There’s nothing that can quite perfectly prepare a thespian to perform on live TV, it’s a stressful gig, even for singer, rapper and Oscar winner actor, Jamie Foxx. While recreating the iconic role of George Jefferson on ABC’s TV special, Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s All in the Family and The Jeffersons. Only there’s few else who could do this character justice.
However, Foxx didn’t let the screw up ruin the rest of his performance. He laughed at his own mistake, commented “It’s live!” as if the others on set didn’t realize, and like a professional moved along with the show. Impressively enough, his co-stars remained in character and didn’t break as Foxx worked his flub for the live audience.
Foxx kept the joke going by ad-libbing, “Everyone at home thinks their TV just messed up,” and you can see Marisa Tomei in the background as Edith Bunker, just shaking her head, “No.” It’s obvious Foxx is trying hard not to laugh himself, so he turns around, takes a beat, and pushes himself right back into the scene to finish his speech from the iconic All in the Family episode “Henry’s Goodbye,” which preempted The Jeffersons spin-off.
Making the mistake all the more obvious, fans of the original sitcom know exactly how Jefferson’s speech is supposed to go. With jokes and undertones still relevant today, this goodbye party from All in the Family Season 4 episode six, originally aired on October 20, 1973, and it’s easy to see why ABC chose to remake this particular episode. It’s a perfect example to show why this particular sitcom was so popular. All in the Family was both way before it’s time, and a hit while airing mainstream TV.
Flub aside, Foxx was perfectly cast as George, as was comedian Wanda Sykes as Louise Jefferson, Justina Machado playing Florence Johnston, Anthony Anderson as George Jefferson’s brother Henry, Jovan Adepo as Lionel Jefferson, and Will Ferrell as neighbor Tom Willis. Adding to the stellar cast, Amber Stevens West as Jenny Willis Jefferson, Stephen Tobolowsky as Mr. Bentley and Jackee Harry as Diane Stockwell.
However, the response to Foxx’s mess up from viewers was not disappointment, only more laughter. Fans tweeting about the show were already loving his performance, and his tripping up on his own words only made his George Jefferson, a role originated by the late Sherman Hemsley, all the more endearing.
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