If you are talking about television shows from the 1970s, then you best not leave out Sanford and Son, starring Redd Foxx and Demond Wilson. The show was a smash hit with fans ranging from the famous (Frank Sinatra) to the everyman. Foxx played cranky junkman Fred Sanford opposite Wilson, who played his son LaMont. Yet Sanford and Son also did a good job of creating other characters. One Sanford and Son character who stands out is Grady Wilson, played by Whitman Mayo. Grady was a good friend of Fred’s who had a knack for visiting the Sanford home at the wrong time.
But Grady became more than Fred’s friend. He ostensibly filled a void when Foxx walked off the show in a salary dispute. The show’s writers retooled the scripts to make Grady more involved in it. What resulted was a sold group of episodes with Grady. For some giggles, let’s check out a few of the Grady Wilson-centric episodes of Sanford and Son.
Sanford and Sons: ‘Tyranny, Thy Name Is Grady’
In this episode of Sanford and Son, Grady ends up laying the law down on both LaMont and Aunt Esther, played by LaWanda Page. It seems LaMont wants to have some fun with girls at home with Rollo, played by Nathaniel Taylor. But Esther wanted to set up shop for a bible meeting on Sanford and Son.
Neither thing happened because Grady wouldn’t let it happen. He’s watching the Sanford household while Fred is gone. Fred instructed Grady that there will be “no bible meetings or orgies” while he’s visiting family in St. Louis.
‘Aunt Esther And Uncle Woodrow Pfftt…’
Aunt Esther has decided to throw Uncle Woodrow, played by Raymond Allen, out of the house. Woodrow ends up over at Fred’s house. He gets a strong dose of Grady’s wisdom as well on Sanford and Son. Grady starts spouting off about how Woodrow should stand up to his wife. Yeah, that doesn’t work out too hot. But it’s sure funny to watch.
‘Fred’s Treasure Garden’
Grady has a green thumb, or at least he thinks so. He starts growing some green-leafed plants there. Little did he know that they were marijuana plants. Grady ends up giving some to Officer Hoppy (Howard Platt) and Officer Smitty (Hal Williams) as part of a salad. Watching Mayo deliver comedic one-liners in this episode is something to admire.
‘A Little Extra Security’
In this episode, Grady starts getting into a get-rich-quick scheme. This is a dangerous move, and LaMont knows it. He tries talking Grady out of it but Grady’s stubborn on Sanford and Son. Viewers also get Grady putting down Aunt Esther, calling her “King Kong.” Now, now Grady…that’s going a bit too far.
Mayo proved to be so popular that show creator Bud Yorkin gave him his own show, Grady. It did not last long, so Grady came back on Sanford and Son. Mayo died in 2001 at 70 years old. But we still have this fun show where we can enjoy his talents often.
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