'Good Times' ' John Amos Makes Surprise Appearance on 'Live in Front of a Studio Audience ' Special

John Amos, who starred in the original 1970s sitcom, made a cameo in ABC's updated restaging of a classic Good Times episode

Viewers received a special treat on Wednesday night during a star-studded live restaging of a classic episode of Good Times.

As part of ABC’s second installment of Live in Front of a Studio Audience, produced by Jimmy Kimmel among others, a cast of current A-listers took on roles from the 1970s Norman Lear sitcom, as well as All In the Family.

During the re-staging of the Good Times episode “The Politicians” — which originally aired in November 1975 as part of the show’s third season — actors like Andre Braugher, Viola Davis, and Tiffany Haddish inhabited the legendary TV roles for one night.

In a surprise nod to the original series — which ran between 1974 and 1979 — original cast member John Amos made an appearance on the live broadcast. Instead of reprising his iconic role as patriarch James Evans, the 79-year-old actor played Alderman Fred Davis, a man running for local office.

The episode finds the Evans family in political disagreement as they lean individually toward voting for Davis or his opponent, played by recent Emmy winner for When They See Us, Jharrel Jerome.

Eric McCandless/ABC

The politically charged storyline was fitting for its Wednesday night airtime, as the broadcast was interrupted several times due to updates from the House of Representatives’ vote to impeach President Donald Trump happening simultaneously in Washington, D.C.

For the All in the Family live show, actors Woody Harrelson, Marisa Tomei, Ike Barinholtz, Ellie Kemper, Kevin Bacon and Jesse Eisenberg also took on retro roles.

Also featured in the Good Times live staging cast were SNL alum Jay Pharaoh, This Is UsAsante Blackk, and Corinne Foxx, daughter of Jamie Foxx, who starred in the first iteration of Live in Front of a Studio Audience back in May.

The first Live in Front of a Studio Audience scored huge ratings and earned three Emmy Award nominations. It went on to win for Outstanding Variety Special, which made Lear the oldest Emmy winner ever.

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John Amos and Esther Rolle Good TImes
John Amos and Esther Rolle in Good Times, 1975. CBS Photo Archive/Getty

Amos, who is also known for his work in Die Hard 2 and The West Wing, is set to reprise his role alongside Eddie Murphy in next year’s long-awaited comedy sequel to 1988’s Coming to America.

Braugher, 57, filled Amos’ shoes for the broadcast, honoring a role that made the Brooklyn Nine-Nine actor interested in the entertainment business in the first place.

“I grew up watching John do this role, so for the three years that I think he played this role, he was really a role model,” he told Entertainment Tonight. “I wasn’t even interested in being an actor and I was fascinated by everything that was involved in what it took to make these shows.”

He added: “And the stories, I think, they continue to resonate. Because what the writers on the Norman Lear shows realize is that human nature hasn’t changed,” Braugher added. “Consequently, when you talk about real things, people are very interested in them.”

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