On This Day in comedy in 1996 The Jamie Foxx Show premiered on the WB.
The semi-autobiographical sitcom showcased Foxx’s talents as a singer, musician, actor and comedian. Foxx plays Jamie King, an aspiring entertainer who moved from Terrell, Texas (Foxx’s real life hometown) to Los Angeles to become a star. To provide an income while he chases his dream he works at his Aunt Helen (Ellia English) and Uncle Junior’s (Garrett Morris) struggling hotel.
Foxx finds a comedic foil in the person of hotel accountant, Braxton P. Hartnabrig (Christopher B. Duncan). He’s an uptight brother who finds Jamie’s style not to his liking. They provide comic relief with each encounter sliding in verbal jabs whenever possible. The love life portion is covered by co-worker Francesca “Fancy” Monroe (Garcelle Beavais). At first it was Jamie liked her and she didn’t care, but eventually they start dating and become engaged.
The Jamie Foxx Show was never a ratings king. Then again the WB was not a big ratings gathering network. It was relatively new when this sitcom hit the air, but the show aired for 5 seasons and helped resurrect the career of Garrett Morris after his 1994 near-fatal shooting.
The sitcom and Foxx received multiple award nominations during its run with Foxx winning the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series in 1998. The last episode of The Jamie Foxx Show was broadcast on January 14, 2001.
By Darryl “D’Militant” Littleton