Whitman Mayo and “Sanford and Son” #socs

Remember the show Sanford and Son, with Redd Foxx as Fred Sanford and Demond Wilson as his son, Lamont? Lamont had a friend named Rollo, played by Nathaniel Taylor. Fred didn’t like Rollo, and didn’t like his son hanging around with him. One time, when Lamont announced that Rollo was coming over, Fred said, “Why you always hangin’ with Rollo? Yo’ head must be empty, it’s hollow. You two are Rollo and Hollow.”

I guess it’s no longer permitted to say you enjoyed Sanford and Son, which is a shame, because it was hilarious. The occasional cast included LaWanda Page as Aunt Esther, Fred’s Bible-thumping sister-in-law (kind of funny, because Ms. Page was a veteran of the Chitlin Circuit and did a lot of blue material), and Whitman Mayo as Grady, one of Fred’s friends. At one point, Redd Foxx went on strike and Mayo was pressed into service as the lead character in the show. He did so well they spun him off in a show of his own.

Mr. Mayo was quite a man. In his later years, he taught drama at Clark Atlanta University, the largest of the traditionally Black colleges that are based here (Morehouse College, Morris Brown College and Spelman College are the other three), and for a while had a show on Turner South, a station that broadcast a lot of “southern lifestyle” programs. Ironically, he died at Grady Memorial Hospital…

Don’t know how I got off on that subject, but that’s stream of consciousness writing for you…

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27 thoughts on “Whitman Mayo and “Sanford and Son” #socs

  1. I loved the turn your consciousness took there. I enjoyed that show, and lots of others that wouldn’t pass muster now. You ever wonder why shows are judged like that, but old movies reign supreme regardless of sexism, racism… ? Why JUST tv?


    1. I have just two words: Blazing Saddles. Even though it was written by Richard Pryor, it’s less acceptable than it was forty years ago. That might be the funniest movie I’ve seen, and all the racial epithets were there for a very good reason, but today? Trigger Warning!

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  2. Sanford & Son was one of my favorites, too. So funny, and great acting by all. I loved Fred having a junk yard, and him hollering that it’s the Big One, and telling his deceased wife, I’m coming Elizabeth! :)


    1. He was a riot. To hear him go at it with Aunt Esther was worth watching the show for. The whole cast was just about as good as it gets.


  3. I don’t recall watching the show much, but now I can’t get the theme song/tune out of my head. It’s pretty catchy.


  4. Our friend calls my husband Fred G. Sanford because of all the “stuff” he collects in our garage. It was a fun show to watch. Can’t take that away.

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  5. LOL – I loved that show! It’s a shame we’ve become so politically correct that we can’t laugh at each other as easily as the old shows did. Thanks for the chuckle this morning! Happy Saturday to you!

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  6. I can’t say I enjoyed Sanford and Son? Does that mean I can’t say I enjoyed many of the other shows from the 60’s and 70’s that may now be deemed inappropriate or non-PC? These were the shows of my youth and I remember laughing at all of the comedies from that era.

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