*As noted in that famous scene with a mourning Florida Evans in the kitchen yelling, “Damn, damn, damn,” the death of her husband James was a notable event in the history of TV and the classic show “Good Times.”
And while the departure of James came as a surprise for Florida, the actor who played the Evans patriarch revealed that he was just as shocked after receiving word that he was no longer on “Good Times.”
“I felt that with two other younger children, one of whom aspired to become a Supreme Court justice—that would be Ralph Carter, or Michael—and the other, Bern Nadette Stanis … she aspired to become a surgeon. And the differences I had with the producers of the show … I felt too much emphasis was being put on J.J. and his chicken hat and saying ‘dy-no-mite’ every third page, when just as much emphasis and mileage could have been gotten out of my other two children…” Amos told the American Archive of Television regarding the reason why he was kicked off the show.
In Amos’ eyes, “Good Times” had too much shucking and jiving, which was something he couldn’t take anymore. The entertainer admits that he “wasn’t the most diplomatic guy” back then. Adding to that, Amos said producers got tired of having their “lives threatened over jokes.”
All of the drama came to a head when Amos received a call out of the blue that his character was no longer needed. Amos recalled receiving the news from “Good Times” creator Norman Lear himself during the show’s hiatus.
“Big John, I got some good news and some bad news. What do you want to hear first?” Amos said Lear asked him.
“Hey, it’s your dime, you made the call,” Amos replied.
From there, Lear gave him the good news, which involved “Good Times” being picked up for another season. For Amos, that news wasn’t a surprise.
“You want the bad news?” Lear asked.
“Sure, how bad can it be?” Amos asked.
“You won’t be with us,” Lear responded.
Despite not being surprised by the new since was he was already labeled a “disruptive element,” Amos mentioned that he was shocked.
And for those wondering how Amos responded when Lear asked if he wanted to say something, it was real simple. He said no and hung up the phone.
So there it is. Apparently Amos’ got fired for not wanting to be a part of something he knew wasn’t right.
To see Amos’s interview with American Archive of Television, check out the video below: