Type keyword(s) to search

Quick Hits

Remembering SNL's 2004 Good Times Sketch

Saturday Night Live reenacted Good Times years before Live in Front of a Studio Audience
  • Finesse Mitchell, Maya Rudolph, J.B. Smoove, Kenan Thompson and Janet Jackson in SNL's 2004 Good Times sketch. (Photo: NBC)
    Finesse Mitchell, Maya Rudolph, J.B. Smoove, Kenan Thompson and Janet Jackson in SNL's 2004 Good Times sketch. (Photo: NBC)

    It turns out this week's Live In Front of a Studio Audience event isn't the first time Good Times has gotten the live TV reenactment treatment. 

    Nearly sixteen years ago, on April 10, 2004, Saturday Night Live parodied the classic Norman Lear sitcom with a mash-up of some of Good Times' most memorable episodes in a sketch that prominently features that night's host, Janet Jackson. 

    Jackson, of course, got her first big break playing Penny Woods in the original Good Times at the tender age of 11. Joining her in the sketch playing family matriach Florida Evans is Kenan Thompson (in the first year of his stellar run on SNL), along with Finesse Mitchell, Maya Rudolph, Tracy Morgan, Chris Parnell, and J.B. Smoove (who was an SNL writer at the time).

    The sketch (which can be viewed in its entirety above), pokes fun at the various bad breaks that befell the Evans family during the show's six year-run on CBS, with particular focus on down-on-her-luck Penny, who suffered a life of abuse and squalor before being adopted by Evans family friend and neighbor Willona.

    Also referenced in the sketch are moments from or inspired by the following Good Times episodes:

    Black Jesus (Season 1 episode 2), in which J.J.'s portrait of Black Jesus brought sudden luck to the Evans family.

    The Dinner Party (Season 2, episode 19), in which The Evanses suspect their elderly neighbor is surviving on dog food. They invite her over for dinner but are faced with a dilemma when she insists on bringing the meatloaf.

    Thelma's Scholarship (Season 2, episode 23), in which Thelma has a chance at winning a scholarship to the prestigious Alliston School for Girls.

    The Big Move (Season 4, episode 2), in which a grieving Florida utters the now famous line Damn Damn DAMN! 

    Rich is Better Than Poor...Maybe? (Season 4, episode 10), in which J.J. wins the lottery, only to be robbed at gunpoint by Thelma's tutoring student.

    ABC has yet to announce which episode of Good Times will be reenacted on Wednesday's Live In Front of a Studio Audience.

    Jed Rosenzweig is the Founder and Publisher of Primetimer. 

    TOPICS: Live in Front of a Studio Audience, ABC, NBC, Saturday Night Live, Chris Parnell_(Actor), Finesse Mitchell, Janet Jackson, J.B. Smoove, Kenan Thompson, Maya Rudolph, Tracy Morgan