On This In Comedy on March 15, 1980 Sanford premiered on NBC!
Redd Foxx left his hit NBC show, Sanford & Son in 1977 and went to ABC to do a variety show that only lasted 4 months. Since they were in the basement in network ratings, NBC jumped at the chance to get Foxx back in the role of Fred G. Sanford and so Sanford was born. It aired minus Demond Wilson (who refused to return) and lasted two shortened seasons. The show was a mid-season replacement in the 1979-80 season and the 1980-81 season.
The ill-fated incarnation centered around Fred and his new partner, Cal (Dennis Burkley), a Southern white guy with a big heart and gut who Lamont had worked with on the Alaska Pipeline and who he sent to stay with Fred. Aunt Esther and Rollo were still around, but that was the only magic left from the first time we met Fred Sanford.
The show was yanked and retooled, showing back up with Rollo and many of the other new characters. This retooled version was scrapped faster than some of the junk in Sanford’s yard. Sanford went off the air July 10, 1981.
By Darryl “D’Militant” Littleton
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