- Temporary layoffs.
- Scratching and surviving.
- Easy credit ripoffs.
- Hangin'' in a chow line!
- As I recall, they lived in public housing as many working people do in very large cities where rent is quite high.\
They loved each other and had been together for a long time. Also, in black culture, a large, pretty woman is not nec. seen as the pariah she is in white culture.\
As to your third question, look at any family and compare the siblings; chances are in many cases you will have the same question.
- this child has been abuuuuuuuuuuused
- "Why were James and Florida together, he could have done better, right?"%0D\
James may have been handsome, but he was PORE!!%0D\
He never had a steady job, while Florida was Maude''s maid for years. She probably earned more than he did during their marriage, and a man who earns less than a maid can''t picky about women''s looks.%0D
- Damn! Damn! Damn! Here we go again!
Florida Evans, trying to hang on for one more day.
- I love Wilona!
Ja''Net DuBois lives 2 blocks away from me
- Wilona. Was. Ghetto.
- Ah yes, J.J. He was as stereotypical as Stepin Fetchit, but black audiences loved him. They''d bust a gut laughing whenever he said "dy-no-mite!" He was lazy and shiftless, but he was an "artist", so that made it alright. As it is in tv shows, he was homely as a horse''s ass but still managed to have beautiful girls fall for him. And it is hard to believe that he was the offspring of James and Florida; he looked downright deformed compared to Thelma and Michael. %0D\
It was never stated what Wilona''s "job at the Boutique" consisted of. Salesgirl? Cashier? Manager? Buyer? And even if she had a job there, it still wouldn''t have paid for her extensive black-sistah wardrobe. I think she probably did hooking on the side to pay for all those fancy ghetto clothes.
- What, 12 posts and no mention of the show''s biggest star, John Amos'' bulge? That thing should''ve had top billing. Just the thought of that crotch covered by those tight tan cords gets me rock hard.
- As for why James was with Florida, why is anyone with anyone? He expressed affection and even lust so either he was in love with her and her size was not an issue or he liked her that way.
- Why did they call Michael "Grandpa"? \
[quote]Did you have a date last night Wilona?\
[quote]I sure did, Grandpa! He was a bus driver for the CTA and believe me he wanted to see some T and A! But I told him this was my stop! ...And then he hit me...
- No, mama, not the iron! NOT THE IRON!
- When Florida was still on "Maude", her husband was played by John Amos, but his name was Henry. Anyone know why it was changed when they spun the character''s off?
- "When Florida was still on "Maude", her husband was played by John Amos, but his name was Henry. Anyone know why it was changed when they spun the character''s off?"%0D\
"James" suited the character better, I guess. And they needed a cool ghetto name for the character''s first son and "J.J." was a good one, coming from from "James Junior."%0D\
They sometimes change names on tv series. Jethro on "The Beverly Hillbillies" was originally named "Fred." Fred...that was good for William Fawley on "I Love Lucy" but not this character. He ended up being Jethro, Jethro Bodine, which was perfect. %0D\
- Florida was actually James'' mother. There was some weird Toni Morrison-esque incest shit going on up in there.
- The show would have been even better if they could edit out the JJ parts. He''s the Jar Jar Binks of 70s comedy.
- As a young white kid growing up in backwoods Mississippi, I LOVED Good Times; you couldn''t pull me away from it. For some reason, it felt comfortable to me, like I fit in better with that family than with my own.\
I''d LOVE to see a GoodTimes reunion made-for-TV movie or something. Everyone is still alive except for Ms. Florida I think, right? Or, is she alive also?\
I think the ratings would be huge. Oprah should make it a plan for her new network.
White child now on the UES. A''int no sign of Weezey tho.
- Now that I think about it, how did Wilona afford that fabulous wardrobe and wigs?
- We, meaning YOU, the movie-going public, need a Good Times movie.
- Florida... Sherri Shepherd\
James... Denzel Washington\
JJ... Jaleel White\
Thelma... Raven Symone\
Michael... The hot Old Spice Guy\
Willona... Jennifer Hudson
- To #15:\
Michael was mature beyond his years, hence the "Grandpa" nickname.
- Slap her, Wilona!
the Good Times studio audience
- [quote]Why did Wilona have to live in the Ghetto?\
Because RENT IS TOO DAMN HIGH!
Jimmy McMillan, Karate expert
- John Amos''s flared nostrils
- Wilona had that wardrobe because she got an employee discount.
- It makes sense that she can afford the wardrobe because she''s saving money on rent.%0D\
R24, you can''t have Wilona the same age Michael. Halle Barry as Wilona. Angela Bassett as Florida.
- [quote]I think she probably did hooking on the side to pay for all those fancy ghetto clothes.\
SLAP HER, WILLONA!
- Best episode is the one where they find out their elderly neighbor is eating dog food because she''s so broke. They invite her to dinner and she brings her special meatloaf. Hilarious avoidance of said meatloaf ensues.
- Ill play Michael''s boyfriend!
crushing on Michael
- How did Florida travel from Chicago to Tuckahoe every day to work for Maude? Did Maude and Walter pay for her airfare? I don''t think there would have been that much money left after Walter paid his bar tab.
- Chip Fields was electrifying as Penny''s biological mother. A really compelling performance.
- I used to watch this show when I was really young...and I did not understand why JJ would always call Thelma ugly...I didn''t think it made sense...she was quite pretty...and I thought he was so ugly. I did have a crush on Michael.
- Didn''t the storyline have it that Florida and her family moved to Chicago and that''s why she had to leave the Findlays?%0D\
The thing I remember most about this show is that whenever someone made some kind of profound statement, there would be applause and you could hear someone shout "Right on!"%0D\
- "But, daddy, boy is a white man''s word."
- [quote][R24], you can''t have Wilona the same age Michael. \
I was just kidding. That was the first really hot younger African-American actor who popped into my head, and was a comment on how famously great Michael''s body was (that ass!). \
I can''t think of a famous young male African-American actor with a great body under the age of 20 at the moment, but I''m sure other people will mention someone more appropriate age-wise for Michael.
- [quote]How did Florida travel from Chicago to Tuckahoe every day to work for Maude? Did Maude and Walter pay for her airfare? I don''t think there would have been that much money left after Walter paid his bar tab.%0D\
I really hope you are joking and not stupid.
- The cast for a "Good Times" movie? Isn''t it obvious? The Smith family -- Will, Jada Pinkett, Jaden and Willow. Forget if they match the ages or the look of the original characters. Perhaps they have a few other relatives who can be extras. Tom Cruise can make a cameo as Booker.
- [quote]and I did not understand why JJ would always call Thelma ugly...I didn''t think it made sense...she was quite pretty...\
You''re an only child aren''t you?\
R24/40, Tequan Richmond from "Everybody Hates Chris" would be perfect as Michael.
- The line shouted out from the studio audience in the confrontation scene with Penny''s abusive mother actually was just "YOU TELL HER, WILLONA!," not "SLAP HER, WILLONA!"\
But I love that the latter has become a running gag on DL.
- I wanted Amos to do bad things to me.
And I still do!
- I think Michael started my big butt fetish. In the later seasons of the show he started wearing the paint on pants that showed off his bubble butt just right!
- When you''re young, and in love....
- Agree that Michael in the later seasons had a hot, tight little bod with an ass that wouldn''t quit. I''d''a sucked him.
- The change from Henry to James may have been because "Amos ''N Andy" were originally "Sam and Henry" and Norman Lear didn''t want that stereotype.
- Why did James leave the family?
- [quote]Tom Cruise can make a cameo as Booker.%0D\
I love this idea!
- Esther Rolle was 19 years older than John Amos
- correct Florida left Maude to move back to Chicago.
- I love the Evans Family.\
And you too Willona.
Alderman Fred Davis
- How much was a can of paint in Chicago in the mid seventies? They could have painted those nasty assed walls. Isn''t John Amos gay?
- I love the studio audience. You HAVE to catch the Christmas ep from one of the later seasons when Penny shoplifts a piece of jewelry as a gift for Willona, if just to hear someone in the audience shout "No, don''t do it, Penny!"
- The word was John Amos had a huge problem with the way JJ was written. He said it was a shame they made him into such a clown.
- So did Esther Rolle, I think. She left then came back.
- Please...somebody explain to me the presence of a door-with a latch-in the kitchen.\
The door was NEVER used nor referenced in any way. Since it was latched, it must have led to the outside. But where?\
Why make it part of the set anyway?\
I watched for years and every time I saw that door I wanted to unlatch it and see what was on the other side!
- Do any of you remember the DYN-O-MITE! song?
- [quote]The door was NEVER used nor referenced in any way. Since it was latched, it must have led to the outside. But where?\
It led to a tesseract that connected to the door at the top of the balcony in the Brady Bunch''s house that was also to a place that was never shown.\
Marcia Brady and Michael Evans used to sneak back and forth so they could fuck each other.
- Where did JJ and Michael keep their close and other things, given that they had no room of their own and slept on the couch?%0D\
- Wasn''t that Greg''s attic hang-out, [r61]?
- That door in their kitchen lead to the mysterious kitchen door in the Ricardos apartment during the first couple of seasons.
- [quote]Where did JJ and Michael keep their close and other things,\
- I used to wonder where JJ and Michael kept their clothes too.
- You can hear the audience saying "slap him" "hit him" starting at the 3:30 mark. I didn''t hear it with the mother, only the guy she hired to set up "Willona."
- I loved James'' bulge, but boy did he turn me off when he yelled. He reminded me of my dad.\
I also loved when Thelma got married and Keith joined the cast, I think he was first person I jacked off too.
- Is John Amas still alive?%0D\
Whatever happened to Jimmy Walker? He made one or two films that did Okay, not great business...and then he vanished.
- To this day, my sister and I can''t walk past an iron without re-enacting the "Penny" scene. \
And no thread would be complete without the best scene ever.
- You jacked off the actor who played Keith even before jacking yourself off, r68?
- [quote] Is John Amas still alive?\
Yes John AmOs is still alive. He was just in a episode of "Lie To Me" a couple of weeks ago.
- Is it true JJ dated Ann COukter or ar ethey just friends?
- IIRC, Wilona had a groovy apartment to match her groovy threads. Maybe she was able to do the ghetto in style since she was single with no kids.\
And were Florida and Wilona supposed to be the same age? They always made it sound like the two of them grew up together.
James, that is BLASPHEMY!
- They lived in Detroit, not Chicago.
- Well it must be Thanksgiving, because they turkey just walked through the door *clap*!
- I throw my hands up in the air sometimes saying A-YO gotta let go...
The DYNOMITE song
- [quote] They lived in Detroit, not Chicago.\
A poor Afro-American family make the best of things in the Chicago housing projects.
- [quote]Hangin'' in a chow line!\
r4, I think it''s "Hangin'' out and jivin''."
But if it''s not, I''m sure someone will correct us
- And here I am, R79. It is "chow line."
- [quote]They lived in Detroit, not Chicago.\
Looks like Chicago to me.
- They lived in Cabrini Green, a well-known Chicago landmark.
- John Amos is very much alive. According to several posts on DL he is dating some young, twink soap opera actor.
- I think Wilona worked at Marshall Fields, but what did Florida do for a living? Also, were there no three bedrooms in their building. It must have sucked for JJ and Michael to have to sleep on the couch.\
Remember when JJ got VD and Debbie Allen was shooting up the H?
- R83, and that rumor was easily one of the funniest I''ve ever read on here.
- En garde, r80! It seems we are both wrong. From an interview with Alan and Marilyn Bergman, who wrote the song:\
You wrote the lyrics to the Good Times theme. Have you seen the Chappelle%E2%80%99s Show skit %E2%80%9CI Know Black People%E2%80%9D?\
Chappelle played a quiz-show host, testing contestants%E2%80%99 knowledge of black culture. The question that stumped them all involved a lyric from %E2%80%9CGood Times,%E2%80%9D %E2%80%9Changin%E2%80%99 in a chow line.%E2%80%9D\
Marilyn: Well there%E2%80%99s no such line!\
Alan: It%E2%80%99s %E2%80%9Changing out and jiving.%E2%80%9D\
Marilyn: No, it%E2%80%99s %E2%80%9Changing in and jiving.%E2%80%9D I have to look it up. Norman Lear asked us to write a theme for that show, as he did for%E2%80%A6what else?\
- It''s neither "Hangin'' in a chow line" NOR "Hangin'' in and jivin"--it''s "Hangin'' in a jury"!
- John Amos is one half of a gay couple on "Two and a Half Men." The other half is Stacey Keach.
- r83, the twink actor you''re thinking of is the incredibly flaming but straight Jean Paul Lavoisier of OLTL. And it''s not John Amos who supposedly "discovered" and fucked him. It was silver-dollar-nipple actor John Enos, of Melrose Place & Y&R, who found Jean Paul.
- I''d like to see Charlie Sheen call John Amos a nigger in one of his drunken rages lemmie see John wind his arm way back to Roots and give that punk ass bitch a left hook to the face!
- This was in the comments at R70:\
"I was at the hair store the other day and this woman was trying to%EF%BB%BF get this lacefront wig at the thrift store....it was sold out I''m not kidding she said....DAMN DAMN DAMN!!! lol"\
As a kid, did anyone else believe it was the cast singing the "Good Times" theme song?
- John AMOS and JPL have been together for almost 10 years. They have a great apartment on the UWS, One DLer even went to a dinner party at their home and raved about it on here.
- "Goodbye ghetto, hello disco" "PARTY,PARTY!"
J. J. Evans
- r91, I figured out how Wilona could afford her fly clothes! She got a check every time the theme to "The Jeffersons" was played.
- [quote]I was at the hair store the other day and this woman was trying to get this lacefront wig at the thrift store
- [quote]As a kid, did anyone else believe it was the cast singing the "Good Times" theme song?%0D\
So I wasn''t the only one! I always thought the cast was singing the theme song.
- Dave Chappelle as JJ
- As a kid, did anyone else believe it was the cast singing the "Good Times" theme song?%0D\
- Good Times is probably one of the few examples, if not the only example, of the spinoff being more popular and successful than the parent show.
- How about The Facts of Life, R99?
- I was thinking about that, but Diff''rent Strokes was very successful in its own right. Gary Coleman was a huge star. Maude was a great show, but I think Good Times was generally a more commercially successful series.
- The Tracey Ullman Show ---> The Simpsons.
- I think All in the Family was more successful than Good Times.
- [quote] I think All in the Family was more successful than Good Times.\
But Good Times wasn''t a direct spin-off of All in the Family.
- I''m sure if you keep moving the goalposts you will eventually end up with the conclusion you wanted.
- I also thought at least Ja''Net DuBois was singing the female part of the theme song--
- No, R106, but as noted before, Ms. DuBois was the lead voice on the classic Jeffersons theme song.
- 107 posts and the exegesis is not yet complete. Carry on, Datalounge scholars.
- And Mike Evans (Lionel #1) co-produced and wrote the first couple of seasons of Good Times. Damn, those Norman Lear sitcoms were incestuous.
- Damn, damn....DAMN!!!
- [quote] No, [R106], but as noted before, Ms. DuBois was the lead voice on the classic Jeffersons theme song.\
She also co-wrote that theme song
- The back door in the kitchen probably led directly to a staircase that went down to the garbage area. High-rises require more than one exit in the event of fire.\
The "Florida" of GOOD TIMES wasn''t supposed to be the same person who was the maid on MAUDE. The producers kept that deliberately vague because they wanted people who liked Esther Rolle to keep watching her even though her character was situated very differently in her new show.
- "As for why James was with Florida, why is anyone with anyone? He expressed affection and even lust so either he was in love with her and her size was not an issue or he liked her that way."\
I am pretty sure no one is blasting her for her size which was average, it''s her fugly ass face, nappy hair, and her continuously sweaty face and body we are referring to.
- Yet, they were believeable as a married couple. You could see them having sex. Wasn''t Isabel Sanford something like 15 years Sherman Hemsley''s senior? Now, you REALLY believe that they were married. Black just don''t crack!
- How many spinoffs of spinoffs have their been? \
AITF to Maude to Good Times\
AITF to The Jeffersons to Checking In (canceled quickly)\
I can''t start threads.
- Didn''t Nurses come from Empty Nest, which came from Golden Girls?
- Good one! Yes, \
Golden Girls to Empty Nest to Nurses
- [quote]Tequan Richmond from "Everybody Hates Chris" would be perfect as Michael.\
Great choice. Actually several EHC alums would be good. Terry Crews would make a great James Evans, and Tichina Arnold could pull of Wilona, or maybe better yet Tisha Campbell (Peaches on EHC, and Gina on "Martin") could play Wilona.\
But, I guess you wouldn''t want to use all of them, since then it''s just the same cast.
- Looking at how we remember it, it''s easy to forget that GOOD TIMES started with lofty ideals about being a sit-com with a purpose and a message. How quickly it descended into J.J.''s minstrel humor punctuated by a steady line of insult jokes!
- White writers, R119.\
They don''t let blacks in the writing rooms. Those shows were all about white Hollywood guys who decided they knew what was best for a black show.
- You think too simplistically, r120. There were black writers involved throughout the show''s life. The whole JJ/"DynOmite" thing became really huge and took on a life of its own, and that''s what they chose to capitalize on. I think after that died down, and especially after Estelle Rolle agreed to return on condition that it would no longer be a minstrel show, they tried to return it to its roots. However, by that point, the show was in a downward spiral.
- R120 = Our resident, racist, shit stirring, white-people-hating black panther who unfortunately still hasn''t died in a horrible grease fire.
- Idris Elba as James\
Queen Latifah as Florida\
Regina King as Wilona\
Tyler James Williams as JJ\
Paula Patton as Thelma\
Corbin Bleu as Michael\
Chi McBrde as Bookman\
Paris Jackson as Penny Woods\
Matt Lanter as Keith Anderson (Character rewrite)\
Anna Maria Horsford as Weeping Wanda\
Ving Rhams as Alderman Fred Davis\
Kim Fields as Penny''s Mom
- R113- You really need to die in a grease fire. I just hate it when white people make comments referring to black hair as "nappy" like it is a bad thing. She wore her hair natural like millions of other black women did back then and now. There is nothing unattractive about a black woman wearing her natural hair. Not all of us want to conform to what the white world wants us to look like with long flowing bone straight hair. %0D\
R120- Is correct. It is not a secret that many "black shows" have a vast majority of white whiters, more white writers than black ones. I would be surprised if Good Times had more than one black writer, if that.
I thought it was "Woooooo!" The audience would make that sound when there was any suggestion at all of sexuality or maybe the threat of violence. %0D\
There was a character that appeared now and the, a pimp called "Sweet Daddy." Whenever he appeared he was all decked out in a Superfly outfit and was flanked by two goons dressed the same way. Whenever he appeared the audience would go "woooooo!" in admiration. %0D\
I remember Gary Coleman on the show. I don''t know how old he was then, but he looked like a toddler, he was so stunted. As I recall he had the hots for Penny and said something to her like "don''t talk that way to your man!" I thought Coleman was an annoying litte creep, but the audience found him hilarious. As for Penny...well, she was just as unbearable as Coleman. She had the hots for J.J. and at one point even suggested they sleep in the same bed! Yech. But again, the audience found her lust for J.J. so very amusing.
- I seem to recall reading they brought some black writers/consultants in when Amos and Rolle protested the minstrel aspects of the JJ character. But like someone else said, the popularity of that character was really beyond anything the writers could control. It''s what the audience wanted.
- I was listening to a radio show a few days ago and a comedian that worked with Jimmy Walker not too long ago said he and the other comedians were under VERY strict instructions to not say the phrase Dynomite! in front of Walker.\
I forgot the comedians name, I''m sure I can find it though, but he didn''t give a good impression of what its like working with Walker.\
The comedian said the funny thing was all of Walker''s after show merchandise had the taboo word plastered all over it.
- r125, I think you''re kind of creepy if you dont find this at least a little funny.
- R123, you forgot:\
Jimmy Walker as Ned the Wino.\
The long, braless boobs in the closing painting really disturbed me...
- We play Florida''s "damn damn damn" scene backwards in slow mo.\
Mmmmaddd Mmmmaddd Mmmmaddd!!!
- [quote] I remember Gary Coleman on the show. I don''t know how old he was then, but he looked like a toddler, he was so stunted.\
I also remember seeing him on an episode of "Fermwood Tonight." He was obviously a Norman Lear fave.
- Natural black hair DOES NOT EQUATE nappy hair R-124, you self hating, paranoid, douche bag, nappy hair is hair that has not been combed or washed regularly and ends up with knots in it, and her hair WAS nappy, so go kindly fuck off you shit stirring asshole.
- Why didn''t the late great Esther Rolle get at least one Emmy nomination for best actress (for [italic]Good Times[/italic])?
- Because striking a majestic pose and adopting a commanding tone while feeding straight lines to J.J. isn''t the sort of thing they usually award people for doing, R134.
- R133- Just fucking DIE already. I doubt you are black or even know any black people. Your argument is too stupid to even comment on.
- I hated Florida so much, flames, flaming,..on the side of my face, breath, heaving..
Mrs. White sick of the damn ghetto
- Can we please go back to talking about James'' bulge?
Ned the Wino
- Ralph Carter (Michael Evans) had an album in the 70s that produced two singles.
- Michael Evans does Soul Train
- you just know that James & Willona were getting it on.
- Wasn''t there a sequel with JJ, where he was running a foster home?
- Why were they hangin'' in a chow line? Couldn''t they find chow on their own without having to wait in line?
- I''m shocked that the actor who played Bookman will be 73 this year according to IMDB.
- Am I the only one who thinks the actor who played Michael is gay?
- I am a member of the Willona Woods fan page on Facebook.
- I thought he was out, r145.
- It''s hard to believe that hunky Ben Powers who played "Keith" is 62 years old!
- Gary Coleman is brilliant in that clip. So funny for a child actor.
- "Am I the only one who thinks the actor who played Michael is gay?"%0D\
Considering that he has been out for about a kajillion years, no. %0D\
- JJ was not "lazy and shiftless". He was steadily portrayed as working especially after James died.
- "Right on!"
Paid audience member
- Right,r51, and remember that J.J. was also an artist. His caricatures were displayed quite often. Lazy and shiftless he wasn''t.
- Oops, I meant r151!
- Did you know that Esther Rolle couldn''t stand Jan''et Dubois?
Girl, she just a jealous cow
- Slap her, Esther!
- Shut Up JJ!
- Now that I believe, r155.
- Maybe Esther Rolle couldn''t stand Jan''et Dubois because the Wilona character was just as much a stereotype as J.J. The sassy black neighbor all decked out in ghetto chic outfits who prances and flounces in and out of the apartment at will...ugh. She was just as bad as J.J. with his stupid "Dy-no-mite!"\
J.J. WAS shiftless and lazy until James got killed. Of course he would have to go to work then. There really would have been an uproar if he''d continued to a lazy kid who just painted pictures and chased after girls after the death of the family breadwinner.
- James Evans bulge.
- I only watched a season of this show on DVD for the first tiem about a year because all of the DL references over the years. Does James really die? He was my favorite character ... plus, no one here said he was so hot. What happened to him?
- The hotness that is James dies off screen. After that, the show sputters around for another three years.
- [quote]What happened to him?\
He died in a car accident.
- It''s been years since I''ve seen it but wasn''t the funeral episode a little racist in its stereotyping? I vaguely remember that the running joke was that everyone brought a canned ham to the funeral for the family. The laughed it off as a nod to the dad who supposedly loved ham.\
R67''s clip made me laugh. I had forgotten how boisterous the audience was.\
Don''t forget Jimmy Walker''s guest appearance on In Living Color.
- Good Times was on my radar for Tuesdays at 8pm until I discovered the competition: Happy Days. For a reason I still can''t figure out, I fell in love with "The Fonz".
- Good Times on one of those African American channels is what I watch from 2-2:30am before going to bed. Right now, they''re in that weird season after Esther Rolle quit and Willona adopts Penny.
No, mama, not the iron!
- Were Willona''s outfits ghetto fab or typical 70s fashions? I think it''s the latter.
- All those ridiculous wigs push her into the "ghetto fab" category.
- Why did she spell it Bern NaDette Stanis? And Antenna showed the episode where her hubby is drinking vodka secretly in the turlet.
- did eddie murphy steel jimmie walker''s career?%0D\
I never got into watching Good Times as it went off the air before I was born. I do remember my older brother (white, rural) went through a phase where he was obsessed with it in syndication and he started imitating JJ answering the phone "Chello" a lot. It was odd.
- Stanis may have done it for numerology reasons or just to look different. Maybe it was her real name. I think she went to Juilliard.
- Seriously R159? Thelma never worked. Was she lazy and shiftless too?
- Esther rolle''s dislike of Jan''et Dubois was only temporary. Jan''et explained in an interview that Esther Rolle was told that "Good Times" was to ne her show; however, she was given no voice in the hiring of the supporting characters. Esther had someone in mind for the Wilnona role but her suggestion was ignored. Jan''et stated that she later came to understand Esther''s anger.
- How come James was a fireman or police officer or some good job when Florida was Maude''s houskeeper and when he had his own show his job sucked?
- R- 136, you lots of issues.
- John Amos was on The Mary Tyler Moore Show for awhile. I don''t remember if it was before or after Good Times. What a change in cast mates.
- I always thougnt Winona was over-the-top in her acting. Really too giddy, I think.
- r172 ouch.
- Got Damn there''s a lot of old people on DL. If you can remember the 70''s you older than dirt.
- At least the old people can spell, r182.
- "I always thougnt Winona was over-the-top in her acting. Really too giddy, I think."%0D
Yes, she was always very "giddy", Like she was high on something. Maybe she smoked a lot of pot or maybe she'd just done a few lines of coke before she came bursting into the Evans apartment. %0D
And she was always tricked out in the latest ghetto chic fashions. Where did she get the money for all those clothes? I always thought she got the money from hooking. Her flashy clothes attracted a lot of attention, which is essential for hookers. %0D
In one episode where two girls (one of them Shirley Hemphill) try to rob Florida one of them calls Willona "Fancy Pants." Another episode is about Jame's reluctantance to return to school and get his diploma; Willona is getting on his case about it and he says why doesn't she get a diploma herself? Their exchange goes like this:%0D
Willona: "I already have my diploma. How do you think I got my job at the boutique?"%0D
James: "I thought you were just working off your clothing bill."
- "Thelma never worked. Was she lazy and shiftless too?"%0D\
Thelma and Michael were serious,conscientious students; their intent was to go to college. J.J., on the other hand, didn''t work, didn''t study, acted like a buffoon, and chased after girls. But he was an "artist", and that supposedly redeemed him.%0D\
Esther Rolle had this to say about the J.J. character:%0D\
"He''s eighteen and he doesn''t work. He can''t read or write. He doesn''t think. The show didn''t start out to be that...Little by little%E2%80%94with the help of the artist, I suppose, because they couldn''t do that to me%E2%80%94they have made J.J. more stupid and enlarged the role. Negative images have been slipped in on us through the character of the oldest child."
- Remember when Fish Bone died?
- Amos quit the show because of the minstrel JJ character didn''t he?
- Does anyone doubt that James was fucking Wilona on the side?
- The studio audience''s reactions were pretty funny. If they were in agreement with a character you could hear them say "RAT on!" or "you go, girl!" or "tellah, Willona!" They also went "woooooooo" a lot. If there was a serious confrontation they''d go "woooooooo." If there was a kissing scene they''d go "wooooooo." There was a pimp character called "Sweet Daddy"; he''d always come in the door flanked by two goons, all three of them decked out in full Superfly drag. At the sight of big Daddy in his pimp suit and hat and big diamonds on his fingers the audience would always go "woooooooo" in admiration.
- Why dont they have studio audiences like that anymore? A lot of 70s shows has raucous studio audiences.
- I thought Amos quit the show over money and/or the increased dominance of Jimmy Walker over the show.
- Esther Rolle needed to shut up and sit her fat ass down. IT''S A SITCOM, BITCH! The JJ character is what gave the show some visibility and was a large reason the show lasted so long, and consequently made her wealthy. These actors! Just do your job, read your silly lines, and don''t worry about your show''s integrity as you sit back and collect a very healthy paycheck.
- Thank you for that lesson in ethics, R192.
- Amos was fired for running his mouth in Ebony. Rolle should have thanked Walker for providing much of the humor that kept that show on the air and her paychecks coming in.
- So true, r194.
- Esther Rolle was what would have been considered an accomplished actress for a black woman in the early 70''s. She was a former dancer who became a Broadway actress. Rolle took her craft and the advancement of black people very seriously. \
Rolle was 54 years old when Norman Lear decided to build a show around her character, Florida. I am sure she may have viewed having her own television show as a culmination of all her hard work. She probably also knew it would be her legacy. So I totally understand her pain and anger when the show became a vehicle for JJ''s ministrel antics.
- Right on, r196.
- God, you can tell some of you never watched the show. Thelma DID work. She had a babysitting job. Michael also worked. He worked at Carl''s shop.%0D\
And I totally agree with Esther Rolle about the character of JJ. I can''t tell you how many stupid white people I have met in my lifetime that think ALL black people lived in the ghetto and had a shiftless, jive-talking brother like JJ in their family. Some of you just can''t tell the difference between real life and tv.
- Remember Esther Rolle''s Psychic Hotline commercials?
- JJ was a struggling artist. That doesn''t equal minstrel.
- Jimmy Walker is a Republican.
- Esther does a funny number where she dances in a revealing costume. Quite good and funny, the cast is doing a benefit musical for the public library.
- No R200 but the cooning that JJ did does.
- I''m too lazy to see if this was mentioned, but didn''t J.J. work at that chicken delivery joint. Remember, once in awhile we saw him wearing that chicken head.
- I was in grade shcool when the show was on. I remember it well.
- R204, I remember the same thing. I think it was a chicken that was on top of his hat and when he moved, the chicken rocked back and forth. Great sight gag.
- Ralph Carter had a cute butt.\
Now Dwayne from What''s Happening?\
That is an ass I''d want to bury my tongue in for days!
- I love it how they lived in this crime-filled ghetto with all these nefarious characters lurking about, yet they always left their doors unlocked. LOL For all its "grim reality," I guess when it comes down to it, it was just a sitcom, complete with wacky neighbor.
- This made me smile!
- Jimmie Walker was the only member of the original cast that did not attend Esther Rolle''s funeral.
- The best audience reaction was when Penny''s mom came after her with the hot frying pan.
- I like Willona''s freak party. "Jaaazz"
- Ralph Carter is gay.
- Jive turkey...
- Wow, I didn''t know Walker didn''t go to Rolle''s funeral. That''s a serious diss for the African-American theatrical community. Was John Amos there?
- Off-topic, but I was surprised when Shirley Hemple and Fred Berry (Rerun)from What''s Happening, died before they reached 60.%0D\
- "As I recall, they lived in public housing as many working people do in very large cities where rent is quite high.."\
Not everyone who lived/lives in public housing is unemployed and on welfare. Perhaps these days the percentages might be higher, but years ago. I''d say a good 95% of the people in public housing were working.\
In my old Queens neighborhood, in the 1960s-1970s. the local ''projects'' were loaded with blue collar workers and city/state workers. \
The grounds were immaculate and the tenants took pride in their apartments. You have to blame the people in charge of renting out these apartments for now loading the projects with former convicts and tons of welfare cases instead of the working poor. \
An old grade school friend''s parents were both school teachers, they lived in the projects until my friend was a teen! \
Many people are completely clueless about public housing, some people actually work really hard to get out.
- R211, you might be thinking of the scene where Penny''s mom comes after her with a hot iron. I can''t help but laugh at it now because my freshman roommate used to recreate the scene with all the same campiness and earnestness. Oh, and he''s a white guy. \
Jump to 4:50 for the scene.
- Who sang the theme song?
- R 215, he was there - a link to a picture below:
- I was watching an episode where Michael is about to go to college and Florida is against it because he wants to move in with a female roommate, who is also white. All I could think was gurl please, Michael is gay!
- Thank you, 220!
- R220, that''s not Jimmy Walker in the photo. It''s the actor who played Bookman.
- r223, r220 was referring to John Amos being there.
- Michael was suspended from school today for calling George Washington a racist, and boy howdy, he came close to getting his ass tore up by James!
- [quote][bold]Michael[/bold] was suspended from school today for calling George Washington a racist, and boy howdy, he [bold]came close to getting his ass tore up by James[/bold]!\
you know there''s Good Time slash somewhere...
- The show died when John Amos got fired from Good Times.
- Also, it got really boring when Florida met and married Carl. She moved away after getting married, it seems, and we only saw or heard from her on occasion. I was a kid , so I''m hoping I remember it right.%0D\
I know she wanted to leave the show, but she could''ve gone out with a bigger bang than that.
- From imdb:\
[quote]Esther Rolle left the after the 1976-1977 season due to her displeasure with the what she saw as the character of J.J. being a bad role model for young blacks. She returned at the beginning of the 1978-1979 season after the producers guaranteed that they would make J.J. a more respectable character.\
[quote]At the end of the 1976-1977 season, Florida was written out by having her marry the character of Carl Dixon. However, when she returned, Carl was nowhere to be seen and was never mentioned again.
- In a way, I''m glad the show ended when it did. The cast members knew it was time for it to end.
- Check out the famous John Amos bulge. As Esther Rolle would say, "Damn, damn, damn!"
- A little personal "Good Times" trivia. Janet Dubois moved here to Atlanta back in the 80''s and owned a condo in my building in Midtown for several years. I used to see her occasionally and she was always in performance mode, putting on airs acting as if she was Greta Garbo deigning to speak to the little people. \
She was known by the HOA as a "major whiner" and if she had nothing to complain about she''d dream something up. Her biggest complaint was that all the private garages in the parking decks had been sold out years before she moved in. She never could understand why someone wouldn''t sell her their garage because, well she was a star and deserved it more!\
Then suddenly she was gone. Word went out that she was having financial reversals and had to sell her unit and move to a cheaper building downtown. I think she still lives there.
- R204- Jr has worked as an usher, rib delivery guy, chicken delivery guy.
- r231: "Damn, damn, damn" is right!
- The bulges on 70''s TV shows made me gay, I am convinced....
- Thanks for the info, r232.
- Another insane thing about this show was that J.J. was supposed to be a chick magnet. ALL his girlfriends were very attractive; why would they want to hook up with the scrawny, ugly, goofy J.J.? One episode had an attractive older woman who fell for him; Florida was not too happy about that! I remember J.J. and the woman in her apartment kissing; the audience dutifully went "wooooooo."
- Just lookin'' out of the windoooooow....\
Watchin'' the asphalt grow-oh-ooh-whoah....\
Mikatah deh oh doo weh ti wahh!\
Good Times! Yeah-hee-yeah, Good Times!
What I''ve been singing for a week thanks to this thread.
- I liked Thelma''s bf Larry.
- R238 - I think that third line is "Thinkin'' ''bout all those hand-me-downs..."
- I always thought it was, "Thinkin'' how it all looks hand-me-down..."
- I also felt if the show had continued on for a year or two it would have been more ridiculous. Plus, just think what the writers could have done putting the Evans family with the times of the Reagan era in the 1980''s.
- R133 clearly has no idea about Black hair. I have ''nappy, nappy, who''s your pappy'' hair and it is neither unwashed nor matted. It is natural, unprocessed (no chemicals) Black hair. Florida wore "a natural" or what is called a low cut afro.
Sista with Sisterlocks
- I''ve been catching up on Good Times and Maude (which seem to practically have the same theme song) on Antenna TV lately. JJ''s stupidity really is a turn off sometimes and seems to desperately try to get you to laugh. \
And I''ve had that damned theme song stuck in my head for weeks. Temporary layoffs are not good times.
- You''ve got to love the ending of the theme song. "Good ti-eye-eye-eye-eye yeaaahhh!"%0D\
Jabob Lusk could sing it on AI.
- Holy shit, the Judy Cohen story is on in LA right now! Channel 139 on Time Warner in West Hollywood.
- The best thread ever was where the Janet Jackson thread where everyone posted stuff about her onscreen life and offscreen life as if they were one and the same.\
Tried to find it but it didn''t turn up.
- "The show died when John Amos got fired from Good Times."%0D\
Yes, that''s true. John Amos was the best actor on that show, and when he went the show kept going steadily downhill. %0D\
I remember the final episode wrapping everything up in a nice, neat little package. Basically everybody got everything they wanted. Thelma''s football player husband gets a new football contract; I guess his bad knee got miraculously healed. Thelma was pregnant. Florida was going to live with Thelma and her husband in their posh new apartment. Willona became the manager of the building and would be making a nice income doing it, which would enable her to give her adopted daughter Penny all the dancing/singing/acting lessons she wants so she can become a big star. J.J. got a well-paying job as a cartoonist. And Michael goes off to college. An incredibly lame finale.%0D\
- [r133] You are sadly misinformed (i.e., ignant). Unwashed and dirty hair is unwashed and dirty hair. Nappy hair is the type of hair that many Blacks have. Florida Evans wore her nappy hair in a natural (i.e., an afro). %0D\
Lesson #2: Dredlocked hair is styled to ''lock'' - it is not created by not washing or grooming the hair. %0D\
Oprah''s hairstylist or Halle''s hairstylist Andre wrote a book about the four types of Black hair...Nappy was style #4, I believe
Proud to be Nappy
- Daddy Evans'' balls were so big. That''s why the poor brother couldn''t walk right.
Sweet Daddy Williams
- [quote]Why were James and Florida together, he could have done better, right?\
When I was kid watching this I remember mom kind of mentioning what a handsome black guy James was and why on earth did they pair him up with someone as homely as Florida? I think she also mentioned his bulge in a lowered tone.
- The happiest ending ever -
- "Willona became the manager of the building and would be making a nice income doing it, which would enable her to give her adopted daughter Penny all the dancing/singing/acting lessons she wants so she can become a big star."\
Manager of the building where she and the Evans family lived?\
Willona and the Evans family lived in a public housing project, so there was no way Willona could have managed the building unless she actually got a city job, then did end up managing the entire housing complex where she resided. A public housing complex AKA ''the projects'', is usually more than just one building.\
If she did manage the housing complex, then Willona would have moved, because people who manage housing complexes make very good money. \
With apologies if Willona didn''t live in the projects and was managing an apartment building she lived in, though, I always assumed Willona lived in the same building as the Evans family.
- Penny ep.
- Winona got a promotion to head buyer at the store she worked for. She and Penny were moving to a brand new apartment complex which turned out to be the same one Thelma, her husband and Florida were moving to.
- "Winona got a promotion to head buyer at the store she worked for."%0D\
The head buyer at "the boutique" in the ghetto? I noticed that you NEVER saw where Wilona worked. I got the feeling that there was no boutique and that she made a living hooking and dealing drugs. %0D\
The character of Wilona was as offensive as the J.J. character, what with her fancy clothes and bawdy black sistah act. She was a stereotype, the "sassy neighbor."
- I loved the episode where Michael joined a gang, and when they wouldn''t let him out, Florida brandished a baseball bat.
"Lady, I want that RING!"
- Wow, John Amos was hot then. He looked great on Men In Trees a few years back.\
And that bulge is huge!\
John was 20+ years younger than Esther Rolle was, and they made him look much older. Check him out on the Mary Tyler Moore Show, where he played Gordy, just a few years before. \
I hate Howard Stern but agree with him - he said Amos had to be the best actor in the history of man to act like Florida got his dick hard! LOL
- How did Florida commute from Chicago to Maude''s house in Westchester every day? She must have been exhausted!
- I know you guys were just kidding about a movie version, but its a go!
- I hope they have the real Thelma in it; I bet she's still hot.
- I just read all 14 pages of this thread. THIS is why I like DL.
- Me too r263. You should read the "Let's Pretend we are a Norman Lear Sitcom" thread. It's superb.
- Did you notice that Wilona, a single BW in the ghetto had no children?
- What about Esther Rolle? Married once for five years. No children.
- Whenever Michael was with a girl, it just didn't work out. There was a time when the doorbell kept ringing and Florida said JJ was kissing his girl again leaning aganst it. The opened the door and it was *surprise* Michael kissing his girl, which looked VERY forced and uncomfortable for him.
- Lootin' Len-nay!
- PLEASE post some more pics of James' bulge.
- Girl, your hair looks like it's sproutin' black spaghetti!
- I couldn't understand why Thelma was always dress so nice for them to be so poor!
- Also Esther Rolle was PISSED when they wrote James out of the show. She felt it was irresponsible of her to be the sole head of the household, as in, a bad example for black families when there were so few of them on TV in the 70s and that is why she left the show for a long stretch of time in protest (I forgot how they handled it). Considering she wasn't exactly, ya know, HOT, it was a pretty brave thing for her to do. Not many people were breaking down her door to hire her!
- My friend thought Wilona was named "Balona".
- Ms. Rolle just returned to the stage during her absence from Good Times. And she didn't ask to come back, they went to her.
- Wilona never called Michael "Grandpa", she called him "Gramps". And the person that listed the actors and actresses to play the characters is way off. At best, the should do a reunion with the living characters and go from there. Trying to replace the original characters would be a failure and a bad business decision.
- I always thought it was 'easy cradle ripoffs.'