'Live in Front of a Studio Audience': Fans React to John Amos Returning for 'Good Times' Cameo
In the midst of a jam-packed night of TV -- which included scheduled events like the finales of Survivor and The Masked Singer, as well as the historic impeachment of President Donald Trump -- ABC still staged their ambitious and star-studded tribute to the works of TV legend Norman Lear with a second installment of their live TV special, Live in Front of a Studio Audience.
This time around, the Jimmy Kimmel-hosted spectacular recreated an episode of Good Times -- which Lear developed and executive produced -- as well as another staging of All In The Family.
The biggest moment of the night came during the first half of the special, during the live staging of the Good Times episode, "The Politicians."
Seasoned thespians Andre Braugher and Viola Davis were tapped to step into the role of James and Florida Evans, while Jay Pharoah, Asante Blackk, and Corinne Foxx (daughter of Jamie Foxx) played the Evans children, J.J., Michael and Thelma respectively. Additionally, Tiffany Haddish played the friendly neighbor, Willona Woods.
Choosing "The Politicians" -- which tells the story of the Evans family divided over the different members' support for opposing local political candidates -- proved especially prescient given the recurring intrusion of impeachment vote updates during the live show, which notably disrupted the timing of the live special.
However, while there were unforeseen production issues, the recreation of Good Times truly captured people's hearts with the guest appearance of John Amos -- the man who originally starred as James Evans during the first three seasons of the show's six-season run.
Amos, who appeared in the episode opposite Braugher playing his iconic character, guest starred as Alderman Fred C. Davis -- a role originally played by the late Albert Reed, Jr. Meanwhile, Jharrel Jerome appeared as the Alderman's political rival, Jimmy Pearson, originally portrayed by Stanley Bennett Clay.
It was a wonderful tip of the hat to Amos -- who famously quit the show over creative conflicts with Lear and the show's writers in 1975. And while Amos was the only original star to appear in the episode, Bern Nadette Stanis, Jimmie Walker and Ja'Net DuBois -- who starred as Thelma, J.J. and Willona respectively -- came out onto stage in a surprise appearance with Kimmel during the special.
Meanwhile, for their staging of the All In The Family episode "The Draft Dodger" -- which some on Twitter took as a subtle dig at Trump as well -- Woody Harrelson, Marisa Tomei, Ike Barinholtz and Ellie Kemper returned to reprise their roles as Archie Bunker, Edith Bunker, Mike "Meathead" Stivic, and Gloria Stivic.
Newcomers for this episode included Kevin Bacon, Justina Machado and Jesse Eisenberg who joined the Bunker family for an emotional set on Christmas Eve that debates the merit of war, pacifism and peace.
While the first Live in Front of a Studio Audience was met with round acclaim, this second installment received rather mixed reviews. However, there were a few stand-out moments that Twitter couldn't help but celebrate, and Amos' return was chief among them.
ET's Kevin Frazier caught up with the stars of Live in Front of a Studio Audience over the weekend, and Braugher opened up about what it was like playing the iconic character originated by Amos in the early 1970s.
"I grew up watching John do this role, so for the three years that I think he played this role, he was really a role model," the Brooklyn Nine-Nine star shared. "I wasn't even interested in being an actor and I was fascinated by everything that was involved in what it took to make these shows."
"And the stories, I think, they continue to resonate. Because what the writers on the Norman Lear shows realize is that human nature hasn't changed," Braugher added. "Consequently, when you talk about real things, people are very interested in them."
The celebrated actor also had a lot of praise for Davis.
"She's quite an admirable actress and I followed her career for a long time," Braugher shared. "We worked together briefly and, you know, I'm just a fan."
Corinne Foxx also had a lot of love for the acclaimed actress, explaining to ET, "I keep staring at Viola Davis and I have to tell myself, 'Corinne! Stop looking at her.'"
"I'm just like, 'Wow,' the 25-year-old actress recalled. "I'm like, "Reel it in, Corinne. Let's be normal.' But it's hard. I mean, it's like magic, watching them work."
For a look at the first installment of Live in Front of a Studio Audience, check out the video below.
Jamie Foxx Hilariously Flubs Line in Live 'All in the Family' Remake and Recovers Like a Champ
Jimmy Kimmel Paying Tribute to 'All in the Family' & 'The Jeffersons' With Epic, Star-Studded Primetime Event
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