B-MAN | Earth, occasionally. Until I get bored. | 08/15/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"...And other Fred to Aunt Esther insults abound, in this, the hilarious 4th season of the classic Sanford & Son. Season 4 ran from Sept 1974 to April 1975 and consists of the 24 episodes contained on these three dvds. Like, Season 3, this season also contains episodes where Redd Foxx does not appear, but only 4 this time as opposed to the previous season's 6 episodes minus Fred. Although that hampers the series somewhat, the episodes without him usually feature Lamont, Grady, Esther, & others so they're still worthy of some great laughs. Three of the four episodes without Fred make up the first part of disc one of the set, so Fred makes his first appearance in the fourth episode, a real classic, where Lamont invites over his "sensitivity group" who like to touch each other and Fred reluctantly allows it and joins in! Many hilarious moments in Season 4 include: Fred's hangover remedy, Fred finds Sinatra's ring, Grady meets a special lady at JC Penny, a strange plant is growing in Fred's garden, Fred buys a horse that's not what it seems, and many many more! Here is the content of this hilarious set:
Disc One: 01. Fred's Treasure Garden (Fred doesn't appear) 02. Once a thief (Fred doesn't appear) 03. A little extra security (Fred doesn't appear) 04. There'll be some changes made 05. Going out of business 06. Ol' Brown Eyes is back 07. Matchmaker, Matchmaker 08. Grady & his lady
Disc Two: 09. The surprise party 10. My kingdom for a horse 11. Home sweet home 12. Sanford & Niece 13. Strange bedfellows 14. Julio & Sister & Nephew 15. The merger 16. Tower Power
Disc Three: 17. My brother in law's keeper 18. The masquerade party 19. Golden boy 20. The stand-ins 21. The headache 22. The older woman 23. The stung 24. The family man (Fred & Lamont don't appear)
*The final episode of Season 4, "The Family Man", serves as the pilot episode for the short lived spin off series, "Grady" starring Whitman Mayo and Haywood Nelson (Dwayne from What's Happening!!). The series was canceled after only 12 episodes. It's easy to see why Whitman Mayo was offered the series because his character on Sanford & Son became increasingly popular and in 1975 he was nominated for a Golden Globe for best supporting actor as "Grady".
*Episode 23, "The Stung", features the last appearance for Julio (Gregory Sierra, who joined the cast of Barney Miller). Episode 4, "There'll be some changes made" has the first appearance of Ah Chew (Pat Morita).
*Although Redd Fox appears in all 24 episodes of Season 5, there are a few without Demond Wilson. Season 5 is also where Fred & Lamont turn Julio's old home into a boarding house called "The Sanford Arms" (also the name of the episode). The episode created a spin off series of the same name which didn't include Fred, Lamont, or Grady, but instead Aunt Esther and Bubba. The series only lasted 4 episodes.
*Redd Foxx and the producers were nominated for awards several times through out the run of Sanford & Son, but only in 1973, did Foxx win with a Golden Globe for best television actor in a comedy. An honor he more than earned. Personally, I feel Demond Wilson (Lamont) was underrated and not properly acknowledged for his essential role and amazing chemistry with Redd. "
Season Four - The post St. Louis syndrome
DEAN M. Dent | SAN LEANDRO, CALIFORNIA USA | 01/22/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Although brilliant, The Third season of S&S was marred by the abscence of Redd Foxx who walked out due to contract disputes.The show carried on for six episodes with Fred Sanford in St. Louis for a funeral as Grady (Whitman Mayo) looked after the place and took care of Fred's over 30 son/business partner Lamont (????).
In the beginning of the fourth,Fred was back(although some "Grady" episodes were aired later on),and for the first half of the season the show was back on track with classic episodes, The Surprise Party(Fred's hilarious return home), There'll Be Some Changes Made (Lamont's sensitivity group), The Stand-ins (featuring Scatman Crothers and Billy Eckstine) and The Masquerade Party (Fred's entrance in the gorilla suit is priceless).
But by the latter half of the season, the show started to run out of fuel as the plots became more ludicrous, and the show became a former shell of itself.The fact that Foxx's new contract may have given him a huge ego as he had more creative control of the show (as well as Demond Wilson's own contract disputes and substance abuse problem).Although the show was still funny,the laughs weren't as big as the earlier seasons and would coast in this fashion until the end of the show in 1977."
Outstanding--Gets Better With Each Season!
Kevin Singh | Cumming, Georgia United States | 02/06/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I could not disagree with Mr. Dent's review of Sanford & Son 4th Season more! In fact, the show just keeps getting better! The strong supporting cast including Julio, Officer Hopkins & Smith (Hoppy & Smitty), Ugly Aunt Esther, and Grady are seen much more often and help make the show even more hysterical! Whitman Mayo (Grady) single-handedly saved the show in 1974 near the end of Season #3, when Redd Foxx left the show temporarily due to contract disputes. In one episode, Lamont tries to learn karate to defend himself over a bully who bloodied his nose after an argument over a woman. In another epsiode, a woman shows up thinking Grady was Fred, and claimed that Fred once asked her to marry her! The episode in which Grady's free-loading cousin shows up is one for the ages, and try not to bust your gut laughing when Grady is confronted by the Social Security Administration after accidently receiving two checks in one month and spending them both! Whitman Mayo's acting was first-rate, and with the help of the great S&S supporting cast, not only kept the show alive, but gave us probably eight of the greatest episodes of the entire series!Redd Foxx finally did return to the show in the 4th season, and was better than ever! His hilarious behavior when Lamont brought a relaxation therapy group to his house for a weekly meeting, to when he built a memorial tower in honor of himself (put together from the junk in his yard) was all you would expect from Fred Sanford and more. When Grady shows up one evening and announces he's engaged, Fred pulls one of the best classics of the show to disrupt Grady's nuptial plans. Fred invites the two of them over for dinner, and when the woman arrives first, Fred deliberately spills a drink into her lap, forcing her to go up and change into Lamont's robe while her dress is soaking in the bathtub. While she's upstairs, Fred quickly changes into his robe just as Grady arrives. Well, you can imagine what Grady thought when he saw Fred and his bride-to-be alone both wearing robes! Later on, when their neighbor Julio moves away, Fred & Lamont purchase his property and open up a rooming house--the Sanford Arms. Although Julio (Gregory Sierra) is sorely missed, the new tenants at the Sanford Arms (especially Hoppy's Mother) bring new and added pleasure to the show. Also, Fred's younger sister marries and Fred gets a new brother-in-law, except he has one problem--he's WHITE (Yes, Fred has the heart attack to end all heart attacks). Also, when Aunt Esther and Uncle Woody decide to adopt a child, Woody intoxicates himself the morning the adoption agency representative shows up to assess their home environment. Well, guess who ends up pretending to be Aunt Esther's husband--you guessed it, Fred!This show did not coast to closing down in 1977, but actually would have probably flown strong for three or four more seasons had Redd Foxx and Demond Wilson not quit the show due to contract disputes. Although Sanford & Son was filmed 30 years ago, and granted it's not for everybody, it was, and still is, one of the best and most popular sit-com classics from the 20th century. Although styles have changed somewhat, many of the jokes, themes, and humor this superb cast gave to us is still very relevant today. Prejudice, financial struggle, human stubborness, resentment between in-laws, and men's desire for lust are challenges we continue to face in our society.Sanford & Son is one for the Ages!"
The Laughs Start Winding Down
Dorrie Wheeler | 07/16/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Sanford and Son is a classic television series that I can always count on for a good laugh and I am glad that the series has made it's way to DVD. If you are just now starting your Sanford and Son DVD collection I suggest that you buy them in this order-Season 2, Season 3, Season 1 and then Season 4. Seasons 2 and 3 are hilarious. Season 4 has good episodes like the Grady led "Fred's Treasure Garden," "Sanford and Niece," "The Headache" and a few other memorable episodes. It is clear as you get towards the end of the season that the laughs are winding down, most evident in episodes like "The Masquerade Party," when Fred and friends go on a game show to win Lamont a present. The fact that Lamont is pouting like a 10 year old that their are no presents, liquor or decorations after pop promised and Fred going through such extremes to get a grown man a present....it just seems like the writers were running out of things to do. But this is a must have to complete your Sanford collection, if you are a collector. But if you are going strictly for laughs check out seasons 2 and 3 first."
I Like cheese | Alabama | 07/24/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"1. The Surprise Party
2. Matchmaker, Matchmaker
3. Ol' Brown Eyes
4. Grady and his Lady
5. There'll be some charges made
6. Going Out of Business
7. Home Sweet Home
8. My Kingdom for a Horse (a.k.a.) First Night out