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How’d you like one across the lip?

Danny Tyree on

Tyrades! by Danny Tyree

A YouTube video magically transported me back to what I was watching on Thursday, January 13, 1972.

The clip from NBC’s red-hot “Flip Wilson Show” features Flip as a standup comedian being heckled unmercifully by guest Redd Foxx.

At the end of the segment, Flip broke character to announce that Foxx would be starring in a new sitcom called “Sanford and Son,” beginning the very next night.

I vividly remember the plug! Unfortunately, I somehow missed that first episode, but I laughed myself silly over the second one. I love my sanitized 1960s sitcoms, but there was just something earthier and more relatable about the denizens of that Watts neighborhood. (Herman Munster never got stripped for parts on Mockingbird Lane!)

I joined millions of other Americans in a Friday night ritual of watching the dreams and schemes of cantankerous junk dealer Fred G. Sanford (“that’s S-A-N-F-O-R-D period”) and his longsuffering son Lamont.

 

For six seasons, the show provided stiff competition for Friday night high school athletic events. Between Fred calling Lamont “you big dummy” and sports fans calling the referee “you big dummy,” Seventies therapists put in oodles of overtime on Saturdays.

Countless “must see” programs from just three or four years ago have completely evaporated from my memory; but after five decades, I still find myself whistling the “Sanford” instrumental theme song by Quincy Jones and exclaiming, “Good goobily goop” or “Great googly moogly!” like Fred’s friend Grady. I still haven’t verified the rumor that the Build Back Better plan includes funding for GSL (Grady as a Second Language) classes.

I am thankful that I have been able to share “Sanford and Son” reruns with my 17-year-old son Gideon. I am equally thankful that I still have him fooled about the clutter in my writing den. (“You’re right - it’s an intentional shrine to the Sanford living room. Yeah, that’s the ticket.”)

Yes, it’s admirable that Amazon Prime makes “Sanford and Son” reruns available to new generations, but it’s certainly not the sort of show that could start from scratch in today’s environment.

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Copyright 2022 Danny Tyree, All Rights Reserved. Credit: Cagle.com
 

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