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"The Houseguest"
Season 2, Episode 20
Number (#33) in series (133 episodes)
Good Times episode - The Houseguest
James reveals Ernie's true career, a problem gambler, to Florida, as they confrot him here about some missing silver salt/pepper shakers in scene from "The Houseguest".
Tape date January 30, 1975
Air date: February 18, 1975
Network/Country: CBS-TV
Written by: Jack Elinson, Norman Paul, John Fenton Murray & Elon Packard
Directed by: Herbert Kenwith
Production code: 220
IMDb logo IMDB The Houseguest
Cast Information
Starring: Esther Rolle
John Amos
Jimmie Walker
Ja'net Dubois
Bern Nadette Stanis
Ralph Carter
Guest starring: Thalmus Rasulala
Raymond Allen
Ernie Barnes
Ernie Wheelwright
Episode guide
Episode chronology
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"The Dinner Party"
(a.k.a. Dog Food Lover)
"My Girl Henrietta"
List of Good Times seasons/episodes

The Houseguest is the twentieth episode of Season 2 and the thirty-third episode overall. Written by Jack Elinson, Norman Paul, John Fenton Murray, and Elon Packard, the episode, which was directed by Herbert Kenwith, originally aired on CBS-TV on February 18, 1975.

Synopsis Edit

James' childhood friend brings more than old stories when he comes to visit - his $5,000 gambling debt brings two thugs looking for payment to the Evans household.

Storyline Edit

A childhood friend of James' arrives for a visit and quickly his gambling problem becomes an Evans family problem when two criminals show up looking for him to pay off a $5,000 debt. Meanwhile, with a house guest, J.J., Michael and James must learn to share the pull-out couch in the living room.

Plot summary Edit

James (John Amos) welcomes his childhood pal Ernie Harris (Thalmus Rasulala) into the Evans household. Ernie regales the family with old childhood stories of he and James, whom he used to call "Patches" growing up, as James claimed that he was "the poorest kid on the block", as he said while other kids had "patches on their clothes", he had "patches on his patches!"

Ernie also boasts of his success in the, as he claims to be, "public-relations business" as well as . That Ernie may be slightly exaggerating becomes clear when a pair of unsavory-looking hoodlums show up at the apartment, demanding immediate payment for an enormous gambling debt, $5,000 to be exact.

When James, who was able to get the hoods to leave by telling him that Ernie had dropped by briefly then spilt confronts him, Ernie makes as if it's no big deat, saying "For $10,000 they'd kill you, but for $6,000, they'd only break your arm!"

When James, who said that he couldn't have any of Ernie's gambling influence around his family, he tells Ernie to leave; but, before Ernie leaves, James goes into his briefcase, only to find some sterling silver salt and pepper shakers which was a family heirloom, worth about $80, that Florida and James got as a wedding present. As he reveals Ernie's true occupation "gambler, aka, loser", to the family, but insists that if he takes the shakers, as he tells Ernie, "It'll only prove you're sick!", in that he has a problem with his gambling addiction.

As Ernie goes to the door, he turns back, and takes the shakers, claiming "I'll bring them back, with interest!"

Guest starringEdit

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