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Actor Demond Wilson has done a lot of work on TV and in film but he’s still best known for his role opposite Redd Foxx as Fred Sanford’s long-suffering son, Lamont Sanford, in the 1970s’ NBC sitcom Sanford and Son.

His second book, Second Banana: The Bittersweet Memories of the Sanford & Son Years has just been released. Born in Georgia, Wilson grew up in Harlem but now lives in Palm Springs.

After Sanford and Son, Wilson, now 68, played in a few TV shows and then became a minister/evangelist. He says when fans recognized him and say “Hey dummy,” as though he’s still in character as Lamont, he doesn’t mind.

“They related to the character. People still yell ‘Meathead’ at Rob Reiner, people still yell  ‘Yo Rocky’ at Sylvester Stallone, I really don’t mind. My youngest daughter’s about to receive her master’s [degree] she just got her first Mercedes. I have three grandchildren and I live a very quiet, productive life. I have two books out. I have some children’s books coming out.”

As for how he got his now famous role on Sanford and Son, he says it’s because of an Emmy-nominated appearance on the hit 70’s show All In The Family with the late Cleavon Little.

“Life is not always sweet but it’s bitter also,” Wilson says. “The relationship that Redd and I had was no different than a marriage. Sometimes the bitter outweighs the sweet. We were forerunners. We went from dressing in the men’s room at NBC to the HNIC’s. We were the #1 show on NBC and  they had a lot of powerhouses. Laugh In, Johnny Carson, but Redd and I went to the top and we were the #1 show for the better part of five years. Redd said it was the National Black Company.”

It’s reported that Foxx died broke, but Wilson says that he’s doing just fine.

“I’m good. My shows are shown in 40 countries, my books are selling around the world and I’ve done several movies and I get residuals. And I get 10 grand for a speaking engagement. So I’m cool.”

You can buy Wilson’s book Second Banana: The Bittersweet Memories of The Sanford and Son Years HERE. 

Click the link above to hear the entire interview !

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35 thoughts on “Demond Wilson On ‘Bittersweet’ Relationship With Redd Foxx, New Book

  1. Chibimaddy on said:

    I loved Demond’s character of Lamont on S&S. He was so cute and sweet. I just watched the episode where he was tap-dancing, and the happiness on his face was endearing. When I was a kid and watched, I used to think Lamont was mean to his dad, but now rewatching it as an adult, I see that Fred really held his boy back.

    Anyways… Just reminiscing. Great job acting Demond.

  2. SSimmons on said:

    Wow, the comments here show that Demond Wilson was greatly misunderstood and misjudged in this interview. He’s a good man and an iconic actor who has given interesting and insightful interviews as can be documented by a quick Google search. One interview in particular was absolutely wonderful with Lexi on “The Word”. In my opinion Mr. Wilson does well with skilled and respectful interviewers such as Lexi. Anthony Brown on the other hand was disrespectful with the rude line of questions, continued to cut Mr. Wilson off and I wasn’t surprised that He was annoyed at both interviewers because I too was annoyed. Here is the Lexi clip Pt. 1. Bless you Mr. Wilson.

  3. Danny Doob on said:

    I hate black radio talk show host, they always talk over the guest and they try to be better than their guest, they try to be funny! They are horrible and say rude stuff, then they sign off from the guest in a rude manner.

  4. J Maxwell on said:

    Don’t care what you say about Demond. I love Sanford and Son. They( Redd and Demond) are pioneers in the television industry. He cant be much of a dummy, to have had a job and stilling getting a check from it. God bless Demond and his family. Cant wait to catch up on the reruns.
    Haters will always find a way to hate.

  5. Trayc Bethea on said:

    I too have always (and still do) think Demond was a HORRIBLE actor!! He ALWAYS looked at the audience. I remember when there was an earthquake rumble when Fred & Lamont were in the kitchen. Lamont was TERRIBLE acting!! Not sure how he got the role, but he he was the worst!

  6. Mike Kelly on said:

    In this interview, I heard a 68 year old man who was not going to take any crap. We all know how these morning show crews can be. They get vicious and want to start clowning on irrelevant celebrities of yesteryear.

    When was the last time you heard an interview like this? Mr. Wilson held his own. He kept them in line and J. Anthony Brown’s desperate attack showed that Mr. Wilson wasn’t going with their agenda.

    Great interview for those who saw the truth in it.

  7. I’m not sure what interview everyone in the comments section listened to……it was the 6 minute and 20 second one at the top of the page, right? I didn’t see him being standoffish. I saw him navigating the interviewer in the direction he wanted to go. I’m happy that Desmond is finally willing to talk about the Sanford years and am looking forward to reading the book. I am amazed that so many want to paint him as an untalented actor. Watch the first three season of S&S. He was a good actor. The final seasons (4-7) of S&S were so poorly written, no one could look good with those scripts.

  8. I just found this interview here in 2016 and am amazed at some of the negative comments regarding Demond Wilson’s demeanor. He was fairly good-natured throughout the interview. He was laughing right up to the end. When he mentioned his daughter was getting her Master’s and then a Mercedez, I think he meant residuals from the shows he did were very good. The thing that surprised me was when the male interviewer asked him how his money was. That kind of question in the world of professional journalism interviewing could well make many subjects either A.) Hang up the phone if it’s a phone interview, or B.) Get up and walk out! And Wilson is not going to tell you much that is contained in his book – he wants you to buy the book! After reading SOME these comments, I feared this interview would taint Wilson’s positive image in my mind. It does not.

  9. I heard from a few friends of mine in the media who worked other engagements with him before that he was rude, a jerk, and didn’t know how to talk to people. This interview proves them right.

    How do you go on someone’s radio show and be rude and not answer questions when they’re trying to help you promote your book? Face it, Mr. Wilson, Redd Foxx MADE Sanford And Son. You were literally the second banana because you couldn’t ACT! Hell, when Jimmie Walker heard you got the part of Lamont Sanford, he said “It’s hard to find a DULL Black man.” That in and of itself should tell you that Redd Foxx was the star, and he made you look good, because in some of the episodes I’ve watched these last couple of weeks, you really WERE dull!!

    So be thankful that you got the gig in the first place and in the future, try not to be an asshole to people (like the TJMS) who try to help you and could have given that airtime to anybody in the world this morning, CERTAINLY to people far more RELEVANT than some washed up 70’s actor who found God when he couldn’t find other acting jobs.

    Peace and blessings.

  10. Mizteetime on said:

    I was annoyed when stated “my daughter has her Masters amd just bought her first Mercedes”…. Huh?, who cares you pretentious, rude ,arrogant prick.

  11. I don’t know what ya’ll talking about. I thought it was a good interview. He was Lamont being Lamont. Why should he answer pointed questions from the book, no one would buy it then. Wouldn’t be a need to write one if you’re going to spill it all out in an interview. Bottom line, the interview was a good one.

    • Yeah…but he’s not Lamont. Lamont was a fictional character in a show. A show that was on 40 years ago. That’s no valid excuse for his attitude.

  12. Mac Ben on said:

    Why is it when n!ggas go broke or go to jail they become preachers? Lamont aint sh!t…Tom should have left his blackass where he found him!

  13. that was a great interview with Lamont Sanford Demond Wilsonbut a lot of the questions he would not answer ok by the way if you will please keep me in your prayers and share my link with your friends and family any contributions will be greatly appreciated thank you may everyone be blessed

  14. Sabrina strickland on said:

    SMH ,I thought it was just me, he should not have done the interview seeing as how he felt that it was beneath him and a waste of his time, I was very disappointed in his behavior

    • Jordan Catrina on said:

      I will never watch Sanford and son ,he was sooo rude and disrespectful, so arrogant , he is a sad man, I think he was angry cause tom played Kirk Franklin ,assuming he was still a minister, and it went downhill from there., he is probably jealous of Toms success

  15. K. Williams on said:

    He was very standoffish jerk and a real waste of an interview and time. J Anthony Brown was great for calling him out on being such a poor guest. I honestly don’t think he’s doing as well as he’d like everyone to think. People who are doing well seldom need to brag because other people usually are bragging on them. I will not be a purchaser of his little silly book,

  16. I’m confused. That book was released in 2009. Why was he on the TJMS? Either Tom’s producers didn’t vet him properly or he has a really good publicist. But the publicist could’ve given Tom and n’em a heads-up that Mr. Wilson was gonna be a d!ckhead. What was his problem? Just being contrary for no good reason. (And what does his daughter buying a new Mercedes have to do with anything?) I hope I don’t grow old and crotchety. That would suck to be a curmudgeon for no good reason. That same “jerk” quality Lamont had was clearly NOT acting. Of course he don’t care, but Booo Demond Wilson. Do not invite him back. Ever. Let him stay in Palm Springs, where there is no Kirk Franklin to stimulate him. He can go suck a big second banana. I’m mad ‘cus now I can’t watch Sanford and Son reruns without being reminded of his unneccessary rudeness.

  17. I too believe he was annoyed and arrogant. I was put off by his comments to questions asked. Should have been check harder.

  18. M. Jackson on said:

    While I understand that Demond Wilson has a book and wants to promote it, he agreed to an interview with TJMS and should have just answered the question. He didn’t have to tell every detail in his book to do so, but came across as, “just buy my book.” I’m a tad disappointed as I am a big fan of their show, til this day, I watch it much on TVOne. I felt he could have contributed a lot to the interview.

  19. Beverly on said:

    Demond Wilson was too arrogant. He couldn’t answer the questions without a question. Poor interviewee. Thanks J for putting him in check!

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