Long live the Sanfords

October 2, 2004

I have come to the conclusion that Sanford and Son is the best TV show ever made. I know that’s a dangerous position to take in these turbulent times, but I stand by my word. You just can’t beat Sanford and Son. Sure, there’s not much in the way of competition. There’s no more saturday morning cartoons and now there’s the never-ending barrage of the “reality” shows. Note to the tv people: I watch TV to escape reality, not bathe in its existence. Get me as far away from it as you can. Give me the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles who have nothing to worry about but pizza and shredder’s minions. Give me Quantam Leap where Doctor Sam Fucking Beckett travels through time and dresses up like a woman, enriching lives. Give me SANFORD AND SON.

Now there’s something. An old black man and his son living in a house adjacent to a junk yard in the 70s. For starters, old black men are generally bad asses. I often hope that in my next life i will be born an old black man. I’ll grow a beard and sip on the hard liquor. I will have a cane as well, which will accompany me onto my front porch, where I will sit in a rocking chair and crack the wise. What a fine life it will be.

Sanford and Son just has something. It’s the color — that faded 70s film. It’s the setting. The house is a mess and nothing ever changes. And only the BIG things matter to mr sanford, and even then, because sanford is who he is, he knows how to handle any situation. With finesse. With SASS. Nothing is too complicated for him.

Not even when an old friend comes forward with allegations that he is actually the biological father of Fred’s son, Lamont, does Fred flinch. He simply looks to the sky and says “Do you hear that Elizabeth? I’m coming to join you honey!” You see, Fred G. Sanford knows grief and this makes him wise. In the end, he was willing to love his son anyway, and he told him that. And Lamont agreed that Fred might not be his father, but he’d always be his dad. A tear was shed.

It didn’t matter of course, because Fred’s friend didn’t sleep with Elizabeth – he accidently slept with sanford’s sister in law instead. Yes, Sanford’s son was really his son. Everyone had a good laugh and everything was cool. But there was a lesson. And the lesson learned was: have sex with the lights on. And “family is family no matter what.” Whatever.

Either way, the show comes on at 3am on Tv Land and I advise you to watch it. If all else fails, and you some day find yourself lying intoxicated, bloated and nude on your bed, staring at the glowing box interrupting your slumber early into the morning hours, remember to flip on over to good ol’ TV LAND. Sanford and Son are there for you.

RIP Mr. Foxx