to tell myself, ‘this is a little bitty girl, and you gonna run from her?’ But the kids brought a lot of joy to the set and I was really looking forward to working with those kids everyday. They really are the scene-stealers. That little girl is the new Raven-Symone. Remember how Raven was on “The Cosby Show?”

And as far as he Richard Pryor project, he says that’s on hold right now.

Syndicated Entertainment journalist Marie Moore reports on film and TV from her New York City base. Contact her at [email protected]

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