Live in Front of a Studio Audience adds Viola Davis, Jharrel Jerome, Tiffany Haddish, more
Live in Front of a Studio Audience: All in the Family and Good Times just announced a star-studded cast of actors who will portray the Evans Family during the Dec. 18 airing on ABC.
Viola Davis and Andre Braugher will bring to life Florida and James Evans, originally played by Esther Rolle and John Amos on the hit Norman Lear series Good Times, which debuted in 1974. Dy-no-mite and out of sight J.J. Evans, originally played by Jimmie Walker, will be played by Jay Pharoah. His younger siblings Thelma (originally played by BernNadette Stanis) and Michael (Ralph Carter), will be played by Corinne Fox and Asante Blackk.
Comedian Tiffany Haddish will play the fashionable, nosey neighbor Willona Woods (Ja’net DuBois).
Jharrel Jerome will also be part of the cast, but his role is as yet unknown. There are two main male characters from Good Times that have not been announced as of yet. Could he be playing building superintendent a.k.a. Buffalo Butt Nathan Bookman (Johnny Brown)? Or maybe Thelma’s husband, Keith Anderson (Ben Powers)?
The majority of the series’ original cast members are still alive, with the exception of Rolle and Carter. Marla Gibbs surprised everyone who watched the first Live in Front of a Studio Audience, where she reprised the role of The Jefferson’s maid Florence Johnston.
And since Mr. Lear loves surprises, wild card appearances could include Janet Jackson, who played Willona’s adopted daughter Penny on the series and reprised the role for a Saturday Night Live skit in 2013; Debbie Allen, who played J.J.’s drug-addicted girlfriend Diana Buchanan; Kim Fields, who played Penny’s friend Kim; and Kim’s mom Chip Fields, who played Penny’s birth mother.
The legendary Patti LaBelle, fresh off her stint on The Masked Singer, and black-ish star Anthony Anderson will perform a special musical number for audiences.
It was previously announced that Woody Harrelson, Marisa Tomei, Ellie Kemper, and Ike Barinholtz will be reprising their iconic roles as Archie and Edith Bunker, Gloria Stivic, and Meathead, alongside newly added stars Kevin Bacon, Jesse Eisenberg, and Justina Machado whose roles will be announced live.