Sanford and Son (1972–1977)
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Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe 

Fred's feathers get ruffled when an old friend from St. Louis comes to town claiming to be Lamont's actual father.



, ("Steptoe and Son" created by) | 1 more credit »

On Disc

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Episode cast overview:
Whitman Mayo ...
Aunt Esther Anderson (as La Wanda Page)
Sonny Jim Gaines ...
'Big Money' Grip Matlock


Fred's feathers get ruffled when an old friend from St. Louis comes to town claiming to be Lamont's actual father.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis






Release Date:

4 January 1974 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


When younger, Esther, Elizabeth and their sisters lived at 3207 Enright in St. Louis. It is further revealed that Grady is also from St. Louis and remembers when Lamont was born (even if he can't remember his name!). See more »


At the end of the episode when Fred and Lamont are standing in the living room a person is seen walking by the window. See more »


Aunt Esther Anderson: [after Fred asks Esther whether Elizabeth was ever unfaithful to him] My baby sister Elizabeth was as pure as the driven snow.
Fred G. Sanford: Yeah, but who was doing the driving?
See more »

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User Reviews

Sonny Jim Gaines as Big Money Grip
12 December 2016 | by (Youngstown,Ohio) – See all my reviews

"Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe" opens with Fred preparing for Grady his patented mixture of ripple and cream: "I call it cripple...after you drink a few of 'em you walk with a limp!" Paying a surprise visit from Fred's hometown of St. Louis is Big Money Grip Matlock (Sonny Jim Gaines, later seen as 'Bottom of the Deck Dan' in "The Lucky Streak"), who plans to move to Los Angeles to be with his son. Since Grip had no children Fred figures that the longtime joker is again trying to pull a fast one. It comes as a complete shock to hear Grip proclaim that Lamont is his son, from a one night liaison with Elizabeth during a weekend pass from the army back in St. Louis, being her first love before Fred came along. Lamont remembers reading Grip's girly magazines when he was a kid, while Grady comes up with a fitting phrase: "you know what they say Fred, mama's baby, papa's maybe!" Lamont can't believe his ears ("wow, this is heavy!"), but never shirks from the only father he's ever known: "if you are my father, that was between you and my mother, I ain't had nuttin' to do with that!" Taking the greatest offense is Elizabeth's devout older sister Esther (the sixth appearance of La Wanda Page), the unfortunate recipient of the awful truth as revealed by Grip: "that was MY room!" Poor Grip leaves in disbelief before a forgiving Fred: "at first I was mad at you, now I feel sorry for you cause you don't know the difference between a woman and a crocodile!" This time it's La Wanda Page dropping the 'N' word, to outrageous audience applause.

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