The Verbal Smackdowns of Fred Sanford

Thursday, May 03, 2012
Photo from
I'm working on a new blog post--I swear--but in the meantime I thought I would provide some chuckles by posting some of the best lines ever uttered by Fred Sanford on the sitcom Sanford and Son. When he wasn't calling his son Lamont a "big dummy", most of his venomous zingers were aimed at his sister-in-law Esther's looks, and downright funny. There are 50 ways to call someone ugly, and Fred Sanford knew every one of them!

Fred Sanford: I brought you somethin' too, Esther.
Aunt Esther: Why, that's nothing but a clear piece of plastic.
Fred Sanford: No, it ain't. Put it up to your face. That's your Hallowe'en mask.

Aunt Esther: Fred Sanford why is it every time I come over to your house you call me ugly?
Fred Sanford: Because I'm not the type to lie.

Aunt Esther: Woodrow and I are going to have a baby.
Fred Sanford: Well somebody better call the zoo.

Aunt Esther: I cant believe it, you with a mop in your hand? Its about time you faced up to this mess.
Fred Sanford: Speaking of facing up to this mess, who messed up this face?

Fred Sanford: Who is it?
Aunt Esther: It's Esther!
Fred Sanford: Esther who?
Aunt Esther: You know Esther who! Open this door fool!
Fred Sanford: I can't open the door!
Aunt Esther: Why not?
Fred Sanford: You too ugly! 

From mythirdparent.tumblr
Fred Sanford: Polly-Esther - that's you. Half woman, half parrot!

Fred Sanford: Goodbye, dear
Aunt Esther: Oh, you called me dear.
Fred Sanford: Why shouldn't I call you DEER? You look like Bambi's father!

Fred Sanford: Listen, Esther. In the first place, you can't enter that contest because you're not eligible. See one of the things you have to be is a part of a certain race.
Woody Anderson: What race?
Fred Sanford: Human!

Aunt Esther: Who you calling ugly, sucker?
Fred Sanford: I'm calling you ugly, I could push your face in some dough and make gorilla cookies.

Aunt Esther: Fred Sanford, you just a messy fool.
Fred Sanford: And you just a sessy pool.

Aunt Esther: Today is my lucky day.
Fred Sanford: Why? Did you look at yourself in the mirror and it didn't break?

Fred Sanford: [to Aunt Esther] I warn you, woman, vengeance is among me! And ugly is among you.

Aunt Esther: My body was blessed by Mother Nature, honey.
Fred Sanford: And as you got older, it was cursed by Father Time.

Fred Sanford: Ester what are you doing here?
Aunt Esther: What do you mean what am I doing here?
Fred Sanford: Well Wolfwoman don't come out till there's a full moon.

Aunt Esther: "ohhh glory!"
Fred Sanford: "ohhh ugly!"

Fred Sanford: All you got to do is enlist Esther in the Navy. And that way, you can have her face buried at sea!

Lamont Sanford: She's (Aunt Esther's) gonna be competing with her own peers.
Fred Sanford: Her Peers?
Lamont Sanford: Yes.
Fred Sanford: You mean Godzilla is in the contest?

Fred Sanford (to Esther): If you have to take your clothes off, that's criminal.

Fred Sanford (to Esther when she's about to adopt a child): He will like you, Esther. All children love animals.

Here's the classic gorilla cookie quote:


  1. That's a fabulous collection of put-downs! ANd many of them are quite fabulous!

  2. Brilliant, just brilliant. Fred was the man. Poor Esther! Loved this post Pam :)

  3. Great post. My family loved this show. I have some good memories of us watching it together. Hope that you have been doing well lately.

  4. Thanks for the morning chuckle Pam--I laughed at Fred's gorilla cookie line before I saw you posted the clip at the bottom!

    Seeing this brings back good memories of my Dad, Esther made him laugh so hard he'd have a 'sneeze attack' (which for some reason made the rest of my family crack up--my poor dad)

    I can still remember sometime around '75 when Redd Foxx went on strike with the show, and the news reported he was demanding the 'unheard amount of 25K a week'. I don't know if he got it, but I thought for sure the show was gonna be canceled!

  5. Thank you for this! I love Sanford and Son. This put a big smile on my face!

    LaWanda Page and Fred Sanford were friends from high school and I believe he helped her get the job on the show. All I can say is that we were never the same! :)

  6. True raw talent. Brilliant writing. Fred and esters delivery was spot on.

  7. Esther: You can't get me down, Fred Sanford! I've got the spirit of CHRISTMAS!
    Fred: yeah, and the face of Halloween.


Powered by Blogger.