Amos and Andy

Amos and Andy Cast

Series Description

The Amos and Andy TV show was a 30 minute comedy series on CBS about a the leader of the Mystic Kinghts of the Sea Lodge nicknamed "Kingfish" who was constantly trying to talk his lodge brothers into getting involved in get rich quick schemes that always went sour. Andy Brown was one of Kingfish's most gullible suckers and came back for one failed scheme after another. The stories were told from the point of view of philosopher and cab driver, Amos Jones.

Amos and Andy Cast

Alvin Childress .... Amos Jones
Spencer Williams .... Andrew "Andy" Hogg Brown
Tim Moore .... George "Kingfish" Stevens
Johnny Lee .... Algonquin J. Calhoun
Ernestine Wade .... Sapphire Stevens
Nicodemus "Nick" Stewart .... Lightnin'
Amanda Randolph .... Ramona "Mama" Smith
Lillian Randolph .... Madame Queen
Jester Hairston .... Henry Van Porter / Leroy Smith
Jane Adams .... Ruby Jones

Amos and Andy Trivia

During its first season, Amos and Andy came on right after the George Burns and Gracie Allen Show. During that same one-hour time slot, ABC aired "Stop the Music" and NBC aired "You Bet Your Life" and "Treasury Men in Action".

Amos and Andy was nominated for an Emmy in 1953 for "Best Situation Comedy" but it lost the award to "I Love Lucy".

It's unlikely that the Amos and Andy TV show will ever be publicly broadcast again due to controversy over racial stereotyping. The series did typically portray black people as dim witted and unscrupulous. To be fair, however, the show also was the first time that black characters were shown as businessmen, policemen, judges, lawyers and other prominent members of society. We should also be aware that other series of the day portrayed white comedic characters as dim witted (Lucille Ball as Lucy Ricardo) (Jerry Lewis) and cheap and sneaky (Jack Benny). Of course, those instances did not have the history of slavery as a background so it's understandable why the stereotyping seen on Amos and Andy might be more objectionable to black people than the stereotyping of redheads or misers. Even though the show had good ratings, CBS canceled it when the NAACP complained about how black people were portrayed. In 1966, reruns of Amos and Andy were discontinued after more such protests from the black community. Those renewed protests were fueled by the fact that CBS had sold rerun rights to Kenya but the Kenyan government banned the broadcast of the series. After that, CBS found that no TV stations would buy rerun rights and the episodes have not been broadcast since then.

The series' theme song was titled, "Angels' Serenade" and was composed by Gaetano Braga.

The Amos and Andy TV show was preceded by an Amos and Andy radio show that had aired on NBC radio. It was one of the longest-running shows ever on radio! The voice actors who played the roles of Amos and Andy on the radio were actually white men who had created the show! When the show moved to television there was a huge effort was undertaken for four years in order to find black actors to replace them! Tim Moore who played Kingfish and Spencer Williams who played Andy were actually talked into coming out of retirement to play their roles!

Amanda Randolph and Ernestine Wade were the only two actors who made the move from radio to television.

You may have noticed that the actresses who played the roles of Mama Smith and Madame Queen both have the same last name. Amanda and Lillian Randolph were sisters in real life!

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