presents... Interesting Motherfucker: (noun)
An individual exhibiting such uniqueness or individuality that he or she will cause a roomful of bar cronies to exclaim, "That's one interesting motherfucker!" Actual sexual relations with one's mother are not required.

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Redd Foxx

By John Saleeby

What’s all this about Bill Cosby and Richard Pryor being the first Black Comedians? No wonder Redd Foxx had a Heart Attack! Cosby and Pryor got all the acclaim but all Redd Foxx ever got was “Sanford And Son”. It’s just not Right! But Red Foxx was Black in the Old Days so things being “Right” was never really an option. Trying to get things “Right” just has you putting Pills in Women’s drinks or setting fire to yourself while Freebasing Cocaine. Redd Foxx was too FUNNY for that shit! 

Redd Foxx was a Singer before he became a Comedian so it is safe to assume that he wasn’t a very good Singer. A lot of Comedians got their start as Singers and Musicians and whenever I see a Comedian who has never been a Singer or a Musician I think it is too bad they never gave that stuff a shot. I bet Tim Allen has a wonderful Singing Voice. He ought to take break from the TV Biz to do a little Crooning. Five or ten years worth. I hear Jon Stewart has been taking Violin Lessons since leaving “The Daily Show”. Keep Practicing, Bro! 

Foxx developed his Comedy Act on what they called “The Chitlin’ Circuit” and as a White Man, I cannot imagine such a scene. Maybe I could try to but I’m a little put off by “The Chitlin’” part. Why call it that? Why not “The Fried Chicken Circuit”? Nah, then you would have had White people hanging around.  But “Chitlin’”, that even kept the Beatniks away! Maybe the whole “Chitlins” thing is a brilliant hoax? Black people don’t really eat that, right? They’re deliberately freaking all the White people out to keep em away, right? “We’ve got a lot of Work to do so I’ll be keeping an eye on you . . . “ “Yeah! And then we’re gonna eat some CHITLINS for Lunch!” “Uh . . . I’m gonna go inside and lie down for a little while . . . “ “YES, SIR!” Maybe it was all Redd Foxx’s idea. Yeah! I’ll put that in the Article. It’ll be funny!

Redd first became a Star with a series of popular Party Records. That’s what Comedy Albums by Black Comedians were called - “Party Records”. I’m probably already in trouble after all that carrying on about “Chitlins” so I’ll leave the “Party Records” thing for Sean Hannity. Swing with it, Buddy!  I remember the “Comedy” sections in Record Stores (Record Stores? Yeah, I’m an Old Man now. Will I be able to make it to the end of the Article? Nobody’s who’s reading it will, why should I worry about it? ) having a ton and a half of Party Records by Red Foxx, Slappy White, and Skillet & Leroy  (I had to take a Three Week Break from this Article after remembering the Covers to those guy’s Albums. Mon Dieu!)  and then a bunch of Richard Pryor albums next to the George Carlin, Martin Mull, and Two Thousand Year Old Man Records to make a kind of Buffer Zone. The Bill Cosby Albums were over by the Helen Reddy Albums mixing drinks. These Party Records clearly meant a lot more to Black people than any Comedy Albums meant to White people. There ought to be some kind of Hipster Investigation into this and Redd Foxx Party Records are a good place to start. There was even a Black Record Company specializing in Comedy - Laff Records! Let’s make up a bunch of T Shirts with the Laff Records logo on em and walk around in em “Look at me! I’m COOL!” You can wear the Skillet & Leroy T Shirt.

Redd Foxx finally became the Internationally Acclaimed Comedy Super Star he deserved to be with the Big Hit NBC Sit Com “Sanford And Son”. YAY! But Hollywood Success brought an unexpected complication into Redd’s Life - He had to take orders off of White Men! Redd had always been the rare Black Man who never had to put up with that kind of shit - He was a Black Comedian who performed in Black Night Clubs and made Albums for Black Record Companies, now he was in Los Angles dealing with White Producers and White Writers. Not even White Comedians can put up with those assholes! “Yeah, I remember when I was on ‘Community’ . . . “ After the Article, Chevy. After the Article. “I’ll take a nap.” Good! Comedy wasn’t FUN any more! Didn’t Redd watch “I Can’t Hear The Laughter”, the NBC Bio Pic about Freddie Prinze? “I saw ‘Cocaine-One Man’s Seduction’ with Dennis Weaver!” Shut up, Chevy!

Getting pushed around by White guys is one thing for a Black guy, but pushed by around by Hollywood TV Situation Comedy People? Fuck that! We’re lucky Redd Foxx could put up with those assholes for a Week much less Six Years. Somebody ought to make a Movie about that. I’d do it, but get pushed around by Hollywood Comedy Movie People? Fuck that! I’d just knock the shit out of somebody on Day One. Where is that goddam Judd Apatow? I’m gonna kick his ass before Lunch Time! Paul Rudd? IS THAT PAUL RUDD!?! I’ll give him ten seconds to turn around and get the FUCK outta here!!! 

The only Good Thing Redd Foxx got out of “Sanford And Son” was Money and he had even more problems with that garbage than Ernie Kovacs (If you don’t know who Ernie Kovacs was it’s because nobody cares about when you die broke). Redd Foxx was more than Three And A Half Million Dollars in Debt when he died. If he had been an even Four Millions in Debt he would have died a little sooner. And it would have hurt more. And it would have been in Slow Motion like in a Sam Peckinpah Movie. And maybe Tom Savini would have been involved. 

And Foxx had Tax Problems. Foxx’s Tax Problems were so bad that when people get in that much trouble with the IRS today they don’t have Tax Problems, they have Foxx Problems. Things go so bad between the IRS and Foxx one day they just came to Redd’s House and took all his stuff away. And that is not some crazy Acid Logic exaggeration. They literally came to his House and took all of his stuff away. ALL of his stuff. One day Redd Foxx was in his House listening to Mahler and admiring a few Van Goghs when all of a sudden a fleet of Trucks pulled up and The Man took away the Mahler, Van Goghs, and a Big Ol’ Icy Jug O’ Red Kool Aid! Damn! And they were not content to merely seize all of Redd’s possessions (I think they left the Skillet & Leroy Records), but they also tipped off the News Media to put it all on Television so more people saw Redd Foxx freaking out over that Real Life Situation than ever saw Fred Sanford freaking out over whatever was going on in all those Episodes of “Sanford And Son”. They paid the guy who Played “Son” on “Sanford And Son” to follow Foxx around the whole Time yelling “You see, Pop? You couldn’t just pay your Taxes like you were supposed to! You had to spend all your money without bothering to file . . . “ “Shut up, you Big Dummy!” “Son” needed the Work! They offered the Actor who paid Julio, the Funny Puerto Rican Guy, to come around with “Hey, Mister Sanford!  You got to pay your Taxes, man!” but he was doing pretty good on stuff like “Matlock” and “Murder She Wrote” and he had to turn them down. I think he was doing a “Love Boat” or something. 

And when Redd Foxx’s House was completely empty, the Trucks were all loaded up, and he was just standing in the Street like Poor Ol’ Fred Sanford The Doobie Brothers started Jamming, Rerun from “What’s Happening?” started Dancing, and when a Cassette Tape Recorder fell out of Rerun’s Pants and The Doobies realized that he was making a Bootleg of their Doobie Music and . . . Hey, all that stuff was a long Time ago. I get it all messed up. Were The Doobie Brothers ever on “M*A*S*H”? Hawk Eye pulled a Hand Grenade out of Skunk Baxter’s Mustache, right? It’s all a blur, man. Did a Cassette Tape Recorder fall out of Klinger’s Skirt? 

Poor Ol’ Redd Foxx.

John Saleeby wrote for The National Lampoon while he was in high school, was a stand up comic in New York, and has contributed to the net humor zines, Campaign Central, and the legendary American Jerk. He's on medication now so he's probably a little nicer now than he was when you met him earlier. Email -

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Additional Redd Foxx Material:
Redd Foox dot com
The official site with all the goodies!

LA Times article on Redd's Death.
He died joking around


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