What started as a last-minute idea for a pair of Ellisville sisters will come to a conclusion Monday night when the Darby family will appear on the Steve Harvey-hosted game show “Family Feud.” The show will air on CBS at 6 Monday evening.
The team is made up of sisters April Darby and MeKael Black, mother Anita Darby, cousin Steven Peppers and Black’s husband Dorian.
The Darbys' appearance will culminate a nearly yearlong journey from trying out in a casino in Atmore, Ala., to rubbing elbows with the ultra-popular Harvey.
The family was not allowed to talk about what happened to them on the show, if they won any money or how they performed. Even when Peppers, a jovial man, started to tell a funny story about what happened, he was cut off.
On Monday, the wait will be over.
In 2018, April called MeKael about trying out for the show. MeKael loved the idea — but not many others in the family shared her enthusiasm. They convinced their mother Anita, MeKael’s husband Dorian, who participated reluctantly, and cousin Steven to try out.
Like hundreds of other families that weekend at the casino east of Mobile, they auditioned, had fun and went home. Producers told families if they had been selected to move on in the process, they would get a postcard. (Up until families are actually in the studio, there is no guarantee they will make the show).
Three months passed and a postcard showed up alerting the family they made it to the next step.
“My Christmas present,” Steven said with a chuckle.
The family flew to Los Angeles in May and Steven recalled standing next to Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers at the baggage claim.
What wasn’t near him, though, was his luggage. It was somewhere else.
“We were thinking, 'How are we going to get him clothes,'” MeKael said.
The luggage arrived at 4 a.m. — two hours before the family needed to be en route to the studio.
“I didn’t sleep that night,” Steven said.
When they reached the studio, there were six or seven other families there with whom the Darbys could talk to. But members of their extended family who flew to L.A. to watch the taping, couldn’t.
Hours passed as the team was peppered with rules and regulations, what not to say and what to do. Finally, they found themselves on the big stage. Nervousness gave way to excitement when Harvey entered the stage.
“He was such a nice, cool guy,” April said. “We were calling him ‘Uncle Steve.’”
“He is so humble and down to earth,” Steven said. “He’s like your uncle.”
The family is well-known in Ellisville, part of the McGilberry family, one of the most well-known families in Ellisville.
So what to expect from their first appearance on a game show?
“People will laugh,” MeKael said.