Good Times (1974–1979)
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The Dinner Party 

The Evans family fears that neighbor Gertie's secret meatloaf ingredient may be canned dog food.



(created by), (created by) (as Michael Evans) | 6 more credits »

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Episode cast overview:
James Evans, Sr.
Willona Woods (as Ja'net Du Bois)
Michael Evans
Thelma Evans (as Bernnadette Stanis)
Frances Foster ...


Florida and James decided to ask their friend Gertie Vincent to give Thelma singing lessons with the money they have leftover after paying their monthly bills. Unfortunately, they find out that Gertie has retired from giving voice lessons. They then find out through Wilona that the reason Gertie retired is due to the fact that for every two dollars she brings in through her teaching the government takes away one. However, they are in for more of a shock when they find out that things have gotten so bad for her that she is now forced to eat pet food. The Evanses decide to invite her over for dinner to help her out. However, when she brings meatloaf that she made, they are afraid that she is feeding them pet food. Written by Brian Washington <>

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Release Date:

11 February 1975 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


While the plot of this episode's undeniably funny, this (and an episode of the The Rockford Files: The Attractive Nuisance (1978), were actually inspired by a national scandal (instigated by a report on 60 Minutes (1968)) which said that due to the effects of the high inflation rates (especially on the retirement incomes of the elderly), many weren't able to afford decent food and some were resorting to eating pet food. Congress ended up mandating automatic yearly increases in Social Security (and other Federal programs) to help alleviate this problem. See more »


Ms. Gertrude Vinson: [Ms. Vinson - who's been invited to eat with the Evans' family, because they heard she was eating dog food, has shown up - with a surprise main course; meatloaf] Now, Florida, you've had me over as a guest dozens of times. Please allow me to do something in return.
Florida Evans: No, no, no. You're our guest!
Ms. Gertrude Vinson: I'm an old woman, and a stubborn one. If you don't allow my meatloaf to be the main course, I won't stay.
James 'J.J.' Evans, Jr.: Bye!
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Crazy Credits

Ralph Carter courtesy of the Broadway musical "Raisin". (Closing credits. This original Broadway production ran from October 1973 to December 1975.) See more »


References The Towering Inferno (1974) See more »


Good Times
Music by Dave Grusin
Lyrics by Alan Bergman & Marilyn Bergman
Performed by James Gilstrap and Blinky (as Blinky Williams)
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User Reviews

Shouldn't happen to a dog
5 January 2017 | by (Youngstown,Ohio) – See all my reviews

"The Dinner Party" finds the Evans family getting ahead financially, the children's part time jobs leaving them an extra $35 at month's end. Florida decides that Thelma can take singing lessons with neighbor Gertie Vinson (Frances Foster), only for Gertie to announce her unexpected retirement. Willona delivers the news that Gertie has been forced to give up teaching to avoid cuts in her social security check. Michael learns something even worse while taking out her garbage, that Gertie has been reduced to eating cans of dog food. The family invites Gertie to dinner with them but she has other ideas, bringing her famous meat loaf with her. Assuming that it's made from dog food everyone scrupulously avoids the meat loaf, JJ saying the grace: "the Lord is my German shepherd!"

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