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Dy-no-mite! 'Good Times,' Set in Chicago's Cabrini-Green, Aims for Movie

By DNAinfo Staff | February 17, 2016 2:25pm | Updated on February 17, 2016 2:54pm
 The cast of
The cast of "Good Times"
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CHICAGO — The cast of the made-in-Chicago '70s sitcom "Good Times" has launched a crowdfunding effort to make a movie.

And one of the show's stars promises it will be "dy-no-mite!"

The sitcom was set in a Chicago public housing complex (Cabrini-Green was seen at the beginning of the show) and told the story of an African-American family. The show's biggest star was son J.J., played by Jimmie Walker, whose catchphrase "dy-no-mite!" became a national sensation.

John Amos, who played the father, says in a Kickstarter video that "Good Times" was an autobiography created by writer Eric Monte, who grew up in Cabrini-Green on the Near North Side.

Monte, said Amos, was "a native Chicagoan who knew what he was writing about — he wrote about a family living in the Cabrini-Green projects, a family beset by economic problems, social problems, etc."

"That's who this family was, and that's who this family is today," said Amos.

The Kickstarter effort is attempting to raise $1 million for a movie that will depict the family today.

Esther Rolle, who played the mother, Florida, died in 1998. But most of the other cast members are on board with the project, currently dubbed "The Original Good Times Movie."

Amos said the cast has remained friends since the show went off the air in 1979 after a five-year run, though Amos has said that he was pushed off the show for complaining that the clowning J.J. character reflected badly on black people.

In a video, Walker acknowledges the Evans family has aged.

"No, we don't look the same. We're not the Simpsons — we're not animated. We are real. More wrinkles, more cracks. More this, more that," Walker said.

Walker described the planned movie as a "docu-dramedy comedy."

"It's going to be dy-no-mite!" said Walker.

The cast admits that it does not hold the "Good Times" copyright. But an attorney for the effort said it can be made without the rights holder, Sony.

"The whole premise of the movie is to show the Evans family in the future and what they’ve all become without bringing in the old," lawyer Shaun Weiss tells deadline.com.

On the Kickstarter site, the cast writes: "From the day we walked off the set of Good Times, forty years ago, all we have heard is  When are you going to have a Good Times reunion? Our audience have told us they need completion. They tell us we are not finished with the first Black T.V. family show."

Jimmie "J.J." Walker is seen in this 2014 file photo. [Getty Images]



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