Lessons in Black History – LaWANDA PAGE

lawandaLaWanda Page – Born Alberta Pearl and best known as Aunt Esther on television’s Sanford and Son, LaWanda Page was a professional comedian and performer known by many for her foul-mouthed stage routine. Growing up in St. Louis, she was childhood friends with Redd Foxx, who’s show Sanford and Son would make her a television star. Foxx had insisted that Page co-star on the show as his Bible-thumping sister-in-law, despite producers who didn’t want to use her. But before TV, Page honed her comedic talent on the comedy/burlesque circuit. Known as the “Bronze Goddess of Fire,” she was known for her fire-eating act and a trick that involved lighting a cigarette with her fingertips. She recorded several comedy albums during the 1960s and 70s, including Mutha Is Half a Word. Page continued to perform live throughout the 1990, and appeared in several films, including Friday and Shakes the Clown, which included a line she often used in her stand-up routine: “I got one of them peanut butter pussys: it’s brown, smooth and easy to spread.”

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