Sanford and Son
What is there not to love about this timeless classic? Starring Redd Foxx (Fred G. Sanford), Demond Wilson (Lamont Sanford), and LaWanda Page (Aunt Esther Anderson), Sanford and Son truly brought the highest level of “laugh out loud” possible. From the very first moments of any given episode, you get a glimpse of how Redd Foxx was truly a genius. The tiny nuance of his gestures made him hilarious: the way he would try to find his glasses, give his Elizabeth speech, and other countless innuendos brought me so much happiness in my life.
The great thing is that Redd Foxx could carry any episode alone, but by adding Demond Wilson, LaWanda Page, and his friends like Whitman Mayo (Grady Wilson) brought an extra dynamic. They fed off from each other, giving us nothing but laughter.
LaWanda Page was a childhood friend of Redd Foxx and was chosen by him to play his sister-in-law Esther. Her character, in the show, was a religious woman who would almost always object to the way “Fred G. Sanford” behaved and even worse when he was “influencing” Fred’s son “Lamont.” The producers of the show wanted to fire LaWanda due to her inexperience on camera, but luckily was kept on because Redd Foxx threatened to leave the show. What a wonderful thing to do and not surprising coming from Redd.
Spanning six years (1972-1977), this sitcom truly stays relevant in so many ways. The relationship between father and son can be such a paradox on this show, because Lamont seems to always feel like Fred is doing something wrong. For the most part Lamont is right, but almost always is really blown out of proportion. This is what makes their relationship so funny, the constant “disappointments” and “resolution” between the two, never truly giving up on each other. This is where Redd Foxx and Demond Wilson thrive the most. Their back and forth repartee really flows so well and I am always shocked how they achieved this. You really do think that they are father and son.
Sometimes in life I wish these kinds of shows existed forever, because they bring so much happiness to the world. Like everything, things change and life does not stand still. Thank goodness, though, that there are recorded classics that we all have a chance to watch. Our generation is so lucky with these monumental works still in existence and please do not take it for granted. Give it a try and watch more than one episode, because laughter should be a top priority in life.