Classic Television Thursday #36 – Sanford And Son (1972 – 1977)

Last week, we took a look at Maude, one of the classic Norman Lear series from the 70s, and I thought today I’d do a follow-up featuring another of Mr. Lear’s classic sitcoms, Sanford and Son.

ss1Originally based on the BBC sitcom Steptoe and Son, it didn’t take long for the show to become completely Americanized, or to become a hit. Concieved as NBC’s answer to Mr. Lear’s CBS-aired show All in the Family, Sanford focused on the exploits of Fred G. Sanford, a widower and junk dealer (portrayed by the late, great Redd Foxx) and his son Lamont (played by Demond Wilson) in the Watts neighborhood of South Central L.A.

Though like most of Mr. Lear’s shows, Sanford and Son was quite often topical and timely in its humor, unlike many of them it very rarely turned serious, instead most often going for a more broad humor. The show was filled with colorful characters and catch phrases, and was many of the side characters were quite often as funny as the main characters.

The episode I’m featuring today features two of those side characters, Fred’s friend and sidekick Grady Wilson (played by Whitman Mayo), and his late wife’s sister, the Bible toting Aunt Esther (LaWanda Page). This is from the third season of the show.

And here’s a special bonus: the full version of Quincy Jones’ memorable theme song for the series:








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