On this day on January 19, 1999 The PJs premiered on FOX.
This controversial stop-motion animated sitcom showed life in the projects. Each episode dealt with slumlord, Thurgood Stubbs (the voice of Eddie Murphy) and his ways to get out of fixing tenant’s dwellings, consuming ghetto grub (including Forties) and his schemes to beat the system. His wife, Muriel (Loretta Devine) is an ole Alabama girl who attended school back in the George Wallace (not the comedian) days and his friends are as lazy as he is. Thurgood’s got tenants who hate him, kids who idolize him and crackheads, relatives, in-laws and law enforcement officials who get on his last nerve.
The PJs was created by Eddie Murphy, Larry Wilmore and Steve Tompkins. It was produced by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s Imagine Entertainment, Will Vinton Studios, Touchstone Television and The Murphy Company. The music was provided by George Clinton and QD3. The show was popular, yet laborious to produce; each installment took no less than 2 months to complete. In its final season The PJs moved from Fox to the WB. Murphy was AWOL (rumored to be off filming a movie) and replaced vocally by Phil Morris (Mark Moseley, Murphy’s voice double is also heard throughout). When that third season was over the sitcom was canceled, but aired for a while in syndication.
During its 3-year run The PJs won 3 Emmys and an Annie Award.
The PJs aired its last episode on January 8, 2002.
By Darryl “D’Militant” Littleton
Check out this clip: