All in the Family (1971–1979): Season 5, Episode 13 - Archie's Contract - full transcript

A corrupt door-to-door salesman takes advantage of Archie's reluctance and inability to study the finite details of a home improvement contract, and sells him $2,000 worth of aluminum siding, purportedly to prevent heat loss in the home. Irene and the Jeffersons are left to bail Archie out after the siding is found to be worthless.

? Boy, the way Glenn Miller played ?

? songs that made the hit parade ?

? guys like us, we had it made ?

? those were the days

? and you knew where you were then ?

? girls were girls and men were men ?

(Both) ? mister, we could use a man

? like Herbert hoover again

? didn't need no welfare states ?

? everybody pulled his weight ?

(Both) ? gee, our old lasalle ran great ?

? those were

? the days

here I am. Oh, good morning, Archie.

Good morning, Edith. And now
that that's out of the way,

let's get to the breakfast.

What would you like?

Well, I got a guy coming over to
see me in a couple of minutes

so, make it something fast. Cereal.

Oh, all right. What kind do you want?

I don't know, Edith. Just surprise me.

Oh, all right.

Ah, I'll give you cheerios.


Or, would you rather have jolly Jacks?
They're sweeter.


Or captain crunch is crunchier.

Swell, Edith.

Well, which do you want?

You said you was going to surprise me.

Oh, yeah. I'll give you cocoa puffs.

What a surprise.

Who is this man you're expecting over?

Well, he's the guy that mcnab
introduced me to over at kelcy's.

See, he's got to go over to mcnab's house

and give him a free heating
inspection over there.

So, he was talking to me,
took a liking to me,

said he'd come over, do
the same thing for us.

(Edith) Oh!

He's gonna show us how to
save money on fuel, for free.

Ain't that nice.

What's he selling?

Aren't you listening to me? I said it's for free.
He ain't selling nothing.

Oh. How can he make a
living by selling nothing?

Volume, Edith, volume.

Oh, hi, Louise. Good morning.

Edith, can I borrow your waffle iron?

Ours is broken. Oh, sure.

Well, ours ain't much better there, Louise.

The waffles come out
looking like half soles

no, they don't, Archie.

Here you are. Thanks, Edith.

How's George's cold?

Oh, he hasn't got a cold.

He's got a severe case of hypochondria.

Oh, jeez, Louise. I hope he don't
come spreading that around here.

You're safe, Archie. I don't think
George will give you anything.

Thanks again, Edith.

Hey, Louise.

I hope you ain't gonna cook nothing
funny in that waffle iron.

No. Just the usual. Ribs,
chicken, and pigs' feet.

You know, I ain't so sure
she's kidding there.

Why did you have to lend her that thing?

Archie, Louise is my friend

oh, Edith. When are you going to wise up

in this dog-eat-dog world?

The friends you got you
can count on one hand

leaving out the thumb and pinkie.

Oh, no, Archie. I've got lots of friends.

Wonderful friends.

What would the world be without friends?

That reminds me of a poem I
used to know in high school.

Oh, jeez, a poem.

"Let me live in a house
by the side of the road

where I can be a friend to man"

I heard about them kind
of houses in the army.

Was the people in 'em friendly?

You never wanted to leave.

[Doorbell ringing]

Oh, there's the doorbell.

Yeah, let's go.

That's that guy I was telling you about
to give us the free heating inspection.

But Archie, it's always
so nice and warm in here.

Why do we need a heating inspection?

Edith, the man is going to
show us how to save money.

For free. Will you...


Good morning, Mr. bunker. Good
morning Mr. scanlon. Come right in.

Say hello to the wife Edith
. Edith, say hello to Mr. scanlon.

A pleasure, Mrs. bunker. Oh, thank you.

He's gonna be a big help to us.

Yes, help is what the home energy
conservation program is all about.

Yeah, you hear that?

It's a program, Edith. Kind of official.
Right, Mr. scanlon?

Well, you've read what the
president said about saving fuel.

Oh-ho, don't I know it. Them arabs

has got the whole nation
over one of their barrels.

You're very perceptive, Mr. bunker.

That's exactly where those arabs have got us.
Over a barrel.

Now, uh, how many rooms do we have here?

Uh, here we got, uh, 6 rooms,
Mr. scanlon, uh, including the toilet.

And, uh, talking about
toilets, Mr. scanlon,

you being in the government,
kind of like an engineer,

I'd like to tell you about an idea of mine.

Well, we're always interested in
new ideas, Mr. bunker. What is it?

An electric toilet seat

yeah. I got the idea one freezing morning

after the wife left the bathroom
window open all night long.

It, uh, it works like, uh,
your electric toaster

only it don't pop you off the seat.

That's--that's a very
interesting idea, Mr. bunker.

Yeah. I'm thinking I'll call
it "the bunker bun warmer."

Well, I'll, uh, I'll certainly suggest that

to the department of the interior.

Yes, well, now, how many rooms?
You said 6. Is that it?

Yeah, we got 6 rooms here, Mr. scanlon.

All right. Now that would be about,

uh, oh, 34,000 cubic feet

with a heating capacity of, uh,

oh, that would come to about,

uh, 125,000 b. T.U.'S.


125,000 of 'em, huh?

What's a b.T.U., Archie?

Oh, well, Edith, a b.T.U., uh,
in the heating profession

is just, uh, one of 'em things that...
Mr. scanlon.

Oh, a b.T.U., Mrs. bunker, means
British thermal units. Yeah.

I think we traded some destroyers for them.

(Archie) What do you got
there, Mr. scanlon?

Well, this meter is a specially
designed instrument which measures

the amount of heat that's
being contained in your home.

Oh, yeah? Yes.

Well, look at that, Edith.

Well, everything seems
to be all right here.

Why don't we just walk over towards
that wall and see what happens.

Yeah. Go ahead.

Well, hey, hey, hey Edith. Look at that.

You see that little needle
jumping into the red there?

By golly, you're right, Mr. bunker.

Is that bad? Anything red is bad.

In this case, it is bad, Mr. bunker.

Because it's warning us about a heat loss.

Probably due to improper insulation.
May I check your furnace?

Oh the furnace. Yeah, sure, Mr. scanlon.
Come with me.

Right this way.

You just go through this door here and uh,

right down 'em cellar steps.
Look out for the third step

uh, why? It ain't there.

Well, thank you.

Oh, jeez. Look at this.

What the hell are you doing?

You mind telling me?

I'm measuring the heat.

Well, it's just a warm over
here as it is over there.

Oh. I don't feel no heat missing.

Will you stop that with your fingers there?

Since when are you a heat meter, huh?

Folks, I've got some bad news for you.


I'm afraid I'm gonna have
to red tag your furnace.

Oh, w-wait a minute, Mr. scanlon, uh,

red--red tag? What is that?

Well, it's a warning to
keep out of your basement.

You have a very dangerous
situation down there, Mr. bunker.

You have such a great heat loss

that it's forcing your furnace to overwork.

Now, may I use your telephone?

Well, sure, Mr. scanlon. It's right over there.
But, uh, who you going to call up?

Well, I have to notify the
bureau of furnace control.

See, they'll shut of your heat
until you get a larger furnace.

[Stuttering] Wait there.

They can't shut off our heat.
It's winter time!

Well, I have to go by
the book, Mrs. bunker.

Well, w-wait a minute Mr. scanlon.
Don't call. Gee.

I hate calling up them bureaus, see?

And I can't get a larger your furnace.

I can't afford it. Cost me about $2000.

Is there anything else I could do?

Well, there is another solution.
Yeah, what?

We'll insulate your house
with aluminum siding.

How much would that cost? $2,000.

Oh, hell! Oh, my!

It never rains, but it pours. Doesn't it?

Oh, jeez. Well, how are
we going to get our heat?

How the hell do I know?
Set the house on fire.

Don't you think you better go down

and check the furnace yourself?

I can't pass that red tag.
It's against the law.

Mr. scanlon, uh, listen, if--if you could
figure out something for us to do, uh...

You know that toilet seat idea of mine?

That's yours for nothing.

There may be another way. Yeah?

What's this?

Oh, now, this is a map
of your area of queens.

Now if Mr. mcnab does not
accept our free offer--

wait a minute, wait a minute. You
made mcnab a free offer or something?

Well, uh, I also happen to represent

you see, the home owners
aluminum siding corporation.

Now we could use a model home in this area.

You see, if a home owner allows us
to use his home as a show place

we give him the aluminum for nothing.

You give him aluminum for--for nothing?
Hey, hey, hey. I want that deal

hold on now, just a minute, Mr. bunker.
I think it's only fair

that I make this offer to Mr. mcnab first.

No, no, no. Wait a minute. You made
that offer to me first. Just now.

And you did accept, didn't you?

I most certainly did. Edith
is there as my witness.

Yeah, but, I--I...

[Chuckling] You drive a
hard bargain, Mr. bunker.

All right. The deal is yours. Great, great.
What do we do?

But, now, I have to warn you.
This being a model home

you'll have to allow potential buyers to
come here, in order to see for themselves

what a great job aluminum does.

Yeah, well, that's all right.
That seems fair enough, huh?

But, Archie, I don't want--

now I have the short term contract here.
Which explains the whole deal.

But I want you to read it over very,
very carefully before you sign.

Oh, I always read contracts
there, Mr. scanlon.

But the print in here is pretty small.

Sir? Oh, uh, thank you very much.

Let me see.

"Home owners aluminum company

"agrees to furnish

(both) Absolutely free
all fitting sidings"--

stop blowing in my ear.

I can't hear myself read this thing.

Uh-oh, it's supposed to be free.

It's says here, "upon receipt
of the aluminum sidings,

the client agrees to pay for
shipping and installation."

Oh, now. That's just for
your own protection.

That way you don't pay a gift
tax on the free aluminum.

No gift tax? See how good you come out?

(Edith) But how much--

and another thing I forgot to tell you.

If you could interest any of our
friends in our aluminum siding,

I will give you 10 percent
on any leads you bring in.

1o percent? Jeez, that's terrific!

You'd like $200, wouldn't you?

Oh-ho, does a rabbit like another rabbit?

Yes, I want that deal right now.

But, Archie-- stifle yourself.

Oh. Here--here we are.

A. Bunker. There.

Very good. Now, and here's
your copy of the contract.

Oh, that's swell, Mr. scanlon. When can
we expect your men to start working?

Well, I'll have the truck
here this afternoon.

Oh, gee, that's swell, Mr. scanlon. Thanks.

But, Mr. scanlon, what about our furnace

and all them b.T.U.'S?

Is it going to blow up?

Oh, yeah, that's a good thought, there.

I mean, you know, there ain't no sense

to put aluminum around a house
that ain't going to be here.

All you have to do is
turn the thermostat down

until we get the aluminum siding up.

Good thinking, Mr. scanlon

it's been a pleasure
doing business with you.

And congratulations.

Oh, thank you.

You're going to just love aluminum.

Archie, are you sure we can afford this?

Edith, what is to afford?
We ain't buying nothing.

Why do I feel like we've
been sold something?

'Cause you never believe nothing, Edith.
You're one of them septics.

[Doorbell ringing]

I'll get it.

I will never, never understand
why some people are

always looking a gift horse in the eye.

Oh, hi, Irene. Oh, hi, Edith

hi, Archie, I just had to come
over when I saw that guy scanlon

leaving your house.

I want to talk to you about that--

was he at your place, too?

Yeah, how 'bout that character?

Using a photographer's light
meter to measure heat.


Wait a minute, wait a minute, using a what?

A light meter.

Oh, oh, if you didn't see that, then
you missed the best part of his act.

Oh, I don't think we missed nothing.

Get this, this--this con artist

with a, a light meter in his hand

walks toward my window.

And--and of course the light makes
the needle jump into the red zone.

So then he tries to tell me that
that's because of a loss of heat.


Can you imagine anyone in their right mind

falling for a dumb gag like that?


Well, he said we can have it for nothing

if we let people come in here

and feel our b. T.U.'S.

Archie, believe me. You've been had.

Don't keep saying that, will you, Irene.
'Cause I ain't been had.

Maybe then we've been took.

Archie, you need aluminum like
a moose needs a shower cap.

Maybe we ought to call a lawyer.

[Groaning] That's a good idea.

Hey, listen, I can get Franks nephew Tony.

To look over your contract and
it won't cost you a cent.

Listen--listen, Irene, I don't
want Frank's nephew Tony.

I don't want no lawyers at all.
I just want the two of youse

to leave me alone.

Archie, I'm just trying to help you.

Wait a minute, oh, oh, Archie,
Irene's just trying to help.

Listen, Irene, when I need help,
I'll write to "dear Abby."

Now I'm telling youse two for the last time,
I made a deal and it was a good deal.

You and the Indian who
sold New York for $24.

Don't be comparing me
to no ignorant Indian.

Oh, I won't I never saw
aluminum siding on a tee pee.

Irene, why don't you take that nose of
yours and peck on a tree for a while.

Hey, it's freezing in here. Who
turned down the thermostat?

Little girl, you didn't touch
that thermostat, did you?

Well, sure, I turned it up again.

Get out of the way here

don't even touch that thing, for...

You want to blow us all
through the roof here?

What is the matter?

Don't nobody fool with this
instrument on the wall here

until we get the aluminum on the house.

What aluminum?

This aluminum.

Arch, you signed a contract

to put aluminum siding
around a brick house?

Yes, I did.

Who sold you that idea?

None of your business.
Give me that contract.

Why do we need aluminum siding?

Because, little girl, we got a serious
heat-loss problem in this house.

Oh, arch, arch, I don't think this is

one the reputable aluminum
firms around here.

I think we ought to check this thing
out with a better business bureau.

What is better business getting
something for nothing, huh?

Why do you always think I'm getting stuck?

I don't think you're getting stuck.
I think you're getting harpooned.

Try and disappear, huh?

I see Mrs. podinski left, huh?

You mean Irene? Yes, she went home.

Good. I hope it was something I said.

[Knocking on door]

Oh, come in, Mr. Jefferson.

Here's your waffle iron, Edith.
And thank you very much.

Oh, you're welcome.

Ah, George, it's nice to see you.
Hey, did you enjoy the waffles?

Did you know those waffles come
out looking like half soles?

Yeah. Hey, George, I'm
glad you dropped over

there's something I want to talk to you about.
Edith, would you step into

the sitting room for a minute? I
want to talk to George in private.

Oh, that's nice. Excuse me.

George, I hear you got
a terrific cold. Huh?

You're gonna keep on getting colds, George,

until you get that house of yours insulated

with aluminum sidings
which I can get for you.

Aluminum siding? Yeah.

Ain't that pretty expensive?

Well, no. Not when you think
of all the money you save.

I-I-I'm going to have 'em done here.

See, my house is going to be, uh, one
of 'em, what do you call, model houses.

Oh, yeah. First they put it
on your house right? Yeah.

And then people come over and
look at your house that's right.

And it's only going to cost you $1,955.11.

Wait a minute. Where did
you get them figures?

Well, that's what it cost my
brother-in-law for his model home

6 months ago when he got ripped off.

What do you mean "ripped off"?

And they call that rip off
"shipping and installation fees."

Can't you dig it? You're
getting the aluminum shaft.

When they slap that stuff on this house,

this place is going to look
like a 6-room car wash. Bye.

Hey, Edith. Oh boy! Edith! Edith!

It's freezing in this house.

Did you get Irene's nephew
on the phone yet? No, no,

I can't. Irene's line is still busy.

Ah, gee, give me the phone book.

I'll call the guy direct what's his name?

Oh, it's, uh, Tony something.

Jeez, all Italians are Tony something.

She's supposed to be your best friend and
you don't even know her nephew's name?

Daddy, men outside on a ladder are
looking right in the bedroom window.

Yeah, and there are 2 trucks out there
with enough aluminum to build a 747.

What are they doing out...

Oh, they're starting work already, Edith.
We can't wait for Tony the lawyer.

Call our own lawyers the 3 rubinowitzes.


Which one do you want to talk to?

Get the old man. He's the most Jewish.

Well, Mr. bunker, true to my word, my
trucks are here with the aluminum.

Uh, well, uh, Mr. scanlon, uh, since I was
talking to you last time my wife here

she was reminding me that I got a, kind of,
what do you call, allergy to aluminum.

Yeah, he gets sick when he
finds out he's been taken.

How much is all this going to cost?

Well, whatever the charges come to.

Now we have a contract, Mr. bunker.

Signed under duress.

Yeah, without knowing I
was under the dress.


Oh, gee, what is this? What is this?

Hey, hey! Hey, you guys. Cut that out.
Get the ladders

away from my house, you. Get out of here.

Scanlon, call your men off now
and tell them to go home.

Now I can't do that, Mr. bunker.

Somebody say something here?

Yeah, I said "get out of here." To him.

Never mind, Leonard.

Look, Mr. scanlon, if you don't
get your men to stop working

we'll call the department
of consumer affairs.

Well, you do that, young lady, they'll
be open bright and early Monday morning.

I got to get back to work we got 2
more model homes to do on this block.

2 more model homes on this block?

Street's going to look
like a row of beer cans.

You can't stand that. Did
you get the rubinowitzes?

No, they're all in Miami.

Ah, we are up the creek without a saddle.

I'm going to put a stop to this, bunker.

George told me what happened and
I went out and got a policeman.

All right, mack, what have you been up to?

Hold it, hold it, I ain't the crook.

The crook is the
honest-looking guy over there.

Well now, he signed a contract, officer.
I'm not doing anything illegal.

Ain't there some kind of law against
taking advantage of the simple-minded?

Well, is there? 'Cause if there
ain't, there ought to be.

This happened to my brother, and I don't
want to see it happen to my friend.

[All chattering]

Hold, hold it, hold.

Now did you sign a contract
with this individual?

Well for aluminum siding,
yeah, but you see--

there's nothing I can do. There
ain't been no crime committed.

Since when ain't robbery a crime, officer?

I mean after all...


L-listen to this

I hear it. We better do something.

They're sealing us in
like a can of mixed nuts.

Look, mack,

you're not the first one to
complain about this kind of thing.

But there's nothing I can do.

Archie, Archie, I just finished talking
to Frank's nephew on the phone.

What good is he on the phone?

Look. He told me to check
out all of these points.

Now, you've got have a remodeling
permit in a visible location.

A remodeling permit?

Yeah, that's right, Buster.
You got one of them?

Oh, that just a technicality, officer.

He also needs a license from the
department of consumer affairs

to operate a business in
the city of New York.

I've applied for that.

Ah, well, you also need a salesman's
license and a contractor's license

paid to date.

Uh, have you got any of
those things Mr. scanlon?

I bet the bum don't even
have a driver's license.

It's my opinion that we have enough here

to let the bunko squad take over.

Oh, well, now, officer
. There's no need for that.

If a customer is not satisfied,

and not completely happy with the
job, we have a policy whereby

we could just forget the whole deal.

Well, that takes care of that.

And, uh, Mr. slick,

I happen to notice your truck
has one wheel on the side walk.

New ticket for you.

Uh, officer, can't we talk this over?

Hey, Irene,


did Tony the lawyer say anything
about maybe suing this guy scanlon?

'Cause I hate to come out
of this thing empty-handed.


Oh, you ain't empty-handed.

You're rich, you got friends.

Ah, jeez.

You got another poem for that, Edith?


"There are gold ships
there are silver ships

but there's no ship like friendship"

(male announcer) All in the
family was recorded on tape

before a live audience.