Of all the Norman Lear, Bud Yorkin creations for television (All in the Family, The Jeffersons, Maude), Sanford and Son is the series that had the least successful spin-offs. Few remember Grady, Sanford Arms (the hotel the Sanfords ran next door) and Sanford (the show without Demond Wilson but set in the same setting). However, this does not in any way take away from the charm of Sanford and Son and the joy of watching Redd Foxx at his best.
Season six of this situation comedy may show the formula was perhaps a bit tired but the writers still managed to come up with quite a few very good shows for this last season.
Particularly imaginative and fun to watch are the two episodes set in Hawaii which includes a diamond heist, identical switched suitcases, a chase scene, and quite a few references to McGarrett of Hawaii 5-0. Look for James Gregory who also played Inspector Luger on Barney Miller, Don Ho, and a few musical numbers by Foxx Himself.
This was also the season during which Aunt Esther, LaWanda Page, and her husband adopted a young teenager (and a very typically Norman Lear moment of hitting you on the head with a message, much like the episode Fred The Activist), and during which Esther and Fred G Sanford (the G stand for anything you want) get chained together in The Defiant One, an episode that includes quite a lot of physical comedy from both actors.
Also interesting are Fred meets Redd, and in Fred Sanford meets Redd Foxx, Sanford and Gong in which Fred gets to be on the Gong Show with Chuck Barris, and Committee Man, an episode written by Gary Shandling. It is also during season six that Lamont breaks up his engagement with Janet.
One of Sanford and Son's running jokes was Fred faking a heart attack, "I'm coming, Elizabeth!" and, ironically, that is what killed Redd Foxx during the filming of an episode of The Royal Family in 1991.
There are quite a few famous Black actors who played parts in Sanford and Son, one way Redd Foxx had to promote his fellow actors. For example, look for Julius Harris (who played Tee Hee in the James Bond movie Live And Let Die) in The Will, as well as B. B. King, Another recurring actor was Frank Nelson ("Yeeeeessssssss?").
When it comes to insult comics, some may think Doc Rickles and Triumph the annoying dog are classics, but nothing will ever beat the insults Fred G. Sanford had just about every show for poor Aunt Esther.
Other 70s situation comedy DVD set reviews:
Our review I Dream of Jeannie The Complete Series
Our review Maude The Complete First Season
Our review Mash Season 8
Our review The Mary Tyler Moore Show Best of Season One
Our review Welcome Back Kotter Season One
Our review Bewitched Season Two
Our review Good Times Season Four
Our review Gilligan's Island Season Three
Our review One Day at a Time Season One
Our review Barney Miller Season Two