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 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 »
Norman Lear's second sitcom Sanford and Son is definitely a 70s classic. Redd Foxx's portrayal of Fred Sanford is so funny, yet he was bigoted like Archie Bunker. He also had great chemistry with Demond Wilson, who played his son Lamont. Though Lamont was the smarter of the two, Fred kept calling him "Dummy" which I thought wasn't very nice. What made the show funny for me was Fred's frequent phony heart attacks when he would clutch his heart and bellow "OHH! THIS IS THE BIG ONE! YOU HEAR THAT ELIZABETH, I'M COMING TO JOIN YOU!!" Every time he did that, i would crack up laughing. The other phrase he constantly used was variations on "How would you like five across your lip?"
What also made Sanford and Son stand out was the chemistry between Foxx and LaWanda Page, who played Aunt Esther. Both were long-time friends who grew up in St. Louis. I thought Page delivered her lines with gusto and really brought her character to life.
My only dislike of the show were the episodes without Foxx, who sat out due to a contract dispute and were centered around Grady. Whitman Mayo was an outstanding supporting player, but I felt he couldn't carry the show as a lead actor and that was why his spin off Grady was short-lived. It was like watching an episode of The Honeymooners without Jackie Gleason.
There were a lot of good episodes, but two of my favorites were the Gong Show episode and Steinberg and Son, a TV show that mirrored the Sanford's lives. Each season of Sanford and Son is on DVD so if you haven't seen them, do so. You won't worry about commercials.
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