Typical Amos 'n Andy storyline has the boys trying to make a go of their "open-air" taxi business while they get caught up in a society hassle, involving driving musicians to a fancy party.... See full summary »
Melville W. Brown
Freeman F. Gosden,
Charles J. Correll,
When Andrew Sterling, a successful black urbanite writer buys a vacation home on a resort in New England the police mistake him for a burglar. After surrounding his home with armed men, ... See full summary »
E. Max Frye
Samuel L. Jackson,
Riley worked in an aircraft plant in California, but viewers usually saw him at home, cheerfully disrupting life with his malapropisms and ill timed intervention into minor problems. His ... See full summary »
In order to assemble their dream cast, the producers enticed veteran performers Tim Moore (George "Kingfish" Stevens) and Spencer Williams (Andrew Brown) with very lucrative (for the time) offers, as both had already retired after long careers in show business. See more »
[Kingfish is on trial]
Would you mind telling the court under just what circumstances you met the defendant?
Andrew Hogg Brown:
Well, about eighteen years ago at a carnival, I reached into my pocket to get my wallet and shook hands with Mr. Stevens.
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I saw this series, pretty much all of it, on TeeVee when I was a kid. I can speak from the remembered experience then as well as my reaction on seeing the series again now.
The role we expect film to take now is rather complex, but fifty years ago on TeeVee the very best one could hope for was to be transported to an unfamiliar place. Some TeeVee shows did this, "Twilight Zone," "Have Gun Will Travel" and this. For a white kid in the suburbs in the near south, watching urban blacks really was transporting.
There is a dummy involved, but no dumber than the typical TeeVee foil. There is a running gag the primary one where words are misunderstood and mispronounced. This was also typical, though I suppose one could argue that it meant something more venal in the context of an oppressed people.
But I knew none of that as a kid, and certainly knew nothing of the radio predecessor which was (I've read) overtly racist. But this kid saw a stable society of working folks, married and with good sense. This context was all the stronger with the one or two buffoons in contrast.
And many of the episodes were funny and clever to boot.
I think this is worth watching today simply because of the controversy surrounding it. Now the viewers get to confront themselves and examine one corner of this dark phenomenon. I still think on the surface that is vastly more ennobling than most of the black-created material of today. But I wonder about the women...
Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.
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