On this day in comedy on May 11, 1991 Amen aired its last episode on NBC
This Carson Productions sitcom premiered on September 27, 1986 and starred Sherman Hemsley and Clifton Davis. Set in Philadelphia, Hemsley plays a church deacon, who moonlights as a lawyer – or vice versa. Either way, he’s not the most honest man in either profession. Actually, he’s downright crooked, but gets a pass from his loving and single daughter played by Anna Maria Horsford. She loves her deacon daddy, but she loves the pastor played by Davis even more. Yeah, her father and her man-to-be don’t always see things eye-to-eye, but that’s their problem. During the show’s run, she gets her man after pushing up on him, getting engaged, married and giving birth to a baby.
The show dealt with serious themes, but in a non-judgmental fashion. Topics such as giving birth out of wedlock, depression, suicide prevention, coveting and others were covered and mined for laughs by Hemsley and cast. The deacon is often ridiculed for his legal expertise or lack thereof. Regardless, he takes a case whenever he can and when he’s not plotting something underhanded for the church.
Amen was a ratings success for NBC. It also featured the talents of Jester Hairston, the old guy with more sense than anybody in the church; Rosetta LeNoire as his girlfriend (and later wife); Roz Ryan and Barbara Montgomery as two church sisters of the choir; Elsa Raven as the housekeeper; Tony T. Johnson as an impressionable young boy who lives next to the deacon and Bumper Robinson as an impressionable young boy mentored by the deacon.
By Darryl “D’Militant” Littleton
Check out this clip: