Of all the songs on this year’s playlist, this one may be the most surprising: Redd Foxx, star of “Sanford and Son,” bluest of the blue comics, doing a completely sincere and sweet rendition of a Christmas favorite?
Let’s explain with help from ChristmasTVHistory.com: this is part of a Christmas episode in which Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” gets the “Sanford and Son” treatment, with Fred as the Scroogiest junk shop dealer in TV history. (At one point Lamont calls him out for being a Scrooge and Fred replies, “What the dickens are you talking about?”) Lamont Sanford takes on the roles of all three Christmas ghosts; he even puts on a space suit as the Ghost of Christmas Future!
Anyway, as Fred sees the error of his ways and decides to make up for it before Christmas is over, he drops by Aunt Esther’s party, where he’s just in time for caroling. And that’s where he sings “The Christmas Song,” accompanied by jazz guitar great Herb Ellis. So if you were thinking of holding back over the holidays because of what this year’s been like, maybe reconsider. Even Fred Sanford got into the spirit of the season!