Sunday, November 08, 2015

Auteur Watch - Sammy Davis Jr.

...the Candy Man?  Well, as someone once said, everybody wants to direct.  I think Richard Donner once complained about that... and he directed the Candy Man in something called Salt and Pepper... I $#!+ you not.  No wonder he gravitated to Lethal Weapon so much!  But even though everyone does want to direct, not everyone sticks with it, and Sammy's directorial ambitions seem to have been limited to television.  For some reason, he felt an affinity for directing awards shows, as the 2nd and 3rd Annual Black Achievement Awards seem to illustrate... let's see how many there were in total.  They stop at 15 for some reason.  Perhaps they morphed into, or got bought out by, the NAACP Image Awards or something... I'll just leave it at that.  The way my brain works, I can't help but think that Davis' appearance on "All in the Family" somehow led to his one episode of "Sanford," which doesn't seem to have been produced by Norman Lear.  "Sanford and Son" was, however, so I can't help but feel a small sense of smug vindication about that.  I guess that's why the second incarnation of Sanford didn't last... why did he have to kick his son out?  Same thing with "Archie Bunker's Place"... wait, that lasted four seasons?  Wow!  Must be where "Cheers" got their plot idea.
Anyway, Sammy directed, and appeared in, episode 5 of "Sanford," according to the IMDb.  Jim Drake is credited as co-director; apparently, he did all the heavy lifting for the two seasons of "Sanford."  The guy's a dynamo.  Among his other credits, the one season of the animated "Ed Grimley" and some of SCTV.  Human dynamo.

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