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Old 06-25-2012, 09:19 AM   #1
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Question Would You Consider "Gordon Howard" to Be One Of John Amos' Most Memorable Roles???

...even though he was never a big part of the MTM show?



John Amos played Gordy the Weatherman at WJM on the classic CBS comedy series "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" for three seasons.

If it hadn't been for famed Kansas City Chiefs football coach Hank Stram, John Amos may never had a four-decade long career in Hollywood, including memorable acting roles in "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," "Good Times" and "Roots."

A running back at Colorado State, Amos had tried out unsuccessfully for the Denver Broncos and was cut twice from the Chiefs. Stram, recalled the 72-year-old Amos, told him, "Young man, you are not a football player. You are a young man who happens to be playing football."

Amos had sustained a season-ending injury, a torn Achilles tendon. "To console myself, I sat in a tub of hot water with a pint of Jack Daniels and wrote 'The Turk.'" The poem's title, Amos explained, was "an euphemism for the character that comes in the middle of the night and knocks on your room door and tells you to report to the coach and bring your playbook because you have been subsequently released."

Stram, said Amos, "gave me permission to read the poem to the team and they en masse gave me a standing ovation. When he saw the team's reaction to the poem he said, 'I think you have another calling.'"

Amos put his writing skills to work as an advertising copywriter. "I would work as a copywriter during the day and then the chance came to moonlight as a comedy writer in television." Amos was hired to be part of the writing staff for the 1969 CBS musical variety series "The Leslie Uggams Show."

Though the series starring the African American singer-actress was short-lived, it led to Amos being cast as Gordy the weatherman in 1970 on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show.'" Some of the writers from "Uggams" were working on the Moore sitcom and thought he would be a perfect Gordy.

"They wrote me a few lines on'The Mary Tyler Moore Show'and thus Gordy was born and quite frankly I never looked back after that," Amos noted in a phone interview from his home in New Jersey.

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment...,7557501.story
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Old 06-25-2012, 12:46 PM   #2
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Well it's one of the two roles I remember him for! The other being James Evans on Good Times.
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Old 06-25-2012, 04:58 PM   #3
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No, it was just his first break, his memorable role was Good Times
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Old 06-25-2012, 06:50 PM   #4
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Well it's one of the two roles I remember him for! The other being James Evans on Good Times.
It's one of three roles I will always remember him for: the two you indicate and also as the adult Kunta Kinte (Toby) in Roots.
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Old 06-25-2012, 07:06 PM   #5
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It's one of three roles I will always remember him for: the two you indicate and also as the adult Kunta Kinte (Toby) in Roots.
Yes very true. Roots just took America by storm back then. I don't think John Amos was ever more popular then at that time, even when he was on Good Times.
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Old 06-26-2012, 08:06 AM   #6
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No, it was just his first break, his memorable role was Good Times

That's what I say too. I mean sure, MTM gave him his big break in acting, but how memorable could a character be with only a few lines of dialogue???

Excellent point about Roots guys...
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Old 06-26-2012, 04:13 PM   #7
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That's what I say too. I mean sure, MTM gave him his big break in acting, but how memorable could a character be with only a few lines of dialogue???

Excellent point about Roots guys...

He should have been cast as a "intelligent janitor" because I never saw the point of him being in the newsroom with such a minor role. Atleast with the janitor role you would understand why he was not seen much
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Old 06-27-2012, 10:25 PM   #8
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He should have been cast as a "intelligent janitor" because I never saw the point of him being in the newsroom with such a minor role. Atleast with the janitor role you would understand why he was not seen much

That's a good point Sol, My guess and this is only a guess, the reason Amos didn't get much dialogue is because the writers probably didn't know how to write for a black man at the time.
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Old 07-08-2012, 11:04 AM   #9
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That's a good point Sol, My guess and this is only a guess, the reason Amos didn't get much dialogue is because the writers probably didn't know how to write for a black man at the time.

I don't blame him for taking the role. I would have snatched it in a heartbeat. Then went back and forth between MTM and Maude, then went to the producto derivado Good Times.
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Old 10-20-2017, 01:39 PM   #10
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It's the "Rerun Syndrome" - the show has played so much in syndication you get used to seeing his appearances. Feels like he he did more than he did. However, it wasn't a bad part and they should have used him more - perhaps if he didn't get "Good Times" he might have stayed on more regularly for the balance of the series. (His last regular episode actually airs about a week before "Good Times" had it's mid-season premier)

Same thing with Howard Morris's Earnest T.Bass on "The Andy Griffith Show" - he only made 5 appearances but it seems like more because of the constant reruns over the years.
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