13 November 2003 | raysond
Classic 1980's sitcom that was a big hit with the religious circuit
Once he was the loud and arrogant character George Jefferson for the eleven years that actor Sherman Hemsley was on "The Jeffersons". This time around he is still rude,loud,arrogant,and cunning as Deacon Ernest Frye who is head of the Philadelphia Community Church,trying to keep everything in his church firmly under control within the supervision of his organization while on the side works as a defense lawyer under the watchful eye of the Reverend Reuben Gregory,played by Clifton Davis.
The show was called "Amen" and it ran on NBC-TV from 1986-1992. For the six astounding seasons that it was on the air it was the network's grand Saturday Night Line-up which consisted of the shows "227","Hunter" "The Golden Girls",and "Empty Nest" during the 1980's for the peacock network. Also to point out,"Amen" was one of the most watched shows that garnered a huge African-American audience everytime is came on,but you have others that tune in to the show as well. The show was very hilarious at times and extremely funny especially with the strong comedical support from Sherman Hemsley,because you'll never know what Deacon Frye was to do next so expect the unexpected. Also to point out it also has a strong supported cast with included Roz Ryan(Sister Amelia),Barbara Montgomery(Sister Casietta),Jester Hairston(Rolly Forbes),and the silliest character of them all which was the breaking point of the entire series,the uncanny Thelma Frye(Anna Maria-Horsford) who would stop and nothing at all to get the man of her dreams,only to end up with some very hilarious results. Horsford was without a doubt one of the best comedians of her day,especially with the performance of Thelma Frye will always go down as one of the best supporting actresses in an 80's sitcom,and it shows this too. This was a show that was never too preachy but it remained funny at times while not being too religious and that is something that was never tried before,especially with a grand 80's show,with a talented African-American cast. The show still comes on during various times in certain syndicated markets,but it remains to be seen,since it also runs the repeats at least twice a day on cable's BET network. The creator of this show was none other than Ed. Weinberger who was behind some of the greatest sitcoms ever made including "The Mary Tyler Moore Show","Taxi",and of course "Cheers".
However,as for the rest of cast of this great series,Sherman Hemsley, Anna Maria-Horsford,Roz Ryan,Barbara Montgomery are still seen in certain sitcoms and feature films nowadays,but the great Jester Hairston,who was with Clifton Davis in the LOST 70's sitcom "That's My Mama!",is no longer with us. He passed away several years ago. As for actor Clifton Davis,well,he is still doing feature films and makes guest appearances on certain sitcoms,but is also on the gospel circuit these days and also is head of the Department of Dramatic Studies over at Elizabeth City State University in Elizabeth City,North Carolina.
A show that is sorely needed today,in a time of despair and sorrow. And "Amen" was just that too.