One Day at a Time (1975–1984): Season 4, Episode 1 - Father, Dear Father: Part 1 - full transcript

Ann's ex-husband tells her that he can no longer afford to pay child support. His current wife is too high maintenance.

♪ This is it, this is it

♪ This is life, the one you get

♪ So go and have a ball

♪ This is it, this is it

♪ Straight ahead
and rest assured

♪ You can't be sure at all

♪ So while you're
here enjoy the view

♪ Keep on doing what you do

♪ Hold on tight
we'll muddle through

♪ One day at a
time, one day at a time.

♪ So up on your
feet, up on your feet

♪ Somewhere
there's music playing

♪ Don't you worry none

♪ We'll just take
it like it comes.

♪ One day at a
time, one day at a time

♪ One day at a
time, one day at a time

♪ One day at a
time, one day at a time

♪ One day at a time

- Anybody home?

Fixed your toaster oven.

Man in the house.

Drop your lover
and head for cover,

and if he can't cut it,
get yourself another.

(doorbell rings)

(bell rings)

Yeah, yeah, ding,
ding, ding dong.

(doorbell rings)

Yes, yes, yeah.

Oh, hello, Mr. Cooper.

- Hello, Schneider.

Is Ann home?

- Nope, nobody's here.

Oh, well, I was just,
uh, fixin' the banana.

Uh, the toaster.

What are you doin' here?

- Where is everybody?

- Well, they're not here.

And you have to
wait in the foyer.

- Why can't I just wait here?

- Oh, no, no, no.

Unauthorized transients
in unoccupied premises

strictly forbidden.

Violators will be towed away.

- Schneider, I'm the
girls' father, remember?

- Sure, you're also
the ex-husband.

And as such you may
incline to be a little bit snoopy.

Lookin' for bank
statements, diaries,

jockey shorts
forgotten in a rush.

- Trust me.

- Trust ya.

I once let an ex-husband in 307.

Would you believe it?

He bugged the boudoir.

- Very interesting.

- Say the least.

First time I ever
heard myself on tape.

- Schneider, if you have
something else to do,

I'll understand.

- Ya know, I let the
guys down at the lodge

listen to that tape.

They elected me
activities chairman.

- Schneider.

- Collector's item now.

You couldn't get
one for love or money.

I get calls from (phone rings).

Hold it.

Private home, could
be a personal call.


Nah, this is the building super.

Nobody's home.

- You can say that again.

- You, what?

Yeah, well, lemme
see if he's here.

Cooper, you in
some kind of trouble?

This here's a
lawyer lookin' for you.

- Oh, give me the phone.

- Look, if you need some help,

I know a lawyer
specializes in embezzlement.

- Just give me the phone.

- Paternity suits?

- It's my lawyer.

- Oh, you got one already.

- Hi, Jim, Ed.

No, that was just
the building snooper.

Yeah, look, no, I haven't,

Jim, I haven't had a
chance to talk to her.

Well, no, I will just
as soon as she gets in.

Wait, hold it, Jim.

Would you like him
to speak any louder?

No, I can hear him fine.

Fact is, I'm not interested.

See, I got a lotta work to do,

but if you need some
character witnesses,

I can get plenty for ya.

$5 a head.

Just gonna have to, uh,

get 'em off the streets
before the liquor stores open.

- Look, Jim, I want
to avoid going to court,

if at all possible.

Yeah, well, alright,
just give me a chance

to talk to her, as
soon as she gets in.

Hold it.

(audience laughs)

- Look at that.

I must've eaten my screwdriver.

(audience laughs)

- Barbara, I really
don't wanna go

on a double date with you.

It'd be like having
Mom in the back seat.

- Here they are.

I'll call ya later.

- Dad.
- Daddy.

- Hi, sweethearts.

Oh, boy.

- We missed you.

Where have you been?

- It's been so long.

You musta grown a foot.

- I think his voice has changed.

- You know what, Barb,
his acne's cleared up.

- Okay, okay, I know
it's been a long time.

I'm sorry.

Hi, Ann.

- Hello, Ed.

- I fixed your toaster oven.

- Thank you, Schneider.

So, what have you been up to?

- Well, I stole a banana.


I owe ya a quarter.

- Why?

- It's broken.

- Schneider, you can
still eat a broken banana.

- Oh, yeah?
- Yeah.

- Okay, thanks.

Ms. Romano, can
I have my quarter?

Thanks for the banana.

- Daddy, c'mon,
why didn't you tell us

that you were coming over?

We've got dates tonight.

- Well, we could call 'em off.

- Okay, great.

- Dad.

- Aw, no, go on.

Have fun, I was just in town.

I thought I'd say hello.

- Hi.
- Hi.

- They're gonna be here soon.

I'm gonna go change.

- Oh.

- Julie, I told you
we're gonna be late,

but no, you're too stingy
to put a dime in the slot.

- Barbara, there are some
things I just don't think

you should have to pay for.

- It was so embarrassing
when she tried crawling

under the door and the poor
woman started screaming.

- Well, hi.

- Hi.

- How's the wife?

- Oh, Vickie's just great.

- Good.

- She sent you her love.

- She would.

- Place looks nice.

- Thank you.

- You're doing well, Ann.

Yeah, you got some nice things,

made a great home for the girls.

I'm really pleasantly surprised.

- I know, that makes
it twice as sweet.

- I mean it, Annnie.

You're doing well for yourself

and, frankly, I didn't
think you had it in you.

I mean, you know, you know me.

I always thought you
had to be taken care of.

Boy, was I wrong.

Why the look?

- Excuse me.

I just, I thought I heard you
say that you were wrong?

- Oh, come off it, Ann.

I've told you I was
wrong, lots of times.

- Five.

- You counted.

- Uh huh, once when you
gave me a vacuum cleaner for

Valentine's Day.

And four times when you
would have said anything

just to get me into bed.

- You know what
your trouble is, Ann?

You never knew how
to take a compliment.

Look, it's great
to see the girls

but I really came
over to talk to you.

To tell you how proud I
am of what you're doing.

You're really doing fine.

- What do you mean, I
can't take a compliment?

Yeah, right.

Thank you.

Why'd you come all the way
over here just to tell me that?

- Just to be nice.

Ann, we're divorced now.

We don't have to fight any more.

- Right, sorry.

Ed, if you had to
make up another reason

for coming over
here, what would it be?

- Look, I just wanted to
collect some loose ends.

You know, when you
left, I secretly hoped you'd

fall on your face so I could
say, "See, you need me."

It's a compliment.

- Thank you.

- Obviously, you don't
need my help at all.

And you should be proud of it.

- I am proud, really, I am.

As a matter of fact, I
just got a nice little raise.

- A raise?

Hey, that's great.

You don't need me
to earn the money.

You don't need me to
balance the checkbook.

You don't need
the child support.

You don't need me
to help fix the car.

- Hold it, Hubert.

Child support?

- Ann, you're an
independent woman.

- Independent,
maybe, not stupid.

- Ann, just let me
get to the point.

- You already did.

You're trying to unload
the child support.

- Will you listen for
once in your life?

- I listened for 17 years.

The bull hasn't changed any.

- Well, the cow sure has.

- Aw, Barbara, I told ya.

They do still love each other.

- Hey, how pretty you look.

Boy, look at you two.

- Julie made the vest for me.

- It's beautiful.

- Well, I sold two
designs last week.

- Fantastic.

Before you know it, you'll
be an independent woman,

just like your mother.

- Ed.

- Girls, would you leave
us alone for awhile, please?

- Now, right in the
middle of happy hour?

- Ed, I think they should
be involved in this.

It's their money.

- Money, money?

Somebody died?

- We're getting some money?

- You're getting it
alright, but it's not money.

Your father wants to
stop paying child support.

- Okay.

She's right.

The truth is I'm broke.

- Ed.

- I may even lose my company.

- Daddy, what happened?

- I don't know.

Everything just fell apart.

- Ed, why didn't
you just say that?

- Oh, you know Ed Cooper.

It's not easy for him
to admit that his ex-wife

is making it, and he's not.

Especially in front of the
two people in the world

who obviously used to
think he was the greatest.

- Daddy, c'mon,
you know we still do.

- Of course, we do, Dad.

We can work this out.

- Sure, we don't need the money.

- Uh, girls.

- Who needs $300 a month?

- We do.

Ed, ya see, I'm really
not doing that great.

- Well, you just told
me you got a nice raise.

- What I said was,
I got a little raise.

- No, what you said was
you got a nice little raise.

- As a matter of fact,
what I said is I got a

nice little raise.

- It doesn't matter.

Daddy's in trouble.

He's helped us before,
why can't we help him?

- Right.

How much ya need?

- $65,000.

- Would you take a check?

- Ed, what happened?

I thought you
were doing so well.

- Yeah, well, so did I.

I guess I overextended myself.

I put in some new machinery,

had some big expenses,

and then three months ago,
I lost our biggest account.

- That's why we haven't
seen you in so long.

- Well, yeah.

Hey, believe me Ann,

this is the last
thing I wanna do,

but I have been scraping
the bottom of the barrel,

trying to figure
another way out.

Look, I'll help when I can,

that's all I can do.

- Okay.

We'll work it out somehow.

- I mean, you know,
if I had the money,

I'd shower it on my girls.

I'd buy them nice
clothes, new furniture,

a decent place to live.

Maybe my problem
is public relations.

- Yeah, I'll vote for that.

- How's Vickie taking it?

- She's scared.

- Oh, Ed, if it'll help.

I'll call Vickie and tell
her that I understand

about the child support.

- Oh, no, Ann, you
don't have to do that.

- I've been meaning
to call her anyway.

- But Ann, she might
not even be home.

- 555-2369.

Oh, oh, okay, hold on.

Look, Ann, I'm gonna
go home in a few minutes,

why don't I...
- Ed, shh.

- I'll talk to her.

- Okay, got it, thank you.

- This is silly.

- Huh, you got a new number.

Oh, yeah, we just moved.

- Daddy, you lost the house?

Our house?

- Oh, Daddy, we
loved that house.

- Ann, she might be resting.

- Ed, trust me, c'mon, I'm
not gonna embarrass her.

Vickie, oh, who's this?

I see.

No, no, no, no,
don't bother her.

Yeah, thank you.

- Well, seems that Mrs.
Cooper can't come to the phone

right now.

Poor dear's in the
swimming pool,

according to the maid.

(audience applauds)

- You've got a pool?

- It's just a little one.

- And a maid?

- Well, she's a cleaning lady.

- Aw, how wonderful.

You see, Vickie sits around
so much she has to be dusted.

(audience laughs)

- Ann, the woman's only
there two days a week.

- Oh, that's okay, Ed, when
you cut out the child support,

she can live in.

- Ann, will you let me explain?

- Oh, no, Ed.

I don't want you
to bother to explain.

No, I think it's terrific
after a hard day

of scraping the
bottom of the barrel

to come home to a
nice new home and relax

in your lovely new
pool with Vickie-poo

and the maid.

- We're letting her go, Ann.

- Oh, no, that would
just be terrible for Vickie.

I mean, who's going to put
the rubber ducky in the pool?

- Ann, will you get off
it and let me explain?

- Daddy, how 'bout
explaining to us?

Like getting a new house
and a pool and not telling us?

- I was going to.

I just wanted to surprise you.

- You did.

- Where is the house?

- Oh, on Lakeside Drive.

Look, Ann.

- Lakeside Drive with the
sailboats and the swans?

- Oh, c'mon, Ann.

You know there's no
lake on Lakeside Drive.

It's just the name of a street.

We've got an Elm Street, too,

but there are birch trees on it.

- No, those are sycamore trees.

- No.
- Barbara,
those are oak trees.

- Sycamore.
- Barbara.

Don't tell me a sycamore
from an oak tree.

- Look the elm trees
are on Beech Street.

- Who gives a damn?

- Sycamore.

- Oak.

- Okay, okay.

So, what's so wrong?

I got a nice new house
with a sauna and a pool.

- [Unison] A sauna?

- Yes, a sauna.

Just a little one, it's
only got four rocks.

And I worked hard for it.

I can't help it if
I got successful

after you left me.

Man's entitled to
move up in the world.

it all fell apart.

I got a payroll coming up.

I can't meet the loans.

- Why don't you sell your house?

- I only put down $40,000.

- Only $40,000.

When we were married,
we coulda bought two houses

for that and sent
your mother to Miami.

Wouldn't that have been heaven?

- Ann, please, I am sorry.

I am very sorry but it happened.

I overextended myself.

I bought a house.

- And as I recall,
a new sports car

and a trip to Hawaii and Rome,

all for Vickie, darling.

- Oh, I knew
you'd bring that up.

- Oh, Ed, when we were
married I had to save

for four years just to get
a new dining room set.

- Look at the bright side.

At least the dining room
set made it to Lakeside Drive.

- Not quite, Vickie hated it.

- She didn't sell
my dining room set?

- No, she gave it to
the Main Street Mission.

- My rosewood table.

At the Main Street Mission?

That is tacky, Ed.

That is tacky,
that is just tacky.

- Oh, Ann, you're
being unreasonable,

which isn't exactly news.

- Dad.

- I am being unreasonable?

You're the one who
wants your girls' money

to pay for your
sailboats and your swans.

- Mom.
- That's it.

Just forget it,
Ann, just forget it.

I'm tired of being the nice guy.

- Oh, well, when
did we vote on that?

- Now, let me tell you.

- Alright, alright,
look outta the way.

Fire drill, here.

Here's a fire drill now.

(audience applauds)

- What fire drill?

- Don't panic.

It's only a drill.

We're gonna
evacuate the building.

Women and children, first.

If that ain't against the ERA?

- Schneider, what are you doing?

- I am trying to put
an end to all the yelling

and the screaming
in this apartment.

You people have gotta
be a little bit quieter.

I got tenants tryin' to
listen to rock music.

- You were listening?

- Listening?


How could I help not listening?

It's like eavesdropping
on a Greek wedding.

- Now, that' you've
butted in, butt out.

- Look, you two, you
wanna have your post-martial

argument, that's up to you.

That's your business.

But me, the protection
of this building

and the said occupants
therein, that is my business.

So, I don't want your dinner
dishes flying all around

and breakin' the windows,

with the linguine
hangin' off the ceiling

and your family albums
stuffed down the john.

- Schneider.
- Hey, slats.

Now, Ms. Romano here,
happens to be one of my tenants.

You keep givin' her a tough time

and I'm gonna throw you out.

Course, I'll give you
a chance to walk out.

- Talk about walking out.

- Okay.
- Alright.

- Alright.
- Goodbye.

- But I wanna give ya
a little heavy advice.


Don't ever argue in
front of your children.

It bruises their psyche.

They may never be able
to skinny dip in the nude.

(audience laughs and claps)

- (laughs) I'm glad he came in.

We needed a good laugh.

You're not laughing.

- Ed, dammit.

- Mom, please.

- Barbara, stay out of this.

Ed, I am sorry you're in
a bind but it is your bind

and not mine.

- Ann, I am in a highly
competitive business.

It could happen to anybody.

- It's not just business, Ed.

It's all the rest.

You live too high and
then when things get bad

you have nothing
to fall back on.

Well, you can't fall back on us.

- Mom, just give him a chance.

- Julie.

We need this money and
there are state agencies

to help women collect.

- But, I don't have it.

- Will you two stop it?

- You never used
to fight about money.

- Oh, boy, are you naive.

What did you think all that
whispering in the bedroom

was about?

- I'm naive?

- Ann,

will ya be reasonable?

I've got Vickie.

I've got a new marriage.

- Congratulations.

I've got your old kids.

- Please stop fighting.

- Look, Ed, you have a
responsibility to these girls.

Skipping child support
may be the national pastime,

but you're not gonna
get away with it.

I'll take you to court.

- Well, it won't
be the first time.

- This time I'm
gonna fight ya back,

because the courts are
being more sympathetic

to men these days.

- Well, good luck
because Indiana has a law.

It's called First in
Time, First in Line,

and that means them.

- Mom.
- Julie.

Stay out of this, will ya?

Ed, go ahead.

Try to cut the payments.

I'll get 'em back in court.

- Oh, we'll see about that.

Goodbye, girls.

- Daddy, wait.

- Oh, oh listen.

Hey, I almost forgot.

Here's some money.

Here's $10.

Have fun on your dates.

- Ed, for God's sake.

- Ann, I am the girls' father.

If I wanna give 'em some money,

I'll give 'em some money.

- Say something.

- One of these days, you're
gonna sprain your wrist.

(audience laughs)

- That was lots
of fun, wasn't it?

- [Barbara] Oh, yeah.

- Yeah, well, it's
not the first time

I've seen you two argue
but it still makes me feel

like I wanna throw up.

- You're not really gonna
take him to court, are you?

- I don't want to,
but I will if I have to.

- What good'll it
do if he's broke?

- Julie, he has assets.

God knows, more than we do.

- But he needs those
for his company.

- Maybe he does.

Maybe he doesn't.

- Mom, he's our father.

Even if ya hate him,
you can still trust him.

- I don't hate him,

but I don't trust him, either.

Oh, c'mon, girls.

I can't just stand
by doing nothing

while he takes your money
when I don't even know

what's going on.

- Mom, I lived
through too many years

watching the two people
that I love the most,

hacking each other to pieces.

I don't wanna go
through that again.


- Mom.

If daddy has to cut
down, why can't we?

- Oh, good.

We'll cut down on food.

He can cut down on the sauna.

- No, no, you just
gotta $40 a month raise.

- Okay, and that
leaves us $260 short.

How ya gonna balance that, huh?

You wanna stop buying clothes?

Hey, we can give up the car.

Why don't we cut
out the telephone?

- Well, alright.

- Barbara, the telephone?

Ma, I think we're
getting a little ridiculous.

- Try paying for it and
seeing how ridiculous it is.

Aw, look, girls, I don't
wanna drag your father

into court,

but we're in no position
to take his word for this.

The only thing I can
do is just go to court

and hope that we get a
fair, impartial woman judge.

- I guess divorce never ends.

(doorbell rings)

- Oh, that's the guys.

- I don't wanna
go on a date now.

- No, go, go.

You'll get a free meal.

We may need it.

- Hi, guys.

- Hi.
- How ya doin'?

- Ma, you know Jack and Norman.

- Hi, Miss Romano.

- Hey, Ms. Romano.

- Hey, we met your
Dad downstairs.

Sure is a nice guy.

- Yeah.

- So, what's it gonna
be tonight, guys?

The Golden Arches

or the big bucket in the sky?

- Well, shall we tell 'em?

- I think they're worth it.

- The Royal Coachman. (laughs)

- What did you guys do?

Mug an Arab?

- No, your Dad slipped us $20.

Boy, he must be loaded.

- Sure is a nice guy.

- Yeah.

Well, let's get going.

- Okay.

- Okay, you guys go on ahead

and I'll catch up with you.

- Alright.
- Okay.

- Bye, Miss Romano.
- Bye.

- [Ann] Bye bye.

- Ma, are you sure
you're gonna be alright?

I mean, maybe I should stay?

- Oh, I'm fine, honey.

I want you to go, really,

I want you to go and spend
Daddy Warbucks' money

while you can still get it.

- Mom.

- No, really don't worry.

We've had a little
setback so life is full of

little setbacks.

You gotta learn
to live with 'em,

you know, roll with the punches.

Control our emotions.


- Okay, bye bye.

- Bye.

(screams loudly)

- Boy, everybody here
sure is overdressed.

- Yeah, well, this is
the middle-aged crowd.

You know, they're all over 21.

We got a 45 minute wait.

- Why don't we wait in here?

- Can we wait in here?

- Sure.

- Great.

- Thank you, Normy.

- Sure.

- Sorry, we got here so late.

- Yeah, running out
of gas before dinner

is really gross, Norman.

- He's got no class.

- Hey, wanna walk?

- Would you like
to order something?

- Sure, I'll have
the regular Mai Tai,

two gin on the
rocks with a twist

and he'll have a beer.

He's got no class.

- Okay, got it.

- No, no, no, wait.

I was only kidding.

- Aw, she's got no class.

- I got the order.

Four ginger ales.

- With a twist.

- Got it.

- A twist.


- Four ginger ales with a twist.

- And another
scotch rock, rocks,

oh, I beg your pardon.


(kids laugh)

- Hey, there's my little girls.

Look, hey Julie, hi, Barbie.

- Dad.

- Hey, honeys, oh.

- [Barbara] Dad.

- [Julie] Dad.

- [Announcer] Be sure
to watch next week for the

concluding episode
of Father, Dear Father.

(audience applauds)

(upbeat music)

- [Female Announcer]
One Day at a Time

was recorded live on tape
before a studio audience.

(upbeat music)