Sanford and Son (1972–1977)
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Tooth or Consequences 

After all else fails, fraidy-cat Fred finally agrees to see a dentist for his toothache.



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

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Episode cast overview:
Don Bexley ...
Hal England ...
2nd Dentist
Ellaraino ...
Receptionist (as Ella Edwards)
Sid McCoy ...
Dr. Rogers
Ray Oliver ...
Hypnotist Professor Sylvester Poe


Stubborn Fred tries all manner of flywheel home remedies to get rid of a toothache without going to the dentist; everything from an asphidity bag to a hypnotist. When Lamont finally gets him to the dentist's office, Fred makes a fool out of himself by demanding a white dentist based on the theory that only white dentists go to good schools. Unknown to Fred, the head dentist at this office is not only competent, but also black. Written by Jerry Roberts

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Release Date:

13 October 1972 (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?


Fred's theory about white dentists versus black dentists came from a real-life experience of show writer Ilunga Adell who had a grandmother who wouldn't go to a black doctor because she figured that a white doctor would be better educated. See more »

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User Reviews

Professor Poe and Mister Sanford
15 December 2016 | by (Youngstown,Ohio) – See all my reviews

"Tooth or Consequences" opens with Lamont's breakfast burning and Fred's tooth aching for more than a week. No amount of pleading will get him to go to the dentist: "they don't even care if they hurt you or not, they just yank you and thank you!" Lamont tries to reassure his father that they now use needles: "I don't want to get hooked on that stuff!" Bubba's diagnosis doesn't help matters: "you got a lot of ugliness in your mouth, Fred" "at least mine is on the inside, Bubba!" Giving quack Dr. Caldwell a run for his money is hypnotist Professor Sylvester Poe (Ray Oliver), trying to remove the pain through mesmerism: "you're a hypnotist?" "among other things...I'm also a handwriting expert, a certified public accountant, and a hair stylist...I'm a minister, a justice of the peace, and a reformed rabbi!" Due to the interruption Prof. Poe only charges $2 and a shot: "I'm also an alcoholic!" Lamont takes his father down to the city clinic because it's free: "so is an autopsy free, you don't see me runnin' down there trying' to get none do you?" The pretty young receptionist (Ella Edwards) asks Fred how long he's been having this trouble: "ever since he was born!" "I was talking about the pain you're having" "that's what I'm takin' about, my son the pain!" The difference between a black dentist and a white one finally puts a smile on Lamont's face!

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