Sanford and Son (1972–1977)
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The Big Party 

Behind on their bills, Fred and Lamont look to raise money by throwing a house party and charging admission.


Jack Shea


Odie Hawkins (teleplay by), Aaron Ruben (teleplay by) | 3 more credits »

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Episode cast overview:
Redd Foxx ... Fred G. Sanford
Demond Wilson ... Lamont Sanford
Gabriel Dell ... Leader
Don Bexley ... Bubba Bexley
LaWanda Page ... Aunt Esther Anderson
Danny 'Big Black' Rey Danny 'Big Black' Rey ... Duane (as Danny 'Big' Black)


Fred and Lamont are having some trouble paying the bills. Lamont's solution wants to request an extension, but Fred has a more stable idea borrowed from the old Harlem Rent parties in which they can hold a party and charge money on the door. Lamont is reluctant but eventually gives in. During the party, two gangsters show up and give Fred and Lamont "an offer they can't refuse" by suggesting that they use the junk business as a front while secretly turning Sanford and Son into a speakeasy. They seem trapped until they call on the one source who can help them out, Aunt Esther. Written by Jerry Roberts

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Release Date:

5 January 1973 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Tandem Productions See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This episode marks the first appearance of Aunt Esther. See more »


Fred G. Sanford: [to Aunt Esther] Listen, for years people goin' around saying, "Black is beautiful." They took one look at your family and said, "Hold everything!"
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References The Godfather (1972) See more »


Written by John Kander and Fred Ebb
Performed by Redd Foxx
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User Reviews

La Wanda Page debuts as Aunt Esther
16 December 2016 | by kevinolzakSee all my reviews

"The Big Party" marked the debut of LaWanda Page as Aunt Esther, the most prolific regular apart from Fred and Lamont, with a total of 48 episodes (reconfigured from Aunt Ethel in two earlier appearances by Beah Richards). Assets of $30 aren't enough to take care of $200 in unpaid bills, but since Fred's left hand itches it's a sure sign of money. The knock on the door turns out to Aunt Esther: "my left hand lied to me!" Never approving of the 'deadbeat' that married her sister Elizabeth, the family feud has continued more than 20 years after her untimely death: "the day I married your sister I was loaded" "yeah you was loaded all right, you were so drunk you fell on the preacher!" "well, I had to get drunk to look at your ugly family...for years people going' around sayin' black is beautiful, they took one look at your family and said hold everything!" Esther wants to use Fred's home for one of her Sunday bible meetings with what he describes as her 'cackling sisters' - "this is a junkyard, not a henhouse!" Lamont has no choice but to go along with his father's idea of spending their last $30 on refreshments, then charging admission for a fund raising campaign. Gabe Dell, previously seen in "The Suitcase Case," plays a similarly sinister character, while Billy Allyn debuts as Fred's pool hall buddy Billy, later seen in "A Visit from Lena Horne" and "Fred Sanford, Legal Eagle."

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