Sanford and Son (1972–1977): Season 1, Episode 4 - The Copper Caper - full transcript

Fred's friend Kelly, turns Fred and Lamont onto a sweet deal involving some copper that a contact, named Otto, is trying to get rid of because he says his church is being torn down to put up a parking lot. Fred is skeptical of the deal but Lamont assures him that he knows what he is doing. Fred and Lamont are instructed to wait at a diner for the man to show up to close the deal. After doing so they return home where Smitty and Swanee pay them a visit and warn them about a copper thief that is working in the area. Panicked, Fred and Lamont drive their newly acquired load of copper down to the ocean and dump it. Returning home, they discover that all of their plumbing has been stolen, and that the copper dealer sold them their own copper which he pulled out while they were waiting for him at the diner.

[ Slurps ]

[ Smacking Lips ]

What's the matter?

It sounds like feeding
time at the zoo.

Huh?

I can't concentrate with
all that slurpin' going on.

Can you hear
yourself when you eat?

No. This is an operation between
my mouth and my stomach,

and my ears ain't got
nothing to do with it.

Slurp, slurp, slurp.

Man, the way you
scrape and soak up food,



you ought to eat with a
squeegee and a sponge.

I've been eating
like this all my life.

Now, what's wrong with soppin'?

It's just not done anymore, Pop.

Now you eat a piece of toast,
then you take a sip of coffee.

You eat, then sip. Eat, then
sip. Now, that's how it's done.

It's all going to
the same place.

I'm just cuttin' down
on the number of trips.

Well, just try to be a little
more quiet okay? Okay.

Eat.

[ Slurps ]

[ Crunch ]

[ Slurps ]

[ Crunch ]



Makes just as
much noise this way.

Want me to go back to slurpin'?

Keep making me lose my
place. Where was I? Oh, yeah.

It says here that the stock
market tumbled sharply...

over a wide area yesterday,

but then recouped
part of its lost ground...

in the final half hour of a
somewhat more active session.

- Hmm.
- Hmm.

Dow Jones
Industrials was off 4.8.

Transportation was off 1.7.

Utilities was off 1.3.

Uh-huh. Everybody
was off yesterday.

What was it, a holiday?

You don't understand nothing. Everything
in the financial section has to do with us.

All the things that we
deal in are right here.

They all fall under this
one word: commodities.

Is that the same as junk?

There's no use talkin' to you.
You just don't want to get ahead.

I wanna get ahead, but talking
about big business ain't the way.

Okay, then let's hear
your way. [ Tapping ]

Ladies and gentlemen and
stockholders in Sanford and Son,

we are now gonna hear a
report on how we can improve...

the financial situation
of our corporation.

And here he is, the founder
and president of our company...

and chairman of the
board, Mr. Fred Sanford.

You got the floor, F.S.

How would you like
one across your lip?

All right, then let's
hear it your way.

All right. See, you have to start
bringing in better stuff to sell.

Look out in the yard, the
stuff you been bringing.

Now, there's junk,
and there's junk.

But that stuff is junk junk.

Listen, if you don't like the
quality of the merchandise...

that's been coming in
here, we'll just switch places.

Now, I'll stay here
and run the yard,

and you go out there and do the
pickin' up on the truck, all right?

You know I can't do that.
You know my arthritis.

I can't do no lifting.

Yeah, you can lift pretty good
when it's going in your mouth.

[ Knock On Door ]

Come in. The door's open.

Oh, Kelly. Morning, Fred.

How you feelin',
Kelly? Come on in.

Hiya, Lamont. How
you doing, Mr. Kelly?

How about some toast
and coffee? No, thanks.

Well, you can have a piece
of toast, but you can't soak it.

Lamont don't like
you to soak it...

'cause that slurpin' interferes with
him readin' about the commodities.

W-Well, thanks, Fred. If I was
gonna have it, I'd have to soak it.

I got no uppers.

I thought you
went to the dentist.

I thought he was making
you some new teeth.

He is, but first he's
gotta make the gums.

He's making you gums, Kelly?

Well, what I mean to say, he's getting
'em in shape so they're nice and firm.

See how firm they're
gettin'? Oh, yeah, yeah.

Let me see, Kelly.

Yeah, come over
here a little bit.

Yeah, they gettin' firm, Kelly.

Hey. Lamont,
come on over here...

so you can get a real
good look at Kelly's gums.

I already seen
Kelly's gums, Pop.

They look good, Kelly. Well, thanks,
but that's not what I come to talk about.

Fella come by my place,
wanted to sell me some copper.

But you know I don't
deal too much in metal.

Would you fellas be
interested? He's sellin' copper?

Yeah. Scrap copper, yeah.

He's waitin' outside.
Are you interested?

Tell him I'll be right
out there, Kelly. Okay.

Fred? Yeah?

I'll show you the teeth
as soon as I get 'em.

Okay, Kelly, you do that.

Ah, here it is, Pop.

Hey, what you doin'?
Are we buying copper?

That all depends. Now, this is
exactly what I'm talking about, Pop.

Now, if we can make a
nice turnover, we in business.

Morning. Morning. Mr. Sanford?

No. I'm Mr. Sanford.
This is my son.

Uh, Mr. Kelly thought you fellas might
be interested in buying some scrap copper.

How much you askin' for it?

Well, not too much. Fact is, I
like to sell it and have done with it.

I don't have much of
a head for business.

Besides, uh, I
could use the money.

- How much do you want?
- Well, I got a couple
of hundred pounds.

I was thinkin' of maybe,
uh, ten cents a pound?

How much did you say?
Ten cents. Is that too much?

Oh, no, no, no. It
sounds like a fair price.

Listen, now I wanna go in
and discuss this with my partner.

We're business partners, and we
have to make all our decisions together.

And we'll be right back. Okay.

Come on, partner.

Did you hear that, Pop? Now, he's
selling that copper for ten cents a pound.

Now, I looked that up
in the paper this morning.

You know what it's going
for? Thirty-eight cents a pound.

Then why is he selling
it to us for a dime?

I don't know. Maybe he
was gonna ask for more.

But did you see how I
handled that deal, Pop?

I was cool, man. I
wasn't even interested.

I don't like his looks.

What's the matter with his looks?
What's his looks got to do with this?

He got them sneaky blue eyes.

Pop, we can make twenty-eight
cents profit on every pound.

Why don't he know that? Just 'cause
he's white don't mean he's dumb.

It's stolen, Lamont.
I don't know, Pop.

Listen, now, the guy is not in the
business and you heard what he said.

He just wants some money.
He just wants to get rid of it.

I tellin' you it's stolen.
That's what it is.

Stolen goods. Pop.

All right, then you ask him where
he got it from. Okay, I'll ask him.

Now you just stay out of this and let
me take care of it. I'm the businessman.

You're gonna mess up
the whole deal. Shut up.

Uh, there's something
I want to ask you. It's...

Is something the matter? Well,
not exactly. It's just that my partner...

Well, that is, my dad, he'd like to
know where you acquired the copper.

Oh! Well, sure.
Be glad to tell you.

You see, this church that I'm a
member of, they're tearing it down.

It's the Church of the Communal
Soul. You ever hear of it?

As a matter of fact, I haven't.
What are you folks, Baptist?

No. Greek Orthodox.

Well, what difference
does it make?

We're all brothers, aren't we? I
ain't got no brother. I got two sisters.

Well, I know you're
not gonna believe this,

but they're tearing down our
church to make room for a parking lot.

That's progress for you,
isn't it, Mr. Sanford? [ Scoffs ]

Plenty of room for automobiles, but what
are the poor worshippers supposed to do?

Learn how to kneel
in the back of their car.

Well, anyway, when they were tearing
down the church, the minister said to me,

he said, "Otto, you been coming
here longer than anybody else,

so you just take all
the plumbing supplies."

Then it's all legitimate.
Well, yeah. What'd you think?

Oh, uh... What did I tell you?

I could've had the
organ too, but I said no.

I said, "Let's give the
organ to a home for

senior citizens for
their community singin'."

Hey, that was
sweet of you, Otto.

Well, do unto
others, I always say.

Isn't that what you
always say, Mr. Sanford?

No, I say a lot of other things.
You wanna hear some of them?

Listen, just pay
him no attention.

I'm gonna go in the house
and discuss this thing with him...

and come out here and get
the whole business deal straight.

Excuse us. Okay.

Now, listen, I don't
want you to go lousing

up this deal. We're
gonna buy that copper.

It's stolen goods, I'm
tellin' you. It's stolen.

I mean it. We'll all get caught,

and me and you and
Blue Eyes will go to jail,

only they'll put Blue
Eyes in the new building.

Would you stop worrying
and give me the 20 bucks?

I don't like this deal.
Something about it ain't kosher.

Ain't what? Ain't kosher.

Who'd you get word
from? From Kelly.

Gimme that $20.

Well, I'm tellin you, I ain't
got nothin' to do with it.

Stay out of it then. I
told you I'd take care of it.

I know about this kind of
business. Just leave me out of it.

Ah-ah. Cash on delivery.

Oh, I can understand that.
That's just good business.

Yeah. I'll go unload
the stuff you just bought.

Uh, by the way, do you think you
might be able to use any more copper?

I don't know. I think we might be
able to take some of it off your hands.

Well, I just might be
able to help you. Okay.

I'll tell you what. You meet me down at
Dave's Diner tomorrow morning about 9:00.

I'm pretty sure I can get my
hands on some more copper. Okay.

Do you know where
Dave's is? About ten minutes

down on Adams. It's
a handy place to meet.

I'll get the first
load out of my car.

No, no. Cash on delivery.

Yeah, you are a
sharp businessman.

We'll be waitin'
for you. I'll be back.

Now, listen, Pop. This
is only the beginning.

Now, it has nothing
to do with the $40.

Now, it's the fact that we're
doubling our investment.

We're on our way, Pop.

I can see it now.

I can see it too.

People marching with placards
saying, "Free the Sanfords".

Come on, Lamont. Let's get on outta
here. That guy ain't gonna show up.

Oh, he'll be here, Pop.
He's just a little late. A little?

He said 9:00,
and it's after 10:00.

Would you just relax
and slurp some coffee?

I never did like this deal. I
was up all night worrying.

Did you hear me
tossin' and turnin'?

No, I missed that part. I
came in on the snoring.

Morning. Hey, good morning.

Sorry I'm late. That's all right. We've
just been here sittin' here talking.

Well, I stopped off to say
good-bye to my minister.

I'm leaving. You know
what I've decided to do?

I'm gonna do missionary work.
Probably be going to Africa.

I'll be doing work
among your people.

Not mine. My
people in St. Louis.

Hey, I got good news for you.

I was able to get ahold of another
couple hundred pounds of that copper.

- Hey, fantastic. At the same price?
- Yeah. Twenty cents a pound.

You mean ten cents a pound.

Is that what I
said? That's right.

If that's what I said,
then that's what it is.

I'd rather cut off a leg than go
back on my word. Right, Mr. Sanford?

Right, Stumpy.

Well, you owe me another $20.

We can settle right here, then
we'll load the stuff into your truck.

It's out in the trunk
of my car. Great.

Let me just buy your coffee
for you fellas. Hey, thanks a lot.

You see that? I told you he was a
nice guy. Now give me the 20 bucks.

Lamont, you sure you
want this extra copper?

We already made the deal. It's too late
to back out. Would you give me the 20?

[ Mumbling ]

Here you are. Bless you.

May I say it's been a pleasure
doing business with you gentlemen.

Both of you. Well, let's
go load that stuff up.

Right.

Two, four, six.

Two, four, six, eight,
nine. What are you doing?

I'm measurin' six
feet by nine feet...

'cause that the size the jail
cells are in the old building.

What are you doin'? I'm covering
up this copper so nobody can see it.

It's stolen goods.

Would you stop that? Now, the
man told you where he got it from.

Now, listen to me. We
bought some copper...

and we're not responsible
for where it came from.

And besides, who's gonna come
around here looking for stolen copper?

And that's all I'm going
to say on this subject, Pop.

[ Car Approaching, Stopping ]

I think you'll have a few
more words to say now.

What are you talkin' about? Police
car just pulled up there by the curb.

So that doesn't mean anything.
They're just sittin' in the car.

And see? They're
just gettin' out,

they're looking around,

and they're coming in here!

Oh! My heart!

They got us. They got us.

They got us with stolen goods!

Oh, they got us!

I'm going to lose the place of
business, and I'm going to jail.

I'm going to die there
of a broken heart.

Do you hear that, Elizabeth?

I'm comin' to join you, honey,

with numbers on my back.

Now just cool it, Pop. Now we gotta
be cool. We can't lose our heads now.

We just act like we
playing checkers. Now relax.

It's your move. [
Knock On Door ]

Come on in! The door's open!

Hi, Lamont, Fred.
Hey, what a surprise.

We're just sitting down here,
playing some checkers. Yeah.

How you feel, Smitty? I'd like
you to meet my new driving partner.

This is Officer Swanhauser.
We do the rounds together.

Hey, how you doing, Officer
Swanhauser? How you feel, Swanee?

The reason Officer Smith
and myself are paying this call...

is for the purpose of
issuing a warning. A warrant?

A warning. It has come to the
attention of the department...

that an as yet unidentified
suspect is operating in this area...

and attempting to sell copper that
has previously been burglarized,

and that said burglary may have been
perpetuated by the suspect in question.

There's a dude trying to unload some
hot copper that he snatched himself.

Oh.

That's what I thought he said.

So until we apprehend
the suspect in question,

the department advises that you
refrain from all purchases of copper...

from any person or
persons canvassing the area.

If you are approached, you're to
notify the district police immediately.

Until this cat gets
busted, be cool on copper.

And if he hits on you,
contact your local fuzz.

Whew.

Did you peep the dude
that's been ripping 'em off?

Do we have a
make on the suspect.

As far as we're
able to ascertain,

the suspect in question
is a male Caucasian...

with no distinguishing
physical characteristics.

He's a white dude.

Yeah, some of my
best friends are white.

Well, we'll see you
later. We gotta get goin'.

Okay, listen, anytime you're in
the neighborhood, uh, just drop in.

We can play some checkers
and stuff anytime you come by.

You're always welcome
here. That's right.

Say, Fred, what you got
here? Load of hot copper?

We just covered this stuff up
because... Didn't wanna get it wet.

It was gonna rain last night. Okay.
We gotta get goin'. Come on, partner.

Yeah, anytime you're in
the neighborhood, drop in.

It was nice meeting
you, Officer Swanhauser.

Bye, Swanee.

I knew I'd have a
heart attack any minute.

Oh, I can't make it, Lamont.
It's the worst feeling I've had.

Oh, my heart is just
thumping so hard.

Pop, this is a ridiculous
time to have a heart attack.

No, it ain't. Listen.

Listen to me, would you? Now, we gotta sit
down and we gotta figure this thing out.

Now, we're not gonna
solve nothing by panicking.

We got to figure it out and
figure on the best thing to do.

Then if you want to have
a heart attack, it's all right.

Well, the first thing we
oughta do is get rid of it.

I know we gotta get
rid of it, but where?

Just take it somewhere and dump
it. Somewhere nobody can find it.

The ocean! Pop, we can drive out
to the beach and dump it in the water.

I can't go to the ocean!

Come on, you can make
it. I ain't going to no ocean.

You'll make it. I might go,
but I ain't gonna make it back.

You're gonna have to drop me
off at Forest Lawn. I ain't going.

Get in the truck.

Listen, I'll buy you some
aspirins on the way to the beach.

I ain't gonna make
it to the beach.

All right. Now, we got rid of the stuff
and everything's been taken care of.

You happy?

Happy? I got a truckload of
copper at the bottom of the ocean,

I'm out of 40 bucks, and I'm
sitting here with my dummy son.

I didn't know a black
man could be so happy.

Now listen to me. I got us into
this thing, but I also got us out of it.

And that is because
I am cool. Oh.

Now, if there's one thing
that I want you to learn, Pop,

it's to be cool like me.

That's something you haven't
learned. Nothing upsets me because I...

am cool.

[ Knocking ]

Get the door. I can't get
the door. You go. You go.

[ Knocking Continues ]

Oh, it's Mr. Kelly.
Come on in, Mr. Kelly.

Hey, Pop, it's Mr. Kelly.
How you feeing, Mr. Kelly?

[ All Talking At Once ]

I just come over to
borrow a pail of water.

What's the matter?
You out of water?

I don't know what it is, but
none of my taps is working.

Hey, I'll get you some.

Funny. You never miss the
water till the well runs dry.

Oh, he's a darlin' boy. Where
would you be without him?

I don't know where I'd
be without him, Kelly,

but I know where I
almost was with him.

That's funny. We ain't
got no water either.

Huh? No foolin'.

I'm gonna go down to the
basement and check the pipes.

You know what I bet it is? I'll
bet you it's a busted water main.

I bet you nobody in the
whole block's got any water.

I bet you're right. Oh, boy.

Fred, I'll be in big trouble
if I don't have any water.

Why, Kelly? Well, you see, I
gotta soak my gums in saltwater.

I didn't do it today, and
now they're getting tender.

Let me see, Kelly.

Oh, they do look tender, Kelly.

You're gonna have to eat
mush. You have to mash it.

Yeah, and strain it...

and suck it through a straw.

Well, son, you find
out what's wrong?

Find out the
trouble? What is it?

Now I know where that
guy got all that copper from.

Huh? All our pipes, Pop.

He ripped out all our pipes.
All our plumbing is gone.

You mean the copper we dumped
down the bottom of the ocean?

Those are our pipes?

And he pulled out our pipes
and pulled Kelly's pipes out?

That's what he was doing down at
Dave's Diner while we were waiting.

Taking our pipes
out. You big dummy!

"Don't worry, Pop. I'm cool.

Just learn to be cool
like me. I'm cool."

You big dummy. You're
not even a cool dummy.

You're just a big, ordinary,
plain dummy, dummy.

Hello, is this the Ace
Plumbing Company?

Yeah, this is Fred Sanford.

Sanford. That's
S-A-N-F-O-R-D period, speakin'.

Yeah, I wonder if you people could
come over and do a little plumbing job.

Yeah.

We ain't got any water.

Yeah, I know we
ain't got any water.

We ain't got any pipes.

Okay, listen...
What are you doing?

I'm calling the plumbing company.
Would you put that phone down?

I bought all that used
pipe, and I told you,

I'm gonna take care
of this whole thing.

Well, you don't know nothing
about plumbing. You ain't no plumber.

Are you kidding?
There's nothing to it. All

I do is just join all
that pipe together...

hook it to the main
valve, turn on the switch.

And zap... water. Now even
an idiot would know that.

Well, in that case,
maybe you could do it.

All right, then you
do it, you're so smart.

You know I can't lift that
wrench. You know my arthritis.

You can't do nothin' but talk.
Everything around here, I do.

Are you kidding? Who you
think keeps this place clean?

I don't want to discuss it. I don't
want to discuss it. Listen to me.

Now, I got the faucet
turned on in the kitchen.

Now, I want you to come
over here and stand here...

and tell me when the
water comes on, all right?

All right.

And stay away from that phone!

Pop, can you hear me?

Huh? Can you hear me?

Huh? Can you hear me?

Where are you? I'm right here!

[ Thumping ]

Right here? Yeah!

I can hear you.
Okay. Is the water on?

Wait a minute. I'll go look.

What?

I said I'll go and
see if the water's on!

Okay!

What? I said okay!

What'd you say? I said okay!

Is the water on? Huh?

What? Is the water running now?

Is it running... [ Yells ]

Yeah, it's running
now, you dummy!

[ Lamont ] Sanford and Son is recorded
on tape before a live studio audience.

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