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Old 01-10-2017, 01:59 AM   #1
EccentricGenius
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Default Was Redd Foxx really slated to appear as Fred Sanford in season two's "The Adoption"?

One of my favorite episodes of "Diff'rent Strokes" is season two's "The Adoption," in which Arnold and Willis are officially adopted by Mr. Drummond. But Drummond's plans are disrupted when a mysterious stranger arrives at the penthouse, claiming to be the boys' cousin. The stranger, named Jethro Simpson, also has a letter in his possession containing a last will and testament signed by a recently-deceased acquaintance of Arnold and Willis' late parents.

Whitman Mayo, best known for his role as Fred Sanford's well-meaning but dimwitted pal Grady Wilson on "Sanford and Son," guest-starred as Jethro Simpson. Mayo's performance as Simpson was eerily similar to his performance as Grady on "Sanford and Son."

Many years ago, I was reading a synopsis of "The Adoption" on IMdb (The Internet Movie Database), and I was surprised to discover that "The Adoption" was originally written as a "comeback vehicle" for the legendary Redd Foxx. According to IMdb, Foxx was slated to reprise his most famous role, cantankerous junkman Fred Sanford, on "Strokes"; in fact, the TV Guide listing for that week's issue (27 October-2 November 1979) even mentions Foxx guest-starring as Fred on "Strokes." As it turned out, Foxx never made an appearance as Fred on "Strokes," causing the scripts for "The Adoption" to be rewritten and recast (Foxx's former "Sanford and Son" co-star, Whitman Mayo, was cast as well-meaning but dimwitted junkman Jethro Simpson). Several months later, in the spring of 1980, Foxx eventually did return to series television (as Fred) on "Sanford."

My question is this: Was Redd Foxx really slated to appear as Fred Sanford in "The Adoption"? Is there some evidence (press releases, newspaper and magazine articles, publicity photos, etc.) floating around that confirms this rumor?

Drop me a line...I'd love to hear from you!
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Old 01-25-2017, 06:38 PM   #2
Mace Dolex
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Very interesting, I remember those episodes, I just find it funny how a junkman was going to support two kids.
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