Sanford and Son debuted as a mid-season replacement in January 1972 and was an instant success. It was produced by Norman Lear and Bud Yorkin, the team responsible for ratings giant All in the Family. The two shows had a few things in common. They were both based on popular British sitcoms (Till Death Us Do Part and Steptoe and Son), and both were pioneers of edgy, racial humor that reflected the changing politics of the time. Sanford and Son helped to redefine the genre of black situation comedy.
Comedian Redd Foxx played the show’s central character, Fred Sanford, a 65-year-old L.A. junk dealer. Sanford’s son, Lamont (Demond Wilson), is his reluctant partner in the junk business, always looking for a way out. Crotchety old Fred makes his son crazy with his schemes, but Lamont ultimately cares for his pop too much to leave him to his own devices. Many of the arguments end with Fred faking a heart attack while crying out to his deceased wife (“I’m coming to join you, Elizabeth!”) or Fred calling Lamont “dummy.”
A cast of colorful characters add to the hilarity of the series, including Fred’s buddies Melvin (Slappy White), Bubba (Don Bexley) and Grady (Whitman Mayo), as well as his meddling sister-in-law, Aunt Esther (LaWanda Page). Another star of the show was the funky theme song, written by Quincy Jones.
Sanford and Son was ranked in the top 10 for its full five and a half year run, peaking at number two in the 1972-3 and 1973-4 seasons, bested only by All in the Family. When the two lead actors opted out of the series after the ’76-’77 season, the rest of the cast carried on with the forgettable follow-up series The Sanford Arms. The show fizzled in less than a month. An attempt was made at a revival in 1980 with Foxx returning to the series Sanford, but it only lasted one season.
A US adaptation of the UK classic Steptoe and Son.
USA / NBC – Bud Yorkin, Norman Lear / 136×25 minute episodes / Broadcast 14 January 1972 – 25 March 25 1977
Creators: Ray Galton, Alan Simpson / Producers: Norman Lear, Saul Turteltaub, Bernie Orenstein
Redd Foxx as Fred Sanford
Desmond Wilson as Lamont Sanford
Dennis Burkley as Cal Pettie
Whitman Mayo as Grady Wilson
LaWanda Page as Esther Anderson
Raymond Allen as Woody Anderson
Eric Laneuville as Daniel Anderson
Nathaniel Taylor as Rollo Larson
Gregory Sierra as Julio Fuentas
Slappy White as Melvin
Noam Pitlik as Officer Swanhauser
Hal Williams as Officer Smitty
Howard Platt as Officer “Hoppy” Hopkins
Don Bexley as Bubba
Lynn Hamilton as Donna Harris
Marguerite Ray as Evelyn Lewis
Leroy Daniels as Leroy
Nancy Kulp as May Hopkins
Marlene Clark as Janet
Edward Crawford as Roger
Mary Alice as Frances Victor
Allan Drake as Rodney Victor
Pat Morita as Ah Chu
The Woman in White (BBC-1 2018, Ben Hardy, Olivia Vinall)
In The Woman In White, after Walter Hartright encounters a ghostly woman dressed in all white on a moonlit road, he...
The Sinner II: Part IV (USA Network 22 Aug 2018)
Part IV: Ambrose returns to Mosswood to confront Vera about the commune’s work. Airdate: 2018-08-22 Season 2, Episode 4 With: Bill Pullman,...
Grace and Frankie (Netflix 2015, Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin)
Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin star as Grace and Frankie, two women whose lives are suddenly turned upside down when...
I’m All Right Jack (1960, Peter Sellers, Ian Carmichael)
Having gently attacked institutions as diverse as the Army ( Private’s Progress ), the Foreign Office ( Carlton-Browne of the...
SuperFly (2018,Trevor Jackson, Rick Ross)
In action crime thriller SuperFly career criminal Youngblood Priest wants out of the Atlanta drug scene, but as he ramps up...
Alone Together: Dog Awards (Freeform 22 Aug 2018)
Dog Awards: Esther and Benji get their first writing room gig on the Dog Awards. Benji thinks it will be...
Alone Together: Mom (Freeform 22 Aug 2018)
Mom: Esther’s mom pays a surprise visit because she’s concerned about Esther’s life choices. Meanwhile, Benji tries to make some...
Homecoming (Amazon 2018, Julia Roberts, Bobby Cannavale)
Heidi Bergman is a caseworker at Homecoming, a Geist Group facility helping soldiers transition to civilian life. Years later she...
80,000 Suspects (1963, Richard Johnson, Claire Bloom)
In a career that spanned more than 50 years as first a writer then director, Val Guest helmed 65 films,...
Castle Rock: The Queen (Hulu 22 Aug 2018)
The Queen: Memories haunt Ruth Deaver. Airdate: 2018-08-22 Season 1, Episode 7
The Frankenstein Chronicles continues it’s ITV run with The Frankenstein Murders 15 Aug
The Frankenstein Murders: Boz publishes a newspaper article about the murders which causes a public outcry and infuriates Peel on...
Counting Cars: Burning Hot Nova 15 Aug on History
Burning Hot Nova: Danny and the team are commissioned to turn a 1969 Chevy Nova into a dream machine. The...
800 Words Season 3 Episode 9 airs 14 Aug on Channel 7
Episode 9: George gets an unexpected visitor after making his big decision. Arlo tries to navigate the Lindsay situation and...
Yellowstone: The Unravelling Part 1 (Paramount 15 Aug 2018)
The Unravelling Part One: A Sheriff’s investigation turns the heat up on Rip. Jamie makes a bold decision about his...
Bletchley Circle San Francisco Season Finale Wed 15 Aug on ITV
Episode 4: After a seemingly innocent man is charged with murder, the women become enmeshed in a tangled suburban tragedy,...
The Outpost: The Book of Names (CW 21 Aug 2018)
The Book of Names: Talon (Jessica Green) promises to find the mysterious “Book of Names.” Gwynn’s (Imogen Waterhouse) true identity is...
Mr. Sunshine (2018, Lee Byung-hun, Kim Tae-ri)
Based in Shinmiyangyo, or the U.S. expedition to Korea in the late 19th century, Mr. Sunshine tells the story of...
Private Eyes (Global TV 2016, Jason Priestley, Cindy Sampson)
In Private Eyes ex-pro hockey player Matt Shade irrevocably changes his life when he teams up with fierce P.I. Angie Everett...
Legacies (The CW 2018, Danielle Rose Russell, Matthew Davis)
In a place where young witches, vampires, and werewolves are nurtured to be their best selves in spite of their...
The Good Cop (Netflix 2018, Tony Danza, Josh Groban)
In Netflix comedy The Good Cop, Tony Danza plays Tony Sr., a disgraced, former NYPD officer who never followed the rules....
The Detectives: The Farmhouse Robbery 16 Aug on ITV
New documentary The Detectives, premiering on Thursday 16 August at 9.00pm on ITV, tells the inside story of how detectives from...
Jordskott (TV2 2015, Moa Gammel, Goran Ragnestam)
Critically acclaimed Nordic mystery thriller Jordskott is set deep in the ancient forests of Sweden. Seven years after the disappearance of...
Hard Sun (2018, Jim Sturgess, Agyness Deyn,
Hard Sun is a pre-apocalyptic crime show set in contemporary London. Charlie Hicks and Elaine Renko are detectives who, while investigating...