The Conners fans are reacting to the live episode that put politics front and center. The first-ever live episode of the hit sitcom featured real-time election results from the New Hampshire primary as Darlene Conner’s son, Mark (Ames McNamara), watched ABC News’ coverage of the race as part of a school project. On social media, fans of the show declared McNamara the “winner” of the episode.
There were two separate tapings for the East and West coasts, so the cast did double-duty for the “Live From Lanford” outing. But since McNamara’s character was the one who was parked in front of the TV for most of the episode, he delivered the bulk of the results-related lines.
At the end of the East coast broadcast, McNamara’s Mark informed viewers of the standings, according to USA Today.
“Bernie’s leading with 28%, Klobuchar is catching up with 22% and Yang just dropped out of the race!” he announced.
Three hours later, the West coast broadcast was delayed for two minutes by a real breaking-news update from ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos as he projected Bernie Sanders to be the Democratic primary winner.
On The Conners, Mark delivered the news to a giggling Aunt Becky (Lecy Goranson) just after Stephanopoulos’ update, with a zinger the writers threw in for him.
“They’re saying Bernie won it, but there could be some Russian hacking. Putin’s in second,” McNamara deadpanned.
In comments to McNamara’s Instagram post about the live episode, fans praised the 12-year-old actor for his on-the-fly work and noted that he stole the show.
“You DOMINATED that episode!!!” one fan wrote to McNamara. “You are beyond talented and you always bring your A-game!!!”
“This was YOUR show tonight. Outstanding work Ames!” another viewer added.
“You were great tonight Ames! You carried the show!” a third supporter chimed in.
Following the taping at 5 p.m. on the East coast, The Conners cast was reportedly running on adrenaline. McNamara was seen pumping his fists and hugging crew members after he got through the first live taping, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
At 12-years-old, McNamara only has a few acting credits going back just three years. His IMDb page lists his first acting credit as “Street Urchin” in a 2017 episode of At Home with Amy Sedaris. After that, the young actor jumped right into the Roseanne revival in 2018, playing Darlene (Sara Gilbert) and David’s (Johnny Galecki) colorful son, Mark Conner-Healy for nine episodes. McNamara’s character returned for The Conners spinoff, where Mark has proven to be one of the funniest characters on the show. Next up, McNamara will appear in the movie Intensive Care, which is currently in pre-production.