Sanford and Son (1972–1977): Season 4, Episode 6 - Going Out of Business - full transcript

To get a better tax break and increase their income, Lamont gets a job as a clerk at a haberdashery and Fred considers closing down Sanford & Son.


Let me see here.

Three pictures,
two tennis rackets,

four knick-knacks
with three nicks.

Listen, can you
count to yourself?

I'm trying to read Wall Street.

You mean Sesame Street.

Hey, Pop, you could help
me with this, you know.

I mean, Calvin the accountant's

gonna be here any minute.

Yeah, I know I could help you,

but it would be wrong.

What are you talking about?

You remember that
show we saw on TV

where that lady was living
with the family of chimpanzees,

Jane Goodall?

I think it was called
"Goodall In The Family."

What about it?

Well, she tried to
show how important it is

for a parent to step back

and let the child do
something on his own.

Yeah, well, the parent
has to be standing up

before he can step back.

Son, do you think

I'm comfortable sitting here

watching you do all the work?

Well, you look pretty
comfortable to me.

That's because you
see with your eyes

and not with your brains.

See, you got 20-20
vision and zero-zero brains.

Look, now, you know and I know

that the reason
you're sitting there

is because you're lazy.

Yeah, think that.

That's because you
have eyes that see not,

and you should trade them
in on some lips that swell not.


Must be the door.

Come on in. It's open, Calvin.

Good evening.

Good evening.

Good evening.

Well, are the books in order?

How much you gonna
charge us to do taxes this year?

Oh, for you, same as
last year, five dollars,

plus 10% of how
much I lie about.

Hey, wait a minute. What lying?

I didn't know nothing
about no lying.

It's not exactly a lie.

It's just we found
a little deduction

and it was disallowed later.

Well, like what?

Well, I donated
my private papers

to the archives

of the Junk
Institute of America.

Just a second.

Where is the Junk
Institute of America?

You're sitting in the lobby.

Look, Calvin,

there'll be no
cheating, all right?

In that case, I'll have
to charge you 10 bucks.



Five. Seven?

Five. I'll tell you what.


That's what I was
gonna tell you.

Hey, Pop, you got those books?


All right. Here you are, Calvin.

Here's the books.

That's the money...

That's the money we
laid out for expenses.

How did you arrive
at this amount?

With these.

See, those are the expenses.

In there?

No, on here.

See, the ones in pencil, those
are the business expenses,

and the ones in crayon,
that's the household expenses.

Got it.

And wait a minute.

And here's the receipt
the lady gave me

from the Heart Fund.

Well, there's no amount on it.

I didn't give her nothing.

You see, I conned
her out of this receipt.

Now, you can write
something on it.

Hey, wait a minute.

That's cheating, man.

That's not cheating. It is so.

Saying that you gave money
when you didn't is cheating.

What do you mean, I
didn't give anything?

I have a heart
condition, don't I?

Yeah, but that's
not... All right, then.

I didn't take any money
from the Heart Fund, did I?

No, but... All right, then.

I can get $200 a year.

They gonna give it to me,
but I didn't take nothing,

so it's like handing them $200.

Well, what made
you decide on $200?

Why not a thousand?

Why not 10,000?

Why not write down a million?

Yeah, Calvin, put a
million down there.

You put that down there,
and you're going to jail.

Take that off, Calvin.

You got it. 200.

Hey, Pop, you know that's
wrong, what you're doing there.

No, son, listen.

This is America.

This is the land of
freedom and justice,

where a poor man

has the same
opportunity as the rich,

to cheat on his taxes.

Too much mayonnaise.

Not enough garlic.

Yeah, a little garlic.

Just a little bit...
Just a little bit.



Too much brick.

Oh... Go easy, now, all right?

Go easy, Ah Chew.

Yeah. That you, son?

Yeah, it's me, Pop.

You all right?

Why don't you come
out here and see?

Sounded like you
were gonna throw up,

and I don't want you
to throw up on me.

Lean back. There you go.


Gee whiz. You here again?

Listen, why you always
hang out with him?

You gonna wind up
catching yellow jaundice.

Hey, what you got,
man, the Black Plague?

Hey, Pop,

why don't you leave
Ah Chew alone, man?

He's my friend and
he's trying to help me.

Well, if he's through helping,
let Changhi check out.


How'd you hurt your back?

You know that boiler I picked up

from Dayton's Scrap and Steel?

It fell off the
back of the truck

and I must've strained
every muscle in my back

trying to get it on there.

Well, hey, man, that
boiler is a two-man gig.

I'm hip.

Mr. Sanford, you could've
been on that truck to help him.

Listen, Ping Pong...

When I want your
advice, I'll give it to you.

I been busy all day

getting my dip ready, dope.

You want some?

Why don't you offer
our guest some first?

We have guests?

Yes, Ah Chew is our guest,

and why don't you try and
make him feel welcome?

I will.

Ah Chew, there's outside.

You're welcome to it.

What is that?

What is it?


This is pig feet, pig snoot.

See, the one
with the holes in it,

that's snoot, and
sardines and oysters,

and a quart and a
half of mayonnaise

and just a smidgen of garlic.

What do you call it?

"The Mayo Clinic."


Come on in. Come
on in. The door's open.

Good evening.

Say, listen, Calvin, you
got everything all right?

I certainly did.

Say, listen,

as long as this is
personal business,

I really should split.

You should split

whether it's personal,
impersonal, or a monkey.

Hey, man, why don't
you dig yourself, Pop?

Nah, that's cool, Lamont.

I can take a hint.

Now you can take a walk.

LAMONT: Hey, ciao, Chew.

All right, Calvin, how we doing?

Well, according
to my calculations,

you owe the United
States Government

10 bucks with, or
20 bucks without.

With or without what?


Then, son, we owe $10.

Say, wait a minute.

Between the two of us,

we only made $7,000 a year.

Now, how come we
owe anything at all?

Well, you got no deductions,
no major expenses,

and not a penny for charity.


When you're only
getting $3,000 a year

from Social Security,

it's hard to be
a philanthropist.

Yeah, but look now.

You only made $4,000 in
the junk business last year,

and your $3,000 Social Security.

Now, that's only 7,000 bucks.

Now, I think it'd be a good idea

if Lamont went out

and got a job for
six, seven thou,

and gave up the junk business.

Do you think I
paid you five dollars

to tell me to close
down Sanford and Son?

Well, you can still
keep Sanford and Son.

It's just a name.

Sanford and Son
is not a name, sir.

Sanford and Son is a tradition.

It's a way of life.

It's a dynasty.

It's an empire.

You look around here.

The greatest pile
of junk in the world.

But, Fred, you gotta...

Case closed.
Case closed, Calvin.

Get a dip, make a trip.

Must've been too
much brick in it.

You know, Pop, I think
Calvin's got something there.

Yeah, but it's just a dip.

No, no, no, no, no.

I mean... I mean
about me getting a job.

You're not really gonna
get a job, are you?

I think we should give

some serious thought to it, Pop.

Okay, we'll give
some thought to it.

Well, that's enough.

Good night.

I made up my mind, Pop.

I'm gonna go out and get a job

and bring some more
money into this house.

We don't need no more
money in this house.

All we need is to cut down
on some of these luxuries.



Uh, sorry.

You can go ahead and thaw out.

I, uh...

He thought you were a burglar
trying to break into the house.

Say, where you coming
from this hour, anyway?

Getting the morning paper.

What's so important
in that paper

you'd go out for it at dawn?

The want-ads section, Smitty.

I'm gonna get a job.

A job? You don't need no job.

You already got a job,

and better than
that, you got a title.

Some title.

Just what is your title, Lamont?


Very Poor.

You are not.

You're vice president
of Sanford and Son,

and if that ain't good enough,

you can be president.


Really... I'll move up to King.

Thanks a lot, Your Majesty,

but I think I'll take a job

where they give
out money, not titles.

You guys want some coffee?

Oh, yeah. That's a great idea.

I always like... always like

a nice cup of joe
in the morning,

get the cobwebs
out between my calls.

You know, if I could...
If I could interject here,

I know that I can
speak for Smitty

and possibly for myself

when I say that we
would be mighty proud

to have you with us as
a brother on the force.

I'd rather have him with
me as a son on the truck.

Say, Smitty,

how much does a
policeman make a year?

Around $11,000.

Plus you get a
pension, too, right?


Yeah, and the
opportunity to retire early

with a bullet in the
lung of your choice.

Say, Lamont, we're gonna
have to skip the coffee.

Come on now, Hoppy,
we gotta get going.

Oh, yeah. Listen, Lamont.

Good luck in whatever you do.

You just hang out there.

Hang in there.

Oh, yeah, yeah,
you hang in there.

Hang in there, nephew.


Brother. Yeah, brother.

Well, I've got to say
"nephew" sometime.

Hey, you're not
looking for a job,

are you, son?

I certainly am.

Just about everything in here

is $500 a month.

That's $6,000 a year.

Well, is something
in there for you?

There sure is. Look at this.

I ain't got my glasses.

Yeah, here's something
for you, right here.

"Wanted, Dummy. $6,000 a year."

Howdy, Fred.

You know, Calvin,

you oughtta go try
to find a brain sale,

and find a cheap one...

Because you ain't
got no trade-in.

Oh, there's nothing
wrong with my brains.

It's you that's
not thinking right,

sitting around here,
moping all day long,

when you should be
happy you're retired.

Yeah, but at least then I
knew outside I had an empire.

I ain't got nothing but
a Clarence sale sign.

Oh, you got a son

who's very happy
making six thou a year.

That's what you got.

He ain't happy.

Oh, he says he's happy.

Well, he ain't.

Why not?


Because he's got a father
that's... that's a failure.

Oh, how can you
call yourself a failure?

Why, you got...
You got... you got...

You got a point there, Fred.

MAN: I really
can't understand it.

No, none at all,

and we haven't had any in weeks.

Wait. We might not have any now,

but we can always order some.

Lamont is a nice
young man, but he's new

and he probably doesn't
know where things are.

If... if... if we don't have it,

I'll promise you I'll get it.

We can always get it, Lamont.

Now, what was it we haven't had?


Some shirts have
come into the back.

Now, put them on the shelves.

I see I ain't gonna
have this job long.

Hello, dummy.

Say, pardon me, miss.

You work here?

I'm a customer

and I'm looking for
a birthday present

for my husband.

Well, why don't you
get a face mask?

I say, you know, one of
those masks, you know,

like you wear to bed?

Oh, I never thought of that.

Oh, you must have.

That's the big thing now.

You can get the pajamas
and the mask and, you know,

if you got a waterbed,
you can get some flippers.

My husband and I
sleep in a regular bed.

You and your husband
sleep together?

For 28 years.

Well, then, forget the robe.

Get him some bifocals.

Now, this looks
like a nice robe.

You look about his size.

Would you mind trying it
on to give me some idea?

I can give you some
idea without trying it on.

Is that right?

Yeah. You want to please
your husband, don't you?


Well, you know them mud packs

that women put on so
they can look pretty?


Well, take yours off.

Well, I never... Maybe
that's the reason.

May I help you, sir?

No, I know how to feel ties.

They're not supposed to be felt.

I know they're not
felt. They're silk.

I've felt silk
and I've felt felt.

I felt most certain
I've felt felt.

Do you wish to purchase one?

Are you the owner?

Yes, I am.

Then I do not wish
to purchase one.

Well, then... I wish
to purchase 10.

Oh... yeah, 10?


Well... well... I'll be
happy to sell you 10.

You can't sell me nothing.

Well... See, I heard
about a salesman

that you have here
in your haberdashery,

and I'll only let him sell
me some haberdash.


This is a
haberdashery, ain't it?

Well... well... well,
yes, yes, yes, yes.

Well, I want to buy $200,
$300 worth of haberdash.

Oh, yes, yes, yes, indeed.

What was the salesman's name?

I think his name
was Lamont Stanford.

Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.


No, no, no.

Almont Stamford?

Sanford, Sanford...
Helmet Vandine?

No, no, it's Lamont. Lamont.

Lamont Sanford. Sanford.

Lamont Sanford.



What are you doing here, Pop?


Yes, Gerhard Popwell.

Everybody call me Pop for short.


I got some money to spend

if you'll sell me some things.

Well, Lamont, take
care of the gentleman.

Show him all of our haberdash.

Our what?


This is a
haberdashery, isn't it?

Show him our haberdash.

Yeah, right.

Hey, Pop, what
are you doing here?

I just came down here
to pat you on the back

and tell you how
proud I am of you.

For crying out loud.

Yes, I'll take several of these

and I'd like a shirt.

You got black on black?


We can order some, Lamont.

No, I wanted to wear it tonight,

and please, don't butt in.

Uh, the sweaters
are right over here.

Thank you.

Say, couldn't you
wait until I got home?

Yeah, but listen, son,

I figured I'd make you look good

if I come down here and
bought $200 worth of stuff.

Where did you get $200 from?

The bank.

Listen, do you have anything

in cashmere draw...
Uh, undergarments?

No, but can I interest
you in a silk boxer?

No, I got a Doberman.

Hey, Pop, what'd you take...

What'd you take the
money out of the bank for?

That's all the money
we got in the world.

I wanted you to get
credit for a big sale.

That's the most ridiculous
thing I've ever heard.

Then in a couple weeks,
Calvin can bring the stuff back

and then you can give him
the money for the refund.

We don't give refunds.

And then that way
we'll look good,

our bank account'll look good...

I'm partial to blue.

Certainly, sir.

We don't give refunds.

I've never been
insulted like that

in my whole life.

Is something wrong?

Hey, hey. Don't listen to him.

He's new. He
doesn't know anything.

He's a little bit stupid.
Now, just wait, wait.

Stupid? Who's stupid?

I'll wait on you. Lamont,
back to the boxes.

Now, what can I show you?

I'd like to see
something in black.


Your eye.

Say, son.

I don't wanna hear about it.

But let me explain to you...

I said I don't
wanna hear about it.

But it's one of those times...

And you didn't have to go back

and knock over that tie
rack. But he called you a ni...

I know what he called me,
and you didn't have to go

back in there and put up
that clearance sale sign either.

Well, did you find another job?

Nothing in here that I want.

I want something that says

"Partner," "Boss."

Everything in here
says "Employee."

I'm too old to work my
way up from the bottom.

I think I'll just stay here

and be the president
of Sanford and Son.

You mean that?

Of course I do, man,

and I'm gonna
start working harder

and making the business better.

There's no reason that
we can't double our income

if we both pitch in.

Yeah, instead of
making $3,000 a year,

we make $6,000 a year.


Yeah, see, all you gotta do

is go to work earlier
and work later.


That way, you can pick
up twice as much junk.

You got it.

Yeah, and then you can stay open

on Sundays and sell.

Wait a minute, wait a minute.

What are you gonna be doing
when I'm doing all the work?

I'll be asleep.

See, and then you can take...

Hold it, hold it, hold it,
hold it, hold it. Wait a minute.

While I'm taking a
shorter lunch period

and working on Sundays,

what are you gonna be doing?

I'll be doing like
any president.

I'll be running my operation
from my Oval Office.

Yeah, but I thought you
said that I could be president.

I lied.

I've lied before.

You mean to tell me
you're gonna stand here

and admit to me that you lied?

No, it's not...

See, when a president
lies, it's not called a lie.

It's called
"executive privilege."

Hey, Pop, what are
you doing down here

in the middle of the night?

Son, I couldn't sleep.

You know, I was thinking
about what you said

about me not doing my share,

and I'm gonna do
something about it.

I'm gonna bring some big money

in this house.

Hey, I think that's great, Pop,

but why don't you
go back to bed now

so you'll be able to work with
me on the truck tomorrow?

I ain't talking about
working on no truck.

I'm talking about big money.

Real big money.

I should've thought about it

a long time ago.

I'm gonna write a
book about my life.

Hey, hey, hey.

"Hey, hey," hell.

Other people...

Other people write a
lot of books and stuff

about stuff they did
and make a fortune.

You mean to tell me

you think people are gonna pay

their hard-earned cash

to read about the
memoirs of Fred Sanford?

I'm not gonna call it that.

I got some tricky names

that I'm gonna put in there.

Wanna hear them?


How about the "Junkseses"?

Goodnight, Pop.

I know what I'll call it.

I'll name it after you.

"The Day of the Jackass."