A 6 year old from West Babylon will be among the children spouting innocently humorous remarks on Sunday's episode of ABC's "Kids Say the Darndest Things" (Ch. 7 at 8 p.m.).
In the segment "Six and the City," host Tiffany Haddish sits at a table drinking Shirley Temples with Long Island's Lauren Rao and two other 6 year olds: Madison Franklin from upstate Marlboro, New York, and Zaniyah Howlen from Levittown, Pennsylvania. Haddish tells them she's been betrayed by a friend, who posted a deliberately unflattering Instagram image of her. Now Haddish no longer wants to be friends. The comedian asks what she should do.
Madison counsels sending the friend flowers to "give her another chance, so she doesn't feel sad." Zaniyah disagrees: "Uh, uh. No, no, no, no, no — no, no, no, no!" Lauren tells Haddish simply, "Don't even be her friend anymore. She's trying to bully you!"
"Well, you right, girl," Haddish answers, impressed, and raises her glass to toast with the youngsters. "Cheers."
"She stands up for people," Lauren's mom, Megan Rao, a 34-year-old West Babylon kindergarten teacher, tells Newsday. "They educate kids in schools these days about bullying, and she applied it to the situation."
Megan and her husband Kevin Rao, a 39-year-old postal supervisor in Amityville, both accompanied their daughter to the shoot in Manhattan in late August. They had read on social media about auditions, Megan says, "and we asked her if this were something she wanted to try. And she'd seen an older version of it with my parents" — the long-running "Kids Say the Darndest Things" segment of Art Linkletter's "House Party" aka "The Linkletter Show," which ran from 1952 to 1969, and not the 1998-2000 Bill Cosby-hosted series "Kids Say the Darndest Things," Megan Rao notes. "And Lauren said, 'Yes, yes!' " They sent in a photo, and a couple of interviews later, Lauren was asked to be on.
The pink ballerina costume she wears, recalling Sarah Jessica Parker's outfit in the opening credits of HBO's "Sex and the City," was Lauren's own and not production-company wardrobe. "They told us she had to pick out three dresses [of the kind] that she would wear to meet friends in Manhattan for lunch," Megan Rao says. "We sent pictures and they selected which one to wear."
As for the darndest thing Lauren ever told her parents, Megan Rao says she and her husband, who are also parents to 2-year-old twins, "were having a disagreement about grocery shopping. And she said," Megan recalls, laughing, " 'I heard you two from upstairs. You two need to settle this or get a divorce!' "