‘Bob ♥ Abishola’: Why We Love Scene Stealer Barry Shabaka Henley (VIDEO)
Barry Shabaka Henley is a total scene-stealer in CBS’s sitcom Bob ♥ Abishola, and he’s continuing the trend in the show’s latest installment. Below, he opens up about his character and more. Plus, watch an exclusive sneak peek clip from the latest episode, below.
Babatunde “Uncle Tunde” Olatunji, who, along with Auntie Olu (Shola Adewusi), took in their niece Abishola (Folake Olowofoyeku) and her son, Dele (Travis Wolfe Jr.), when they moved from Nigeria to Detroit.
“Tunde is a joyful optimist,” says Henley. “Because he’s so funny, you rarely realize how brilliant he is.” Tunde is a masterful bargained — he cowed the salesman trying to sell Bob (Billy Gardell) an engagement ring for Abishola — and we learn in the April 12 episode that despite his modest lifestyle, he’s actually quite successful thanks to shrewd real estate investments.
Where You’ve Seen Him
In his “mentor” Michael Mann’s films Ali, Miami Vice and his favorite, Collateral. On TV, the in-demand character actor has played a raft of law enforcers (see: Better Call Saul, Bosch) and, recently, a scientist tangling with “bad guys that were mostly extraterrestrials” on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Why We Love Him
“Tunde’s a social animal. He loves to engage,” Henley says, and seeing his disarming charm and sly wit as he spars with comedy vets Gardell and Christine Ebersole (Bob’s feisty mom, Dottie) is a frequent delight. Not bad for someone so out of touch with the sitcom genre that, Henley admits with a laugh, when he heard “Lorre” was producing Bob ♥ Abishola, the name that came to mind wasn’t Chuck Lorre…but Hugh Laurie!
Bob ♥ Abishola, Mondays, 8:30/7:30c, CBS