Listening to old time radio programs of Amos and Andy, and was wondering:
It’s called Amos & Andy, but Amos is hardly ever in it, he’s almost a minor character. It’s always about Andy and Kingfish, but rarley Amos.
(yes, I know it was 2 white guys, and most consider raciast, but I found it to be funny…sorry)
It didn’t start out that way. Keep in mind that the early radio programs were serials, not individually-packaged sitcoms, as was the case in TV for many years. (In recent years, though, the trend has been more toward a soapish, story-arc model, though.)
Anyway, Amos was a small-town boy who went to the big city, meeting up with man-about-town Andrew Hogg Brown. Over the course of the radio serial, Amos would later get married and have a family.
This, in the eyes of the writers, diminished Amos’s value as a leading character. As a family man, it just wasn’t practical to have him in so many misadventures with Andy.
This led to the elevation of Kingfish to a more noticeable role. So, later in the series, although “Amos ‘n’ Andy” was the title, it was more about the misadventures of “Kingfish ‘n’ Andy.” Thus when the series came to TV in the early 50s, Kingfish was really the star, and Amos often just appeared to introduce the story. This was in keeping with where the radio series had led them.
This opinion comes from a documentary I saw some time ago.
The interesting thing about the TV show was that you could ARGUE that it was racist but it took place in an almsot entirely black universe. Cops, judges, doctors as well as the idiotic and foolish main characters were all black. So there was a sort of balance.