It was a surreal night of TV on ABC. The network aired a live special called Live In Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear's All in the Family and The Jeffersons, which reproduced classic episodes of Lear’s two beloved sitcoms with new casts. Jamie Foxx and Wanda Sykes played George and Louise Jefferson, while Archie and Edith Bunker were played by Woody Harrelson and Marisa Tomei.

And here is Harrelson and Tomei loudly and badly (which is entirely accurate in this case, since Archie and Edith weren’t exactly opera singers) performing the original All in the Family theme song, “Those Were the Days”:

Want to see how Harrelson and Tomei compare with the original Archie and Edith played by TV legends Carroll O’Connor and Jean Stapleton? Here you go:

The rendition of The Jeffersons theme on Live In Front of a Studio Audience sounded a little better than that; it was sung by the incredible Jennifer Hudson.

The evening’s co-host and producer Jimmy Kimmel said Live In Front of a Studio Audience was a “dream come true” and “a testament to the greatness of these shows.” Lear claimed he wanted to show those who say “over and over again that these two shows were meant for the '70s and would not work today” were wrong. It will be interesting to see whether the ratings bear that out. The recreation of the original shows was impressive, and made for a unique night of TV. I wouldn’t mind seeing more classic shows brought back to life for a special night here or there. How about Night Court next?

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