Damn. That was kind of heavy for a half hour sitcom.
At the very end of OP's clip:
Chip Fields: "I've come to take Penny home."
Lady in the audience: "No, you [italic]won't![/italic]"
Chip Fields was actually pretty scary in those episodes.
Chip Hurd was seriously underrated as an actress. I loved her scenes with Kim Fields on "Living Single," watching two veteran actresses with the mother-daughter interaction they had was priceless. Queen Latifah's real life mother would film scenes with QL, but it wasn't the same as Rita Owens was not an actress.
I know this sounds borderline MARY, but Chip Fields was absolutely electric in the episodes in which she appeared.
Chip Fields seems to be underrated as an actress.
So Michael (the actor - Ralph Carter) is definitely gay, cause the boy always pinged to high heaven?
R10, he's got a nice shelf-like ass, but he wears his pants too damn high!
R11, Michael's ass is delicious. Definitely had a crush on him back in the day.
Willona and Chip Fields were both excellent in these episodes and deserved Emmy's for these performances.
Chip Fields' was Precious' mom before Precious, down to the doo-rag. I wonder if Mo'Nique used this character as the basis for her portrayal.
Chip Fields was definitely talented... too bad she was selfish and kept all that talent to herself... her daughter was terrible. She should have at least told Kim she didn't need to scream all her lines.
Chip was cool on the OG Spider-Man TV show.
[quote]Chip Fields' was Precious' mom before Precious, down to the doo-rag. I wonder if Mo'Nique used this character as the basis for her portrayal.
lol come to think of it she sure was! I wonder if Chip looked begrudgingly at her TV when Monique won the Academy Award.
r7 also loved when Chip did episodes with Kim on Living Single, it was perfect. Kim is a very religious woman. I was a little shocked to see her on Andy Cohen's show with Mindy Cohn.
Awesome and VERY dark episodes. Way ahead of its time and actually more chilling than the barrage of violence in "Precious" because you just see the after-effects of a little girl trying to protect her mom and her protect herself FROM her mom. I agree with the posters that both Chip and Janet deserved Emmy noms for these episodes.
It's because she knew someday Janet would grow up to become penniless and fat, wasn't it?
r11 and r12 have ruined my innocent memories of this show my making me think about how much I would have loved to deflower Michael's perfect ass!
It seems campy now, but I grew up watching this show in rural Ohio and I really had no idea people lived liked this. Just the idea that a whole family could live in a small apartment (and with an obnoxious douche like J.J.) seemed unreal.
It's painfully obvious that Penny had severe trauma issues. It's the only way to explain why she'd be in love with JJ or find him remotely attractive.
If the writers were so concerned with reality they should have made Penny have the hots for Michael. That would have been much more realistic than the fantasy of her having a crush on JJ.
JJ was sexy because he was cool, like the Fonz, not because he was attractive.
Did Maude ever visit her beloved Florida in the ghetto?
JJ was sexy in the same way that Telly Savalas was hairy.
This is a traumatic TV moment from my childhood. I was upset for days after seeing that.
Later, Penny almost gets raped - man, they put tat little girl through the ringer!
Janet was actually a good actress back then. I've always thought Ja'net Dubois was great.
Janet Jackson was great on "Good Times," I do wonder if she was channeling her real life experiences into her character given what we know about the Jackson Family nowadays
Little-known fact: Ja'Net DuBois/Willona sang the theme song for "The Jeffersons."
Also, if anyone has ever seen the long version of Janet Jackson's "Control" video, Willona is the mother in the beginning of that video. Always loved that shout out.
Kim Fields mainly works as a director for a lot of Tyler Perry's sitcoms nowadays. She also directed a few episodes of "Keenan and Kel" back in the 90's. I've read before that she said it was somewhat difficult for her to play Regine on "Living Single" because it was hard for her to transition from a child actress to an adult actress and the type of character Regine was...She could've fooled me because she was totally badass as Regine, wigs and goldigging aspirations and all.
r22, there was a very special episode in the last season when Maude flew to Chicago to be with Florida at a special anniversary memorial service for James Evans. Florida was about to shatter yet another crystal punch bowl in blind fury when the sad memories welled up within her all over again, but Maude took her aside and warned, "Don't you dare, Florida, or God'll get you for that." Florida then broke down in hysterical tears, and they held each other and talked fondly about the old days in Tuckahoe, raising first Carol and then little Philip.
Then they went to spend an afternoon of beauty together, in which they both got Jheri-curls at a local salon (Maude had wanted to try wearing them after reading about them in a special issue of "Hype Hair" on the flight to Chicago). It was a bittersweet episode.
I didn't buy Janet Jackson as an abused child at all. Little Penny looked oddly plump and healthy for an abused child. She also is strangely vivacious and outgoing for a child in an abusive home environment.
I also thought it was stupid for Willona to all of a sudden want to be a single mother. She never seemed like a maternal type and wham, she's suddenly dying to be Penny's Mama. The addition of Penny to the cast was a typical jump the shark moment: add a new kid, that's a sure way to bring in more viewers!
r29, thanks for implying only ugly children should be abused. Douchebag.
Is that a joke, r28?
I remember when this episode of Janet/Penny getting burned aired. I cried
No, it's real, r31. Try looking it up on youtube--you should find old clips from that episode.
R19, which is kind of ironic because on the flipside, I've met lots of black and Hispanic friends who watched the Brady Bunch in the '70s as kids, and wondered if that's really what white folks life was like (so wholesome and carefree). Although I think Good Times speaks to a more realistic truth about inner-city life in the '70s than the Brady Bunch ever did about anybody.
On a less serious note, Michael's ass deserves a thread of its own. Whatever happened to Ralph Carter? Did he ever come out of the closet?
Michael had the perfect ghetto booty.
Ralph Carter probably used that thick butt to pay a lot of bills after Good Times ended.
[quote] Ja'net Dubois and Chip Fields were both excellent in these episodes and deserved Emmy's for these performances.
Ja'net Dubois already has two Emmys on her shelf. The closest Chip Fields has to an Emmy is her husband's who is a 4-time Emmy winner.
[quote]At the very end of OP's clip: Chip Fields: "I've come to take Penny home." Lady in the audience: "No, you won't!"
The studio audience for Good Times was the fuckin' best. They got into the show so much that it made it more fun to watch at home.
r37, my Dad used to make fun of that audience. He got the biggest kick out of them. He used to say things like "Those blacks really know how to get into it."
I didn't mean any disrespect by that, but my Dad was of a different generation that said stuff like that.
They used to credit at the end of the show:
Ralph Carter courtesy of the Broadway musical "Raisin"
"thanks for implying only ugly children should be abused. Douchebag."
You are stupid as shit. Nowhere did I saw "only ugly children should be abused." What I said was that the character of Penny seemed too happy and healthy to be convincing as a child who lived in fear of a battering mother. Asshole.
r33 - stop teasing. That's not very nice.
There was no such episode (Flordia's Tuckahoe past was never mentioned again)
Flordia mentions only once during the entire run of Good Times that she once worked as a maid. But the Florida Evans of Good Times was never connected to Maude Finlay's Flordia Evans ever again after her last episode on the TV show Maude. Amos played firefighter Henry Evans on that episode of Maude in which Florida quit her job; on Good Times, he became non-career man James Evans ... two totally different characters.
I think they wanted the Evanses to be more Chicago ghetto than outskirt New York lower-middle class blacks, so the two shows were never connected.
I used to fantasize that James was fucking Willona. They both came off as incredibly sexual.
In that iconic scene, you can hear the plastic bowl hit the floor and the sound guy adding the breaking glass a millisecond later.
[quote]Chip and Janet deserved Emmy noms for these episodes
Indeed. They were both robbed.
About James and Willona, you know there'd be no way in hell that he wouldn't have hit on her in real life. She was ten times more attractive that his wife. Likewise, she would have likely had her eye on his big, buff, fine ass herself.
This episode of "Good Times" severely scarred me as a child. It as being a multi-episode arc. In fact, I remember everything I was doing when I saw it: the carpet in our living room, the little wooden table at which I ate Cheerios while watching TV. I just couldn't fathom how a mother could burn her daughter with an iron. Not to MARY!-out or anything, but this definitely some kind of turning point in recognizing that the world was not as safe and happy as I'd previously thought.
I have similar memories of the Diff'rent Strokes episode where the kids were kidnapped. These themes were a little too heavy for younger children (or my parents' weren't restrictive enough with my television viewing!)
Why did Willona live in the projects when she obviously didn't need to be there. She was pretty, fashionable, had a job.. Her pad was nice. WHY live there? Was she getting subsidized housing?
Plus she could've easily have gotten a sugar daddy for herself. I guess if I were living next door to a god like James Evans, I'd be reluctant to leave too.
I love how they were always saying how dangerous the building was, but the door was always unlocked. LOL
In real life, the development office would have thrown Wilona out to make room for a welfare case with 5 kids from 5 different fathers.
Willona kept mentioning the boutique and I pictured her working at a small, fashionable store on the Gold Coast.
Years later when she becomes security, the boutique has expanded into a huge department store.
Loved the follow-up episode a season later when Chip Fields came back to get her daughter and Willona pretty much slammed her against a wall. And then the story that Penny still woke up at night screaming... yeesh.
Willona should've sold her rocking body to earn some cheddar and get out of the ghetto.
Ralph Cartner, Courtesy of "Raisin"
I think my most memorable episode was when Debbie Allen played a junky. I did not know exactly what she was doing "shooting up", but I knew I never wanted to try drugs.
One of the most bizarre episodes is the one where Robert Guilliaume's character fakes his death and then makes a surprise appearance at his own wake. I think it was the season in which Esther Rolle quit. Every time I see that episode, I realize the writers (I think Austin & Irma Kalish) were probably on an acid trip when they wrote that. It was just so strange.
Lol r5. I love it when the audience gets a *little* too into t.
It may be my fond misremembering, but in the creepy scene where Chip Fields is ironing and the audience slowly realizes what her intentions are, I think an audience member said, loud enough to be overheard:
"She gonna BURN that girl!"
When Penny is about to shoplift her Christmas present for Willona after some guy steals her purse, you can clearly hear a male audience member yelling "No, Penny, don't it!"
I always loved how you could so clearly hear the audience talking to the characters. The studio staff must have liked it, otherwise you'd think they would have warned the audience and threatened them with removal if they talked during the performances.
And yes, somebody PLEASE explain why Willona was living in the projects. There was no way a piece like that wouldn't have found a good man if she wanted to.
I always wondered who swept the floors there. Was it Thelma? Florida? Michael? Willona seemed to have carpet, but not the Evans'.
Also, the Evans house seemed to be much too small for a family of four and Willona had the same amount of room.
Can you imagine that fridge and how it would have held so much food for a big family, especially one with three men?
And Michael... Even as a little gayling, I didn't like him. I secretly lusted for James and thought J.J. was the coolest, funniest thing. But Michael just seemed like a mincing, self adoring little queen. I bet she grew up to be a prissy ass judge and big old bottom.
Ja'net DuBois is someone who should be on TV more, at least making guest appearances on sitcoms. She was great-should have been a gay icon.
Maybe that would make a good thread?
"Shes gonna BURN that girl!: Overheard audience reactions on tv"
Only with a funnier title.
Ja'Net made quite the sitcom rounds in the 90s, and has been in some films including Keenan Ivory Wayans' "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka" and "Charlie's Angels Full Throttle". I wonder if she makes a mint from co-writing and singing the theme song for "The Jeffersons".
As for Willona finding a man, there was an episode where an old flame of hers came back to woo her into marrying him, and he was rich if I remember correctly. She turned him down, because Penny was the only priority in her life at the time.
Bern Nadette does a blooper around mark 00:47 -interesting how the show just keeps rolling even though she kind of gives up for a second.
This episode and the one where John Amos is murdered were really strong stuff for a TV sitcom in the 1970's. I guess GT was a forerunner of the "dramedy."
Why did Willona always call gayMichael "gramps"?
Because Michael was wise beyond his years.
Was James murdered or did he die in a construction accident?
The kitchen and the bedroom
I think James was killed in a car accident off screen. He'd just gotten a good job somewhere else. The family was about to move to be with him when they got the news.
It was weird knowing that John Amos was actually young enough to be Esther Rolle's son (as was Sherman Hemsley to Isabelle Sanford on "The Jeffersons").
R73 is correct. They were going to
Crooked letter, crooked letter
Crooked letter, crooked letter
In a scene right out of a daytime soap opera, friends and family gather to celebrate the Evans moving to a better life; it's at this moment a telegram arrives to bring news of James' tragic death.
Cue organ music ....
I was born after this show aired, but after seeing these clips, I can see why you all love it so much. It's somehow both over-the-top and very real at the same time.
I love how there's always a mix-up with the "Hangin' in a chow line!" part of the theme song. Some people say "Hangin' in a jury!"
Man - I forgot how heavy the show was. I remember the Penny and the iron episode clearly too. And the death of James.
It was a fun show though - and the audience added so much at times. It was a huge hit for awhile.
FYI - It's actually "hanging in and jiving" - not hanging in a chow line.
[quote]FYI - It's actually "hanging in and jiving" - not hanging in a chow line.
There was conflicting info concerning that line. The DVD insert had the chow line lyric, but the writers did confirm it to be hangin' in and jivin'.
They should make a sitcom where it's nothing but contemporary actors re-enacting old "Good Times" scenes.
It would be far better than 90% of what's on T.V. today anyways.
When Janet guest-hosted SNL in 2004, they re-enacted Good Times, and she reprised the Penny role. At the 3:10 mark in the following video.
This is absolutely hands-down my favorite episode of Good Times ever. It's nothing over-the-top or melodramatic, nothing ghetto or socio-political. It's all about family - a father and daughter, a father and son, a husband and wife, a mother and her children. And I love it because it is a turning point in J.J.'s place in the family. Walking around for 3 seasons acting like a class clown, trading barbs with his sister, J.J. quietly steps up to the plate - surprising his family and the viewer. The last scene of the episode is just the sweetest thing this show ever did.
You may have to really know the show up to this point (this aired in the third season) for it to really hit home and get the significance of what happens, but it's worth watching for even the novice.
"Love In the Ghetto"
R82, that's exactly how a Good Times episode was. LOL. Everything goes wrong in the end... except for in the final episode when all their dreams came true.
They should do an updated version of Good Times.
FOX tried in the 90s with a show called South Central
Always wondered why FOX cancelled that so quickly.
Believe it or not, pre-Urkel Family Matters was supposed to be a '90s, more middle-class update to Good Times: a black Chicago family comedy and their ups and downs. Ironic that both shows' more serious messages would be upstaged by a gimmick character (JJ, Urkel).
Damn Amos was a hot piece of ass. I got the vapors watching the R83 video.
[quote]J.J. quietly steps up to the plate - surprising his family and the viewer. The last scene of the episode is just the sweetest thing this show ever did.
Wow, never realized that, but you're so right. Here's where it happens...
There was a show where Willona takes on a second job in order to pay for dancing lessons (or singing lessons; I can't remember) for her darling little Penny, who wants to be a star. She takes a job as a security guard watching watching shoppers from behind the mirror in a dressing room. Willona takes the job, but doesn't think it's fair to spy on people; she thinks she's invading their privacy! In fact, when she sees a woman trying to shoplift clothing she pounds on the mirror to alert her to the fact she's being seen! The shoplifter bolts without being apprehended due to Willona's heads up. I was truly disgusted by that show. She's worried about the privacy of shoplifters? Willona was a moron!
All actors involved (Chip, Ja'Net and Janet) were robbed for Emmys for these episodes.
We need more stills of Michael's butt stuffed into those tight pants!