27 Fred Sanford Quotes to Tickle Your Funny Bone

Fred G. Sanford, a character played by Redd Foxx, is the central figure in the 1972-1977 NBC sitcom “Sanford and Son.”

The character was inspired by Foxx’s real-life brother and is an adaptation of Albert Steptoe from the British series “Steptoe and Son.”

Fred is an elderly, sarcastic junk dealer who co-runs the “Sanford and Son” junk and antique business with his son, Lamont.

Fred often feigns illness to manipulate Lamont and is known for comedic catchphrases, especially when feigning heart attacks, exclaiming “This is the big one! I’m coming, Elizabeth!”

Fred Sanford

He often clashes with Lamont’s Aunt Esther, whom he teases relentlessly. Despite his abrasive nature, Fred is portrayed as loving and concerned for Lamont.

Prejudiced against various groups, Fred’s remarks often lead to humorous situations.

However, he has a soft spot for women and frequently flirts. His friends Grady and Bubba, though seen as dim-witted by Fred, are reliable confidantes.

I have listed below the top quotes by Fred Sanford below.

Best Fred Sanford Quotes


There’s got to be some mistake. This is not my Lena, this is someone’s hyena. ~ Fred Sanford.


I’m 65. People say I look 55. I feel 45. I’d settle for 35 and you make me feel 25. ~ Fred Sanford.


Speaking of facing up to this mess, who messed up this face. ~ Fred Sanford.


I can see my tombstone: Fred Sanford lies here. 1908 to 1975. Died from an overdose of ugly. ~ Fred Sanford.


OK boy, let’s play another game. There’s one card for you, two for me, three for you, four for me. OK, count your cards. How many do you got? ~ Fred Sanford.


Junk runs in the family. My granddad was a junkman in St. Louis and so was my uncle. ~ Fred Sanford.

I’ve never had pains like this before! Oh, this is the worse one I’ve ever had, son! Oh, it’s the worst one! This is the big one! I’m dying! You hear that, Elizabeth! I’m coming to join you, honey! ~ Fred Sanford.


What’s an archive, son? Is that anything like a closet? ~ Fred Sanford.

Famous Fred Sanford Quotes

All the way. See, this is America, where a right makes might, where justice is blind, where law is king, where a man should be able to pursue his democratic right no matter what it costs him in time, effort or money. ~ Fred Sanford.


Your uncle Edgar told the truth, and the judge gave him six months. ~ Fred Sanford.

I’m convinced that Sanford and Son show middle-class America a lot of what they need to know. ~ Fred Sanford.


If I stay, I might have a heart attack just from the suspense of not knowing. ~ Fred G. Sanford.

My Elizabeth was as pure as the driven snow, and I am the only driver she ever had! ~ Fred Sanford.


You just dumb, son. You just dumb. ~ Fred Sanford.

Hilarious Fred Sanford Quotes

The have nots? Well if the ‘have nots’ could get something from the haves and the haves gave the have nots half of what they have, then the haves would still be the haves but the have nots would be the have somethings. ~ Fred G. Sanford.


If you see the handwriting on the wall, you’re in the toilet. ~ Fred Sanford.

Earthquakes on the coast, 120-degree temperatures on the desert; they oughta change the name of California to Shake n’ Bake, USA! ~ Fred Sanford.


I’ve come a long way from St. Louie, but not far enough. B.B. King is gonna kill me! ~ Fred Sanford.

Yeah they can walk in Los Angeles, but they’ll still be running in Watts. ~ Fred Sanford.

Funny Fred Sanford Quotes


You gonna have this baby on purpose? ~ Fred Sanford.

You gotta always wash your hands before you eat, and from the looks of you, you must have the cleanest hands in town. ~ Fred Sanford.


If God wanted you to eat Puerto Rican Food, he would have lined your stomach with Pepto Bismol. ~ Fred Sanford.

No I wouldn’t hit a lady, but I’d hit her. ~ Fred Sanford.


I ain’t afraid to give you one across the lips. ~ Fred Sanford.

Let me tell you somethin’, Esther. Every time I see you it makes me wish birth control was retroactive. ~ Fred Sanford.


And as you got older, it was cursed by Father Time. ~ Fred Sanford.

Telling Esther there’s no God is like telling Jimmy Carter there’s no more toothpaste. ~ Fred Sanford.

So these were the 27 famous quotes about Fred Sanford.

If you like these quotes, then you can also read my other posts on Ragnar Lothbrok Quotes and Elmer Fudd Quotes.

Short Biography of Fred Sanford

Fred G. Sanford is a classic TV character from the 1970s sitcom “Sanford and Son,” brought to life by comedian Redd Foxx.

Based on Foxx’s real brother and the British show “Steptoe and Son,” Fred is a grumpy, widowed junk dealer in LA, running the business with his son Lamont.

Full Name Fred G. Sanford
Portrayed By Redd Foxx
Created By Norman Lear and Bud Yorkin, based on Albert Steptoe created by Galton and Simpson
First Appearance “Crossed Swords”; (Sanford and Son)
Last Appearance “To Keep a Thief”; (Sanford)
Gender Male
Occupation Junk/Antiques dealer
Spouse Elizabeth Winfield Sanford (deceased 1952)
Children Lamont Sanford (son) (born September 27, 1940)
Relatives Frances Sanford Victor (sister);
Esther Winfield Anderson (sister-in-law);
Ethel Winfield (sister-in-law);
Essie Winfield (mother-in-law);
Elroy Winfield (father-in-law);
Leotus Sanford (uncle; deceased)

Known for his sharp wit and stubborn ways, Fred often gets caught in schemes to get rich quick, dragging Lamont along.

Despite their bickering, Fred’s deep love for his son shines through, especially when he uses his street smarts to protect Lamont from trouble.

Short Biography of Redd Foxx

Redd Foxx, born John Elroy Sanford, was an iconic American comedian and actor, best remembered for his groundbreaking stand-up acts and his role as Fred G. Sanford in “Sanford and Son.”


His comedy, often edgy and ahead of its time, earned him the title “King of the Party Records.”

Full Name John Elroy Sanford
Born December 9, 1922 St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
Died October 11, 1991 (aged 68) Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Resting Place Palm Eastern Cemetery, Las Vegas, Nevada
Medium Stand-up, Television
Education DuSable High School
Years Active 1935–1991
Genres Word play, Observational comedy, Black comedy, Blue comedy, Insult comedy
Subject(s) African-American culture, Human sexuality, Race relations, Everyday life
Spouse Evelyn Killebrew​(m. 1948; div. 1951)​;
Betty Jean Harris​(m. 1956; div. 1975)​;
Joi Yun Chi Chung​(m. 1976; div. 1981)​;
Ka Ho Cho​(m. 1991)
Website reddfoxx.com

Foxx’s influence extended beyond comedy, leaving a lasting impact on popular culture and fellow comedians.

Despite a challenging upbringing in Chicago, his humor shined through, leading to a successful career that included a Golden Globe win, Emmy nominations, and a posthumous star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame.

Quick Facts about Fred Sanford

  • Fred G. Sanford is a character from “Sanford and Son” and “Sanford”.
  • Portrayed by Redd Foxx, whose real name was John Elroy Sanford.
  • Fred was modeled after Foxx’s real brother, Fred Glenn Sanford, Jr.
  • Originally inspired by Albert Steptoe from “Steptoe and Son”.
  • Fred is a widowed, elderly junk dealer with a cantankerous attitude.
  • Runs “Sanford and Son” junkyard with his son, Lamont, in Los Angeles.
  • Missed nine episodes due to a contract dispute in 1974.
  • TV Guide ranked Fred #36 in the 50 Greatest TV Characters of All Time in 1999.
  • Born in St. Louis, Missouri, on January 20, 1907.
  • Moved to Watts, Los Angeles in 1946 with his wife Elizabeth and son Lamont.
  • Became a single father after his wife’s sudden death.
  • Known for his irritable nature and bad cooking.
  • Often feigned heart attacks, exclaiming, “This is the big one, Elizabeth!”
  • Had a strained relationship with his son, whom he called “big dummy”.
  • Involved in various get-rich-quick schemes.
  • Fond of Godzilla movies and cheap wine, particularly Ripple.
  • Often clashed with his sister-in-law, Aunt Esther.
  • Displayed prejudices against various ethnic groups humorously.
  • Attempted to trace his family tree, mistakenly believing he had Jewish ancestry.
  • Known for his flirtatious nature with women, including celebrities.
  • Frequently pretended to have arthritis to avoid work.
  • Known to watch TV and enjoy daikaiju films in his free time.
  • Fred’s full name is Fred G. Sanford, with “G” standing for various things depending on the situation.
  • Would become defensive and comedic when provoked, often asking, “How would you like one across yo’ lips?”
  • Stored valuables in a secret drawer, accessed by a unique knocking pattern.
  • Kept a collection of glasses to aid his poor vision, albeit ineffectively.
  • Lamont’s full name is Lamont Grady Sanford, with “Lamont” being his middle name.
  • Had a long-term girlfriend named Donna among other romantic interests.
  • Close friends included Grady Wilson and Bubba Bexley.
  • Despite his flaws and antics, Fred’s character shows concern and love for Lamont.

Top Questions about Fred Sanford

Q: What inspired Redd Foxx to create the character of Fred G. Sanford?

A: Redd Foxx modeled Fred G. Sanford after his real-life older brother, Fred Glenn Sanford, Jr., and the character is an adaptation from Albert Steptoe of the British series “Steptoe and Son.”

Q: How did Fred G. Sanford and his family end up in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles?

A: In 1946, Fred, his wife Elizabeth, and their son Lamont moved from St. Louis, Missouri to the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Q: What unique characteristic did Fred G. Sanford have when it came to introducing himself over the phone?

A: Fred often introduced himself with, “Fred Sanford. That’s S-A-N-F-O-R-D period,” or “Fred G. Sanford. The ‘G’ is for…,” followed by a word relevant to the situation, although the true meaning of “G” was never disclosed.

Q: What was a common reaction of Fred Sanford when he was upset or things didn’t go his way?

A: Fred would often feign a heart attack, clutching his chest and exclaiming, “Oh, this is the big one! You hear that, Elizabeth?! I’m coming to join you, honey!”

Q: How did Fred G. Sanford express his dislike for manual labor?

A: Fred frequently avoided manual labor by claiming he had “Arthur-itis” and showing a deliberately gnarled fist as evidence.

Q: Describe a recurring joke related to Fred Sanford’s vision.

A: A recurring joke involved Fred’s poor vision, where he would try on several pairs of glasses to see the phone dial better, though they rarely improved his vision.

Q: What unusual friendship did Fred G. Sanford have, despite his prejudices?

A: Despite his prejudices, Fred had a close friendship with a Jewish man named Goldstein, even donning a yarmulke to share chicken soup at Goldstein’s house.

Q: Who were Fred Sanford’s best friends in the neighborhood?

A: Fred’s best friends were Grady Wilson and Bubba Bexley, despite Fred’s opinion of them being somewhat dimwitted.

Q: How did Fred Sanford’s character deal with his dislike for Lamont’s Aunt Esther?

A: Fred and Aunt Esther had mutual animosity, with Fred often teasing her about her looks and Esther retaliating by calling him names and attempting to correct his ways with her Bible.

Q: What was Fred Sanford’s reaction to discovering his younger sister married a white man?

A: Fred was greatly affronted, especially since the white man was very fond of hugging, which further irked Fred.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar