One Day at a Time (1975–1984): Season 6, Episode 18 - Caveat Emptor - full transcript

Ann's and Nick's new account were in fruition until they found out the merchant is involved in a bait-and-switch scheme.

♪ 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

♪ So 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 da da da da

♪ One day at a
time one day at a time

♪ One day at a time da da da da

♪ One day at a time


- [Nick] There you go.


- Yeah?
- Take a look at this.

- Uh okay, hold it.

- Come on.
- Okay wait.

- What do you think?

- Ah, Special Creative Award
to the Romano and Handress

Advertising agency 1981.

That's terrific, Nick.

Where did it come from?
- Me.

(chuckling) Don't touch it,

I just finished painting it.

- I tell you, you
are really a ninny.

Just because one of the most
important advertising agencies

in all of Indianapolis is about
to walk through that door,

is no reason to put on airs.

Nick, would you
straighten it a little.

- Sure, which way?
(audience laughing)

- Uh, over there to the...
- Right?

- Yeah, that's right.
- Okay, there you go.

- Hi, here I am.

Okay, where's my desk and
what time's the coffee break?

- Barbara, what
are you doing here?

- Oh, well mom asked
me to play secretary

while you guys have
your big meeting.

- Talkin' about ninnies.
(audience laughing)

- Yeah, well Barbara doesn't
have to work today anyway

and we do need someone
to answer the phones.

- So who is this,
chairman of the board?

- No, Schneider

was nice enough to
drive me over here.

- Oh, it's my pleasure.

You guys validate, for parking?

- What are we talkin'
about here, 50 cents?

- For the first five minutes,
how 'bout a couple a bucks.

- [Nick] Catch you later.

- Haha, I'm only
kidding, it's on the house.

Hey, look at this place.

Holy mackerel.

I mean, where else but
America could two people meet

and the unemployment
line and three months later

be one of the biggest
advertising agencies in town.

Gonna have to get rid
of this rental sticker here.

- Annie, I thought you were
supposed to take care of that.

- Stickers, that's the art
department's responsibility.

- Yeah, well if you
look at the stickers,

you'll see words, I think
that's your department.

- You want words,
buddy, I'll give you words

you haven't even heard of yet.

(audience laughing)
- Okay, you guys, come on.

I've got letters to
type, gum to chew.

Is that my desk out there?

- Yeah, it is, right here.

Ah, everybody's a
little jumpy today.

It's D-day, Mr. Teller is
supposed to sign with us,

we hope.

- What are you guys
so nervous about?

You got other accounts.

- Oh, sure, there's still
Manny's Meat Market.

- Come on, think positive.

You guys are good,
don't put yourself down.

Who's this guy Teller anyway?

- He owns CNL Appliances.

- CNL Appliances?

They got stores all over
town, he wants to hire you?

(audience laughing)
Holy mackerel.

He must spend thousands
of dollars on advertising.

- Try half a million.

- Half a muh-muh-muh...
(audience laughing)

Half a million?

I really gotta
hand it to you guys,

I mean I really gotta hand
it to you, Ms. Romano.

Here you are tryin' to land
a half million dollar account

with rented furniture
and Nick the cartoonist.

(audience laughs)

He's an illustrator.

- He's an artist.
- Okay.

- Oh, yeah, he's an artist.

Who draws with crayons.

Listen. (audience laughing)

I'm gonna go downstairs,
I'm gonna call ya

every five minutes, so
the guy's really gonna think

you're busy here.
- You don't have to do that.

- No, that's the way you do it.

Oh, and incidentally,

let's go for that two page
ad in Time magazine,

and then let's go
for the Carson Show.

That's the Johnny Carson Show.

And if we got all that,
let's go right ahead

to the top, let's get the cover
of the Plumber's Weekly.

- Schneider.
- Yeah?

- I'd like you to meet Manny
Mancuso of Manny's Meat Market.

- Oh, hi there, Manny.

Got a little liverwurst
in your fingernails there.

(audience laughing)

- Hi.

- That's some meatball.

- Yeah, it's real
good to see you.

Do we have an appointment?

- Well 10 o'clock, that's
what Nick said, 10 o'clock.

It's 10 o'clock,
he said 10 o'clock.

- That's right, Manny,
I said 10 o'clock.

It's good to see you.

Why don't you just
step into the office

and we'll be with
you in a second, okay.

- Nick, Nick, Nick, Nick.

Could I talk to you a minute?
- Sure.

- We have two
appointments all week,

you make them at the same time?

It's called psychology.

Trust me, busy
people like busy people.

Look busy.

- Hey, that promotion
you did for me

last week was beautiful.

I mean, how you
could take a pot roast

and turn it into poetry.

You are strictly USDA choice.

- Thank you, Manny,
I'm glad you liked it.

- And now I wanna
go all the way.

I wanna do the biggest
promotion of the year

on whole, broiling,
and frying chickens.

- Sounds great, Manny.

- I wanna slap handbills
under every windshield wiper

in the neighborhood,
stuff every mailbox.

- Would you excuse me

just a minute.
- What?

You're not giving
up chicken, are you?

- Hello?
- Mr. Tiller is here
to see you.


Would you have a seat please?

- It'll be terrific.
- You tack 'em up

on all the telephone poles.
- It's Tiller, he...

- Okay, that's a
great idea, Manny.

- On walls and fences.
- Yeah, man, it's great.

Let's go.
- And pass 'em out

at bingo games.
- I like that.

That's wonderful.
- Where're we going?

- I wanna take you
out to the secretary,

get your thinking down on paper.

It's a great idea.
- Yes, it's too important.

- Ah, Mr. Tiller.

We wanna get it down
in writing and we'll get

on it right away.
- Hold on a second,

I'll be right with you, we're
a little busy at the moment.

- Okay.
- It's good to see you.

- Romano and Handress.

Just a second, it's Mr. Schneider
from Procter and Gamble.

- Oh, Mr. Schneider...
(audience laughing)

- You'll have to tell him
we'll get right back to him.

- Mr. Schneider could you
tell Mr. Procter or Mr. Gamble

that they'll get
right back to them.

(audience laughing)

- Barbara, Mr. Mancuso's
gonna give you some information

about the meat packing industry.

- Oh, basically, I'm just
talking breasts and thighs.

(audience laughs)
- Okay, well I'll get down

right away, but do
you have a pencil?

- Pencil, um.

- Ah.
- Ah.

- There you go.

Boy, what a morning.

- Pretty busy little
office you two have here.

Well, you know
what I always say,

if you want
something done right,

you give it to a busy person.

- Oh, that's an
interesting theory.

- Oh, yes.
- Right, Annie?

- Uh, right. (buzzing)

Excuse me.


The paper is in the
upper left hand drawer.

No more calls, hon,
that means don't buzz us.

Got temporary help. (laughs)

- Pretty face,
probably not too bright.

(audience laughs)

Special creative
award, well well...

Little sticky, isn't it?

- Yeah, I know, it's
the humidity in here.

We'll get our new
suite of offices...

- Please, Mr. Tiller,
why don't you sit down?

- Maurice, Maurice, after all,

we're gonna be working together.

- We are?

- You mean we've
got the account?

- Well if you want it.

May not amount to much,
half a million dollar budget.

Let's see, that works out to...

How much commission for you two?

- $75,000.00.
- $75,000.00.

Um, Mr. Tiller, I want you...

I mean, Maurice, please,

be assured that we
are going to treat you

as though you were the
biggest account we've got.

- We have worked out
a knockout campaign

promotion, publicity,
point of sale.

- That's what I
like about you two,

you're energetic,
you're enthusiastic,

you're out there
in front of the pack.

(chuckles) Not
like my last agency.

I had to tell 'em everything.

Now, here's what
I want you to do.

Run this, run this in
Wednesday's paper, will you?

- But that's the ad
you have been running.

- Yeah, I know, it's
the one they want.

Bargains, three specials
a week, low low prices,

that's what brings 'em in.

- Yes, Maurice, but we
can bring more of them in.

- Absolutely, we can do
an ad with more excitement,

more creativity.

- Are you saying that this is
dull and uninteresting copy?

- Well, no, I'm...

Yeah, I mean, I don't
know who wrote it, so I...

- I did.

- Well we wouldn't change
a word of it, Maurice,

but maybe the layout could...

Did you do the layout?

- No.

- Good, because I
think that we can give

a fresh, new approach.

We'll clean it up a bit, it
is a little busy, Maurice.

- Yeah.
- That would help, sure.

I mean you don't
need three big specials,

you're competing with yourself.

One special would do.

It would make it
seem more important.

- And it'll be a nice, clean ad.

Just one TV set leaping
out at you from the page

and we still hold on
to your low low price,

$199 for a color
TV set in big type.

- Okay, okay, okay, okay.

You are the creative persons.

Now you go ahead
and run with it.

After all, what have
you got to lose?

Just a half a million
dollar account.


- You are a genius, a few
strokes of your magic pen

and zoom, CNL Appliances
have a 5% sales increase

in one week.

- Now wait a minute, your
body copy wasn't so bad either.

Speaking of your
body copy, come here.

(happy murmurs and kissing)

We did it.
- I know, we did it.

- We did it.
- We did it.

- Did what?

Oh, I guess I'm still
too young to know.

- Listen to this,
Mr. Tiller called

and he is delighted.

We are on our way,

- $75,000.00 a year.
- $75,000.00.

- That's incredible,

- You know, Barbara, you
were really a sweetheart

to help us out last week.

- Oh, come on, it was fun.

That Manny Mancuso, I've
never seen a man get so excited

over a dead chicken.
(audience laughs)

- Oh no, Manny's fliers.

I can't get up for that.

- So let me take a crack at it.

- You?
- Yeah, why not?

It's just words, it's not like
she has to draw something.

- [Annie] Ohh...
- Come on.

- Okay, why not, give it a shot.

Maybe it'll spark
something in us,

you know, give us
something to work on, sure.

- Oh good, it'll
be fun. (chuckling)

(audience chuckling)

- What is it?

- Go ahead, take a guess.

You wouldn't guess
in a million years,

in two million years,
you wouldn't guess.

But guess.

- I don't have
two million years.

- That's right,
she's 38 already.

(audience laughing)

- 38?

Shouldn't you be sitting
down Mrs. Romano?

- Go ahead, anybody
gathered in this room here

give a guess, try and guess
what Schneider has here

is a little present,
go ahead guess.

- It's their newspaper
ad, you got it framed.

(audience laughs)

I was right?

Was I right, I was right.

I was... (audience laughs)

- Aw, Schneider, oh no.

That's terrific of
you, it's so sweet.

- Yeah, Schneider,
that's really very nice.

- Must have cost you
a fortune, Schneider.

- For sure.

You talk about art, you
don't talk about money.

I mean, look at that,
I can't believe that.

Page four of the sports section,

right opposite the
morning line from Pimblicul.

You guys are
headed for greatness.

- Oh, I don't know
about greatness,

but Mr. Tiller said the
ad really pulled for him.

- Well you're not kiddin',
that store was really jammed.

- I wanna ask you something
Schneider, you mean you went

down to one of the stores.

- Oh, come on, I wasn't
born every minute.

You can't pass up
a bargain like that.

- Schneider, you went and
bought the $199 color TV?

- No, I bought the
$499 color TV, yeah

with the isometric
tuning, oh boy.

Finally got rid of my
12 inch dual mount

with the double image. (laughs)

On my old set, Three's
Company used to look like

Eight is Enough.
(audience laughs)

- Schneider, you
spent $500 for a TV.

- No, no, I spent $499,

but let me tell you
what happened, see?

I think the salesman I
got was a real rookie.

Alright, I'm lookin' at this
set and the back of the set

there's a tag and
the tag says $799.

So the rookie says,
calls up there and says

hey, how much is this set?

And the manager
he calls out, he says,

that's $499.

Alright, wait, I got
$300 in my back pocket

so I had that baby in the
back of my van in two minutes.

- How come you
didn't buy the $199 set?

Well when I got there this
morning, they were all gone.

- Schneider, what time was that?

- Oh, I dunno, it
was about 9:15.

Those sets must've moved
faster than a lovesick sailor

on a three hour pass.
(audience laughs)

Sure, well listen anyway.

Why don't you come on down
to my place and we can all watch

Lonnie Anderson in
living color. (chuckles)

I'm gonna miss
her in double image.

(audience laughs)

(coughing in audience)

- Nick.

Are you thinking
what I'm thinking?

- Yeah.

The old bait and switch.

- The old what?

It's the old bait
and switch, Alex.

It's just a big come on.

You see stores advertise
items at ridiculously

lowball prices just to get
the people in the place.

- And then when they get there,

they tell them that they've
just sold out of that item

and they unload a much more
expensive model on the poor guy.

- Well, you know,
maybe they really did

run out of $199 sets.

- 15 minutes after they opened?

(audience applauds)


- Now what?
- Yeah, okay.

- Okay what?
- Uh, yeah.

Uh huh, got it.
- Got what?

Tell me, talk to me, Annie.

- Could you hold
on a minute, please?

- Would you knock it off,
you're talking in one ear,

I'm trying to hear in the other.

- Okay, alright, Annie.
(audience laughs)

- I'm sorry, the
baby was yelling.

- The what? (audience laughing)

- Yeah.

Uh huh.

Okay, thank you
so much, bye bye.

- Well, mom?

(audience laughs)

- Well, the Better Business
Bureau has heard of CNL.

- And?

- And they've had
a few complaints.

- [Nick] And?

- And they've checked them out

and they couldn't
prove anything.

- Well that's great.

You're saying they've
got a clean bill of health

from the Better Business Bureau.

- No, I'm not saying that.

They said it's very
difficult to prove deception

in advertising.

That the term adequate supply
has never been really defined.

- Well, we gotta
find out if Tiller

is running a bait
and switch operation.

- Yeah I know, what
that man is trying to pull

just makes me furious.

- [Tiller] Yoohoo,
is anybody home?

- Annie, please,
don't attack the man

as soon as he walks in.

Try to be diplomatic
for a change, okay?

- Yeah, okay, okay I will.
- Okay.

- Mr. Tiller, do you
do bait and switch?

(audience laughs)
(Tiller chuckles)

- Good morning to
you too, young lady.

- I'm sorry.

It's just that a friend of mine
went into one of your stores

to buy the $199
color TV, the special

and wound up spending $500.

- Right, Mr. Tiller and
all we wanna know

is did you have
any sets for $199?

- Well of course
we did. (chuckles)

Three of 'em, I think.
(audience chuckles)

- Three?

But Mr. Tiller, we
ran a full page ad

covering the entire
Indianapolis area.

- And a very handsome
ad, too, if I do say so.

Look, Annie.

If this guy was
a friend of yours,

just have him
bring the set back.

- No, um Mr. Tiller,
that's not...

- Maurice.


- How can you run a full page
ad without warning the public

that you only have a
few sets at that price?

- By George, I
believe you're right.

- I am?

- Well, that's sheer
genius, that's what it is.

- What is?

- Why, in the next ad,
we'll have a big warning.

Supply limited, hurry.

We'll have 'em crawling
all over each other.

- Um, Mr. Tiller, no...
- Oh, I tell you,

if you two can keep
up this kind of thinking,

why, there's a good
chance you'll pick up

my TV and radio
advertising as well.

- Mr. Tiller, this is a
question of morality.

- And that budget is $300,000.

- We are talking ethics, here.
- Which should bring you

another $45,000, tie
that in with the $75,000

you've already got...
- It's just not right.

Mr. Tiller.
- And you end up

with a tidy commission
of $120,000.

(audience chortling)

- Supply limited?

It's not a bad idea.
(audience chuckling)


- Let's see. (scribbling
and crumpling)


- I've got it.
- Wha?

- Writer's block.

- Well that's funny, my
magic marker seems sluggish,

headachey, and out of sorts.

Annie, how are we
gonna live with ourselves

and keep this account, huh?

- Simple, we just keep
repeating to ourselves

over and over and
over again, $120,000.

$120,000, $120,000 til I
can't think of anything else.

- Nothing else?
- No, nothing...

Well, something else.

Well that's not
- Bad.

(happy murmurs) (door slams)

(audience laughing)
- Hey, hi Manny.

We're just working on
the broilers and the fryers.

- I think they're burning.
(audience laughing)

- Manny, so you're here.


- Already?
- Yeah.

- It's Wednesday.

Nick said Wednesday,
it's Wednesday,

that's what he said, Wednesday.

- Yes indeed, Manny,

and we're gonna have
something wonderful for you

in a few days.

- But you've already
had a few days.

I've got chickens to move, I
wanna see something now.

- Uh huh...

- Hi, everybody,
I'm sorry I'm late.

- Uh, late for what?

- Well, my account is here
and I've got a terrific idea.

- Oh, Barbara, not now, okay.

- You are turning my account
over to the junior varsity?

Oh, this better be good.

- Manny, give us
a few days, okay?

We really want it to be right.

- Sure, Manny, it's
just like your business.

When a woman
comes in for a chicken,

you don't want her to
see it half plucked, do you?

- Oh, come on, mom, trust me.

- Mom, mom?

- Okay, now I think I've
really got something.

As we say in the ad game,

let's just run up the
old telephone pole

and see if anyone answers, huh?

- What did she say?

- Okay, now picture this.

One of Manny's chickens is
wearing a vest and a bowtie.

- A vest?

Did she say a
chicken with a vest?

- Yeah, now this
is the great part,

he's pulling on one
leg of his pants, right?

Now here is the payoff,
you bring the fliers in

and you get free
chicken dressing.

You get it?

A chicken, dressing?

(chuckling awkwardly)

(audience laughs)

- I'll wait 'til it's plucked.

No, maybe I won't wait,

there's plenty of other
advertising agencies

that would love to
have my account.

- No, Manny, end of the week.
- We're gonna have something

for you, please, Manny.
- We promise.

- We're can have something
great in a few days.

- A chicken with a vest?

And maybe a little
beanie to match.

- Oh, boy, well.

I'm really sorry.

- No, I...
- Barb, it's okay.

You gave it a good try.
- Yeah.

I think the beanie's going
just a bit too far though.

(door clicks) (audience laughs)

- Chicken, dressing? (laughs)

- Can I help it if she has my
looks and her father's brains?

- Well, you know
we're doing very well,

two accounts and they're
both going right down the drain.

- Nick, if we lose
Manny, we've got nothing.

- So what are we
supposed to do about it?

- Well.

Maybe we shouldn't be so
hasty about dumping CNL,

I mean if we don't take
it, somebody else will.

- Oh, well that sounds logical.

I think that's what Jesse
James said to his brother, Frank.

(Alice grunts) (audience laughs)

- What I am saying is we
are doing an honest job

for our client, what he does
in his stores is his business.

What is advertising anyway?

It's imagemaking, it's puffery.

And the public knows
that, they accept it.

Alright, when they
take home margarine,

they don't expect
it to say, butter.

(audience laughs) Do they?

- Of course not.
- Okay.

And when was the last
time you saw O.J. Simpson

flying through an airport?

- Right, right and we all know
that most people spell relief


The public expects
it, it's part of the game

when you hear somebody
say, supply limited, hurry.

- Right, or

warning, only one
TV set per customer.

- Okay, okay, okay this is good.

This is good, you're giving
me something to work on now.

Okay, okay, okay, I can do this.

Alright, so wait,
supply limited.

Edgy would be so much
easier if Tiller were only honest.

- Yeah.

Why couldn't he be honest?

- See, Maurice,
what these ads will do

will build a reputation
for quality, for service,

for fair prices and integrity.

- Oh, I get the picture,
it's an interesting concept.

- Yeah, I mean we could
build an ad campaign

that will hit on your
positive selling points.

- Right, we wanna build
an image for your company

that's gonna last for years.

- How do you people do it?

Boy, what an
exciting atmosphere,

it's charged with creativity
and ideas and campaigns

and slogans and
cherries jubilee.


I had a wonderful
evening, thank you.

- That's great, Maurice.
- Oh, thank you.

- So we'll see you in
the office on Tuesday?

- Mm-hmm, you bet.
- Good.

- First thing.

Oh, by the way,

next Wednesday's ad.

- Yeah.

- Let's make the price, I
don't know, a little bit bigger.

- Mr. Tiller,

you haven't heard a word
we've said all evening.

- Well, I certainly have,

I listened intently
to both of you.

- Yeah, you may be listening,

but you're not gonna
change your tactics are you?

- I would love to know why you

came to us in the first place.

- Because you're
my kind of people.

You're hungry,
you're aggressive,

you're trying to get somewhere.

Alright, alright, you want
to talk tactics, is that it?

Annie, I did notice this
charming picture you have here,

of your temporary help. (scoffs)

Procter and Gamble?

And Nick, what about that
plaque I loved in your office?

You know it only
took me two days

to get the paint off my finger.

And then (laughs)

the meat packing magnet.

Any fool knows that
Manny the butcher.

(audience laughs)

Now come on you two,
next Wednesday's ad,

you bait the hook, and
we will get along just fine.

- That's great, Maurice,
we'll bait the hook.

- [Annie] Okay, see you Tuesday.

- Okay.

- Hello, hi, Dad.
- Hi, Alex.

- Oh, Nicholas is this your boy?

- Yep, this is my boy, Alex.

Alex, this is Mr. Tiller.

- How do you do, Alex?

- Hey, you're the guy
with the bait and switch.

That's a neat idea.


- Alex, you think
that's a neat idea?

- Worked great for me.

Put a notice on the bulletin
board of the elementary school.

Hot deal on comic books,
Superman, Batman, Captain Marvel,

10 cents.

- What do you mean 10 cents?

Those things cost 50
cents when they're new.

- So I lost a little on those,
I only had three of them.

But I unloaded 36 Archie and
Veronicas for a terrific price.

- You did what?

- Those guys were sitting ducks.

Hey, some of those kids
came clear across town

for those lowball specials.

- Shrewd kid you got here, Nick.

- You're right,
Maurice, shrewd kid.

About your account, Maurice.


- Dad, what are you doing?

- He's tearing up $120,000.

- You got it.

- Well.

Call me,

when Alex has taken
over the agency, will you?

(audience chuckles and groans)

- What'd you do that for?

- I did it for myself, Alex.

- And for you.

- Come on, sonny boy,
we're gonna have a talk

about what's right
and what's wrong.

- Nick.
- Huh?

- Can I come, too?

- You betcha.


(upbeat jazz music)

(orchestral crecendo)