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Esther Rolle

My all-time favorite!

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by Anonymousreply 22511/22/2020

Scam! Scam! Scam!

by Anonymousreply 111/13/2020

I always said she was a Copy-Fat.

She couldn't even find a Jemima-Do-Rag big enough for that pumpkin head of hers. God rest her soul.

Her big soul.

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by Anonymousreply 211/13/2020

I loved her, but she could not catch a break. This was pathetic.

by Anonymousreply 311/13/2020

She was the best actress.

by Anonymousreply 411/13/2020

aka the ugliest sitcom mom in TV history

by Anonymousreply 511/13/2020

I saw her onstage in Chicago in the early 80s in a play called Dame Lorraine in which she played a Caribbean matriarch in an immigrant family with s husband with dementia and dons who die in gang fights. She was devastatingly good.

by Anonymousreply 611/13/2020

Bowl smashing good?

by Anonymousreply 711/13/2020

Most of us '70s kids know her from Good Times, supposedly set at Cabrini Green in Chicago. I'll never forget how husband James went off to work on the new Alaskan pipeline, hoping for a break for the family.

Except he either died in transit or almost immediately. I remember Rolle holding onto a cloth, a dishtowel or something and crying "Damn, you James!" I was only about 11 or 12, but it was hard to take.

This is my Good Times memory.

by Anonymousreply 811/13/2020

Damn! Damn! Damn!

by Anonymousreply 911/13/2020

Was that what she said, r9? I can't remember b/c I was maybe 9 during Good Times episodes.

It was upsetting, even to my white working class immigrant parents, who were really angry about James' death.

by Anonymousreply 1011/13/2020

[quote] Most of us '70s kids know her from Good Times, supposedly set at Cabrini Green in Chicago. I'll never forget how husband James went off to work on the new Alaskan pipeline, hoping for a break for the family. Except he either died in transit or almost immediately. I remember Rolle holding onto a cloth, a dishtowel or something and crying "Damn, you James!" I was only about 11 or 12, but it was hard to take. This is my Good Times memory.

James returned home to Mississippi to find work. He found a job and the family planned to join him. He was killed in a car accident; before the family moved.

Florida was holding a glass punch bowl. She drops the bowl and shouts “Damn, Damn, Damn.”

by Anonymousreply 1111/13/2020
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by Anonymousreply 1211/13/2020
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by Anonymousreply 1311/13/2020

GURL MISS CLEO IS MY KWEEN!!! SHES THE OG AND THE BEST!!! MARY!!!

by Anonymousreply 1411/13/2020

^ Link

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by Anonymousreply 1511/13/2020

Amateurs.

by Anonymousreply 1611/13/2020

Dag, she sold her soul to make some coin for that stupid commercial. R3 is right.

by Anonymousreply 1711/13/2020

Her pussy stunk!

by Anonymousreply 1811/13/2020

I have never seen this before and refuse to remember it. I am going to happily pretend she wasn't reduced to this.

by Anonymousreply 1911/13/2020

Esther needed to slap the shit out of that dumb bitch.

by Anonymousreply 2011/13/2020

[quote] Dag, she sold her soul to make some coin for that stupid commercial. [R3] is right.

I wouldn’t go that far. She’s was an actor selling a product that many people like. Even today many people spend money on psychic readings. Nancy Reagan ran the nation based on psychic readings. Actors do advertisements for cash.

by Anonymousreply 2111/14/2020

She was so fucking ugly!

by Anonymousreply 2211/14/2020

She was not ugly.

A distinguished-looking lady.

John Amos was fucking hot.

by Anonymousreply 2311/14/2020

R22: She wasn't ugly. She just wasn't Jayne Kennedy. We know what you really mean........

by Anonymousreply 2411/14/2020

Ugly!

by Anonymousreply 2511/14/2020

For all the complaining Esther Rolle & John Amos had about the show being "stolen" by Jimmy Walker

Every episode Rolle & Amos were in was a "very special episode" that focused in an issue affecting the black community - sure Walker got more laughs, but I think Rolle & Amos ego was the problem, not Walker

That said I'm NO fan of Jimmy Walker as he is a right-winger and a Trump support.

by Anonymousreply 2611/14/2020

R18 Wouldn't know.

by Anonymousreply 2711/14/2020

Poo poo 💩

by Anonymousreply 2811/14/2020

It’s called a paycheck!

by Anonymousreply 2911/14/2020

R26. I agree with you. Had they not taken themselves so seriously, Good Times would have lasted more seasons, they could've educated people with some serious topics and Ether Rolle wouldn't have been hawking stupid psychic commercials.

by Anonymousreply 3011/14/2020

Why aren't more people named Florida? Georgia is all the rage...what about I da ho? Hmmm maybe not.

by Anonymousreply 3111/14/2020

On Donahue, Norman Lear was asked by a black audience member why all the black women on his shows were fat. He responded Ja'net Dubois wasn't fat, Roxie Roker wasn't fat........

by Anonymousreply 3211/14/2020

I loved working with her in "Summer of My German Leg Warmers".

by Anonymousreply 3311/14/2020

[quote] aka the ugliest sitcom mom in TV history

Ahem.

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by Anonymousreply 3411/14/2020

Rolle was not a glamour girl. She looked very real, like a real person, not a Hollywood actor. That served her well in her role as Florida Evans.

by Anonymousreply 3511/14/2020

Florida Evans was one of the only TV moms with whom I could identify, so Esther Rolle will always occupy a place in my heart.

by Anonymousreply 3611/14/2020

Everyone knows fat black people have magical powers.

by Anonymousreply 3711/14/2020

Rolle was almost twenty years older than Amos. I liked the show as a kid, but I have to wonder what the motivation was pairing hot John Amos with a woman who could be his mother.

by Anonymousreply 3811/14/2020

As a kid I didnt notice Rolle looking older than Amos. Actually still dont. And always thought Wilona was more of a buffoon character than JJ.

by Anonymousreply 3911/14/2020

There was an episode in which James had gotten a new job, and said to Florida about the job meaning, something like, "Regular pay, regular hours." Florida then ends the exchange with, "...and regular lovin'". Somehow, you believed Florida was gettin' some from James.

by Anonymousreply 4011/14/2020

[quote] [R26]. I agree with you. Had they not taken themselves so seriously, Good Times would have lasted more seasons, they could've educated people with some serious topics and Ether Rolle wouldn't have been hawking stupid psychic commercials.

Gays seem to understand why gay representation is important. Will & Grace, ground breaking for its time, receives a lot of criticism here. Rolle and Amos rightfully stood up and spoke out about how black people were represented. At a time when a show about a black family was groundbreaking. Obviously they were going to be criticized either way.

by Anonymousreply 4111/15/2020

I don't blame them for speaking up either. Plus, they were originally the stars of the show. And they wanted more balance to the show. Maybe some of it was ego but turning it from Good Times to the Jimmy Walker Show wasn't fair either.

It's like Family Matters. It was originally about the Winslows. But when Steve Urkle took off, it became about Urkle, every single episode. I guess the cast didn't care too much since they were getting paid and the show was a hit. But I think Rolle and Amos had a much more personal reason to keep the show to its roots than money or ratings.

by Anonymousreply 4211/15/2020

FLORIDA!

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by Anonymousreply 4311/15/2020

She was still ugly.

by Anonymousreply 4411/15/2020

I’m on a Rolle!

by Anonymousreply 4511/15/2020

Isabel Sanford playing New Jersey in Broad.

Surreal.

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by Anonymousreply 4611/15/2020

Do not agree with some of the above posts.

When Mr. Amos and Ms. Rolle signed onto "Goodtimes" it was with understanding that the show as going to provide at least some counterpoint to common narrative about African Americans living in urban areas.

This was the 1970's when whites were still fleeing cities for safety of suburbs, and the common though about African Americans in "the projects" were that they were all single mothers scamming welfare, the men where basically criminals, wife beaters, and siring children left and right, but not being involved in bringing them up.

With the Evans family you had a strong father and mother figure trying against the very hard times of 1970's to bring up three children. Stagflation wasn't the only problem facing the Evans family, but systemic racism, high unemployment for AAs, crime, etc... all were piled on. Keep in mind this was also a time when labor actions in all forms were getting nasty as manufacturing began leaving mid-west/rust belt areas for overseas if not just shutting down all together. Thus what jobs were out there many white men felt should go to themselves, something that didn't help matters at all.

As the show progress both Jhon Amos and Ester Rolle felt there wasn't enough focus on the two younger Evans children ( Thelma and Michael), who both had high ambitions. Suits basically said "no body wants to hear about a black kid wanting to become supreme court justice..., just keep on keeping on. Amos and Rolle increasingly were ticked off by how whenever things got serious or whatever out came JJ with his minstrel routine....

In firing John Amos and writing Jame Evans, Sr out of show suits of Good Times did not only what they promised not to do, but in process made Florida Evans same as many other AA women; a single mother. Not long after even Ms. Rolle got fed up and left the show, only to make few appearances in later episodes IIRC.

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by Anonymousreply 4711/16/2020

[quote]Everyone knows fat black people have magical powers.

But fat whores are evil wizards.

by Anonymousreply 4811/16/2020

R48 NOBODY wants to look at Lady Bunny

by Anonymousreply 4911/16/2020

Did the psychicS make contact with Esther’s missing neck?

by Anonymousreply 5011/16/2020

Miss Warwick @R2 I'm loving that beaded sweater!

by Anonymousreply 5111/16/2020

I agree with R3 & R17. This is just sad. I genuinely like her as an actress. This may be fine for a shady, ratchet ass bitch like Dionne Warwick, but not for Esther Rolle.

by Anonymousreply 5211/16/2020

She thought Adrienne Barbeau's Carol on "Maude" was kind of groovy.....

by Anonymousreply 5311/16/2020

Good Times was such a unique show. As the son of an uneducated working class dad struggling in the 70s, it was so comforting to see another family struggling with parents fighting over money and fathers constant stress about losing a job.

It was kinda dark for a comedy- which was ground breaking for that time. As an isolated suburban white kid, it helped me understand that black people were just like us and had the same struggles - but they lived in the projects and had even more struggles.

by Anonymousreply 5411/16/2020

[quote] I guess the cast (on Family Matters) didn't care too much since they were getting paid and the show was a hit.

Just like on Good Times, Family Matters was a spin-off from Perfect Strangers and supporting player Jo Marie Payton got her own series - Family Matters

But just like Esther Rolle, Jo Marie Payton quit in the final season unhappy with the show being "The Urkel Show"

by Anonymousreply 5511/16/2020

She could have used a psychic to help locate her missing neck.

by Anonymousreply 5611/16/2020

One of the problems was that the writing staff of Good Times was all white - yes the show was created by two Black men - but they left after the first two years, frustrated with their story pitches being rejected by the network

So the 3rd season (John Amos last) had an all-white writing staff, and that is when the shit hit the wall. As Ralph Carter (Michael) explained, in Black culture the son never over-shadows the father

And that is exactly what happened on Good Times as the character J.J. was more important than James on the show. And John Amos & Norman Lear got into so many screaming matches about scripts. It got so bad one had to go, and it wasn't going to be Lear

But it worked out okay for John Amos - if he didn't get fired from Good Times, he wouldn't have had the chance to do Roots

And Amos & Lear patched things up and even did another sitcom together (704 Hauser Street)

by Anonymousreply 5711/16/2020

John Amos -- who played James Evans on the original 'Good Times' -- makes his first appearance guest starring as Fred Davis in the one-time special Good Times re-do

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by Anonymousreply 5811/16/2020

[quote]And always thought Wilona was more of a buffoon character than JJ.

Slap her, Wilona!

by Anonymousreply 5911/16/2020

In Ms. Rolle's defense, psychic hotlines reached peak popularity in the late 90s and it was an easy check.

by Anonymousreply 6011/16/2020

If GT had aired on HBO we could have been treated to Florida smashing the punch bowl and shouting, "Fuck...FUCK...FUUUUCCCCKKKKK!!!"

by Anonymousreply 6111/16/2020

I'd love to have been around when Esther stepped in for Lillian Hayman as Sadie Gray (Carla's mother) on "One Life to Live". It was early in the run (while Lillian was performing on Broadway in "70 Girls 70" and later "No No Nanette") so it could have been during the time they were emulating "Imitation of Life" with Carla pretending to be white.

by Anonymousreply 6211/16/2020

The episode with the lady eating dog food was hilarious, but also scared the shit out of me as a kid. Only years later did I understand how sad it was.

by Anonymousreply 6311/16/2020

R56 see R50

by Anonymousreply 6411/16/2020

I agree with another poster that Wilona was as buffoonish as J.J. They were both racial stereotypes. But black audiences loved them.

by Anonymousreply 6511/16/2020

I think people are losing perspective of the show. These characters existed late 70s early 80s when TV did not carry all the weight of social justice like it does today.

I always thought of Wilona's character as kind of a trailblazer because she was a single black woman who was making it on her own without a man and doing her own thing.

by Anonymousreply 6611/16/2020

Ms. Rolle certainly did not need the money from those commercials. She either did it for her friend or she did simple because she wanted to. She had Maude money in addition to Good Times and unlike today, there weren't hundreds of channels so any syndication paid big as well.

by Anonymousreply 6711/16/2020

And she didnt have any children...and her husband died 20 years before she did.

by Anonymousreply 6811/16/2020

They called her Florida 'cause she was de SIZE of Florida!

by Anonymousreply 6911/16/2020

[quote] She had Maude money in addition to Good Times and unlike today, there weren't hundreds of channels so any syndication paid big as well.

Those early 70s shows didn’t provide much in the way of residuals. Rolle, however, apparently invested her money well and remained reasonably wealthy throughout her life.

Those psychic hotline deals did pay well though. Dionne Warwick bought her home in Brazil with her earnings. And Warwick had actually used the services of psychics. She changed the spelling of her last name, in the 1970s, based on the advice of a psychic. She eventually changed to back.

by Anonymousreply 7011/16/2020

"I always thought of Wilona's character as kind of a trailblazer because she was a single black woman who was making it on her own without a man and doing her own thing."

But she was only able to find fulfillment by becoming a mother, adopting an abused child who just dropped into her lap. I thought that was such a crock of shit.

by Anonymousreply 7111/16/2020

R63

Americans were eating pet food going back to the 1950's. It only gained more weight and traction in 1970's due to various media coverage (news, television programs, etc..) of seniors on Social Security being reduced to such things.

This was before congress was prompted into action and passed changes in SS cost of living increases (COLA) so the plan better kept up with inflation. Keep in mind also 1970's was a very bad time economically in USA. High interest rates and "stagflation", meant those on fixed incomes lost much purchasing power.

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by Anonymousreply 7211/16/2020

R63 why the fuck would someone eat dog food when there is low priced food available with substantial calories? I saw that episode the other night.

by Anonymousreply 7311/16/2020

r73...processed food wasnt as prevalent as it is today. You also didnt have fast food restaurants on every corner.

by Anonymousreply 7411/16/2020

According to an interview I heard with Bill Macy, Lear gave him residulas for only one year when Maude was syndicated. Don't know if that was true for Esther Rolle though.

by Anonymousreply 7511/16/2020

R73

First and foremost thanks to the economy all sorts of food simply were expensive. In opening credits of Mary Tyler Moore show you see her at supermarket picking up a small packet of meat, looking at the price, pulling a face then tossing it into cart. That was for someone working and (seemingly) middle class.

Americans were still into eating red meat which was expensive, even cheaper things like ground beef (chuck, never round). Yes, you had things like "Hamburger Helper", but you still needed some meat. There's a Mama's Family skit where Mama criticizes Eunice's meatballs as "dry". Eunice yells back that she had to use lots of bread crumbs to make a small amount of ground beef (about a pound IIRC) stretch to feed entire family.

Link below gives prices for various items in 1970's. Notice you could get 12 cans of dog food for $1.00 USD. Meanwhile ground beef was $0.98 per pound in some areas.

Best deal on "cheap" food was the infamous (or famous) welfare cheese. If you could find it also things like powdered eggs, SPAM, powdered milk, etc...

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by Anonymousreply 7611/16/2020

Another price comparison site; and it shows how food prices today have benefited from things like mass production farming/agriculture and importing.

Many foods sold today are cheaper today (when adjusted for inflation), than 1970's.

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by Anonymousreply 7711/16/2020

r71 yeah but that child was the fabulous Janet Jackson.

No but really. I think people are missing my point. I highly doubt in the late 70s people were thinking that Wilona only "found herself" after adopting Penny. People did not have those strong opinions about TV characters then. It was light entertainment and written as such.

by Anonymousreply 7811/16/2020

[quote] Did the psychicS make contact with Esther’s missing neck?

And if so, can they find mine?

by Anonymousreply 7911/16/2020

R71

You need to read up on history of African American women in this country. Long before (and after) Wilona appeared on television real life WOC were out there making things happen on their own. Many times thanks to racism and other factors they had no other choice as their men were either killed or otherwise absent.

These women did all sorts of things from founding businesses (Madam C.J. Walker) to opening shops or working as independent contractors (laundresses, maids, seamstresses, etc..)

Yes, some of these women did marry (a few more than once), but they still kept their independent businesses going.

Wilona represented one of a long line of WOC who for reasons ranging from "I can do bad all by myself", to not willing to be held down by trifling and lazy men.

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by Anonymousreply 8011/16/2020

I wonder if James and Wilona were fucking?

by Anonymousreply 8111/16/2020

R74 JJ references “Big Macs” from McDonald’s often.

by Anonymousreply 8211/16/2020

Who in the fuck would eat Alpo? Unless you were fucked up and actually liked the taste of it.

by Anonymousreply 8311/16/2020

R82...AND ?...Fast food was not that prevalent in the 70s....it was there, but they werent on every corner and there werent 20 choices.

by Anonymousreply 8411/16/2020

R84, pfffft!

by Anonymousreply 8511/16/2020

Esther Rolle was the 10th of 18 children. Yikes.

by Anonymousreply 8611/16/2020

[quote]I wonder if James and Wilona were fucking?

r81 if Good Times was set in the real world hell yeahs they were!

by Anonymousreply 8711/16/2020

Good Times was not light entertainment, it was a message sitcom and very didactic at that. Characters would regularly interject statistics in their talk. Not to say it couldn't be funny, because it was, but something like Whats Happening made no pretenses to social awareness.

In the famous Mad magazine parody, there was a frame questioning how James could have kept his hands off Willona. After that, GT increased the bickering between James and Willona to ease the sexual tension everyone else saw.

by Anonymousreply 8811/16/2020

Penny was truly an unbearable character, all all child stars adding to a faltering sitcom tend to be. Despite being an abused child she was very plump and healthy looking. She wanted to be a "star." Some awful episode had Wilona take on a second job as a security person in a store in order to pay for her little darling's dancing (or was it acting?) lessons. It doesn't work out; she is supposed to watch people in the dressing rooms from behind a mirror to catch them shoplifting, but she lets a shoplifter go because she thinks it's wrong to invade someone's privacy, even if the person is committing a crime. Ugh. And little Penny wants to sleep with J. J.! "Good Times" was really getting desperate at that point. And weren't characters inexplicably breaking out into impersonations of people like Ed Sullivan and Mae West? Boy, it was getting really awful. The death of James really spelled the death of the show.

by Anonymousreply 8911/16/2020

R89 YES! That was the oddest thing I've ever seen in a sitcom. By the final season, there were several instances in each episode of the characters imitating movie stars. Bookman would do John Wayne, Penny would do Mae West, or Cher, Keith (Thelma's football player husband) would do Clark Gable or Jerry Lewis.

I guess it was an easy way for the writers to fill up some time, but man, it stood out like a sore thumb.

by Anonymousreply 9011/16/2020

r88 are you Black?

by Anonymousreply 9111/16/2020

I remember watching a Good Times rerun (late 80s maybe?) and when I saw John Amos something in me, um, growled. I couldn't keep my eyes off him. I felt the same way about Selleck's Magnum PI and the George Peppard's character on the A-Team.

I was born to service daddies.

by Anonymousreply 9211/16/2020

[quote]Penny was truly an unbearable character

No she wasn't. And Janet deserved at least an Emmy nom for the "stomach mumps" episode where Penny was almost raped.

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by Anonymousreply 9311/16/2020

John Amos filled out those tan corduroys like nobody's business.

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by Anonymousreply 9411/16/2020

"No she wasn't."

She certainly was. Those Mae West and Cher impressions...gag!

by Anonymousreply 9511/16/2020

Did they keep the chair after the old guy’s death party? Yikes.

by Anonymousreply 9611/16/2020

Oh great, Jabba has found the thread.

by Anonymousreply 9711/16/2020

R82

Fast food of all sorts was prevalent then and still now in AA communities. Burger King, McDonald's, Popeyes, KFC and many other local outfits or national franchises serving fast food of all sorts. Hamburgers, french fries , fried chicken, even Chinese food, etc....

However the relationship between fast food and POC communities is complicated.

In many instances these local franchises were AA owned, thus it was someone in the community seeking to run a business. As in Good Times these local franchises were also often one of the few sources of employment in 1970's (or even later) AA communities.

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by Anonymousreply 9811/16/2020

Is John Amos gay? He was hot.

by Anonymousreply 9911/16/2020

[quote] [R89] YES! That was the oddest thing I've ever seen in a sitcom. By the final season, there were several instances in each episode of the characters imitating movie stars. Bookman would do John Wayne, Penny would do Mae West, or Cher, Keith (Thelma's football player husband) would do Clark Gable or Jerry Lewis. I guess it was an easy way for the writers to fill up some time, but man, it stood out like a sore thumb. —Anonymous

“Several instances in each episode?” No but throughout the series the writers did feature the cast members other talents. Johnnie Brown (Bookman) was a stage performer/singer. He sang and did impressions in him stage act. Janet Jackson did her Mae West impersonation as a very young child performing with her family. Janet and Randy did Sonny and Cher songs. Early on the show featured Ralph Carter’s singing. Janet Dubois and Esther Rolle also sang. Bernadette Stanis was taking dancing classes.

by Anonymousreply 10011/16/2020

Esther, your career in danger, gurl! But, as a psychic, you already knew that.

by Anonymousreply 10111/16/2020

Still, you have to admit, "Good Times" had the most involved studio audience ever.

You never heard anyone in the audience for "I Love Lucy" show shout out, "SLAP HER , LUCY!" when Lucy was confronting Carolyn Appleby.

by Anonymousreply 10211/16/2020

R100 I'm telling you. Go watch a random episode from the second half of the final season. It's like watching The Kopykats. They fell back on that gimmick frequently.

by Anonymousreply 10311/16/2020

[quote]Good Times was not light entertainment, it was a message sitcom and very didactic at that

I think black people and white people receive Good Times differently. It really should be a case study for university students in media perception and modern African American studies. I've heard white people call it dark and depressing to watch. I dont speak for all black people, but if you were a product of struggling black families in the 70s and 80s, you know the real depression that took place then. So for me Good Times was light entertainment.

If anything they threw in those stats and teaching moments to enlighten white people watching the show. Black people in those times, especially during the crack era, needed no education on that subject matter because we were living it. And by the 80s most network sitcoms followed the Good Times model with "very special episodes".

by Anonymousreply 10411/16/2020

The SNL parody from several years ago where Kenan Thompson plays Florida and Janet Jackson reprises her role as Penny was hilarious.

by Anonymousreply 10511/16/2020

Interesting R104. As a white kid raised by a single mom in utter poverty (though I my childhood was more 80s), I loved Good Times! Black people were my friends and neighbors so when I watched it in reruns it seemed totally normal to me. I also loved Roseanne when it came out.

Both of those sitcoms got the "depression" of being poor (I guess, though I'd never have used that word back then), but we're fucking funny as hell because they also nailed how poverty could also be hysterical.

by Anonymousreply 10611/16/2020

Suffering through watching fat faced little untalented Janet Jackson do her tired impressions in the final season was fucking agony. I kept waiting for someone to call Chip Fields up and say- We get it! You're forgiven. How long should we burn her fingers on the stove?

by Anonymousreply 10711/16/2020

R107 is off her meds.

by Anonymousreply 10811/17/2020

Did Amos quit or was he fired and did he ever work again?

by Anonymousreply 10911/17/2020

See above linked clip to interview with John Amos....

He was fired from Good Times (which everyone knows by now).

Mr. Amos being fired from GT was a blessing in disguise as he was free to do the major television series Roots. John Amos has worked consistently since Good Times, and even did a few more projects with Norman Lear, the latter by the way later admitted John Amos was right on many points about Good Times.

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by Anonymousreply 11011/17/2020

Things have not always been easy for AA actors in Hollywood film or television. Even late as 1990's you still had largely white "suits" (directors, producers, etc...) disrespecting actors who were also POC.

Della Reese speaks about how one such producer and some other suits treated Redd Fox on show "Royal Family". Treatment that continued to disrespect Mr. Fox even when he had a major heart attack on the set, and after he had died in hospital.

As already stated previously in this thread POC and whites often have totally different values/views when it comes to parenting.

Mike and Carol Brady never raised their voices to their children, much less laid a hand on them. This when they didn't tell the truth (or outright lied), went against explicit orders not to do something..... Mike or Carol would just say "now, now" then stand there and "reason" with the offending kid. John Amos/James Evans, Sr. had his own ways up to and including going for his strap.

There was one scene where family was in kitchen in morning having breakfast; James and Florida said something to each other, and Michael popped up with "gee mommy and daddy get grumpy when they don't sleep together" or words to that effect. James shot right back "you want some strap with that oatmeal? . Michael shut up , put his head down and got busy eating his breakfast.

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by Anonymousreply 11111/17/2020

I had no idea Johnny Brown aka Bookman was a Laugh-in cast member!

by Anonymousreply 11211/17/2020

A couple years, back, I watched a youtube video of a Good Times Reunion event. John Amos, Bernadette Stanis, and Ralph Carter spoke so respectfully of Esther Rolle; you could tell they admired her very much. Jimmie Walker still seemed a bit standoffish from the rest of them.

There was also a "True Hollywood Story" episode about the show. Janet Dubois said she believed part of the conflict was because "in black culture, the son does not rise above the father", though the JJ character was overshadowing the father character. Ironically, in real life, John Amos is only seven years older than Jimmie Walker. In an interview a few years back, Walker had nothing positive to say about his time with Rolle and Amos. Basically he said, "I didn't talk to them."

by Anonymousreply 11311/17/2020

"No but throughout the series the writers did feature the cast members other talents. "

WHAT "other talents?" The impersonations were pathetic. The singing was mediocre. I don't remember any dancing, except that sometimes Thelma would dance around the room. I guess the writers thought it would liven up the show to feature singing and impersonations. It didn't. It just made the show seem really dopey.

by Anonymousreply 11411/17/2020

What's Happening often spoke of beatings. Mama often asked for Raj's belt and once when Dee was playing a joke about running away, she was going to beat her and told her that she was going to enjoy doing it.

by Anonymousreply 11511/17/2020

[quote] Thelma would dance around the room.

She did more than that. Thelma danced in one of the Evans’s talent shows. Bern’Nadette Stanis took dance classes when she went to Julliard and was pretty good.

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by Anonymousreply 11611/17/2020

Why was John Amos fired? And, of course, Ralph Carter is gay.

by Anonymousreply 11711/17/2020

R117, Amos was fired because he kept threatening to beat up the writers for allowing JJ's foolish dialog to distract from the serious nature of the content. That's what Amos says in the clip above.

by Anonymousreply 11811/17/2020

FYI, Wanda Sykes named her belly fat roll "Esther".

by Anonymousreply 11911/17/2020

[quote] I guess the writers thought it would liven up the show to feature singing and impersonations. It didn't. It just made the show seem really dopey.

It seems to be a recurring thing in Norman Lear's shows- the once a year "talent show" where the main cast puts on some sort of benefit and they each get to perform. Maude did it nearly every season, One Day at a Time and The Jeffersons did it a few times, and certainly Good Times did in later years. About the only show that went unscathed was All in the Family, unless you count the school talent show with Stephanie and Edith.

by Anonymousreply 12011/17/2020

R120 I don't remember talent shows on The Jeffersons.

by Anonymousreply 12111/17/2020

They did em. Louise got everyone to come entertain for The Help Center (or to raise money for it).

by Anonymousreply 12211/17/2020

omg Maude's talent show episodes were the worst.

by Anonymousreply 12311/17/2020

Esther was a homosexualist was she not?

by Anonymousreply 12411/17/2020

"Talent shows." Was there ever such a thing in real life? They seem like a figment of a sitcom writers' imagination.

by Anonymousreply 12511/17/2020

[quote] It seems to be a recurring thing in Norman Lear's shows- the once a year "talent show" where the main cast puts on some sort of benefit and they each get to perform. Maude did it nearly every season, One Day at a Time and The Jeffersons did it a few times, and certainly Good Times did in later years. About the only show that went unscathed was All in the Family, unless you count the school talent show with Stephanie and Edith.

There are only maybe 4 episodes of Good Times that featured talent shows. Early on they did it for the Rent Party episode. Later they did it for the Day Care Center episode (featuring Gary Coleman). The last season featured a talent show in the Christmas episode. There was no “once a year.” And I don’t believe this was necessarily unique to Norman Lear productions. Since sitcoms often featured actors (like Bea Arthur) who had had theater careers or who had stage acts; the writers found ways to include that aspect of their talent. It was a win for the writers and the actors.

by Anonymousreply 12611/17/2020

I think Sanford and Son also had a couple episodes where some of the cast got to perform songs and dancing.

by Anonymousreply 12711/17/2020

" It was a win for the writers and the actors."

But not for the audience (at least not for the television audience; the studio audiences would bust a gut laughing at anything). Those talent show episodes were excruciating.

by Anonymousreply 12811/17/2020

R128 you’re entitled to your opinion. Fans of the show and fans of those actors probably disagree.

by Anonymousreply 12911/17/2020

Laverne and Shirley had at least one talent show per season.

by Anonymousreply 13011/17/2020

The sexual innuendos on "Good Times" were so gross. Little Penny, who was 10 or 11, wanted to sleep in the same bed as J.J. And that episode that featured Gary Coleman was nausea inducing. I don't know how old her was at the time but he was the size of a toddler; a mouthy, obnoxious toddler. And he wanted Penny! I remember him saying something to her like "that's no way to talk to your MAN!" Yech!

by Anonymousreply 13111/17/2020

Jeffersons only did one musical show and it was the last show of the series.

by Anonymousreply 13211/17/2020

None could sing or dance

by Anonymousreply 13311/17/2020

When she died in Driving Miss Daisy, she died in the public eye as well.

by Anonymousreply 13411/17/2020

Penny vs. Tootie vs. Dee

by Anonymousreply 13511/17/2020

Janet Jackson was 28 when she appeared on Good Times.

by Anonymousreply 13611/17/2020

Janet deserved every Emmy and Golden Globe she ever won for her stint on Good Times.

by Anonymousreply 13711/17/2020

Let's Esther Rolle!

by Anonymousreply 13811/17/2020

Imagine if Good Times had still been on during the crack epidemic?

"Hey JJ, let's have a talent show, but on CRACK!" - Willona

by Anonymousreply 13911/17/2020

Rolle With It

by Anonymousreply 14011/17/2020

Cannot recall name atm, but there is a film made in 1970's about a AA family living in the project/hood or whatever where the son does something really bad and arrives home to confront his mother. The mother hits roof upon hearing news and tells him to go and get her belt..... Young black man returns without the belt to find his mother sitting in a chair with her head down, he begins to tell her that he's grown or whatever and will be moving out on his own, only to realize in several moments his mother actually was dead.

by Anonymousreply 14111/17/2020

Even though 1990's shows about, by and or whatever towards POC audience featured the belt/strap.

Bernie Mac was always going on about "Big Mama's Belt".

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by Anonymousreply 14211/17/2020

Helmsley was a fine musician and was in Purlie on Broadway. The others probably couldn't perform in musicals.

by Anonymousreply 14311/17/2020

Was gifted a CD of various OBC and other recordings of songs from Tony award wining shows.

Popped it into player and was astounded to hear young Ralph Carter singing "Side Walk Tree" from OBC musical Raisin in the Sun.

Ralph Carter had a pretty good theater C.V. for a child/young actor before appearing on Good Times. Role of Micheal Evans put him on map as nationwide star, but afterwards work pretty much dried up. Norman Lear having seen young Ralph Carter in Raisin actually bought out remainder of contract so the young actor would be free to join Good Times.

First time saw Michael Evans the young kid pinged future "family". He's nearly 60 now and far as one can see never married and still pings to high heaven.

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by Anonymousreply 14411/17/2020

I agree with those who enjoy the several talent show episodes of Good times. I like Florida, Willona and Thelma as The Supremes, Bookman's impressions, Michael singing When Youre Young And In Love, etc. They're fun to watch, and really only the second half of each episode is performances, the rest is traditional sitcom leading up to the show. Haters need to lighten up.

by Anonymousreply 14511/17/2020

I love Maude's three talent show episodes (the benefit held at the high school auditorium, the Bicentennial celebration, and the Baby Sally telethon).

by Anonymousreply 14611/18/2020

They fucking suck. All of them. Lazy writing and excruciating viewing.

by Anonymousreply 14711/18/2020

But the Jeffersons is still the best theme song in TV history.

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by Anonymousreply 14811/18/2020

Wilona Woods had pipes.

by Anonymousreply 14911/18/2020

Dammit, now I'm feeling emotional over Redd Foxx.

Here's another clip of Della speaking of him, and in the comments are several stories about Redd helping others.

by Anonymousreply 15011/18/2020

Crying so much I done forgot the damn link.

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by Anonymousreply 15111/18/2020

Esther's rolls

by Anonymousreply 15211/18/2020

Rolle With the Changes

by Anonymousreply 15311/18/2020

The talent show eps were super fun and enjoyable, you can tell the cast is having a good time (pun intended), but the absolute worst Good Times ep of all time was a really weird one where JJ takes on managing a fat Jewish singer who sings "Send In The Clowns" in some nightclub. She had to have been some relative of Norman Lear. That ep is excruciating and the cast looks as flummoxed by it as the audience was.

by Anonymousreply 15411/18/2020

Adding the cute kid to the cast is almost always the death knell for any show. I think if Rolle would’ve stayed with the show, Janet may have not been added. Interesting the Penny character was always best when her abusive real mother was on the show. That was some dark shit.

by Anonymousreply 15511/18/2020

Penny's abusive TV mother was Tootie's real-life mother!

by Anonymousreply 15611/18/2020

Chip said that Kim's first encounter with Janet was during the auditions for that famous Ms. Butterworth's commercial. After she won the Good Times role, she would bring Janet over to her apartment to run lines for the show, which is how Janet and Kim Fields became friends. And then, of course, Kim would later appear on Good Times as one of Penny's friends.

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by Anonymousreply 15711/18/2020

R154, the singer was Judith Cohen who was a relatively successful cabaret singer at the time. Maybe not a Helen Schneider or Jane Olivor, but she was certainly successful.

by Anonymousreply 15811/18/2020

[quote] Chip said that Kim's first encounter with Janet was during the auditions for that famous Ms. Butterworth's commercial. After she won the Good Times role, she would bring Janet over to her apartment to run lines for the show, which is how Janet and Kim Fields became friends. And then, of course, Kim would later appear on Good Times as one of Penny's friends.

Remember Kim Fields classic tribute to Michael Jackson.

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by Anonymousreply 15911/18/2020

Kim (as Tootie) did not like MJ, she obsessed over Jermaine Jackson. She was his "biggest fan". Remember?

by Anonymousreply 16011/18/2020

There's an episode of "Living Single" where Khadijah was interviewing or something about Janet Jackson (maybe for her magazine), and Regine zooms out of the kitchen and as she's heading up the stairs says "tell Janet I said hey".....

Inside joke of course was the past relationship between Kim Fields and Janet Jackson...

by Anonymousreply 16111/18/2020

Esther Rolle wasn't ugly, she just didn't have a neck.

Something about Good Times made me feel at home. I don't know what it was, because I didn't grow up in that era.

Must be the ghetto in me.

by Anonymousreply 16211/18/2020

Chip also played Regine’s mom on Living Single several times. Funny stuff.

Sigh. I miss the 90’s.

by Anonymousreply 16311/18/2020

Chip also played Regine’s mom on Living Single several times. Funny stuff.

Sigh. I miss the 90’s.

by Anonymousreply 16411/18/2020

For me, it's weird to think that she would have been 100 years old this month.

by Anonymousreply 16511/18/2020

This is bad.

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by Anonymousreply 16611/18/2020

LOL, r165, you still can't deny how remarkably pleasant she was.

by Anonymousreply 16711/19/2020

Dam! Dam! Dam!

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by Anonymousreply 16811/19/2020

Oop! Correction, *r166

by Anonymousreply 16911/19/2020

I thought it was terrible how Bea Arthur was so rude about Esther in her interview she did with the Television Academy. Especially considering that only two years prior, Esther surprised Bea on the RuPaul and gushed over her saying what a mentor Bea was to her.

by Anonymousreply 17011/19/2020

Florida Evans was the only character to ever make Maude look like a complete buffoon, and she didn't even have to say much to do so. Maybe Bea didn't like that.

by Anonymousreply 17111/19/2020

What did Bea say about Esther?

by Anonymousreply 17211/19/2020

Ham! Ham! Ham!

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by Anonymousreply 17311/19/2020

Michael brought a bully home for dinner using the logic that he wouldn't be mean to Michael if Michael were nice to him.

The kid had major issues; no love at home and he mouthed off or did something and one of the Evans kids said that Dad would whip us for that and the kid says well, he ain't my dad but James decides to treat him as if he were and takes him into the bedroom (I SWEAR I"M NOT MAKING THIS UP EVEN IF I DON"T HAVE ALL THE SPECIFICS DOWN PAT) and the kid tries to escape but James pulls him back in and later James says he DOES care about the kid so he stays and experiences, at least for a little while, a family.

by Anonymousreply 17411/19/2020

here's the clip; the spanking was b/c Eddie was a guest that weekend and he didn't want to study.

As a fatherless kid, this gave me an emotional boner; getting spanked by James Evans as an adult would have given me a different kind of boner.

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by Anonymousreply 17511/19/2020

I remember that episode.....

When done (James Evans, Sr. seen putting his strap back on...) tells the kid if he was his own it would have been far worse....

While no hitting was involved, James Earl Jones in Broadway play "Fences" shows what many AA fathers did then and now to set their sons straight on life. Bringing up young AA children in USA has never been easy, but for males it was harder because their fathers *knew* what was out there, and could only do their best to prepare their sons for the harsh often racist world they would have to survive.

An AA friend told me when he was young came home from school one day and asked his mother was she his "friend". Apparently the white kids at school called their parents "friends' and were encouraged to do so by same. Guy's mother hit the roof. She told him those "little hoodlums you hang out with in street are your *friends*, I'm your MOTHER...."

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by Anonymousreply 17611/19/2020

It was a serious subject with Eddie, the tough kid who was taking Michael's lunch money and then later, he's getting a whooping.

Like all of Lear's shows, there was humor in the drama. JJ describing the levels of whooping's in 'dad's repertoire'

Eddie's all set to bolt until James says maybe he does care...a little...that night probably changed Eddie's life.

Sadly, the actor who played him died suddenly in his sleep a few years ago; late 50s.

RIP EDDIE

by Anonymousreply 17711/19/2020

Such a good scene R176. I didn’t even realize that was Courtney B. Vance back when I first saw it.

by Anonymousreply 17811/19/2020

The corporal punishment is an interesting argument because it created some depth in the Penny storyline. Willona tells her that she shouldn't go upside Penny's head to which she replied that that's what her mother always did to her. Regardless of intention, the suggestion was that regardless of what was considered acceptable in their community, some were badly affected by it.

by Anonymousreply 17911/19/2020

Tradition of beating children goes deep in AA community. It is just how generations of parents see themselves as setting their kids straight. Because Big Mommie or Big Daddy beat them, adults beat their kids.

It's still like that today... Tyler Perry's "Madea" franchise glorifies hitting children, and target POC audience laps it up.

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by Anonymousreply 18011/19/2020

Stop popping that gum!

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by Anonymousreply 18111/19/2020

As such, wasn't it sanctimonious of GT to lecture Penny's mother and make her a villain when she herself admitted that she was doing what her mother did to her and what is considered acceptable behavior in the community? She was as much a victim as Penny yet she was painted with such broad strokes that Slap Her Willona became the show's rallying cry.

by Anonymousreply 18211/19/2020

Did Mama ever beat Dee?

by Anonymousreply 18311/19/2020

R182 remember they brought her back for one episode when she married someone rich, tried to set Willona up, and still had the same anger issues? I didn’t get the feeling she was villainous when Janet joined the show. But clearly her mother had the money and means to get help, when she wanted Penny back, so I didn’t feel sorry for her in this episode. She would’ve started beating her again. She was a wretched woman after all.

by Anonymousreply 18411/19/2020

R172–Bea felt she did not have a funny bone. Her joke about her was, “My name is Esther Rolle; I don’t do windows and I don’t do comedy.”

by Anonymousreply 18511/19/2020

Bea was right about Esther. Blunt, yet correct. Esther was better at drama, as in The Incredible Hulk episode (circa 1980) in which she played a transportation (semi trucks) company owner who was being extorted. David Banner (Lou Ferrigno) to the rescue! Riveting stuff!

by Anonymousreply 18611/19/2020

Penny's mom was abused by her mom and it was what she knew. When the community looks upon beatings as something that needs to be done to raise a kid, there will be those who go overboard and the kids will be deeply scarred by it. Penny possibly could end the cycle by being raised by Willona but since James and Florida were of the belief that whooping were appropriate, did Willona as well? It was a cop out for Good Times to toss in the episode where she tries to set Willona up.

by Anonymousreply 18711/20/2020

Ms. Rolle fought from the start to make sure she was not cast as a single AA mother. She and Norman Lear (who of course were well known to each other thanks to Maude, etc...), went many rounds before the latter relented and cast John Amos as James Evans, Sr.

Again what both senior actors wanted was a show that gave another point of view about AA inner city life; a happily married AA couple attempting to raise a family with everything else going on in world that was 1970's. James Evans, Sr. didn't drink, beat his wife, cheat on his wife, sell drugs, wasn't a pimp or any of the other common stereotypes of AA men depicted at the time. He was just a hard working husband and family man trying to do his best against odds that were simply stacked against him (and other AA men) at the time.

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by Anonymousreply 18811/20/2020

Esther Rolle narrated an excellent program by Marlon Riggs called "Ethnic Notions". It explored common media images of African Americans well up until after WWII. When you watch it becomes clear what not just as actors but simply POC Esther Rolle and others struggled against, and why shows like Good Times seemed important to them.

You also see why Ms. Rolle and Mr. Amos got hot about James Evans, Jr little minstrel acts. It was something right out of the past (and noted in documentary Ethnic Notions) ; whenever things got too serious JJ would strut out his buffoon act to peals of laughter. White audiences could now calm down and not worry just as they did when watching mistral shows of old.

Some of you may be ignorant of fact or simply don't know that race tensions in USA were far from over in 1970's. Whites were still fleeing urban areas for perceived safety of nice clean suburbs, but they liked watching the goings on "in the hood" from their safe distance. They also wanted to be reassured that the "black problem" wasn't going to get too out of hand and certainly not reach the places they went to avoid that issue.

It is worth nothing that only within past several months (largely in response to BLM riots), that Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben and several other brands long rooted in depictions of AAs from another time finally are being retired.

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by Anonymousreply 18911/20/2020

For another view of AA life in 1970's concerning a single mother suggest "Black Girl", a 1972 film by Ozzie Davis.

As stated Wilona was *NOT* the only strong or whatever AA woman at that time. What Esther Rolle fought against with Good Times is everything you see in "Black Girl" a family from mother on down to two of her daughters with no ambition.

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by Anonymousreply 19011/20/2020

Clip...

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by Anonymousreply 19111/20/2020

What about Latinos in the 1970s? I loved Chico and the Man (1974 -1978).

by Anonymousreply 19211/20/2020

I wonder if she asked her psychic friends about her TV son JImmie JJ Walker F***ing the white she devil scarecrow Ann Coulter? How did they miss that ?

by Anonymousreply 19311/20/2020

[quote] Tradition of beating children goes deep in AA community. It is just how generations of parents see themselves as setting their kids straight. Because Big Mommie or Big Daddy beat them, adults beat their kids.

[quote] Penny's mom was abused by her mom and it was what she knew. When the community looks upon beatings as something that needs to be done to raise a kid, there will be those who go overboard and the kids will be deeply scarred by it.

Spanking was considered acceptable, not abuse, and MOST Americans still consider spanking to be acceptable. You do know that up into the 1980s public schools still allowed corporal punishment.

The links that some of you go through to portray black people as inferior sub human monsters, even in a silly thread like this, is astounding!

[quote] According to the 2016 General Social Survey (2002–2016), conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, 76 percent of men and 66 percent of women ages 18 to 65 agreed that a child sometimes should be spanked.

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by Anonymousreply 19411/20/2020

[quote] What about Latinos in the 1970s? I loved Chico and the Man (1974 -1978).

Did Esther Rolle star in “Chico and the Man?”

by Anonymousreply 19511/20/2020

R195, no, but Della Reese did.

by Anonymousreply 19611/20/2020

Punch me with your lap!

by Anonymousreply 19711/21/2020

I wonder what Penny did while Relona fucked dudes?

by Anonymousreply 19811/21/2020

Penny had that stupid band aid on her forehead

by Anonymousreply 19911/21/2020

Penny was clearly retarded. At least she seemed that way due to the performance.

by Anonymousreply 20011/21/2020

[quote] I wonder what Penny did while Relona fucked dudes?

[quote] Penny had that stupid band aid on her forehead

She put the band aid on her hand and went off to a warehouse to dance by herself.

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by Anonymousreply 20111/21/2020

Gary Coleman was on Good Times and The Jeffersons.

by Anonymousreply 20211/21/2020

Don't laugh, Esther Rolle resembled Yoko Ono!

They had the same spaces in their top teeth and the same smile!

by Anonymousreply 20311/21/2020

Who the fuck is RELONA?!

by Anonymousreply 20411/21/2020

[quote] Who the fuck is RELONA?!

Sounds right to me!

by Anonymousreply 20511/21/2020

Related to Aunt Esther on Sanford and Son???

by Anonymousreply 20611/21/2020

I grew up in middle class Australia.

I only discovered 'Good Times' about t 5 years ago, when it was played on new free to air 2nd tier stations.

The first few seasons were amazing but the continuing emphasis on all that was 'DynoMIIIIIte' was grating. I can only imagine how it felt for the two leads.

I had no idea Janet Jackson was going to be in it. It was shocking to see this cultural icon at such a young age.........it was even more shocking to see her do that Mae West thing at such a young age. God knows what happened to that young girl?

by Anonymousreply 20711/21/2020

Janet got the part when she was able to cry on cue for Norman Lear. She had to pretend to give him a necktie as a gift, and he in turn pretended to hate it. The tears flowed and she won the role.

by Anonymousreply 20811/21/2020

“And you too, Wuldophastoria.”

by Anonymousreply 20911/21/2020

[quote] It was shocking to see this cultural icon at such a young age.........

Madonna was not ever on Good Times.

by Anonymousreply 21011/21/2020

[quote] Madonna was not ever on Good Times.

No. The Hag would go on to lose a role on another show that happened to have cultural icon Janet Jackson in its cast — FAME.

by Anonymousreply 21111/22/2020

Putting R210 on ignore and looking at all of her anti-Janet remarks in various threads makes me REALLY relieved that Janet has tight security.

by Anonymousreply 21211/22/2020

Norman Lear could be coldly vicious to his adult stars, and passive-aggressive to the child stars, but I have never heard of Claudia Lamb (Heather Hartman on 'Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman') say a bad thing about him, and she is brutally honest about how awful Hollywood can be. She has a blog where she periodically writes at length about her experiences as a child model/actor, and she pulls no punches, especially about her terrible parents who ripped her off. If she didn't like Norman Lear, she would say so.

by Anonymousreply 21311/22/2020

[quote] Putting [R210] on ignore and looking at all of her anti-Janet remarks in various threads makes me REALLY relieved that Janet has tight security.

Sure, Jabba.

by Anonymousreply 21411/22/2020

Janbot just killed the Jabba troll. LOL

by Anonymousreply 21511/22/2020

Claudia Lamb's blog is awesome.

by Anonymousreply 21611/22/2020

[quote] Janbot just killed the Jabba troll. LOL

You're answering your own posts again, Jabba. You forgot to switch browsers.

by Anonymousreply 21711/22/2020

Clam! Clam! Clam!

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by Anonymousreply 21811/22/2020

Penny was worse than Cousin Oliver. It was good that it gave Ja'net DuBois more to do, because she was a very talented actress, but I feel sorry for her having to act opposite that.

by Anonymousreply 21911/22/2020

I bet she send pussy spray.

by Anonymousreply 22011/22/2020

Oh look, the Jabba troll has crawled out of her faggoty hole again.

by Anonymousreply 22111/22/2020

[quote] Oh look, the Jabba troll has crawled out of her faggoty hole again.

I thought you put me on ignore, you homophobic piece of shit.

by Anonymousreply 22211/22/2020

^Faggy says what?

by Anonymousreply 22311/22/2020

John Amos could still get it.

by Anonymousreply 22411/22/2020

Yeah, Amos still looks great.

by Anonymousreply 22511/22/2020
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