Al Bundy is a misanthropic women's shoe salesman with a miserable life. He hates his job, his wife is lazy, his son is dysfunctional (especially with women), and his daughter is dim-witted and promiscuous.
One of television's all-time classic sitcoms, the Norman Lear-produced "Sanford and Son" debuted just three days after the one-year anniversary of Lear's fabulously successful, "All in the Family." Fred Sanford is a cantankerous 65-year-old, black, widowed junk dealer living in Los Angeles' Watts neighborhood. Helping him is his restless son, 34-year-old Lamont; Fred's beloved wife and Lamont's mother, Elizabeth, had died more than 20 years earlier. Fred's schemes and bigotry especially toward Julio, a Puerto Rican who was Lamont's friend, whites and other minorities often frustrated Lamont. Fred also showed overt disdain for his sister-in-law, Aunt Esther (the feeling was mutual). Many times, Lamont threatened to leave for meaningful work, but Fred faked a heart attack each time ("Oh, this time its real, I'm a-comin' 'Lizabeth!") as a sympathy ploy to get his son to stay. By 1977, Fred and Lamont had sold their business (stars Foxx and Wilson wanted to leave the series); it became ... Written by
Brian Rathjen <email@example.com>
The network was not eager to cast Redd Foxx in the lead. Foxx had been a stand-up comedian whose material was very blue. In order to get the network to relent, a test screening was held at CBS (not NBC) with the network executives and the cast of Norman Lear's hit All in the Family in attendance. According to producer Aaron Ruben, the gag that eventually sold the show was Fred's fake heart attack. This also helped to prove that a black cast could lead the show. See more »
During the end credits of the episode "The Headache" (4.21), Fred and Lamont's voices can be heard. They're doing a soap opera cliffhanger parody. (Eg. Fred: "Will Lamont leave home?" Lamont: "Will you be quiet?") See more »
The Name Is Fred G. Sanford - And The 'G' Is for Great TV!
There have been 4 show business personalities, over the years, over whom I shed tears, when they passed on. John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, Roy Rogers, and... Redd Foxx. The reason is very simple: Redd Foxx, as the arthritic, heart-troubled Watts Junk Dealer, made me laugh. Something that not many performers can do. I have experienced more genuine laughter, while watching 'Sanford And Son', than with any other TV show, or movie, ever.
I have seen every episode at least 20 times, (Except for the Christmas episode - I only watch it during the Christmas season). I never tire of them, and the antics of the gripy, grumpy old 'Commodities' dealer and his family and friends never fail to draw a laugh from me, despite the fact that I know every episode by heart.
Until 'Sanford And Son', Redd Foxx was probably best known for his nightclub acts, featuring his dirty stand-up routines. He was a master of improvisation, and shows his true comedy colors, in this classic sitcom. And, he was no slouch when it came to drama, as proved by his performance in the episode where he must ask his girlfriend, Donna, to marry him, before she accepts a proposal from another man. That particular episode made me cry, as well as laugh.
Admittedly, much of the writing wasn't all that great, and the acting - In the case of some characters, obviously played by non-Actors - Leaves something to be desired. But the laughter is there, making up for that, and then some.
I once heard it said that laughter is a gift, and Redd Foxx gave me that gift, with 'Sanford And Son'. The show has a tremendous following, to this day, better than 30 years after it's cancellation - A fact which speaks volumes on the talent of Redd Foxx.
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