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'Sanford and Son' at 50, 'double-edged' Black sitcom pioneer

13 Comments
By LYNN ELBER

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Loved that show as a kid. Many of the best US sitcoms were based on British shows.

The shows made poor areas "look livable and even fun...

I don't know about that. The set and scenery were gritty and depressing. It was a junk shop in a deprived area in the 70s, after all.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Miraculously, several days later a British agent, Beryl (Vertue) came to us with the idea of making an American version of a big hit in Great Britain entitled ‘Steptoe and Son.’”

Americans couldn't think up their own ideas for TV shows then, and still can't today.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

"Big dummy!" We all said that to each other as kids and loved this show. It was FUNNY! Loved comedy before the PC disease hit.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Much better than today's politically correct crap.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Great show, cast, theme music and producer. Norman Lear will be 100 years old in a few months!

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Yep Sandford & Son was awesome, loved watching it & All in the Family!!

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Americans couldn't think up their own ideas for TV shows then, and still can't today.

I don't think there's a British show in the modern era better than Seinfeld, Curb, Larry Sanders, Deadwood, Mad Men, etc. I doubt there's been a show anywhere as good as The Wire. This is my subjective opinion. British police procedurals are humorless affairs and nowhere near as interesting as The Wire (but what is?).

There've been plenty of American shows over the years that were originals, from I Love Lucy to Columbo, to Northern Exposure. I think the Late Night talk show, a la Johnny Carson and David Letterman, was an American form. A kind of Improv comedy also originated in Chicago (and was done really well outside the U.S., in Canada). Does the UK have a homegrown tradition improv comedy? Maybe? We can't forget early TV variety like Miltie, Smothers Brothers, Laugh In, and Martin and Lewis. These are originals. Of course, there were plenty of great shows in the UK (everyone loves Monty Python and The Office), but I don't think you can say the U.S. didn't or doesn't have ideas. And even shows like All in the Family aren't great because of the concept, though the concept is interesting. They actually did an All in the Family recently with Woody Harrelson and it wasn't great, concept and all. The original American All in the Family was great because of what the Americans did with it on every level, from the acting to the writing and direction. I wouldn't say the British can't think of ideas. That would be as ridiculous as saying Americans can't.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

SpeedJan. 22  04:31 pm JST

"Big dummy!" We all said that to each other as kids and loved this show. It was FUNNY! Loved comedy before the PC disease hit.

the thing about it is, it DID tackle 'race' issues but it did it tastefully. That and 'All In the Family' and the 'Jeffersons' were meant to show that racism/prejudices are STUPID. And yet they kept it all funny with good humor, and good themes and everything. No PC/woke crap, just real life folks. it's a shame that too many people - white and black didn't quite get the full gist behind all this.

And Carrol O'Connor was NOT a bigot in real life, but too many whites didn't 'get it'. The real Archie Bunkers couldn't see the parody of it all and they're the BIG DUMMIES of today.

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Americans couldn't think up their own ideas for TV shows then, and still can't today.

But we made it funnier that's the formula.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

white and black didn't quite get the full gist behind all this. 

I disagree, we all got it, but this generation doesn't.

And Carrol O'Connor was NOT a bigot in real life, but too many whites didn't 'get it'. The real Archie Bunkers couldn't see the parody of it all and they're the BIG DUMMIES of today.

See, I completely disagree with that assertion, everyone got it, the same with the Jeffersons, the Bundy's, etc. we just didn't make it an issue in public, we knew it was a comedy, equality, stupidness, and moral lessons on how we treat people. Again, when you talk to this generation, they don't get it, that's the REAL issue and difference and that is why we have a woke society and because our liberal ruling class they all ran amok with it and it has only made things worse and has widened the racial gap. As long as we allow the liberal class to peddle this garbage things will only get worse.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The best episode when Lamont brought a casket home Google Sanford and Son Casket

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Steptoe and Son is peerless. Nothing touches it, not even Hancock’s Half Hour.

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Redd died of a heart attack at a rehearsal (of another show). At first they thought he was doing his fake heart attack routine, but it turned out unfortunately to be the real thing

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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