Kevin Bacon will go back in time this holiday season. The 61-year-old Footloose alum has been cast in ABC’s upcoming holiday special, Live in Front of a Studio Audience, which was first announced last month. The special will feature recreations of holiday-themed episodes of Norman Lear’s 1970s sitcoms All in the Family and Good Times.
Bacon will join Jesse Eisenberg and Justina Machado in unknown roles in the All in the Family segment, according to Variety, while Woody Harrelson and Marisa Tomei will play Archie and Edith Bunker and Ellie Kemper and Ike Barinholtz will play Gloria and Mike “Meathead” Stivic, as they did in the previous live special earlier this year. There has been no announcement on who will take on the Good Times roles in the special, which is set to air Wednesday, Dec. 18 (8/7c) on ABC.
Bacon took to social media to tease his live TV appearance with what he described as an “amazing” cast. Several fans commented on the star’s surprising live TV news, while others speculated that the classic TV episode will be watered down for today’s audiences.
“It will not be the same as the original because people get offended by everything nowadays!” one follower wrote.
“The last one was hysterical, and this one I am sure will be,” another added.
It should be noted that the first Live in front of a Studio Audience remake of an All in the Family episode back in May was recreated word for word. The n-word was censored in the remake of The Jeffersons episode to comply with today’s network broadcast standards.
It’s no surprise that diehard classic TV fans are already trying to guess which episodes of the sitcoms will be recreated and what role Bacon will play. ABC has not yet confirmed the episodes, but both shows featured multiple Christmas-themed episodes during their lengthy runs on CBS.
One of the most memorable All in the Family holiday-themed episodes — and one that could definitely feature Bacon 40 years later — is the 1976 episode “The Draft Dodger.” The Season 7 episode had Meathead’s draft-dodging friend David Brewster (Renny Temple) showing up for Christmas dinner alongside Archie’s friend Pinky (Eugene Roche), whose son who died in the war. It certainly seems like Bacon and Eisenberg could fit the roles of Pinky and David, respectively, in an updated version of the episode.
Fans will want to tune in next week to see Bacon and the rest of the cast in Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s All in the Family and Good Times.