Why We Love John Amos

This is a JOHN AMOS appreciation post. The man has done it all in Hollywood, but rarely gets the props he’s earned. From The Mary Tyler Moore Show all the way to The West Wing, the Newark, NJ native has been exceptional. Yes, most of us know him from his roles on Good Times and in the record-breaking miniseries Roots, but it was only after watching the film Coming to America for the 79237864th time that it struck me just how genius the man is at his craft. It was one scene in particular that made it plain: the two minute stretch when Cleo McDowell was welcoming King Jaffe Joffer and Queen Aoleon Joffer to his Jamaica Estates home and made three mad dashes to the front door to get rid of Daryl Jenkins, that he put his full comedic arsenal on display. The pratfalls. The ad libs. The nervous energy. All of it. It was then, and of course the episode when he played James Evans on Good Times and took wife Florida to the cabin for the weekend and hilariously attempted to mask his affection for Miss December that cemented John Amos as an improv legend. As he reprises his role as the McDowell patriarch this week in Coming 2 America, let’s bomb him with the flowers he deserves for giving us more than we’ve deserved during his outstanding career.

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