Even seasoned professionals make mistakes — and especially on live TV in front of a studio full of superstars and sitcom veterans.
The joke was supposed to go, "Ever since I was a little boy, I would always beg my mother for a little brother — but, you know we were broke, so all we could afford was you."
But in real time, Foxx made it neatly through the whole set-up before stumbling and stuttering repeatedly on the punchline "all we could afford was you."
As Foxx regained his composure, he expertly owned the moment to the enjoyment of the studio audience. The unexpected break in character led to a few smiles from the other stars in the scene, including Anderson, who tried not to laugh as Foxx smiled sheepishly.
"It's live," Foxx quipped. "Everyone sitting at home just thinks their TV messed up." He then turned around, fought back another laugh, finished the joke and accepted praise from the cheering audience.
Woody Harrelson, who played Archie Bunker, couldn't help but hide his full-on laughter, at one point turning away from the cameras entirely. Ike Barinholtz and Ellie Kemper, playing Mike and Gloria Stivic, also enjoyed the moment.
Meanwhile, sitcom veteran Wanda Sykes, who played Weezy Jefferson, and Oscar-winner Marisa Tomei, who played Edith Bunker, maintained their composure like the pros they are, making sure to usher the episode forward following Foxx's endearing flub.
Fans had plenty of praise for the way Foxx handled the error.
Jimmy Kimmel's long-awaited tribute to Normal Lear, Live in Front of a Studio Audience, also included a live staging of All In The Family's groundbreaking spinoff, The Jeffersons, where original cast member Marla Gibbs made a surprise, unannounced appearance as her role as the Jeffersons' housekeeper, Florence Johnston.0comments
The role was supposed to have been played by One Day at a Time star Justina Machado, according to press releases for the event, so when the door opened to reveal Gibbs onstage, the audience immediately went wild, showing just how beloved the actress is.