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 the Sanford Arms, a rooming house. The show continued as the short-lived "Sanford Arms" (without Foxx or Wilson); it was revived in 1980 on CBS as "Sanford" (starring Foxx and without Wilson). —Brian Rathjen <email@example.com>
Some May Have Seen "Redd", But the Show Was "Foxxy" Nonetheless.
Highly hilarious and dominant television show from the mid-1970s that continues to have a great following even today (despite some detractors who take the show way too seriously). California African-American widower/junk dealer Redd Foxx (one of the most under-rated entertainers of his time) and his only son (Demond Wilson) argued and got into every odd-ball situation one could fathom during their six years in prime-time (from 1972-1977). The series was an answer to "All in the Family". It showed the differences and similarities between white blue-collar society and the working class African-American. It also was a coast war as "All in the Family" took place on the Atlantic shore while "Sanford and Son" took place on the Pacific. The supporting cast (led by the priceless LaWanda Page as Foxx's sister-in-law) was used in well-calculated ways to add to the program's comedic momentum. Never dull, never slow, never boring and never sorry, "Sanford and Son" is one of those shows that just seems to stand the test of time. 5 stars out of 5.
- Dec 19, 2003
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