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Redd Foxx

Long before Eddie Murphy, Andrew Dice Clay, or Howard Stern raised the ire of censors and threatened the delicate sensibilities of mainstream American good taste, there was Redd Foxx, arguably the most notorious "blue" comic of his day. Prior to finding fame in the 1970s as the star of the popular sitcom Sanford and Son, Foxx found little but infamy throughout the first several decades of his performing career; salty and scatological, his material broke new ground with its point-blank riffs and brazen discussions of sex and color, and although his party albums were generally banned from white-owned record stores, the comedian's funky narrative style and raspy delivery proved highly influential on comic talents of all ethnic backgrounds.

Foxx was born John Elroy Sanford in St. Louis on December 9, 1922. While still in his teens, he became a professional performer, working as both a comedian and actor on the so-called "chitlin circuit" of black theaters and nightclubs; he formulated his stage name by combining an old nickname, "Red" (given because of his ruddy complexion), with the surname of baseball's Jimmie Foxx. After cutting a handful of explicit blues records in the mid-'40s, beginning in 1951 he often teamed with fellow comic Slappy White, a partnership that lasted through 1955.

Foxx was performing at Los Angeles' Club Oasis when a representative from the tiny Dooto label contacted him about cutting an album; the comedian agreed, and was paid $25 to record Laff of the Party, the first of over 50 albums of Foxx's racy anecdotes. An onslaught of Dooto releases followed, among them over half a dozen other Laff of the Party sets, The Sidesplitter, The New Race Track, Sly Sex, and New Fugg. His records were poorly distributed, and offered primarily in black neighborhoods; when they did appear in white record stores, they were sold under the counter. In the 1960s, Foxx signed to the MF label; his routines became even more explicit, as evidenced by titles like Laff Your A** Off, Huffin' and a Puffin', I Am Curious Black, 3 or 4 Times a Day, and Mr. Hot Pants. After a brief tenure on King, he signed to Loma, a division of Frank Sinatra's Reprise imprint; with records like Foxx-A-Delic and 'Live' Las Vegas, he became one of the very first performers to use four-letter words on major-label releases.

As the 1960s wore on and longstanding cultural barriers began to crumble, Foxx's audience expanded, and he made a number of television appearances. In 1970, he made his film debut in Ossie Davis' Cotton Comes to Harlem; when the film became a surprise hit, Foxx became a hot talent, and soon signed to star in Sanford and Son, a retooled sitcom version of the British television hit Steptoe and Son. The series, which starred Foxx as junk dealer Fred Sanford, premiered in 1972 and became a huge hit, running through 1977; he also continued recording, issuing You Gotta Wash Your A**, a live set taped at the Apollo Theater, in 1976. The short-lived programs Sanford, The Redd Foxx Show, and The Redd Foxx Comedy Hour followed; additionally, he starred in the 1976 feature Norman, Is That You?, and became a Las Vegas headliner.

By the early '80s, Foxx's career hit the skids; his difficult personality made him an unpopular commodity around Hollywood, and a number of divorces and ill-advised business decisions left him bankrupt. By the end of the decade, however, his influence on the new breed of African-American comedians was openly acknowledged, and in 1989 Eddie Murphy tapped him to co-star in his black-themed crime-noir film Harlem Nights. Although the film flopped, Foxx's career was renewed, and in 1991 he began work on a new sitcom, The Royal Family; tragically, he suffered a heart attack on the series' set and died on October 11, 1991. Still, even in death Foxx's name remained synonymous with off-color comments; on an episode of the hit show Seinfeld broadcast several years later, Jason Alexander's character George was chastised for the "curse toast" he delivered at a friend's wedding, prompting an exasperated Jerry to exclaim "You were like a Redd Foxx record up there!" ~ Jason Ankeny
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Two Of A Kind

1. Chinese Are Clever

2. You All Look Alike To Me

3. Merry Christmas

4. My Tennis Shoes

5. What Women Want

x

Track List: Gettin Down N Dirty

1. Stephen Foster

2. Faith Healer

3. Black Brains

4. Prose Poetry

5. Makin' Sandwiches

6. Country Boy

7. Atlanta, Ga

8. Sniffing Pepper

9. I Love You

10. Raffle Ticket

11. Everything's Big

12. Rat Trap

13. Doorknob

14. Teflon

15. Organ Transplant

16. Get Tight

17. Lincoln

18. Say Hamburger

19. Kiss Urass Goodbye

20. Theme From Sanford & Son

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Track List: Fugg It!!! (Explicit)

x

Track List: Racy Tales

1. Confucius Say

2. Earthquake Pregnancy

3. Hillbilly In Brooklyn

4. My Financial Advisor

5. The Lions

6. Three Old Maid Sisters

7. The A**

8. Texas

9. Mary's Wardrobe

10. The Rent Receipt

11. Hell Is Downhill

12. The Great Drama

13. Twin Brothers

14. Pregnant P**sy

15. New Race Track

Comments

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R.I.P original of the Real Kings of Comedy : I still watch Sandford and Son today and remember all the laughter we use to have as a family
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Funnyshit thanks Jason
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andreaugusti n 5 4
I love him always My grandpa's house friend who was in our life ,rest R
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G O A T
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Oh oh this is da big one...im comeing elizabeth
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Redd foxx the legend ain't nobody and i mean nobody funnier then him the real king of comedy
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You big dummie la monte!
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The real icon on earth.
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In 1986 I lived 4 doors down from Mr. Foxx. He was the sweetest, lovable, funny man you could ever meet. He would invite you over just to sit by his pool, look at his awards. Just a sweet,sweet man.
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allenfawcett 1 2 3
I'm 31 and redd foxx is so funny I just lol all the time
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Hahaha the Confucius one is so funny I peed myself xD
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The opposite of Black is RED! Red was funny and he shared it with the world. Did you know he attended Du Do Szabo
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Didnt intend to add question mark?!-He's The Greastest?
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LOOOVE HIM!!!?
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I love this guy. Im so happy that he went out to make it easier for the race barriers to come down.
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allenfawcett 1 2 3
I'm 30 this is funny S**t
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Elizabeth!!! I'm comin'!
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Hilarious
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Best comic of all time
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C'mon now. Fred, Richard ...old school y'all ..
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funny
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He was the man!
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mclark17
legendary greatness :)
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my grandfather knew this man my grandfather was a boxer his boxing name was kid merino i just dont understand how there conected by reading this it makes no sense cause in redfoxxes bigraphy i never saw one thing about boxing would any one know of my grandfather or if this man was conected with ppl who boxed?
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Harlem nights by far the best movie everp
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Fred G Sanford and the G is for GREATEST
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jamartinmusi c 1
There's a sign on the Cathouse door that says, "Out to lunch- Beat it!!!" Ha, ha.
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Legend in his own RIGHTS!
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Al,NOBODY'Z PURRFECT!
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joeycourteau x
Sanford and son was the best! Love this old dude!
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biglg73
I Live By Fred G Sanford
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ebonilashley
When i was in grammar school my step dad used to take my brother and me to school in a truck just like his on "Sanford & Son" and that was in the late 80's...lol
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Clicked on wrong thumb. Please leave Red Fox as one of my selections. Thumbs UP
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One of the GREATEST of all time
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I just Love Redd Foxx

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