Sanford and Son (1972–1977): Season 4, Episode 15 - Once a Thief - full transcript

Grady gets uptight when Lamont brings his ex-convict friend Herman home to stay until he can find a job.


Oh, come on, Bubba.

You really think that
Riley can take Johnson?

Are you crazy?

Johnson will take
him in the first round...

Yeah. Oh, really?

Well, put your money
where your mouth is...

That's big enough to hold

your money, wallet,
and your checkbook.

Oh? How much?

Come on.

Come on, you're getting warmer.

All right, now double that.

Now you're talking.

$2.00. You got it.

Okay, see you later.

Oh! Got two big ones!

Hey, Grady.

I'm in the kitchen, Lamont.

Well, come on out here.

I got somebody I
want you to meet.

Well, don't shout.

A person shouldn't
shout from room to room.

If a person has something to say

to a person in another room,

that person should
walk in there and say it.

The trouble with you young folks

is you'd rather shout your
way through life than to walk.

Would you come on out here

I've got somebody
I want you to meet.

Yeah, all right.

Just let me get this thing off.

He'll be right out, Herm.

You sure he's not
gonna get upset

about me having been in jail?

Oh, man, look, don't
even worry about it.

Grady's a pretty nice dude.

GRADY: Speak up!
You talking to me?

Would you get out here?

Grady, do you
remember Errol Edwards?

Oh, yeah.

Well, this is Errol's
baby brother, Herman.

Herman, Grady Wilson.

How you doing?

Hey, hi, Herman. How
you doing? Where's Errol?

Oh, Errol's...

He's just about getting ready

to go into law school now.

Oh, wow. That's great.

You know, we need more
kids like you and Errol.

Not like some of these kids
we got growing up today...

Grady, Herman's going to
be staying with us for a while.

Oh? Why?

Well, because he doesn't
have a place of his own.

Oh, how come?

He spent the last
two years in prison.

In the kitchen, Lamont.

Just make yourself
at home, Herman.

Yeah. Thanks, man.

Are you crazy bringing
a killer into this house?

Grady, Herman is not a killer.

Well, he's been
to jail, hasn't he?

Yeah, he's been to jail.

Well, he's a crook and a killer.

And he's in there alone.

In the living room, Lamont!

All right, you, put
down those ashtrays.

Oh, man, please.

All right, up against the wall.

Well, don't you want
me to raise my hands?

Yeah, right. Raise your hands.

Yeah, and what about my legs?

Yeah. Raise those too.

I mean, shouldn't I spread them?

Yeah, spread them.

Oh, yeah. Okay. Now what?

Now what?

Now stop it.

Now, Herman is not a killer.

Well, how come
he went to prison?

Because of
circumstantial evidence.

He just happened to be
at the scene of a crime.

Oh? You just happened to
be at the scene of a crime?

Well, what were you doing there?

Committing it.

Oh well, that's...

that's circumstantial
evidence, all right.

Come, on Herman.

Now, where are you
taking this jailbird?

I'm taking him upstairs, Grady,

and he's not a jailbird.
He's got a name.

Oh, yeah?

Spell it out for me...
number by number.

Herman was arrested
when he was 20 years old

for stealing a Hi-fi set.

He spent two years in prison,

and he's paid his
debt to society.

Oh, well, I ain't in society,
so I haven't been paid yet.

Hey, look, Lamont, man
maybe I'd better split.

I don't want no
more hassles, man.

No, man. Where you going to go?

He ain't got no
place to stay, Grady.

He got kicked out
of his apartment

because he
couldn't pay the rent.

Now, Herman is going
to stay here with us

until he finds himself a job,

and that's all there
is to it... You got that?

Okay. I just happen
to have a job for him.

Here, Herman.

Here's a quarter...
Your job is to get out.

Now, goodbye, criminal.

Get out. Come on, Herman.

Shakedown is at 0800 hours.

Chow is at 0830 hours.

And break-out time is
any time you want to go.

Just what I need, having
a crook around here.

Nah, he wouldn't want that.

Oh! I can't let him get this.

That's all I gotta do is
miss hearing that fight,

especially when I've got
two big ones riding on it.

Now I've got to hide
all of the valuables.

Got to hide the valuables.

Boy, that's some crook...

He's been here five minutes,

and there ain't a
single valuable left.

Hey, Dillinger,

put down my paper and
empty out your pockets.

Did you find anything yet, Herm?

No. Not yet, man.

Did you put anything back?

Oh, stop it.

Hey, man, here looks like a
couple of places I could try.

Yeah, well, you just keep
right on trying, Herman.

There's bound to be
somebody in this town

that'll give you a job

that don't care nothing
about your past, man.

Right. Did you try the mafia?

Why don't you go in the kitchen

and fix breakfast
and stifle yourself.


I'll get it.

Oh, hi there... Lester!

Esther. No "L".

Oh, well, Noel?

And a Merry
Christmas to you too.

You hear anything from Fred?

Yeah. He said he was
enjoying himself with his family.

Did he send me any regards?

Well, sort of.

He said that he had
visited the St. Louis Zoo.

Watch it, Grady.

Ana he was having
a wonderful time...

Yeah... and he wished
that I was there...

Be careful.

And was sure you already were!

That did it.

Would you knock it off?

Soon as I knock him out.

Would you just stop
it? Grady, stop it.

Stop it!

Now, come over here.

I got somebody I
want you to meet.

Aunt Esther, this
is Herman Edwards,

and he's our house guest.

Our Big House guest.

How are you doing, ma'am?

Was that an automobile accident?

No, she was born with that face.

Shut up, fool.

Lamont, could you come over

to help your Uncle Woody
out today in the store?

Oh, gee, I'd love
to, Aunt Esther,

but I'm going to be busy

with the truck all
day making pick-ups,

and tonight, I promised Julio

I'd go to the fights with him.

What happened to
your regular helper?

Well, we had to
fire him for stealing.

I could have forgiven him
for anything else, but stealing!

"Thou shalt not steal!"

That's one of the top 10!

Yes, ma'am.

Oh, yeah. We can understand
that, can't we, Numbers?

I was hoping you'd be able to
come and help him out today.

Wait a minute.

Now, you say that...
Woody lost his helper,

and Herman here
is looking for a job.

Oh, yeah, that's right.

You are?

Yes, ma'am.

Do you know anything
about the hardware business?

Well, I've never had any...

You don't have to
worry nothing about that.

Herman here is very bright,

and he picks up
things very easily!

Where did you work before?

Well, you see, for the
last two years, I've been...

Worked for the State.

You did?

Well... yes, ma'am, and I...

Never missed a day. Rain or
shine, Herman was always there.

What did you do?

Well, I... He was a waiter!

A waiter?


He waited two years.

Why did you leave?

Well, I... He was done serving.

Does he get the
job, Aunt Esther?

I have to get my
husband's opinion,

which shouldn't be very
hard, since he gets it from me.

In more ways than one.

Why, you... Wait a
minute, Aunt Esther.

Wait just a minute.
Just a minute.

Would you excuse
me for a minute?

Say, Lamont, can I rap
to you for a minute, man?

Yeah. Yeah. Excuse me.

Grady why don't you get
something for Aunt Esther.

Oh, gladly. How much do
you think I can get for her?

Would you stop it?

LAMONT: Aunt Esther!

Hey, say, Lamont, I
don't think we should lie

to your aunt like that, really.

Look, Herman, nobody's
asking you to like,

Just don't volunteer

any information that's
not asked, all right?

Oh, come on, man.

That ain't no way
to do business.

Okay, look a it this way.

Would you tell anybody

what your blood type
was if they didn't ask you?

Well, of course not! All right.

Put your blood cell in the
same category as your jail cell.

Okay. Okay, man.

Well, I've got to get back to
the store to help my husband.

Now, can I count on you
being there this afternoon?

Oh, yes, ma'am. I'll
be right down there.

Just let me get my stuff.

Fine. Bye. Bye.

You don't have to
rush off now, do you?

Yeah. Why?

Well, I just like having
you hang around out here.

It makes the junk
look so pretty.

Grady Wilson,

I wouldn't lower myself
to even answer that

because I've got too much class.

Praise the Lord.

What's the matter
with you, Grady?

What have you got
against my Aunt Esther?

She just talks too slow.

What do you mean
she talks too slow?

Well, she takes too much time
between "hello" and "goodbye".

Well, at least she
gave Herman a job.

Yeah, that's right,
and I owe her for that...

Got getting him
out of the house,

because I was afraid he
was going to attack me!

Would you stop that?

Well, no, Lamont.

Really, I really get scared
having a criminal in the house.

Grady, I'm gonna tell
you one more time.

Herman is not a criminal.

Oh, yeah, that's... right.

Of course not.

I can see it now
on my tombstone...

"Here lies Grady Wilson,

murdered in the first degree
by a hell of a nice guy."

Say, Pops.

I want to thank you

for letting me stay
here last night,

and for helping me get that job.

Now I can afford
to get my own place.

You know, Lamont was right.

Oh, sure. Sure, Herman.

Lamont was right.

A man must show compassion
and trust to his fellow man.

Can I see what you've
got in that suitcase there?

Come on, Herman.

Well, I'll see you later, Grady.

I'm going to pick up Julio.
We're going to the fights.

Oh, you could take me
to the fights, you know?

I could, but the tickets
costs 10 bucks apiece.

Well, you could spend $10

on the man that
cleans the house,

washes the clothes
and fixes your meals.

Sure. What time
does he get here? Bye.


This is some dip...
shrimp and ripple.



All right!

Hold your horses. I'm coming.

Don't you know I hear you?

Hello, Pops.

Oh, hi. You forgot something!

No, you remembered something...

that Lamont was going
to the fights with Julio

and I was gonna be here alone,

and that you got a
machine gun in that suitcase,

and the silverware's
in the top drawer.


Hey, Pops. Will you
come on downstairs?

I didn't come here
to rob nobody.

What did you come back for?

I got fired.

You got fired the
first day on the job?

You got fired?

What, she caught you
stealing again, right?

No, Pops. I wasn't
stealing nothing.

She just found out
that I'm an ex-con.

Did you kill her?

Put your hands down, man.

Well, how'd she find out
that you was an ex-con?

I told her.

Oh, well, she didn't fire you
because you're an ex-con,

she fired you
because you're a fool!

Okay, Pops. Anything you say.

And don't call me "Pops".

And why'd you have to
go and tell her anyway?

Because she asked me.

I didn't want to
lie to the lady.

Well, what made her ask?

Were you singing
old chain gang songs?

The fact is that she
asked me some questions

about my last job
working for the state,

and I told her the truth.

She must have passed out.

No. She just raised her
arms to heaven and said,

"The truth will set you free..."

and then she opened
the door and freed me.

Okay, well, you
can stay for a while.

I'll take care of that later,

but right now I got
to listen to the fights.

Come on, I'm going
to lock you in the closet.

Oh, come on, man,
you can trust me.

I don't have to trust you.

Ain't none of my
clothes in there.

I'll tell you what,
I'll just sit right here.

On my hands.

All right, go on.

Both of them.

How'd you do it?

Do what?

Steal the radio! It's gone!

Hey, Pops. I didn't
steal your radio.

You're the only
thief that's been here.

You can't trust a
thief for one minute...

The first chance
he gets, he steals...

The freezer!

How'll I hear that fight?

What... I'll plug it
in. It'll thaw out then.

I gotta hear that fight. I got
two big ones on that fight.

I got to hear that thing.

Hey, you ain't gonna
hear nothing on that radio.

Julio's got a radio.

Come on, why don't you
go over there get it for me?

Who's Julio?

He's our next-door neighbor.

Well, why don't
you go over there

and listen to it with him?

He went to the
fights with Lamont.

Then how am I
supposed to get his radio?

By circumstantial evidence!

You know, it's funny
how you righteous dudes

are only honest as
long as it's convenient.

Come on, Herman.

I don't need no philosopher
now. I needs a crook.

Hey, but, man, look,
that's breaking and entering.

You know, that's two to five.

No, it's 10 to 9:00. And
the fight's starting soon.

Now, come on.

Just the radio, now.

I got to hear that fight.

What took you so long?
You must be out of practice.

Oh, man, I didn't want to
break in and steal Julio's radio.

Where did you get it from?

Martell's Appliance Store.

Martell's? Are you crazy?

Stealing a radio from Martell's

when they got color televisions.

I dislikes a thief, but
I hates a dumb one.

ANNOUNCER: And in the
middle of the second round,

Johnson had Riley in trouble,

but Riley came on with
a good flurry of hooks

to the body towards
of the round...

It's Johnson now with a
flurry of lefts and rights.

He's got Riley on the ropes...

We winning. We winning!

Herman, you sure know
how to steal a radio!

Hey, Grady.

We figured you'd have the
fight on. Mind if we listen?


Yeah. Terrible reception
in the squad car.

We kept picking up police calls.

You know...

Hey, Grady, can you turn it up?

Oh, yeah, sure, In the corner...


Come on, Grady,
put the fight on.

What you doin'?


Hey, you know,
that's very strange.

You turned up the volume

and changed the station
with the same knob.

Well, you see, that's
how this radio works.

One of those buttons
is for the brightness.

Five, six...

Come on, get up, Johnson!
What are you doing?

Darn it!

I lost two big ones.

But he doesn't
have the strength...

Hey, you turned the
radio off and it's still on.

Yeah, this radio
is funny that way.

Boy, I tell you, he's a
heck of a fighter, Riley.

Come a along way from Dublin.

Hey, Hoppy, Smitty.

Hey, Lamont. How are you?

Hey, Herman. What
you doing here?

You got some
trouble or something?

No, we just stopped
by to listen to the fight.

How'd you get home so fast?

I didn't even get in, man.
The fight was sold out.

Besides, Johnson got K.O.ed.

I heard it on the
radio in the truck.

Good thing he doesn't
drive a squad car.

So, how come you
turned off the radio, Grady?

Let's listen to the
fight interview, man.

To practice...


Grady, what are you up to?

What are you doing with
a radio in your pocket?

In the kitchen, Lamont.

No, out here. Now
give me the radio.

Come on!

Give it to me.

What are you doing

with a brand-new portable
radio in your pocket?

Before you jump
to any conclusions,

this young man over
here stole that radio,

and I was making
a citizen's arrest.

Come on, get him
before he escapes!

Come on, man. Would you stop it!

All right, young man,

you have the right
to remain silent.

If you give up the
right to remain silent...

Hold it, man. I
didn't steal no radio.

All right, Mr. Wilson,

you have the right
to remain silent...

Hoppy... Hmm?

Remain silent.

Hey, Herman, what
are they talking about?

I bought him that
radio at Martell's,

and he thinks I stole it.

Yes, he bought it, all right.

Yeah, he bought it, all right.

Yeah, he bought it, all right.

He got a good buy too.

And that's goodbye to you.

And it's time for us to divide.

That's split.

Oh, split, right. Split.

Oh... Oh... Thanks. Thanks, man.

Hey, wait a minute, you.

You stole my watch.

Grady, it's on the other arm.

Oh, yeah. How'd you do that?

College graduate.
College graduate...

College graduate.


Looks like Herman's
gonna have a hard time

finding a job in this town.

Oh, hi, Aunt Esther.

Don't you "Hi" me.

Here's your mail. It
was in the box. Take it.

I need both hands free to preach
some gospel into your heart.

Why? What did I do?

You lied to me about Herman.

Well, I didn't exactly lie.

I played with the truth, but...

Played with it?

Lamont, the truth is not a toy.

You cannot play with the truth.

The truth is a hard,
firm, ragged rock,

which is as old
as the world itself.

The truth reminds
me a lot of you, Esther.

Shut up, fool.

Well, you're right,
Aunt Esther...

I did lie a little bit,
but, see, I figured

if you knew that Herman
had been in prison,

that you wouldn't have
given him a job. I apologize.

I didn't fire him because
he was in prison.

I fired him because he
didn't tell me he was in prison.

Now, wait a minute.

Now, that wasn't Herman's fault.

I told him not to tell you.

Well, that's all in the past.

I'm willing to put
everything behind me.

Looks like it's already there.

You will not arouse
my wrath, Grady Wilson,

because I came here
filled with mercy...

And to ask Herman to
come back to work for me.

Oh, really?


Hey, Herman. I think
you'd better get down here.

Hey, what's up, man?

Hey, guess what.

Aunt Esther's going to
give you your job back.

Oh, really? Really...

Blessed are the merciful
for they shall obtain mercy.

Well, I think that's
wonderful, Aunt Esther.

That's straight out
of the Good Book.

Well, hallelujah and goodbye.

Now, go straight
out of the good door.


Come on, Herman.

We'll get you an apartment.

It's not good for an ex-con

to be associated
with a known sucker!

See you later, Pops.

Take care, Lamont.

Here's a letter for you, Grady.

Open it up and read it.

I don't know who would
be writing me here.

It's the bill from Martell's
Appliance Store for the radio.

It seems that Herman only
made the down-payment.

You owe the other eight.

I knew that crooked
crook was crooked.

Once you've been on death row,

you're not ever good
for society again.

I'll never forgive your Aunt
Esther for forgiving him,

or you for forgiving him...

Or Martell's for sending that...