Sanford and Son (1972–1977): Season 5, Episode 21 - The Director - full transcript

Starstruck Fred assumes the director's chair when the champ George Foreman comes to star in a play for Lamont's theater workshop.


If Lamont wanted to be an actor,

he should forget about
all that workshop stuff

and start coming to
the movies with us.

That's right, and watch
the real pros at work.

Yes. The real pros.

See, that acting class

is taking up too
much of his time,

and he ain't got a part
in one them plays yet.

Well, he's learning, Fred.

You don't want him to bite
off more than he can chew.

Yeah, I guess you're right.

Godzilla did that once

and threw up all
over the Philippines.

Why didn't Lamont
come with us tonight?

Well, tonight's his
acting workshop,

and he's trying
out for a new play.

Well, maybe he'll get the part.

Fred... What am I eating?

It's leftovers.

From what?

July 23rd.

Hi, Pop.

How you doing, Son?

How you doing, Elroy?

Hi, Lamont.

How was the movie?

Oh, Son, it was just great.

I mean, you should have...

You should have
went there with us,

and then you could learn acting.

That's right. Nobody
grunts like Godzilla.

Well, maybe next time, Pop,

but I got some
pretty exciting news.

Oh, really?

Guess what, Pop?

I finally got a part in a play.


What's it about?

It's about a boxer
and his brother,

and the boxer risks his life so
that he can, uh, make money

in fights and, uh,

put his brother...
played by me...

Through medical school.

Is it all going to
be funny, Lamont?

Well, the play's not
funny at all, Elroy.

You're gonna want
to see this play, Pop.

Not me. I don't like to
see them old sissy guys

putting on powder
and lipstick. Mm-hmm.

I'd like to see you tell that
to the lead in in our play.

I will.

George Foreman.

Ge... George... George
Foreman, the fighter?

That's right.

You're kidding.

George Foreman,
the champ, my idol,

in a play with you, in person?

Why are you lying to me, Son?

I'm not lying to you, Pop.

See, the workshop needs money,

and George was nice enough
to volunteer his services

and do a play

so we could charge admission
and keep the workshop going.

You hear that, Elroy?

I heard that, Fred.

Me and George Foreman
at the rehearsals...

going out together...

showing him around,
being his buddy.

What are you talking about?

I'm talking about

showing an interest in my son,

and going to rehearsal with him,

helping him with his lines,

getting to meet the star.

Wait a minute.

Now, George was nice enough...

He's going to rehearse the
play for a couple of weeks,

and then we're
going to put it on.

He doesn't have time to be
sitting around with you, Pop.

The man is very busy.
I got to meet him, Son.

I gotta... I...

I... I followed him
through all of his fights.

I even sent him a
get-well card to Zaire.

Oh, that was thoughtful, Fred.

Look, Pop, I'm sure you'll
get a chance to meet him.

Well, he'll be dying to meet me,

because I'm his biggest fan.

I believe you, Pop.

Now, look, I'll tell you what.

If you come by the
rehearsal one day...

One day?

What do you mean, one day?

I'll be by every day.

I mean, I'll be there
looking after you.

I don't know about that, Pop.

Well, if you want
to do that play

with some teeth,

you'd better know about it.

You know, this is going
to be one night for me...

Godzilla and George Foreman.

Now, that would be a fight.

Godzilla would knock him out.

No way.

George would win blindfolded.

Oh, yeah? How about King Kong?



The only way he
could beat Esther

is blindfolded.

Morning. Morning, Son.

Morning, Pop. What are
you doing up so early?

I thought I'd give you a
hand learning your lines.

You know, I'll take one
part and you take yours.

You don't have to do that.

You want a cup of coffee? Yeah.

Okay, if you want...

Now, this is the script?

That's it, right there.

It starts on page
12, and, uh, I'm Biff.

I... I'm the... I'm the
part of Biff. Twelve.

Yeah. Biff.

Biff. Yes, Biff. All right.

Uh, I'll be the
champ. You ready?

Go ahead.

I'm doing this for you, Biff.

I don't want you to get hurt.

More feeling.


I don't believe
you when you said,

"I don't want you to get hurt."

If you don't want
Biff to get hurt,

let him feel it.

Try it again.

Pop, we've got a director.

Now, just help
me with the lines.

Okay, okay.

Uh... Nobody's going to hurt me,

and besides, you want
to be a dancer, don't you?

That's doctor.

Yeah, uh...

You want to be a
doctor, don't you?

You know I do.

That's "Sure, I do."

Sure, I do.

That's better, Son.
Let me see now.

Well, that's why I'm fighting,

to get money to send you
to college going to the door.

You don't...

You don't say,
"Going to the door."

That's a stage direction.

Oh. I'll see you later,
hiding his nervousness.

Pop, that's another direction.

Well, is this a script or a map?

Honest, Pop, you don't
have to help me with it.

I'll find out whether
you know 'em

when we get to rehearsal.

Now, you're not
going to that rehearsal.

Yes, I am... rising
to kill his only son.

Hey, listen, Son.

When do we start?

Ah, pretty soon, Pop.

George... as soon as
George Foreman gets here.

Um... Pop, this is
Eugene Bancroft,

and he's my father in the play.

He plays me?

Uh, not exactly.

I'm just the father in the play.

You see, George Foreman
plays my son, the boxer,

and Lamont plays
my son, the dancer.

IN UNISON] That's doctor.

Well, look, if you
need any help,

just give me a little shout,

and I'll give you a few hints on
how to play a dummy's father.

Would you please go sit down?

The man can handle this himself.

Don't talk... Hey,
look it here, director.

Ah, when you
gonna start this thing?

Mr. Sanford, if you don't
mind, I'll begin when I'm ready.

Having you here as an outsider

has broken my rules.

You're lucky the outsider
hasn't broken your jaw.

Don't hold me now.

Pop, what's the matter with you?

Would you please
just go and sit down?

I... I'm sorry, Mr. Creeley.

Pop's just a little anxious,
you know, to see the champ.

I'm sorry.

Oh, that's all right.

Just have a seat and
try to remain silent.

FRED: Don't press your luck.



Hey... how you doing?

George Foreman,
that's George Foreman.

Okay. Okay, let's
go. I'm sorry I'm late.

That's George!

That's George!

That's quite all
right, Mr. Foreman.

In fact, we are
certainly honored

that you could join
our little company

and are certainly honored
that you would take the time out

to help us raise the money

to continue our efforts
here at the workshop.

It should be fun.

It certainly will be.

I'd like you to meet our cast.

This is Eugene Bancroft.
He plays your father.

Hi, Gene.

And this is Bert Morgan,
the Syndicate Hit Man.

And Lamont Sanford
plays your brother.

How do you do, champ?

Yeah, your
skinny little brother.

And you? What do you play?

Anything you want to.

Poker, gin rummy, bingo.

You name it, I'm with you.

I'm in your corner.

Oh, you play the
punch-drunk fighter.

He's good.

LAMONT: No, champ.

See, this is my
Pop, and now he...

he's one of your biggest fans,

and Mr. Creeley was kind enough

to give him permission

to sit in on one
of our rehearsals.

Nice to meet you.

He said it's nice meeting me.

He talked to me.

Perhaps we could get started.

Uh, will you be quiet?

Can't you see George
is talking to me?

Pop, would you go sit down?

Maybe we can get
together a little later, Mr...

Sanford. Fred G.

You can call me
Fred. G. Sanford.

The G is for Golden Gloves.

Places, everyone.

Mr. Foreman, did you get a
chance to look at the script?

Sure, on the plane.

I think I got most of it.

He got most of it
on the plane, Son.

Did you hear that?
I mean, he's great.

Let's start at the first scene.

Mr. Foreman, that's
right before you come in.

Your father and your brother

are talking, discussing...

Right, I know my cue. Excellent.

You hear that?
He plays pool too.


MR. CREELEY: Cue, Eugene.

I know you had your heart set
on going to medical school, Son...

I understand. Money.

That's... that's what
it's all about, isn't it?

That's what it's all about.

You'll just have to forget
about being a dancer.

A doctor.

And end up what?

A nothing, a bum.

What was the point of
me doing all that studying,

forgetting about
football and a social life,

hitting the books every
night, for what? For what?

Uh, you'll act better
next time, Son.

Would you be quiet?

I thought he was very sensitive.

Okay, okay. I... I'm sorry.

Well, take it from Lamont's
"For what, for what?"

I am the director here, sir.

We'll take it from Lamont's
"For what, for what?"

For what? For what?

Sometimes in life, Son,

you don't get everything
that you aim for.


Bravo! Bravo! Bravo!


Take it from "Hi."


Hi, Son.

What's the matter, Biff?

What's the matter? You
name it, that's what's the matter.

It's about school.

There just isn't enough money.

Past tense. What?

There just wasn't enough money,

but now there is.

You're kidding?

More surprise, more surprise.

You're kidding!


Calm down, Biff.

You know, Mr. Sanford
may have a point,

if you don't mind.

Oh, no, I don't
mind, Mr. Foreman.

Anything you feel.

Well, if he don't
show a lot of surprise,

then I'd sort of look
stupid to say "Calm down."

If... if he wasn't calmed up,

how can he be calmed down?

Oh, please.

I mean, that's right.

Well... all right,
let's try it that way.

Cue Lamont.

You're kidding?

Calm down, Biff.
Money's no problem.

You didn't sign with Pinella.

Sure, Pop. I can fight.

He's a promoter.

I'll fight and we get money.


I already did.

I told you not to.

Hold it, hold it. Boring.

Mr. Sanford, we are rehearsing.

Well, you're
rehearsing all wrong.

I mean, that's what a father...

That's not what a
father would say,

and not what he would do.

Look. Look here, you big dummy.

I said, no.

I said, no, and I say, no.

I mean, no.

Or would you like
five across your lips?

Mr. Sanford, that is it.

Now, you promised you
wouldn't say anything.

Well, is he a father?

Does he know what a
father would talk about?

I'm a father, and
I tell you I'm right.

Look, I don't want to mix in,

but it may work

if Eugene there would
be a little more forceful.

Mr. Sanford reminded me of
my own father there for a minute.

Well... I mean, it's
only a suggestion.

Um... well, yes,
let's try it that way.

Take five, and we'll
start from the top.

Well, all of us boxers
have the same problem.

You boxed?

I was a middleweight.

Maybe you remember
me... Kid Death.

I see all the weight
is still in the middle.


Excuse me a minute.

George, can I talk to
my Pop for a minute?

Sure. Is it all right
with you, George?


Excuse me.

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

You're making a
fool out of yourself.

Let's get that script out.

It costs money.

You're making a
fool out of yourself.

What are you talking about?

I'm talking about you,
the senior citizen groupie.

Son, you have to understand

that this is a
dream come true...

me and the champ.

I do understand that, Pop,

but you're interrupting
the rehearsal.

Well, that director don't
know what he's talking about.

But he is the director.

Well, impeach him.

Pop, you have to
be quiet or go home.

That's what Mr. Creeley
told me to tell you.

Why didn't he tell me himself?

Because he's afraid
of Kid Death, that's why.

Look, you told
Eugene how to act,

you told me how to react,

you restaged the
whole third scene,

and you changed the words

of half the actors in the show.

Because I know what's
real, not Mr. Creepy.


Yeah. Creepy Creeley.

He's going to ruin
the whole show,

and I want George to look good.

What about me?

Well, you can't
look too good, Son.

You don't have my profile.

All right, all right, darlings,

let's get into act two.

Don't worry, Son.
Just act your heart out.

All right.

Let's go now.

This is the scene right before

the big fight in
the dressing room.

Why would it be a big
fight in the dressing room?

Because the champ is
going to lose on purpose.

Take a dive?

Because that's the way he's
going to get enough money

to get Biff through
medical school.

Where do we stand?

Oh, Lamont, why
don't you sit in the chair,

and, uh, Eugene,

you can stand
behind Lamont's chair.

Wouldn't he be near his son?

I mean, uh, he's going to fight.

So he's going to be
there to encourage him.

You know, he should be
standing right next to him.

The champ should
be off by himself.

Mr. Foreman, your line, please.

Dad, you don't have
to stand next to me.

Go on over there
and cheer up Biff.

Well, I guess we
could restage this part.

Yeah, we might have to.

There is only room for
one director in any play.

This is more... I
can't... I cannot go on.

This is more than I can bear.

That's acting.

Oh, that's it. That's it!

I quit!

I'm not used to all this
constant interruption.

This play will have
to get on without me.

Well, there goes the play.

Not really. It was just
the director that left.

Hey, we gotta have a director.

Look, seeing that we're
all kind of amateurs at this,

I've got a feeling

that Freddie G. Has
got just what it takes.

Places, everyone.


You sure he's coming, Lamont?

Oh, he'll be here.

He wouldn't miss a
chance to direct you, champ.

Yeah? Why didn't he
drive over with you, then?

Well, him and his friend, Elroy,

had to make a stop first.

May I have your
attention, please?

Cast. Cast, quiet, quiet!

What are you
talking about, Elroy?

Quiet, actor.

Your director's coming.

I don't believe it.

Believe it, Son.

It's the Otto Preminger look.

You look fantastic, Freddie G.

Thanks loads.

Now let's get to
work, li... Uh, darlings.

Um, Pop.

Mr. Sanford.

At home, you're my son.
Here, you're just another actor.

You can be replaced.

Places, everyone.

Elroy, get me some coffee.

Coffee! And a sweet roll.

Sweet roll, coffee.

Now, I've been
looking over the play,

and it lacks that
certain something.

Now, the father's
got to be tougher,

the champ has got to be gentler,

and the brother has got to
be more cultured, educated,

and have an English accent.

Say what?

You heard me, dummy.

An English accent...

an added dimension
to the character...


Why would I have
an English accent?

Because I said so.

See, you'll have class,
like all those English actors.

Richard Burton, Alec
Guinness, and, uh, uh, uh...

Ju... Julie London.

That's ridiculous, Pop.

I'm playing the part of a
guy from the ghetto, man,

struggling to
make it to the top.

I'm not playing the
Scarlet Pimpernel.

The who?

I'm not going to do it.

Listen, I'm the director
and you'll do what I say.

Now you know the
closing line to act one.

Yeah, I know my line.

Sending me to
school... sensational.

Now just imagine
the impact of that

when the audience hears...

Shipping off to Oxford?

How charming. Rather marvy.

VOICE] Now, that's directing.

Get me a chair, Elroy.


And some fresh sweet rolls.

Sweet rolls.

All right, now we gonna
take it right from the top.

From the top.

Let's move. From the top.

Hey, look. Look, Eugene.

Now, I want to see real
tears coming out your eyes

in that scene with the champ.

I can't cry no real tears.

What do you mean, you
can't cry no real tears?

What size shoe do you wear?


Well, put on some sevens,

and when that scene comes around

with you and the champ,

you'll cry from pain.

Yes, sir.

Now let's do it... champ
and the Biff scene.

Places. All right, cue everyone.

Give them their cues.
Move on out there.

Biff, I don't like this
any more than you do.

ACCENT] Well, I say,

it's just not cricket, actually.

Failing to win on purpose
is rather bourgeoisie, I say.

I don't have a choice.

win, they'll kill me.

LAMONT: Oh, my. Well,
you are a marvelous chap

and the most wonderful brother

a gentleman could have.

You'd do the same for me.

I would, and I shall try
to be the best physician

in the nation, my dear brother.

Hold it.

Now, before you
leave, look at him

and give him a
pat on the shoulder.

All right.

ACCENT] My dear brother.

All right.

Now, there... there's
something missing...

a reaction from the champ.

I could, uh...

Listen. No, no. You just hush.

I'll do the thinking
for you, champ.

That's my job, see.

Now, you're doing fine, George,

but the guy who
plays your brother...

Hey, that's your son.

At home, he's my son.

Here, he's just the guy
who's playing your brother,

and he stinks.

Look, Freddie G.,

I appreciate the way you
stepped in and took over,

but you're gonna have to be
more considerate of Lamont

and the other actors.

It's too late.

He just isn't any good.

He's not good
enough for Broadway,

but honestly, I don't
think you are either.

You think I'm too tough.

Tough and rough.

Thank you.

But let's lighten up

and have some fun
around here, okay?

Okay. You... You got it.

Eugene? Uh... Uh,
uh... look, Right here.

I want to apologize

for the way I've
been... Oh, that's okay...

And I... It's okay, Pop.

Okay, Son. Let's rehearse now.

From where?

Uh, we'll do the whole ending,

but... but let's...

Let's go over your
exit speech first.

All right.

Well, it's just not cricket, actually.

That's not going to work.

Look at how everybody's
laughing at me.

I'm not going to stand up here

and make a fool out of myself
when this play starts like...

Before you came into this play,

this play had hearts and
guts, and it meant something,

and you came in here
and changed it all around,

and now it don't mean
nothing. It's just foolish.

I'm gonna do it my way.

Okay, okay.

Uh, maybe you're right.

Bu... but that was
it... that... that anger,

that fury, that emotion...
that was acting.

Should we do the whole act now?

Now, champ, uh, you
just decided to, uh...

to take a dive.

Now, you hate the
idea and you're all alone,

and you gotta show
anger and frustration.

You gotta... You
gotta hit the wall.

No. Hit the wall.

Hit it! Harder!

That's acting.

That wasn't acting, man.

I think I broke it,

and I got a fight
in a few weeks.

Well, Mr. Director?

I'm sorry.

I don't think I'll be
able to do the show.

Lamont, Eugene...
everybody, forgive me.

Hi, Pop, Elroy.


You're not mad at me?

Sure, I'm mad at you,

thinking you're
some kind of director,

pushing people around
and ruining the play.

Then how come
you're talking to me?

You did what you
thought was best.

Yeah, but what
about the workshop?

No problem. The
workshop's going to be fine.

Look, we got a letter
from George Foreman,

here I'll read it for you.


"My fellow actors,

"I am sorry I was the cause
of the cancellation of the play,

"and I hope you'll let
me come back next year

"and try again.

"In the meantime,
"the enclosed check

"should cover the
operating expenses...

"for your group till I get back.

"P.S. Please make sure
Freddie is around because...

You hear that,
Elroy? He wants me.

Uh, the champ wants me around,
and he sent some money too.

He's everything I
thought he was. Yeah.

Uh... uh, because why, Lamont?

Um... here. You
better read this, Pop.

Uh... "P.S. Make
sure Freddie is around

"because, uh... I just
love to look at him.

"His hair is my
favorite color... meat!"