ABC’s The Jeffersons and All in The Family event aired Tuesday night and demonstrated some of the side effects of doing live television.
From Jimmy Kimmel and iconic producer Norman Lear, the event recreated an original episode from both series. It was hosted Lear and Kimmel, directed by James Burrows and produced by Sony Pictures Television.
The stars were Woody Harrelson (Archie Bunker), Marisa Tomei (Edith Bunker), Jamie Foxx (George Jefferson), Wanda Sykes (Louise Jefferson), Ellie Kemper (Gloria Stivic), Kerry Washington (Helen Willis) Will Ferrell (Tom Willis), Ike Barinholtz (Meathead), Sean Hayes (Mr. Lorenzo), Amber Stevens West (Jenny Willis Jefferson), Jovan Adepo (Lionel Jefferson), Anthony Anderson (Uncle Henry), Stephen Tobolowsky (Mr. Bentley) and Jackée Harry (Diane Stockwell).
Original The Jeffersons star, Marla Gibbs, also reprised her role as Florence Johnston (One Day at a Time’s Justina Machado was originally set for the role).
Here’s what ABC said of the landmark shows:
From 1971 through 1979, All in the Family was in the homes of millions of Americans, tackling controversial subjects for the first time such as women’s rights, racism and homosexuality. The series followed Archie Bunker as the highly opinionated, working-class family man who viewed the world on his terms. When not arguing with his liberal son-in-law, Archie took refuge in his wife, Edith, who tried to understand Archie’s conservative ways and outdated beliefs. The award-winning series shaped ongoing political and social conversations among American families in the post-civil rights era.
The success of All in the Family launched The Jeffersons, running from 1975 to 1985. It was the first television series to feature an interracial couple, and it would go on to be one of the longest-running African-American shows on TV. The series followed George and Louise Jefferson moving on up to the east side and showcasing what it was like to be successful in a predominantly white world. The series changed the landscape and helped shift conversations about race and class, paving the way for other African-American actors and TV shows.
Portraying the role that was made famous by Sherman Hemsley, Jamie Foxx as George Jefferson slipped up on a line, after which he turned to his castmates and said, “It’s live! Everyone’s sitting at home thinking their TV’s just messed up.” The crowd supported, cheering as they got everything back on track.
Most folks on Twitter supported Foxx and the rest of the cast after the mishap:
— Michael Klinck (@MichaelKlinck) May 23, 2019
— Brandon Pope TV (@BpopeTV) May 23, 2019
Jamie Foxx as George Jefferson, the slight over exaggeration on the body movement. Perfect!
— A.C. Junior (@OfficialMisterC) May 23, 2019
— DKT (@darleneturner53) May 23, 2019
— Nikki Pressley-Brown???? (@NikkiPressley) May 23, 2019
Love how Marisa didn’t break character at all while everyone else lost it when Jamie Foxx flubbed his line
— tv stuff, etc… (@tvstuffetc) May 23, 2019
— Jamey_Giddens (@Jamey_Giddens) May 23, 2019
Loved the All in the Family and Jeffersons tonight on ABC. Loved. It. Highlight: Kerry Washington, Jennifer Hudson, and Marisa Tomei. Low light: not a damn thing.
— Dave Zirin (@EdgeofSports) May 23, 2019
— Terria (@randomassmfer) May 23, 2019
‘The Jeffersons’ And ‘All In The Family’ Live ABC Event Finds Its Lionel, Jenny, Henry And More