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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Despite playing characters in their 60's, Redd Foxx was in his 50's and Whitman Mayo was in his early 40's during the shows original run. Both actors had to wear make up and hair coloring to appear older than what they were. See more »
The exterior shot of the Sanford house/junk shop as seen in the opening credits does not match the exterior of the house/junk shop as it appeared on the show. In the opening credits shots, the house's front door is seen almost flush against the street with a very small front yard and little to no junk out in front of the house. In the show however, the Sanfords have a huge front yard with piles and piles of junk scattered about and the street is very far from the front door. See more »
[Referring to Donna and Esther, respectively]
Here are my two most favorite characters from a fairy tale: Beauty and the Beast.
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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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