Watch Jennifer Hudson rock the deluxe apartment with her joyous Jeffersons theme song

See her soulful rendition of "Movin' on Up" in a perfectly recreated set.

Image: ABC

Last night, ABC rewound the clock to the 1970s. To the dates October 20, 1973, and January 18, 1975, to be exact. Jimmy Kimmel teamed with television legend Norman Lear to recreate two classic episodes of his pioneering sitcoms All in the Family and The Jeffersons. An all-star cast brought the Bunkers, the Jeffersons and their many neighbors back to life by performing the episodes "Henry's Farewell" and "A Friend in Need" live before a studio audience. 

It was a savvy selection of episodes. "Henry's Farewell" was the first All in the Family episode to feature Sherman Hemsley as George Jefferson. Prior to that episode, George was never seen onscreen, only talked about as the neighbor who refused to set foot in the Bunker household. At last, in "Henry's Farewell," a party and some clever goading from Archie lures George into the living room. That was followed by "A Friend in Need," the pilot episode of The Jeffersons that saw the couple hiring a housekeeper.

Frankly, we found the Jeffersons remake to be more effective, largely thanks to MVP Jamie Foxx. He may have charmingly flubbed a line in the All in the Family bit, but the actor really leaned into emulating Hemsley from his speech to his physical mannerisms. Marissa Tomei was equally inspired as Edith Bunker. 

There were surprises, too. Marla Gibbs reprised her role as sassy maid Florence Johnston, earning an emotional standing ovation.

Cheers alum Woody Harrelson and Tomei teamed up to sing "Those Were the Days" at the piano, just as Carroll O'Connor and Jean Stapleton did back in the day. That left audiences to wonder what exactly the live production would do for "Movin' on Up," the soulful sing-along so wonderfully belted out by Ja'net DuBois. 

Enter Jennifer Hudson.

Sporting high heels and an afro, Hudson strutted through the perfectly recreated "deluxe apartment in the sky" set. Quite simply, she slayed. It was enough to make us okay with a reboot.

Take a look and a listen.


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anthony 1 month ago
For AITF it look like the original set.Wonder if they borrowed Archie and Ediths chairs from the Smithsonian?
stephaniestavropoulos 1 month ago
I realize that these are Norman Lear's shows and he can do to them whatever the heck he wants, but he must really be hard up for money! I couldn't sit through them knowing full well that I wasn't seeing IS, JS, SH, CO etc., pretending to be those characters. Was JH the best they could find to belt TJ theme song? Apparently they couldn't find someone from NY {which is where the show is set,} instead of someone from my neck of the woods {Chicago/Chicagoland area;} to sing it? Like I said, NL must really be hard up for $$ to do to his shows what he did to them on the the 22 of May, 2019. What's next on the live performance agenda: Live performances of an episode of Hello Larry /My Mother The Car?!?!
My Mother the Car was not shot before a live audience. Hello, Larry would work, however.
I'd like to see Love on a Rooftop or Occasional Wife.
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RkBke 1 month ago
marisa tomei nailed it with her performance of edith
Lacey RkBke 1 month ago
Which is interesting seeing how Marisa is older now than Jean Stapleton was at the time.
Lantern 2 months ago
I saw these last night - they were just OK.
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