The legendary singer broke down her appearance for ET's Nischelle Turner, explaining that fans will learn that Marilyn and Calvin have a lot in common.
"I’m his mother and I’m as mean as he is," LaBelle revealed, adding that Calvin's family and friends quickly realize that the mother-and-son duo are alike to a fault. "And working with Cedric -- we always wanted to do this but things happened a few years ago that we couldn’t do it and now that I’m here, I’m having so much fun! I’m cracking jokes on him, honey, I gotta come back."
LaBelle had nothing but good things to share about her experience working with Cedric -- who is also an executive producer on the series -- Tichina Arnold, Max Greenfield and Beth Behrs. "I’m so happy to be in this cast, they are all so wonderful and easy to work with and everyone’s so nice," she gushed. "I’ve done a few things back in the day where we do some things like this [and] it's not always so easy and so much fun, and this is a whole lot of fun."
When ET spoke with the Neighborhood cast on the PaleyFest LA carpet last month, they echoed the singer's sentiments, raving about how cool it was to have her set.
"She's just so graceful," Cedric shared, recalling how kind the singer was on set. "She cares so much about it so she wanted to get it right, and of course, when somebody is coming to do a sitcom, they want to be funny. So we just worked with her and got her to understand that it's all in the character, you don't need to do anything big, [just] find that character, be that lady. Then she started to really develop [and] she was having so much fun doing it. She would start freestyling! Like, OK, Pattie LaBelle with the improv!"
Behrs admitted she was "shaking" when she met the singing icon and would bring her cookies as a treat on set. "I was too intimidated to bake her own cookies and bring them to her 'cause I was like, 'You’ll probably do it better.' But she signed my cookbooks for me," she recalled. "She talked about the emotional part of baking and how much she loves baking with her grandchildren and how the kitchen is like the center of her home. That just touched my heart, like I love that."
Behrs and Cedric lamented that because of COVID protocols, LaBelle couldn't cook any of her famous dishes for the cast and crew, but they did get a taste of her vocal prowess.
"We worked that out, she got a little of 'Lady Marmalade' [at] the end," Cedric revealed, joking that he helped out by singing Lil Kim's rap.