Sanford and Son (1972–1977): Season 3, Episode 4 - Presenting the Three Degrees - full transcript

The Three Degrees, the Philadelphia-based singing trio, are the Sanfords' house-guests. The ladies perform "I Didn't Know" for Fred.


Hey, Pop.


Hey, man, maybe he's not here.

Yeah, he's here.

Yep, the television's
still warm.

Hey, Pop.


Hey, Pop.

Hey, Pop, are you asleep?

No, dummy!


Listen, what's all
this screaming for?

What are you making
all this noise for?

Well, we didn't know
where you were, Pop.

Didn't you hear me calling?
How come you didn't come down?

You just don't disturb a
man when he's in the library.

Well, see, I'm not alone, Pop.

I've got Rollo here with me.

Oh, is that what that is?

The one and only, in the flesh.

Rollo and I need you
to do us a little favor.

Number one,

I don't do no favors
after 6:00 in the evening,

two, I ain't got no money,

three, I'm not harboring
any fugitives from justice,

and four, bye.

Yeah, Pop, but
this is legitimate.

Hey, Mr. Sanford,
have you ever heard

of a singing group called
The Three Degrees?

No, but I know if a group
gets the third degree,

they'll start singing.

You get that, son?

Third degree, with
the light on you.

Yeah, I got it.

See, uh, he's talking

about a professional
singing group

that performs in nightclubs.

The Three Degrees, man.

They're fantastic.

And you're looking
at their new manager,

right here.

Where is he?

Hey, man, I'm the new manager.

You're managing a singing group?

Yeah, that's right.

I'm going back to the toilet.

Wait a minute, man.

Hey, I am a good manager.


You're a good manager?

See if you can manage
to get out of here.

Now, wait a minute, Pop.

Now, look, this is serious.

Square business.

Now, see,

The Three Degrees
are in trouble, man.

The manager of the club

that they were working for

ran out on them
with all the money.

Yeah, we are in
serious trouble, Pop.

We ain't got no
money whatsoever,

and we don't know
which way to turn.

Turn this way here,
and walk that way.

Oh, come on, man.

Don't make me beg you, Pop.


You're a born beggar.

You've been
begging all your life.

Hey, Pop, at
least listen to it...

Hear the rest of it.

You haven't heard all of it.

See, this don't
just concern Rollo.

See, it's my business too.

I'm the co-manager of the group.

The what?

You heard me.

The co-manager of the group.

We're a team.

In the tradition of other
great teams in show business.

You know, like
Barnum and Bailey.

And Frick and Frack,
and Tom and Jerry,

and Haldeman and Ehrlichman.

You see, Pop,

when I took on
the responsibility

of being the
co-manager of the group,

it was with the understanding

that I would convince you

to let The Three
Degrees stay here

until they get on their feet.

Here? Are you crazy?

But it's only for
tonight and tomorrow.

The group is entered
in a talent contest

down at the Safari
Lounge tomorrow night.

I don't take in no boarders,
and especially poor ones.


Wait a minute,
wait a minute, Pop.

Hey, we'll pay.

Didn't you just say
you had no money?

Yeah, that's right.


Wait a minute.

When we win the
contest tomorrow,

I'll hit the management
up for an advance.

Now, suppose I lay $25 on you

for letting the group stay here?

Each night.

Wait a minute,

I didn't say I wanted
to buy the house.

I just want to let
the group stay here

for two nights.

Yeah, Pop.

They don't even charge that

at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

They don't have the
view we've got here.

They don't have the furnishing

that we have here, so it's $50.

Take it or leave it.

Yeah, okay, Mr. Sanford.

You've got my back
up against the wall.

You'll get your
money tomorrow night

after the contest.

Suppose they don't win?

Hey, Pop, don't be
bad-mouthing the group.

You're supposed
to think positive.

I'm thinking positive.

I'm positive I want 50 bucks.

We'll get your money.

Go get the group, man.

I'll take care of this.

Work on him, man.

Work on him.

Hey, Pop, listen...

You're sticking us
up for $50, man.

You ought to be
ashamed of yourself.

It's bad enough

that you're doing it to Rollo,

but to me, man?

I'm your own son.

Don't I count for something?

Count up to 50 bucks.

That's something.

Everything's a
joke to you, isn't it?

This ain't no joke.

I ain't running no
rooming house.

Then how come
you're charging us $50?

Wear and tear.

Look around you.

This is your inheritance.

Gentlemen, presenting
The Three Degrees.

Fayette... Hello.

Valerie... Hi.

And Sheila. How you doing?

These are The Three Degrees?

You made my temperature
go up 100 degrees.

Mr. Sanford, you're beautiful

for letting us stay with you.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey.

Cut that out.

Come on, get away from him.

Yeah, his heart
might attack him.

We just can't thank him enough.

Yeah, but that's enough
of that monkey business.

Hey, Rollo, you shut up

and let these girls
thank me enough.

If I tell them to
stop, they'll stop.

Tell him who I am, girls.

You are Rollo Lawson,

the greatest manager
ever to grace the planet.

In whose hands

we place our lives, our
careers, and our fortunes.

We will never
forsake his teachings

for silver or gold...

For he knows
what is best for us.

That's good. Come
on, sit down, girls.

That's the first
thing I taught them

when they got off the plane.

I got it, Jack.

I got it.

I know you got it,

but I wish they'd find
a cure for it real soon.

I'm tired, Rollo.

Where are we going to sleep?

It's late.

You promised...

Hey, hey, hey, hey.
Hold on, hold on. Freeze.

Now, I'm going to
assign sleeping quarters

to each one of you

and then that's
going to be that.

You hear me?

Yes, Sir. Yes, Sir. Yes, Sir.

Look here, Rollo.

Why are you talking
to your girls like that?

Who do you think
you are, Iceberg Slim?

Hey, tell him who I am, girls.

He is Rollo Lawson,

the greatest manager
ever to grace the planet,

in whose hands

we place our lives, our careers,

and our fortunes.

We will never forsake his
teachings for silver or gold

for he knows
what is best for us.


Morning, son.

Hey, morning, Pop.

How come you're
so late getting up?

Well, I waited till everybody
came out of the toilet.

I see you fixed
your own breakfast.

No, the girls cooked.

They're in the
kitchen right now.

They've been up for hours.

No kidding.

I like women like that.

Cooking and ironing, washing...

and pregnant.

Good morning, girls.

ALL: Good morning, Uncle Fred.

What's going on?

We're cooking you a
fantastic breakfast for you.

It's the least we could do,

since you were nice enough

to let us stay here
with you, Uncle Fred.

You don't mind us calling
you Uncle Fred, do you?

No, just don't
call me Aunt Fred.

Do you like buttermilk biscuits?

Does a hog love slop?

Yeah, I like
buttermilk biscuits,

and plenty of syrup
and margarine.

All right, and how do
you like your eggs?

I like them two at a time

and both of them
looking up at me.

Well, you go right
into the living room

and we'll bring
you your breakfast.

Look here,

and I like my coffee
like I like my women.

How's that?

Sweet, hot, and without cream.

You know,

I like the idea of having
girls around the house.

A man could get used
to something like that,

couldn't he?

Yeah, well, don't,

because that's not
what they're here for.

I wish me and your
mother had had some girls.


I'll get it.

Hey, Rollo. How you doing?

I was getting ready to split.
You want some breakfast?

No, man, I already did it.

I got to get to
work with the girls.

Yeah, well, I'm going
to get out of here now

so I can do a little work
and get home early,

because tonight's
the night, right?


I'll see you later, Pop.

Okay, son. Don't
work too hard...

because I ain't.

Hey, Pops.

How're you feeling this morning?

I feel with my hands,
like I always did.

Wow, that biting
and satirical wit.

What I'm trying to say is,

I hope the girls haven't been
too much of an inconvenience.

Oh, not at all.

Hi, Rollo.

Hi, Rollo.

Here you are.

Hot buttermilk biscuits
with syrup and margarine

on the side.

Hey, man, they ain't
no cooks or servants.

They're singers.

Don't talk to him
like that, Rollo.

I want to know what's going on.

Hey, Pops, look at me.

Please, not while I'm eating.

Hey, Rollo... It was our idea.

You're supposed to
be ready to rehearse.

Well, we're ready.

Well, let's get to getting.

We're going to dedicate
this to you, Uncle Fred.


You girls sing, I'll eat,

and Rollo, you sit
down and shut up.

♪ I didn't know ♪

♪ Didn't know ♪

♪ You were gonna be my baby ♪

♪ Be my baby ♪

♪ I didn't know ♪


♪ Lovin' you Would
drive me crazy ♪

♪ Drive me crazy ♪

♪ Didn't know When
your friend introduced us ♪

♪ It would be the
start Of a love affair ♪

♪ Chokes me up To
ever think of losing you ♪

♪ Hope you feel
That same way too ♪

♪ I didn't know ♪

♪ Didn't know ♪

♪ You were gonna be my baby ♪

♪ Be my baby ♪

♪ I didn't know ♪


♪ Loving you Would
drive me crazy ♪

♪ Drive me crazy ♪

♪ You swooped down on
me Like a hawk on a dove ♪

♪ Clipped my wings
And I knew I was in love ♪

♪ Thought I was in
love With another man ♪

But look at me.

♪ I'm in the palm of your hand ♪

♪ I didn't know ♪

♪ Didn't know ♪

♪ You were gonna be my baby ♪

♪ Be my baby ♪

♪ I didn't know ♪

♪ Lovin' you ♪

♪ Doo-doo-doo ♪

♪ Lovin' you ♪

♪ Be my baby ♪♪

Hey, girls.

Hurry up.

Man, I don't understand it.

What's taking them so long, man?

What can they possibly
be doing up there?

Hey, man, calm down.

But what are they doing, man?

I don't understand it.

They're in the powder room.

Since when did it get
to be a powder room?

It's the powder room to them.

For you, it's the toilet.

We're ready.

Hey, what's taking
you all so long?

We've been getting ready.

I don't see why we've
got to go so early, anyway.

Aren't you even
going to say anything

about how we look?

All of you look lovely.

You look good enough
to take to Chinatown.

Aw. Thank you.

You are coming to
hear us sing tonight,

aren't you, Uncle Fred?

You can come and
sit right down front.

You have to be there.

You're our good luck piece.

Hey, hey, hey, hey.

Cut that out.

I told you all about that.

Now, come on.

Would you shut up, Rollo?

Don't you know you're supposed
to kiss your good luck piece?

Come on.

Hey, man, I'm going
to see you at the club.

Hey, girls.

Hey, hey, hey.

Come on, come on.

We'll see you there, okay?


Don't forget to sit down front.

All right.

Let's get upstairs
and get dressed

so we won't be late.

Uh, which "we" is this?

That's me and you.

Who else lives here?

Pop, why don't you stay home
and make yourself comfortable

and watch some television?

Didn't you hear the
girls say they need me?

Pop, they don't need you.

They need an audience
to cheer them on

and help them win the contest.

But I want to go.

Forget it, Pop.

But I want to go.

Will you let me go?


I want to go.

I'm going.


Hey, Rollo.

How's it going, man?


It's just a matter of time now.

The girls ready?

Hey, they'd better be.

Hey, man, this is
just the beginning.

No lie.

Tonight, the Safari Lounge,

tomorrow, Las Vegas.

Hey, and we get to travel
with the girls too, right?

We're their managers, ain't we?

I've got to hand
it to you, brother.

Hey, no need, man.

I'll get it anyhow.


are you sure this
is the right joint?

Did you see all them
pictures of the jungle

out there on the front?

It had "Safari Club"

written right across
the elephant's behind.

Hey, look.

There's Lamont.



Hey, Lamont.

Look here, I... What
are you doing here?

Didn't I tell you to stay home?

And what did you bring
them pool room characters

down here for?

They're no characters.

They're my friends,

and we came down
here to clap for the girls

so they can win.

Why don't you just
sit down and relax

and have a nice, quiet,
enjoyable evening, huh?

I ain't never had no
fun when I was quiet.

Wait a minute, Pop.

Now, please, don't mess this up,

because it means a
lot to me and Rollo.

He was just saying
that from here,

we go to Las Vegas,

and then on to Tahoe, Reno...

And back to the Ghetto.

Well, hello, lovely.


Can I take your order?

Yeah, I'll take a
tall glass of legs.

I meant to drink.

Yeah, I know.

Do you want anything or not?

I don't have all night.

Give us some mixers
and a big bowl of ice.

You know, we do
serve alcohol in here.

You are allowed
to drink, aren't you?

Oh, yeah.

Yeah, we drink.


Hey, hey. What's happening?


What do you want to happen?

Right on, brother.

Good evening,
ladies and gentlemen,

and welcome to the Safari Club.

Tonight's the night we
showcase new talent,

and at the end of the show,

we're going to bring
all the performers

back out on stage

and let the sound
of clapping hands

decide who you like the best.

Right on.


Tonight we have three
different types of entertainment.

First, we have Kurt Taylor,

the funniest dude ever
to walk out of Texas

wearing a pair
of football shoes.


That's Kurt's sister.

We've got Gabriel Gordon.

That's right, the Great
G.G. and his horn of plenty.


Hey, G.G.'s agent.

Last but far from least,

we've got three super-fine,
superfly chicks from Philly

who sing like angels sing...

The Three Degrees.

I see we've got some folks
here from Philly, but be cool.

I mean, The Three Degrees

are going to be right out
here where I'm standing,

but first, and
without further ado,

how about a big
round of applause

for Mr. Comedy, Kurt Taylor?


Thank you, thank you.

First of all, you might wonder
why I'm carrying this football.

See, I used to be

a professional football player

for the Kansas City Chiefs.

I would've been a star too,

but one thing kept
me on the bench.

The coach.

Hey, hey.

What is 6'7" and
weighs 299 pounds,

hateful, cruel, and ugly?

Your mama.

No, man.

My mama's only five-six.

Oh, your grandma!

No, no, no.

I'm talking about
a species of animal

that's known as
a defensive tackle.

Now, when I was
playing football...

Why don't you just go on off so
we can see The Three Degrees?



You ain't Mr. Comedy.

You're Mr. Tragedy.

Hey, hey, hey, hey.

Are you guys trying
to tell me something?

Yeah. You stink.

Hey, hey, hey, hey, old dude.

Why don't you leave me alone?

Now, how would you like it

if I came over to the
old folks' home tomorrow

and knocked over
your checker board?

How would you like it if
I come up there tonight

and give you some of
these across your lips?


What? What?

Uh... Uh, hello, brother.

Can I help you at all?

You can shut up, or
else get out of here.

Hey, brother,
what's the problem?

You know these guys?


Tell them to stop interrupting,

or else I'll throw them all out.

All right.

Hey, what's the
matter with you, Pop?

You trying to get us
thrown out of here?

Sit down over here and be quiet.

Sit down over here.

Stop it.

Just sit here.

As I was saying...

Well, Kurt Taylor was
almost finished anyway.

But tell me, folks...
How did you like him?


Right on.

Well, moving right along,

the Safari Lounge
proudly presents

the great Gabriel Gordon
and his Golden Horn.

We want The Three Degrees.


I'm warning you
guys for the last time.

You got that?

You got that, Bubba?

I've got that.

Thank you.

Thank you.

First, I'd like to give
you my impression

of the great Louis
"Satchmo" Armstrong

doing "Blueberry Hill,"

and here it is.


Well, anyway...

♪ Bah-bah bo Zah
zah-zah zah-zah ♪

♪ Oh, yes ♪♪

♪ Oh, no ♪♪

Oh, yes.

Oh, no.

Please, why don't you go on off?

We want to hear
The Three Degrees.


Who do you want to hear?

The Three Degrees.
The Three Degrees.

Who? The Three Degrees!

We want The Three Degrees!

We want The Three Degrees!

We want The Three Degrees!
We want The Three Degrees!

All right, that's it.

All of you, out.

You can't talk to him like that.

Yeah, we're behind you, Fred.

What are you talking about?

This is what I'm talking about.

That's what he's talking about.

Wait a minute,
Leroy, pay the check.

Man, take your
hands off my father.

Hey, look, get of here.

Get on out of here.

You can't do that.

Wait a minute.

You can't do that to my son.

I ain't never coming
back here no more.

Yeah, I see...

I see you hit that big bouncer

in the fist with your nose.

I don't want to talk about it.

I don't want to
talk about nothing.

You know, Pop,

it was the girls' big chance,

and you blew it for them.

They treated you like a king,
and how did you pay them back?

Well, I... I don't
want to talk about it.


Hi, Uncle Fred.

Hi. Hi.

You'll never guess
what happened.

Uh-uh, you'll never believe it.

You won, didn't you?

See, didn't I tell you, Lamont?

They won.

No, we didn't win.

We got kicked out
right after you did.

Then what are you
so happy about?

What happened?

Well, we were standing
in the back alley,

crying our eyes out...

And mascara just
running everywhere...

The leader of the band came out,

he heard us crying,

and we told him what was wrong.

Yeah, we told him

how this was the final straw,

and how we'd had
nothing but bad luck

since we left Philly,

and he offered
to take us on tour.

Isn't that sweet?


We'll be back in
Philly in three weeks,

Oh, we owe it all
to you, Uncle Fred.

Thanks so much.

You mean, you're not mad
at me for ruining your careers?

If it wasn't for you, we
would never get home.


That's the van outside.
We've got to go.

Bye, Uncle Fred.

Thank you so much.

Bye, Lamont.

Tell Rollo we'll write.


Well, what you got
to say about that?

There ain't nothing to say.

You're just about the
luckiest old man in the world,

that's all.


Let me explain
something to you, son.

That's not luck.

That's pizzazz.

See, I've got that.

See, a lot of people
don't have pizzazz,

but if I tell you something,

you'll learn to listen to me,

because I have never been wrong,

as long as I can remember.

Hey, morning, Pop.

Morning, son.


What's the matter?

Well, I thought
maybe I'd get a letter

from the girls.

You miss them, don't you?


They were nice.

You know, it was nice

to have some females
around the house.

It don't seem the
same without them.

Yeah, Pop, but look
at it like this, man.

They're back in Philadelphia,
and they're happy, man,

and they owe it all to you.

Speaking of owing,

what about that $50
you and Rollo owe me?


$50 for the girls staying here.

Are you serious, Pop?

Those girls waited
on you hand and foot,

and you still want money
for them staying here?

That was the girls.

They got nothing to do

with you and Rollo
owing me 50 bucks.

Hey, man, you're impossible,

and besides, those girls
only stayed here one night.

Okay, I'll make it possible.

Twenty-five bucks.

Forget it, Pop.

Wait a minute. 15.








Three? Two?



One measly buck.

You cheap... I never...

I don't even know
how you got that cheap.

You're cheaper than
chitlins were in 1932.


and Son is recorded on tape

before a live studio audience.