If there was any question as to whether ABC’s All in the Family and The Jeffersons tribute special was live on Wednesday night, Jamie Foxx sure settled that.
The Oscar winner, 51, flubbed one of his lines during the 90-minute recreation of two of Normal Lear’s biggest shows — breaking out of character and telling the audience, “It’s live! Everyone sitting at home just thinking their TV just messed up.”
Foxx was playing George Jefferson in the episode, the character created by Sherman Hemsley who debuted on All in the Family back in the ’70s before leading The Jeffersons spinoff. He was supposed to be insulting Anthony Anderson’s Uncle Henry in the scene, but couldn’t get the bit out.
“Ever since I was a little boy, I would always beg my mother for a little brother. But you know, we were broke,” Foxx said, stumbling on the punchline, “so all we could afford was you.”
Most of Foxx’s costars remained cool through the mishap, including Anderson, Wanda Sykes (playing Weezy Jefferson) and fellow Oscar winner Marisa Tomei (as Edith Bunker). Others on set, including Woody Harrelson (Archie Bunker), Ike Barinholtz (Mike Stivic) and Ellie Kemper (Gloria Stivic) seemed to break, themselves, laughing hysterically at the mishap.
Of course, Foxx — a sitcom veteran who honed his sketch comedy chops on four seasons of In Living Color — saved the moment with his natural charisma. Eventually, his cast picked up the ball and plowed ahead without skipping a beat.