S5 E24 That’s Entertainment, Evans Style

Hello again friends and fans. Thank you for joining me for another review of GT. Here we wrap up our fifth season with an episode that showed the Evanses and Willona putting on a charity event to save a day care center. Hope you enjoy the review. untitled 524

J.J. was out of town at an advertising convention in New York City. Thelma put something like a good luck charm in his pocket and hoped he would find it before getting on the plane. Michael added if he didn’t, the plane wouldn’t get off the ground. Penny came in a young neighbor named Gary (played by up-and-coming star Gary Coleman). She actually got away from him but he followed her in the apartment. Thelma told Penny not to be so hard on him because she found him cute. when she went to pat him on the head, he said “wait your turn, momma”. Penny told him he liked older, taller men. Thelma asked them to go inside and play while they waited for Willona and Gary’s mother to come get them. Michael asked Thelma how her soup was cooking. When she tasted it, she made a sickening look, then she said it was delicious. Willona and Gary’s mother, Joyce Daniels, came in and his mother just got her first paycheck from the beauty salon she worked at. Gary and Penny came out of the room arguing because Gary said they were closing the day center his mother put him in.

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Willona asked Penny and Gary to go to her apartment and play while they discussed the matter. Gary offered to play doctor but Willona informed him that no one plays doctor with Penny unless they had four years of medical school, an internship and  a residence. Bookman came in and called Gary little buckaroo, Gary said “hey, watch the threads, lardo” (such a brat). Bookman confirmed it was true about the day care center and Mrs. Daniels found herself in a bind. She couldn’t hire a babysitter because it would take up half her paycheck. She couldn’t find another day care center and it took her 6 months to get him in that one. Also, she didn’t want to go on welfare again. She wanted to make it on her own. after she excused herself to go home and ponder about her dilemma, Willona called Alderman Davis and left him a nasty message. Ironically, he showed up at their door. He repeated his claim about the Evans family being his favorite project people. He also, of course, got Willona’s name wrong. She asked him about the day care center. He explained that the funds used to keep the day care center going were temporarily frozen. Willona came up with the idea of putting on a talent show to raise the money to save it. He then called his office to listen to his messages with a remote answering service (probably the closest thing they had to a cell phone at the time).

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The show went on at a local disco that Alderman Davis rented for them. However, trouble ensued when they found a flyer stating that several celebrities, including harry Belafonte, Wolfman Jack, Carol Channing, Tony Bennett and John Wayne, were to perform. Willona assured Joyce that the people came to donate to a worthy cause, not to see any celebrities. She needed to swallow her words when the audience chanted “we want Belafonte”. Willona came out to try to calm the crowd down. She introduced Michael and Penny, who sang a duet on “You Don’t Have To be A Star”. Next, she introduced Thelma, who danced to the song “Native New Yorker”. Willona stated she was so hot she had to call the fire department to hose down the audience. The audience resumed their demands for Belafonte and the other celebrities. Bookman came out and did his Wolfman Jack impression.  He followed that with Nat King Cole and Billie Holliday, then Carol Channing, John Wayne and Tony Bennett. After his multi-performance, he let on that he was responsible for the faux posters, causing Willona to chew him out. Alderman Davis came up to speak. Gary went and gonged him with a cymbal. When he introduced Willona to do the final act, he finally got her first name right but mistook her last name for “Weeds”. She sang a beautiful song while Penny stood admiringly. They ended up $300 short of saving the day center but Alderman Davis kindheartedly offered to donate the additional funds. Willona then announced they would change the name of the center in honor of the alderman, but his “modestly” prevented him form accepting, he decided they should call it the friends of the honorable Fred C. Davis. Willona had the audience join her in singing “He’s The Champ”.

Original airdate April 3, 1978

Written by Kim Weiskopf and Michael S, Baser

Directed by Gerren Keith

Guest stars Albert Reed (4th appearance), Gary Coleman, Saundra Sharp

J.J. was not in this episode

A good episode. This one put the cast members talents to the tests. It also demonstrated the stupidity of Bookman, thinking he meant well. It even showed the other side of Alderman Davis. A superb performance from Gary Coleman. Although he was an obnoxious brat, he played the part extremely well. Next, we move in our final season, and the return of Florida.


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