Good Times

Season 2 Episode 19

The Dinner Party

Aired Unknown Feb 11, 1975 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
24 votes

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Episode Summary

The Dinner Party

An elderly resident of the projects appears to be living on pet food after Michael takes out her garbage. The Evans family's attempt to do something for her is complicated when she brings a meat loaf to dinner and the kids suspect it is made from dog food.


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  • A classic.

    This is a rarity in television. Taking on a very politically incorrect and "distasteful" subject. Eldery people so poor they have to eat Dog Food. Now before anyone says "that is silly" was a reality for people back then. The Dinner scene when the woman introduces her "MEATLOAF" dinner is one of the funniest things I ever saw as they all try and avoid eating itr fearful the woman made it from dog food. There are also some good jokes in this one. A unique are literally about 120 sitcom plots and this one is just Beyond any standard plot. Television would not allow this ewpisode to air probably on CBS in 2015. It would be called "offensive " racist" "distastefu;" insensitive" and mean spirited. But it presented some hard Truth about poverty. a 10.moreless
  • The Evans family worries that an older neighbor has brought a dog food meatloaf to their dinner.

    The Dinner Party is a very dark episode in which the Evans family discovers that older neighbor Gertrude is so poor, a victim of threatened Social Security cuts, that she is forced to eat dog food. Tension is relieved through comedy, when dinner guest Gertrude insists that the family try her homemade meatloaf, which everyone assumes is made of pet food. Anyone who has watched enough sitcoms is waiting for the comic misunderstanding (think Threes Company), that Gertrude is not really eating dog food, but is hiding a dog, or some other comic hijinks. Instead, the writers do not cop out, do not compromise, and it turns out that Gertude really is that poor and yes, eating Alpo. Gertude decides that rather than being just another victim of social injustice, she will take action and fight back with the help of other seniors. In typical Norman Lear fashion, things may get really bad, in this case for the elderly poor, but the American dream is always within reach and change is possible. Another good episode in a hit or miss show.

Ja'net DuBois

Ja'net DuBois

Willona Woods

Esther Rolle

Esther Rolle

Florida Evans (1974-1977), (1978-1979)

John Amos

John Amos

James Evans (1974-1976)

Jimmie Walker

Jimmie Walker

James "J.J." Evans, Jr.

Ralph Carter

Ralph Carter

Michael Evans

Bern Nadette Stanis

Bern Nadette Stanis

Thelma Evans Anderson

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Michael: I just got an extra nickel! Ms. Vincent gave it to me for carrying down her garbage.
      Florida: Oh, Michael, you shouldn't have taken money from Ms. Vincent. That poor woman don't know where her next meal is coming from.
      Michael: If things are that bad, Mama, then why'd she buy a dog?
      James: Michael, Ms. Vincent ain't got no dog.
      Michael: Then how come her garbage was loaded with empty dog food cans?
      Florida: Gertie's garbage loaded with empty dog food cans?
      Michael: Yeah, Mama.
      [Everyone looks astonished]
      Florida: Oh no!

    • Thelma: You know, Ma, I read once that one third of pet food products are eaten by people.
      Florida: The way things are going, that doesn't surprise me.

    • Florida: Gertie's quit giving singing lessons.
      Willona: That's just the headlines, I've got the inside scoop. You know the government gives her a social security check for $200 a month which is just NOT enough to live on, which is why she's been giving singing lessons. But did you know that for every $2 she makes from singing lessons they take away $1 from her social security?
      James: What kind of deal is that?
      Willona: It's the latest dance called the Washington D.C. Boogie. Everytime you take two steps forward you get dragged back.

    • Willona: These are the new clothes from the boutique.
      Thelma: They sell those clothes?
      Willona: Every chance they get, this is the recession rag. If Madam is going to the unemployment office we recommend these jeans with the cuffs and patches here and patches here. If you're going to the bread line this outfit can also work, but with this blouse. (takes off her jacket revealing a two color BUSTED$ shirt)
      Thelma: Willona, how much is that blouse?
      Willona: Almost as much as a loaf of bread, $25.
      Florida: I'm not rich enough to look that poor.

    • Gertie: At my age, I have to have a sense of humor. What's the first thing they do when you're born? They slap you on the behind. Then the slaps, kicks, and punches keep comin' until they put you in a pine box. I'm gonna do all the laughing I can before I'm boxed!

    • Gertie: We not only have black power, we got Medicare power!

    • J.J.: The Lord is my german shephard...

  • NOTES (1)