Tommy Davidson is no expert on traditional-style families.
He was found in the trash (literally) and raised amid chaos. His grown-up years have been complicated.
But now the “Celebrity Wife Swap” season-finale pegs him as the normal guy. It:
• Sent Amanda Moore – then Davidson’s fiance, now his wife – to the home of actor Corey Feldman. He shares it with three women, she said: “There’s a ‘main angel’ and ‘angels in training.’”
•Sent Courtney — that main angel — to Davidson’s house, where she found a different world.
Courtney, who eats only fruit, was greeted by Davidson making a hardy meat barbecue. Moore, a businesswoman, was greeted by a suggestion that she change into some lingerie.
None of this was his idea, he said. Davidson, 51, doesn’t watch reality shows, but Moore does and thought he’d be ideal. “People don’t know him as a family man and as a really good father.”
Anything like that would be an accomplishment, when you consider the early odds against him.
When he was 18 months old, Davidson has been told, he was found in the trash in Mississippi. He was adopted by a well-meaning couple and whisked to Colorado, Wyoming (yes, his adoptive family tree includes a cowboy) and Oregon.
He was 5 when the family reached Washington, D.C., a week after Martin Luther King was killed. A black kid with white parents, he had been unaware of racial rage; now he was surrounded by it.
Davidson was raised mainly by his mother, who was busy as a housing-union president. “I was a latchkey kid,” he said. “She was a single mom in the ‘70s, working hard.”
He did various jobs, eventually becoming an assistant chef. Then friends nudged him to try an open mike at a D.C. strip club. Comedy came easily, he said. “It’s something that’s in me.”
Soon, he was opening for music stars – Patti La Belle, Luther Vandross, Anita Baker and Al Jarreau. Just three years into his career he was hired by Keenen Ivory Wayans for the “In Living Color” show.
“The hyperactive talents of Tommy Davidson (had) the versatility to mimic” M.C, Hammer and Spike Lee, Nelson George wrote in the show’s companion book (Warner Books, 1991).
This was an all-star line-up, including Jim Carrey, Damon Wayans and David Alan Grier . “Keenan was very professional,” Davidson said. “He had people who did stand-up, impressions, acting.”
And Davidson could tackle anything, including music. “He seems like he’s a reserve, but he’s actually an important part of the ensemble,” Wayans told George. “He’s the guy who comes on in the clutch.”
Davidson went on to do stand-up tours, co-host Magic Johnson’s talk show, guest on comedies and be a voice-cast regular on “The Proud Family” and, currently, “Black Dynamite.”
His personal life has been scattered, but in recent years he’s been with Moore, an opposite force.
She’s tall (5-foot-7-and-a-half) and blonde; he’s not. Her parents were together 45 years; his weren’t.
And personality? “I’m creative, more of a free spirit,” he said. “She’s organized, very task-oriented.”
A single mom with a pre-school son, she created a store (Lil Posh Resale) in Costa Mesa, in California’s Orange County. Davidson describes their home as “quiet.”
That’s not how Feldman describes his world. He has the Corey’s Angels talent agency, managing women and booking them for lingerie parties.
Soon, Moore was in lingerie and Courtney was at a barbecue. Wife swaps can be complicated.
•“Celebrity Wife Swap” season-finale
•10 p.m. Wednesday, ABC