'Good Times' Live: John Amos Makes Surprise Appearance in New Role

ABC's Live in Front of a Studio Audience got off to a rousing start thanks to Good Times. In the special, starring Viola Davis, Andre Braugher, Tiffany Haddish, and Jay Pharoah, had a surprise appearance from John Amos, the actor who originated the role of James Evans Sr. While Braugher has taken over the role for ABC's re-imagining of the Norman Lear classic, Amos appeared as Fred Davis on the program. And, naturally, he brought all the laughs.

In the episode, the Evans family is divided in their support for two different local politicians, Davis (Amos) and Jimmy Pearson (Jharrel Jerome). Of course, he played a much different role when he originally appeared on the program for three seasons back in the '70s.

Fans were thrilled to see Amos appear on the show, and said as much on Twitter.

"OMG! Tears when John Amos showed up!! Yes!!! Loved me some good times," one Twitter user wrote.

"Yaassss for the original James, John Amos!!!" another user wrote. "Looking good! Too funny that's hes playing "Balderman" Davis!"

"Wow. Chills. John Amos returning to 'Good Times' after leaving the show decades ago," yet another wrote.

At the end of the Good Times episode, Jimmy Kimmel acknowledged that there were other actors from the original broadcast who were present for the live taping. He then introduced Jimmy Walker, BernNadette Stanis, and Ja'Net Dubois who received a roaring round of applause from the audience.

In addition to Good Times, ABC will also air a live version of All in the Family. Marisa Tomei, Ike Barinholtz, Woody Harrelson, and Ellie Kemper will reprise their roles for the broadcast (they also appeared in the live All in the Family production in May). Kevin Bacon, Jesse Eisenberg and Justina Machado will also appear.

Kimmel, who has partnered with Norman Lear for Live in Front of a Studio Audience, recently spoke to Variety about what it was like to put on another production of Lear's classics.

"We got a lot of enthusiasm and it made it a little easier to explain because we had done it before" Kimmel told the production. "So we didn't have to start from scratch and explain what was going on, and if it was going to work. Everyone involved saw it and wanted to be a part of it. And for us, there are so many great people that we wanted to work with."


Photo Credit: ABC/Eric McCandless