NBC (ended 1991)
Rate Show
169 votes
  • Episode Guide
  • S 5 : Ep 22

    Deliverance (2)

    Aired 5/11/91

  • S 5 : Ep 21

    Deliverance (1)

    Aired 5/4/91

  • S 5 : Ep 20

    Date with an Angel

    Aired 4/27/91

  • S 5 : Ep 19

    Three's a Crowd

    Aired 4/13/91

  • S 5 : Ep 18

    The Wild Deak

    Aired 4/6/91

  • Cast & Crew
  • Bumper Robinson

    Clarence (1990-1991)

  • Anna Maria Horsford

    Thelma Frye

  • Sherman Hemsley

    Deacon Ernest Frye

  • Montrose Hagins

    Leola Forbes (1989-1991)

  • Clifton Davis

    Rev. Reuben Gregory

  • show Description
  • One year after the demise of The Jeffersons, Sherman Hemsley returned to television to star in another hit sitcom as Ernest Frye, the lawyer and scheming deacon of First Community Church of Philadelphia, and who intended to keep it under his thumb. Unfortunately, the new minister, Rev. Reuben Gregory, had other ideas and every week he quietly deflated the strutting deacon. Both, of course, really had the church's best interests at heart. Frye's 30-year-old romantically frustrated daughter, Thelma, developed a massive crush on the new pastor. Other members of the church board included chattering sisters, Amelia and Casietta Hetebrink and Rolly, the board's wise old voice of reason.moreless

  • Top Contributor
  • maritimer00

    User Score: 260


  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (4)

    • Reuben quotes Lord Byron's poem "She Walks in Beauty" when he cites it to Thelma's snooty classmate at the reunion. Later, he looks deep into Thelma's eyes and tells her, "You walk in beauty like the night."

    • Deacon Frye: You cannot put a restraint upon marriage. It is the foundation of society.

    • Hetebrink Sisters:: (singing) Say say my playmate, come out and play with me, and bring your dollies three, clomb up my apple tree, slide down my rainbow into my cellar door and we'll be jolly friends forevermore! (Jeannette, who had stopped screaming during the song, starts screaming again after the song)

    • Rolly: (remembering his Army training days when he was stationed in Germany) One fraulein on my left arm, one fraulein on my right arm and one on my lap. Reuben: What were you training for, Rolly? Rolly: I don't know, but I sure got good at it.

    Notes (48)

    • Continuity: exterior shots used to represent the deacon's home in the pilot (and in subsequent episodes of 'Amen') clearly show a screen door leading on to the porch. During the series' run, these shots will occasionally be updated featuring different, more modern automobiles. But there is always a screen door. However, the interior set of the deacon's home never features a screen door. The characters enter and exit the house by using just one large wooden door.

    • After the pilot, E'lon is dropped as a regular member of the cast, but he will pop up again as a guest playing the same character.

    • After the pilot was sold, the role of the administrative assistant 'Michelle' was eliminated. The Hetebrink sisters, who had been shown in scenes as board members, were now more fully integrated, taking over as the church's two secretaries.

    • Franklyn Seales does not remain a regular member of the cast after this pilot episode. That's because he was still under contract to Columbia Pictures Television for his role in 'Silver Spoons.' 'Silver Spoons' had been cancelled by NBC in the spring of 1986. But after Seales made the pilot for 'Amen,' the producers of 'Silver Spoons' struck a deal to make new episodes for syndication. Therefore, Seales had to bow out of 'Amen,' but he would still appear on a recurring basis in the role of choir director Lorenzo Hollingsworth.

    • In this episode, the deacon walks through the chapel to the church offices to begin the first scene of the show. The music stops when the first lines are spoken. For the remainder of the series, after the deacon walks through the chapel, we see an overhead view of the church.

    • This is the first episode where we see Sherman Hemsley engage in physical comedy (with special guest Nell Carter). There is a scene in which she beats him up, slams him to the floor and carries him out of the room.

    • This the first time we see the Frye kitchen. The set is very different compared to how it will look later in the series. It is narrower, the door to the dining room is located a bit more upstage, there are many more wall ornaments and the walls are painted another color. Also, the stove is not located near the dining room door where it will be seen in other episodes but is on the far wall away from the door.

    • No guest stars appeared in this episode.

    Show More Notes

    Trivia (145)

    • Rev. Gregory says he was once arrested for picketing against racism outside the South African Embassy.

    • During the interview, Rev. Gregory says he has the following credentials: he has a Bachelor's degree from Morehouse College; he has a Master's in Religious Education from Yale Divinity School; and he possesses a Doctorate in Christian Studies from Union Theological Seminary.

    • The first shot of the opening credits in this episode (and all the show's episodes) shows Sherman Hemsley driving into the church parking lot. We see a sign that reads: 'Reserved, Deacon Frye, Don't Even THINK About Parking Here!'

    • The setting for 'Amen' is Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    • The show's theme song was written by famed gospel musician Andrae Crouch.

    • The theme song for 'Amen' is "Shine On Me" sung by Vanessa Bell Armstrong.

    • In real life, Sherman Hemsley was only 9 years older than Anna Maria Horsford, who played his daughter Thelma on this series.

    • The Hetebrink sisters act as if they're about the same age. In real life, Barbara Montgomery was 12 years older than Roz Ryan.

    Show More Trivia

    Allusions (27)

    • The episode title refers to Sid Caesar's program Your Show of Shows.

    • The title for this episode is based on "Yes Sir, That's My Baby", a hit song from 1925.

    • Glengarry Glen Ross, which the episode title refers to, is a 1982 play written by David Mamet and later made into a movie.

    • The title comes from the phrase 'What's Up Doc?'

    • The episode title comes from the hit song by the Mamas and the Papas of the same name.

    • The title is taken from a popular Bruce Springsteen song of the 1980s.

    • 'You Bet Your Life' was an American radio and television quiz show hosted by Groucho Marx.

    • The title for this episode is inspired by the song 'Dueling Banjos,' an instrumental composition made famous by the 1972 motion picture 'Deliverance.'

    Show More Allusions
  • Fan Reviews (10)
  • Sherman Hemsley follows up his successful run on 'The Jeffersons' with this hit sitcom about the lives of a Philadelphia deacon; his lovelorn daughter; members of the local church community; and the minister they hire.

    By JarrodMcDonald, Dec 11, 2009

  • This far fetched sitcom about a struggling church in Philadelphia. Some of the plots are far fetched and silly

    By Krammar, Dec 08, 2008

  • Can't really say to much without sounding sacreligious . . .

    By ez1jb, Aug 25, 2006

  • A Philadelphia church is the setting for this amiable and refreshing show.

    By Lokar, Jul 30, 2006

  • Just a great comedy.

    By makgambit, Jul 16, 2006

  • Latest News