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>
The show is a remake of a British series "Steptoe and Son" which ran for seven years. Initially co-writer Aaron Ruben thought that meant that the show had seven years worth of scripts to adapt. Unfortunately, the original show only produced four new episodes per season. See more »
When Lamont first starts dating Janet, she has a brother but later in the series when Janet's ex husband returns Lamont then says Janet doesn't have a brother. 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 »
On video and DVD releases of the episode, "Blood is Thicker Than Junk", about 3 minutes of footage is removed. They edit the scene of Lamont getting up and purposely breaking the interviewer's pencil before leaving. It then cuts to the scene of Fred trying to lift a heavy trunk then in comes the man Fred later hires. On all video and DVD releases, at the employment office right after the interviewer gives Lamont his new job, it cuts right to Fred and his new employee talking. See more »
I guess that "Sanford and Son" must have been the first show that portrayed black ghetto life. No matter, it's hilarious. Dad Fred essentially spends every episode lounging around his house, calling his son Lamont "dummy" and threatening to bust people's lips. Lamont remains eternally embarrassed about Fred's antics, especially whenever Fred comments on how ugly he considers the sister-in-law, Aunt Esther, to be. And it's always great when the two cops (one white and the other black) come to the house, and the white cop acts like a dork, forcing the black cop to have to identify it.
Anyway, it was part of the new wave of really funny shows in the early 1970's that portrayed stuff that TV shows previously were uncomfortable portraying ("All in the Family" of course led the way). It would have been neat if Fred Sanford and Archie Bunker could have ever met. That would have made for some crazy dialogue. Four stars.
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