Thursday, September 02, 2010

Episode Review: Sanford and Son The Stand Ins b/w Sanford and Gong

Oh hi. You know what? I have all of these DVD's. Staggering isn't it and kind of sad.  I was reminded of Sanford and Son when I was recently released from prison. On my last day, a female warden said looked like a young Lamont Sanford. Sadly she tased me afterward, good thing Redd Foxx and Scatman Crothers were there when I came to...

The Stand In (1975)

This episode features Scatman Crothers as someone named Bowlegs, a link from Fred Sanford’s past in St. Louis. Of course Bowlegs was on the periphery of show business and therefore that gave us a chance to hear Scatman Crothers’s dulcet tones. That’s not all. He also joined Redd Foxx for some truly odious "harmonizing." That said, I bet those two could have made a good/bad album circa 1974-1975. To make matters worse, Lamont was asked to join the group (the Zanies) after the hoofing man Bowlegs carried with him took a spill and broke something in the middle of Fred’s floor.

More Stuff: This episode also featured Billy Eckstine in a cameo appearance. It wasn't needed, it was nice to see him, I guess. At this point, Fred Sanford had mollified  a bit and so he was here in all of his new-found,  inoffensive glory.  This episode also had the hilarious, "Look he’s walking, he’s walking," bit from character actor Jack Silver. In the big  stage “performance” we got to see that Demond Wilson actually could dance, odd to see, I know....

Note: Second Jack Silver mention on my blog in less than a month. It's official, I'm going to die alone...

Sanford and Gong (1976)

This was crunch time. Sanford and Son was meeting its maker due to changing times and a deplorable 5th season. Still it seemed that Redd Foxx and all involved put on a happy face and marked time with much aplomb and gusto. Like many shows near the end of the run, talent shows, vacations and dream sequences are abound. For this, Fred and Lamont end up going to the then super-hot Gong Show. Wouldn’t you know that the Gong Show was on NBC too? Now that’s really interesting. Anyway, Fred decided to get out his makeshift bass (tub and string) to hit the stage and make us wrench all over again. If that wasn't obnoxious enough, they had to bring out Fred's brother-in-law Rodney to join the fun. And guess what? If you didn't get the subtle jokes and messages, Rodney was white.

You know what wasn't addressed? The fact that Rodney was a full-fledged con man and borderline psychopath. Oh, anyway… Of course during this visit Rodney owed someone like 1020030 dollars and had to lie and scheme to fill his coffers. Oddly enough the part where the cast went to the Gong Show was a total bust-out. Chuck Barris was clearly coming down from whatever, and the rest of the cast was missing. Rodney fell out of the ‘group”, wanted the $500 himself, pulled a fast one and decided to audition as someone else. Oh drama. Bubba was enlisted to take his place. Bubba was a talent less blob. For this “classic” Redd sang something, “Them There Eyes, Jeepers, Silvery Moon” something, and Lamont spared us from his dancing and stayed hidden behind a pair of drums.

I forgot what happened in the end, it all dissolved in a glop of mid to late ‘70s sitcom-y contrivance.

Final Thoughts: This show really did end at the right time.
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