John Amos makes surprise appearance in 'Good Times' live special during 'Live in Front of a Studio Audience'

ByDanny Clemens KABC logo
Thursday, December 19, 2019
John Amos makes surprise appearance during 'Good Times' live special
John Amos, who starred as James Evans during the early seasons of "Good Times" in the 1970s, made a surprise appearance during "Live in Front of a Studio Audience" on ABC.

LOS ANGELES -- It's not "Live in Front of a Studio Audience" without a surprise from an original cast member! This time around, John Amos made an unannounced appearance during Wednesday night's live presentation of "Good Times."

Amos starred as James Evans in the early seasons of the series' original run in the 1970s. On Wednesday night, he played Chicago politician Fred Davis, a role originated by Albert Reed.

Andre Braugher played Amos' original role during the "Live" special. Viola Davis, Jay Pharoah, Asante Black, Corinne Foxx and Tiffany Haddish rounded out the "Good Times" cast, and Anthony Anderson and Patti LaBelle performed the show's theme song.

Amos wasn't the only original cast member on hand during the live special. During an segment, Bernnadette Stanis, Jimmie Walker and Ja'net Dubois also made an appearance alongside host Jimmy Kimmel. They originally played Thelma, J.J. and Wilona, respectively.

"Good Times" ran from 1974 to 1979 and focused on a black family living in a public housing project in Chicago. "All in the Family," the other sitcom that was re-staged Wednesday evening, originally ran on CBS from 1971 to 1979 and followed a working-class white family in Queens. Both programs focused on the families as they navigated the rapidly shifting social landscape of the 1970s and were praised for using humor as a tool to address complex hot-button social issues of the time like racism and sexism.

Norman Lear, who appeared alongside Kimmel during Wednesday's show, either created or developed both sitcoms.

The first "Live" special back in May included an episode of "The Jeffersons," during which original cast member Marla Gibbs made a surprise cameo to reprise her role as Florence Johnston.