704 Hauser (1994) – Reverse Bunkerism…

In 1994, Norman Lear created 704 Hauser – yet another spin-off of All in the Family. The show featured a Black family, the Cumberbatches, who now reside in Archie Bunker’s former home although they’re quite the opposite of the Bunker clan. To tie into the original series, Archie’s grandson, Joey, makes an appearance in the pilot as a visitor who wants to see the old family home.

In some sort of spin-off inception, the show starred John Amos of Good Times fame. Good Times, also developed by Norman Lear, was a spin-off of Maude, which was a spin-off of All in the Family.

Amos played Ernie, a working class liberal whose opinions find him continuously sparring with his family:

  • His wife Rose, catering entrepreneur and devout Christian.
  • Thurgood Marshall aka Goodie, his son the conservative Republican
  • Cherlyn, Goodie’s liberal Jewish girlfriend, although his parents would prefer he date a Black woman, or, as Ernie put it, “a beautiful Nubian sister.”

As you can probably guess, the show tackles topics like religion, politics, racism, and blackness – comments/arguments about which can still be heard today, right now, probably happening on twitter as we speak. They’re an intelligent group of folks but not without their flaws.

The show ended up running for only five episodes before CBS cut it loose leaving one episode unaired. Perhaps the audience wasn’t ready but I honestly did have some laughs and even saw some some glimpses of current hit Black-ish and even more so in The Carmichael Show.

You can check out all five episodes on YouTube. Here’s the first: