Sanford and Son (1972–1977): Season 4, Episode 9 - Sanford and Niece - full transcript

Fred's tender side is stirred when his niece Elizabeth comes to visit and bears a striking resemblance to his late wife.



Just a minute.



Come on in.

I'm in.

Stay in.

Ah, candles and wine
glasses. Isn't that nice?


Hello, Lamont.

Uh, afraid he didn't hear you.


Hello, Lamont!

I think he's out of earshot.

Oh, where is he?


In the front? No.

In the back? No.

Where? Tijuana.


Yeah, that's in Mexico.

What's he doing in Mexico?

Uh... Oh?

Oh, Fred.

Uh... Him and Julio went down

on a little short vacation.


When did they decide to do that?

Oh, quite suddenly.


Last month.

So you called me up last night

and invited me to have dinner

with you and Lamont

knowing Lamont wouldn't be here.

Hmm, right or wrong?


It could be right.
It could be wrong.

It's for me to know
and for you to find out.

I'm right.

You found out.

Pour the wine.

Let's have a little kiss first.

Oh, but, um...

Wouldn't you prefer the taste...

Wouldn't you prefer
the taste of wine

on my lips?

Well, I'd like to
try it both ways.

See, I'm a comparison kisser.



Fred, Fred, the door.

Fre... Fred, the door.

I'd rather kiss you.

No, no, no.

Some... someone's
knocking on it.

It's all right.

They're knocking
from the other side.


Fred, stop it. Answer the door.

Shut up, door.


Who is it?

It's Esther.

Esther who?

You know Esther who.
Open this door, fool.

I can't... I can't
open the door.

Why not?

You're too ugly.


Well, hello there.


When Lamont's
away, the rat will play.

Listen, what do you
want anyway? Get out.

I want to discuss
something with you.


Now, and I want
to discuss it alone.

Well, uh, listen, Donna,

you and I will go in the kitchen

and let her discuss it alone.


If you'll both excuse
me for a moment.

Now, there goes a lady.


Yes, sir?

Your niece is in town.

What niece?

What niece?

Your only niece,

and she's here to
go to college at USC,

and she's staying
with me right now.

Well, that's good. I
agree, and you can leave.

She's supposed to
get her own apartment,

but it's not ready yet,

and she needs a place
to stay for a few nights.

So you're asking me
can she stay here?

Of course not.

I'm telling you!

And she's staying here.

Well, she won't like it
here, sleeping on the couch.

She don't have to
sleep on the couch.

Lamont's away. She
can use his room.

Yeah, but he's coming back.

See, that's why I got
the table all set there,

because he cut
his vacation short,

and he's on his
way back here now.

Out of... Hark.

I can hear the truck
now. That's him.


Esther, Lamont's not
on his way back now.

Why you had to say that?

Now, Fred, you can't turn
the poor child out in the cold.

She needs a place to stay.

Well, she's related
to her, ain't she?

Well, that
automatically gives her

one night free lodging
with the dog catcher.

I'll be back with
her in a half an hour.

Straighten up the kitchen,

straighten up her room,

and straighten up the bathroom,

and straighten up.

Come on, honey, we
ain't got but a half-hour.

Well, Fred, you'd
better put the food out.

I'm not hungry.

But the food.

The food is rotten
and the time is right.

Well, Fred,

I don't know what
you're talking about.

I'm talking about amour, amour.

But we only have a half an hour.

Well, then, give me one amour

and owe me one.

Fred, Fred, we'll
have a quick dinner,

and then I'll help you
straighten up the things here,


I should never have
opened that door.

Oh, but you had to.

No, I didn't.

There should be a law

against Esther
being on the streets.

Fred, don't... Don't be silly.

There is a law

against her walking
on the sidewalk.

Have you seen them signs
that say "Curb your dog"?

FRED: Yes, operator.
Tijuana, Mexico.

Yes, it's... it's an
exclusive hotel.

It's the Pancho Villa.

Yeah, very exclusive.

It's right... right upstairs
over the Esso station.

That's right, in the
alley behind the bull ring.

Uh-huh. Lamont Sanford,
Señor Lamont Sanford.

That's right. Thank you.

Sure hope Lamont's there
so he can come on home

and this girl won't
have nowhere to stay.

Hello, Lamont? Is that you, son?

Listen, listen, son, are
you having a lot of fun?

You are, huh?
Well, come on home.

Yeah, I think it's the big one.

Yeah, son. Yeah, I can feel it.

My heart ain't
beating like it should.

Instead of going
"bump, bump, bump,"

it's going "bumpity,
thumpity, wompity."

No, I swear, son.

Listen, you don't
have to believe me.

Listen to it.

Now I'll put the phone
to my heart. Listen.

Did you hear it, son?

Yeah. Son, hurry up. Yeah. Rush.


Bye. ESTHER: Open
the door, Fred Sanford!

Hold your horses.


I said, hold your horses.

What is...?

Meet your niece, Elizabeth.

Say hello to your
uncle Fred, Elizabeth.

Hello, Uncle Fred.



I'm named after Aunt Elizabeth.

You know, she died

the year before I was born.

You're the spitting
image of Elizabeth.

That's what my daddy says.

Thanks so much

for letting me
stay here with you.

Even... Even
smell like Elizabeth.

Go get her bags
and stop smelling her.

Go, get out, get out.

Uncle Fred?


Good morning, darling. Did
you sleep good last night?

Oh, yeah.

Wow, you know,

you really fixed up
this place beautifully.

Yeah, well, I'm sorry about
the way it looked last night.

I usually keep the
place pretty tidy,

but I just separated things

because I was
airing everything out.


Well, you know,
Aunt Esther told me

this place usually
looks like a junkyard,

outside and inside.


That's Aunt Esther's
sense of humor.

Have... have you noticed

that most people
with a sense of humor

look like they've been punched
in the face by Mean Joe Green?


Ooh, what is that I
smell smelling so good?

Oh, that's bean
sauce for the spaghetti.

Uncle Fred, we're
having spaghetti

for breakfast?

No, honey, for dinner.

Bean sauce,
spaghetti, collar greens,

and Spam amandine.

Oh, well, uh... Uncle Fred,

I can't eat here tonight.

See, I'm meeting my
roommates for dinner.

Well, why can't you
meet them after dinner?

Oh, um... because we
have so many things

to arrange and talk
about and everything.

Well, well, then,
why don't you do this?

Why don't you
invite them over here.

Since I'm like your father
here in Los Angeles,

it'd be a pleasure for
me to meet your friends.

Uh, it'd be too
much trouble, really.

No, no, I'll just
make more sauce.

That's too much work.

No, I can handle it.

I'll just add two
more cups of water.

You may not be comfortable
with my roommates.


Uh-oh. That's trouble.

Uh, uh, who is it?

It's trouble from Tijuana.


Hello. Hello, son.

What... What are you doing here?

What am I doing here?

You're the one that
called me, remember?

But... but I'm okay now.

You can go on back to Tijuana.

Go back to Tijuana?

I drove here as fast as I could

because you said you were sick.

Well... And by the way...

Who is this young lady?

I'm you're cousin,
Elizabeth. Oh, hi.

You're here to go
to USC, aren't you?

Right, and Lamont, thanks a
lot for letting me use your room,

It's okay, but I'll
take the couch.

No, it's all right,
you stay in the room,

and I'll sleep on the
couch, no problem.

Well, listen, son, why
don't you go and wash up,

and I'll put another
cup of water on the stuff.

Oh, we having spaghetti?

Yeah, see, Elizabeth's friends
are coming over for dinner,

and I want everything right.

Uncle Fred, about
dinner, I'm not sure.

Hey, Lamont, tell her
what a good cook I am.



Tell her. Uh...

When it comes to his sauce,
the more water, the better.

Yeah, so that...
that settles it.

Your friends, here
for dinner at six.

I'll go in here and
put my water on.

This is gonna be a
very interesting dinner.

Yeah, well, it always is
when my Pop is cooking.

Hey, you know, you
look a little like my mom.

You know that's what he said?

You're very lucky to
have him as a father.

You think so?

Oh, sure. As a matter of fact,

he's been a little more to
you than a father, hasn't he?

More like a father and a mother.

And a few other things.

Uncle Fred?

Be right down, kitten.

Bring your roomies in.

Oh, okay. Come on, roomies.

Hey, you really sure this
uncle ain't gonna get crazy

when you tell him I'm
one of your roomies?

Oh, I'm pretty sure.

See, he's not at
all like Aunt Esther.

See, he's very modern

and witty and up-to-date.

Yeah, I can tell that

by the way he
furnished this place.

Shh. Be cool.

Good evening. GIRL: I will.

Good evening, and welcome.

My house is yours.

What did we do wrong?


Sorry I'm late.

That's okay. We just
got here ourselves.

Uncle Fred, Lamont,

I want you to meet
Lewis and Delores.

Hi, Lewis. Hey.


Yeah, available Delores.

Uh, uh... Hello there, Delores.

Um, your place is fascinating.

Well, thank you very much.

I did it my way.

No decorator, huh?

No, I admit, though,

I took a few ideas from
Home and Garbage,

I mean, House and Garden.

Say, and listen, you're Lewis.

Yes, I know.

Well, Lewis, welcome

to Elizabeth's home
away from home.

You and Lewis married?

Uh, no, uh-uh.

Just a boyfriend, huh?

No, Mr. Sanford.

Hey, Pop, freeze on
the third degree, man.

No, this is just
social conversation.

See, it's like breaking
ice, "chitting and chatting."

Is Elizabeth your girlfriend?

No, sir.

I know, just a
boyfriend, is that it?

Well, that's right...
Yeah, that's all right

to have a boyfriend
or a girlfriend,

even, you know... That's today.

That's today,

and I try to stay
with today's views,

you know what I mean?

Now, where's your
other roommate?

Lewis is our other roommate.

You mean Lewis is
your other roommate?

This Lewis?

Yeah, that's right,
pops. That's today.

That might be today,

but damn if it's
gonna be tomorrow.

I thought you just said
you had today's views.

Today's views is
yesterday's news.

Oh, no, no, no, Mr. Sanford,

there's nothing between
Elizabeth and me.

That's what I'm worried about,
ain't nothing between you.

I wouldn't mind if
something was between you,

like a wall or a state.

Mr. Sanford, I'm
surprised at you.

Maybe my father
would feel better

if he understood
the relationship

between the three of y'all.

I know I would.

ELIZABETH: Well, listen to me.

Uncle Fred, Uncle Fred, look.

Delores and Lewis
and I are equal friends.

Now, what does that mean?

That means I wouldn't
do nothing with Lewis

that I couldn't do with Delores.


I mean, we'll... we'll be
taking our meals together,

and we'll be studying together.

That's right, and
Lewis is very handy.

He can fix things around
the apartment and stuff,

but when it comes
to anything else,

he's got his dates,
and I got mine.

Yeah, and I got mine,

and any time you
want to be one of them,

give me a call.

Yeah, right.


Who is it?

It's Esther.

We moved.

Open up.

Open up? We
living in Detroit now.

Catch the bus and join us.

Say, look... if I were you,

I wouldn't tell Aunt Esther

that the three of y'all
are living together, okay?


Okay, I'll get it.


Aunt Esther.

Hi, honey.

Hello, Lamont, how was Mexico?

It was fine, Aunt Esther,
but I had to cut my visit short.

Yeah, Esther, why don't
you do the same thing?

Um, Aunt Esther, this
is Delores Marcomb.


How do you do?

It's a pleasure

to meet a friend of my niece.

And who is this?

Uh... This is Lewis Botkins.

Yeah, he's a friend
of theirs from school.

I thought you said you had
two roommates, Elizabeth.

Oh, wait a minute, now, Esther.

She didn't say she
had two roommates.

She said she had "to roommate."

What you talking about?

Well, you know,
how high stuff is now,

a single girl can't
afford to live alone,

she's got to roommate,

so Delores here is the
girl that Elizabeth picked

to roommate with.

Do you have a nice
room, Elizabeth?

Oh, it's very nice, Aunt Esther.

As a matter of fact,
it'll be ready tomorrow.

I'm coming over and helping
you decorate tomorrow.

You are?

Yes. What's your address?

Uh, Aunt Esther, how
about something to eat?

Yeah, Esther, why don't you go

out there in the yard and graze?


Hey, Pop, I just got the stuff
loaded on the truck, and...

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

You know, Elizabeth, man,
she ain't been gone but one day,

and the place seems
empty without her already.

Yeah, but she's only
living 10 minutes away.

You can visit her
whenever you want to.

I know that,

but it just don't seem
the same without her.

You know, it was
like having a daughter.

She reminded you
of Mom, didn't she?

You know, Pop, in your own way,

you're kind of sweet
and sentimental.

You know what she said?
She said I was cute and cuddly.

That's nice.

Why didn't you never
say I was cute and cuddly?

Come on, Pop. Cheer up, man.


I'll get it.


Hi, Aunt Esther. Sure.

No, I can't today.
I'm using the truck.

Hey, Pop, Aunt Esther wants
to go over and visit Elizabeth.

Give me the phone.
Hold on, Aunt Esther.

Listen, Esther,
listen, you, you...

It's wrong to just
drop in on people.

You know, the girl
ain't got no phone yet.

You just can't make
them old popcorn calls.

Yeah, just don't
bother about it.

Why don't you wait
till a decent time

to visit the girl?

Like 3:30 in the
afternoon in the year 2001?

No, hey, don't
get angry, Esther.

Listen, here's what I'm
gonna tell you, Esther.

Listen, can you keep a secret?

You can? Well, put
the phone to your ear.

You got it there?

Listen, son, I got
to get on over there,

because all Esther
has to find out

is that Elizabeth
is living with a man.

If she found out Elizabeth
is living with a man,

it'll kill her.

No, I couldn't... I
couldn't do that.

It'd be like... I'd
be an accessory.

See you, son.

Oh, look. Oh, this is nice.

Oh, it's a picture
of my little brother.

You know my dad
framed this himself?

Hey, listen, you guys.
I'm gonna take a shower.

I'll be right out.

When's the landlord
gonna fix this door?

Not till this afternoon.

Shower curtain is up, though.

Oh, good.

ELIZABETH: You know,
we were really lucky

to get her as a
roommate so fast.

After Lewis's mother said

that he couldn't
stay here with us,

I thought we were
gonna lose this apartment.


Come in.

Is she here yet?

Hi, Uncle Fred. Who?

Your Aunt Esther, the
"hunch face" of Notre Dame.

No, what's the matter?

Well, she said she
was coming over.

Well, so what?

I mean, why are you so excited?

Uh, where... Where's
your other roommate?

In the shower.


You mean he's in
there taking a shower

with the door off?

Uncle Fred, maybe I
should try and explain...

Well... Hello.


What are you doing here?

I came over here because
my shower is broke,

and I came over
here to take a shower.

Uncle Fred, wait!

I... I'm finished.

You're dripping
all over the rug.

I got some more
things downstairs.

You want to go and get them?

I can't believe it.

I'll get it.

No, it's too heavy. I'll get it.

Here. Dry your head, fool.

It's amazing. I
can't believe it.

Well, I tried to tell you.

I'm sorry.

I was a fool.

What are you talking about?

I mean the way I
acted yesterday,

and then rushing
over here today.

Why does that make you a fool?

You know, all this time,

I could have sworn
that Lewis in there

was a fellow.

Hey, Pop.

I was just coming home,

and I saw your clothes
hanging up on the line, man.

How did they get wet?

Well, son, if I...

if I told you how they got wet,

you wouldn't believe me.

Why wouldn't I believe you?

Well, you wouldn't,

because if I told
you how I got wet

trying to keep somebody

from being embarrassed,

you'd say I was lying.

No, I wouldn't.

Yes, you would.

If I told you that I got wet

trying to do good
for somebody else,

you... you'd laugh at me.

No, I wouldn't. Now,
tell me what happened.

Well, here's what happened.

I was crossing the Los
Angeles River over here,

you know, and just
about halfway across,

I looked over into the water,

and there was Aunt Esther
struggling in the water,

and... and she was going under

for the fifth or sixth time,

so that's when I
made my mind up.

I jumped into the water

and tried to throw as
many fish up on the land

as I could

so that they
wouldn't get a chance

to see Aunt Esther's face.

I swear that's what happened.

How did your clothes get wet?

Well, I was down in Long Beach,

and this boat... It
was fishing for tuna...

And... and the
boat tip-sized over

and all the stuff just came
up in my face like that...