Eddie Murphy Owns J.J.’s Painting From ‘Good Times’ — And It’s Worth Millions
In addition to featuring a top-five sitcom theme song of all time -- fight me -- Good Times’ opening credits were instantly recognizable for their final image, the dynamic painting that led into the show. Ostensibly painted by Jimmy Walker’s J.J. Evans, it was actually created by legendary painter/visual artist Eddie Barnes.
The image was even more famous because Marvin Gaye included “The Sugar Shack” as cover art on his 1976 album “I Want You.” A Barnes-painted replica of that iconic artwork went up for auction at Christie's last year, with an estimated final price of $200,000. Instead, the frenzied bidding ended up at nearly $16 million. Let’s say that again -- $16 million! If that’s what Christie’s got for the duplicate, you can only imagine what the original might go for. But the owner isn’t selling. It’s Eddie Murphy -- and he bought the O.G. “Sugar Shack” for a paltry fifty grand back in the day, he recently told Jimmy Kimmel. Murphy purchased the painting from the Marvin Gaye estate after the singer passed away in 1984, finding an excellent use for his early Saturday Night Live money. “So you’re rich then,” Kimmel concluded. “I got that painting,” Murphy agreed.
Barnes, who also played professional football, painted all of J.J.’s art on the show, including the family portrait that shows up in the credits of Good Times’ first three seasons.
He even got a few walk-on roles on the show, although the parts of “First Hoodlum” and “First Hood” aren’t exactly stellar entries on his IMDB. That’s him in the yellow hat, roughing up J.J.
A better IMDB entry? Barnes’ credit for having artwork featured in 133 episodes of the ‘70s sitcom. We’ll also give him props as the man who made Eddie Murphy even richer.