The writing is very good in this episode. It combines humor and a healthy dose of psychology. Plus, the premise is set up very nicely in the first scene, and there isn't really a moment wasted. First, we learn the deacon has a phobia of snakes. Then, the story progresses to the deacon's visit to a shrink. Finally, the action culminates in a classic scene involving him and a live boa constrictor. Again, if there were a greatest moments of 'Amen' type episode, the bit with the snake slithering all over the deacon would have to be included. I think this episode proves that Sherman Hemsley was one of the best when it came to doing physical comedy, more than any other sitcom actor of his era (with the possible exception of John Ritter). It puts him right up there, in the ranks of people like Lucille Ball. In fact, Lucy did a lot of stunts to get laughs, but I don't think she ever did a snake episode. After the magic show episode, I would list this as Sherman Hemsley's second best episode. His talents are on full display, and it shows that he would do anything to get a laugh and entertain an audience. It cements his reputation post-Jeffersons, and it shows how hard he worked each week.
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