Controversial from its earliest radio days, Amos ‘n’ Andy depicted a pair of African-Americans trying to make it big in Chicago. Almost immediately, it generated protests from organizations such as the NAACP for portraying its leads as derogatory characters—indeed, the radio program was the work of two white men performing an aural equivalent of blackface. The TV version of Amos ‘n’ Andy was canceled after two years, but continued to do well in syndication until 1964.
Today, Amos ‘n’ Andy is considered one of the more bewildering artifacts of its time, especially by young audiences who have grown up with the diverse, culturally sensitive Hollywood we have today. -A.D.
Today’s Birthdays: Kathy Bates, recently lawless (64); Mel Brooks, still not really 2,000 years old (86); Bruce Davison, guest star extraordinaire (66); Felicia Day, Guildmaster (33); Jessica Hecht, Must-See TV supporting player (47); Pat Morita, diner proprietor (d. 2005); Gilda Radner, always ready for prime time (d. 1989).