Nathan Bookman, the building superintendent, played by Johnny Brown
|Housing project building superintendent|
|Relationship with the Evans as well as other tenants in the building, tense to say the least, as he always, at least initially, threatens eviction if they're behind in the rent just a day|
Redeeming qualities are shown in him as the series progresses, even to the point where he befriends the Evans family and Willona
|Spouse(s):||Violet Bookman (wife)|
|Related to:||children, mentioned only|
|Appeared on:||Good Times|
|Episodes appeared in:||58 in Seasons 2-6|
|Character played by:||Johnny Brown|
Ever so effectionately referred to as "Booger" or "Buffalo Butt", Nathan Bookman is the housing project's indolent superintendent. The part of Bookman is played on the series by Johnny Brown. First appearing in the episode "The Family Business" in Season Two, Bookman, who started out as a recurring character before becoming a main character in Season 3, appears in a total of 58 episodes throughout the show's run.
At first, as first depicted in Mr. Bookman's first appearance in the episode "The Family Business" in Season 2, Nathan's relationship with the Evans family and Willona starts off quite uneasily.
In the episode, when James, upon the prodding of the family, gets a brainstorm idea to launch a fix-it repair shop business in the apartment, since he's a whiz at fixing appliances, and TV's and transistor radios of others who live in the building, Nathan offers resistance in of a clause in his lease prohibiting the operation of commercial activities inside rental units, but winds up using that as extortion, to get James to fix a busted TV for him as well as other repairs for free!
Nathan has been known to cook up a scheme or two that could get them evicted, but the Evans family is always two steps ahead of him. As time goes by, they all learn to cohabit in the same housing project. No matter how big "Buffalo Butt", as James began calling him, may seem to get, there's room for everyone in their Chicago neighborhood.
Over time, though, Nathan's character developed to the point where he wasn't as much of antagonist, as he was a nuisance, at times showing some redeeming qualities, and some sense of character and humanity, as in the Season 5 episode "The Evans Get Involved: Part 4", when Willona, who was trying to adopt Penny Gordon, an abused child who lives in the project building, went so far as to try to pose as her husband to the social worker, while she was at work; when it's found out by the social worker that Willona, who returned home at time to catch Bookman talking to the social worker, that not only that Willona and Bookman weren't married, but that she was single, it almost derailed the adoption.
In another instance, in the Season 4 finale episode, "Love Has a Spot on His Lung: Part 2", Bookman offers Carl Dixon, Florida's fiancee, who was diagnosed with Cancer, some encouragement when he reveals that he saw the same doctor whom he was seeing five years earlier, when he was diagnosed with the same kind of Cancer which Carl had, and that he was fotrunately able to beat it, as the doctor asked him to talk to Carl, who was having reservations of proceeding with he and Florida's engagement plans as well as telling her why.
In the episode "Bye, Bye, Bookman" in Season 5, Bookman and his wife Violet (Marilyn Coleman) concoct a scheme to try to get the Evans to help get his super job back after Willona, who's always had an uneasy relationship with Bookman, and who also was the one who alsways derisively called him "Booger", started a petition of complaints for the tenants for his shoddy work in perfomance of his job, as in constant complaints of no running water, leaky roofs, and no electricity or heat in the wintertime, he loses his job.
Over time he and Willona's relationship isn't as hostile, even developing to the point of friendship, as he did put in a good word for her in the "The Evans Get Involed: Part 4" episode, when the case worker for Penny contemplates denying Willona's adoption application, but then reconsiders, and accepts and pushes through the adoption.
In the episode "Willona, the Other Woman", also in Season 5, Willona returns the favor to Bookman as in putting a good word in for him, when his wife Violet, in thinking that she and Bookman were fooling around, kicks him out of their house, as he's forced to temporarily stay with the Evans, until Willona convinces Mrs. Bookman that nothing's going on between the two of them, as she helps the Bookmans reconcile.