Sanford and Son (1972–1977): Season 5, Episode 22 - A Pain in the Neck - full transcript

Fred's friends have got his back, as he discovers when he suffers from a backache on the day he is to receive the Watts Businessman's award and his friends rush to his aid with all kinds of quack cures.


Hey, dummy.

Hey, dummy, you down here?

You calling me, Pop?

You calling me?

No, I was talking
to the couch... ouch!

How's your back?

Not too good, Son.

You think you'll be
able to make it tonight?

Don't worry. I'll make it.

It ain't every day
a man gets named

Watts Businessman of the Year.

I'm real proud of you, Pop.

Look here.

In honor of 35 years

of loyal service
to the community,

the Watts Businessman's

will award you, Fred G. Sanford,

its traditional glass key
at a dinner in your honor.

You may purchase your
ticket for $10 at the door.

Yeah, I ran into
Mr. Graham this afternoon,

the president of
the association,

and he said it's a sell out.

A sell-ou... ow!

Oh... Take it easy, Pop.

Hey, Lamont, you
seen my heating pad?

No, I thought you
had it last night.

Yeah, I did. I forgot.

I was thawing
out the TV dinners.

I'll get it.


I'll get it.


If that's one of
Gabriel's Angels,

tell him to come back tomorrow,

because I'm too
sick to go today.

Okay, Pop. Just take it easy.

Oh, hi, Bubba.

How you doing, Lamont?

Pretty good.

Good. How are you, Fred?



Well, I just want to
wish the Man of the Year

the best of luck tonight.

I guess you're kind
of excited, eh, Fred?

Yeah, Bubba, I
can see it all now...

me making that triumphant
walk around the banquet room

with my glass key,

and shaking hands
with everybody.

By the way, that
key is beautiful.

Where are you
gonna display it, Fred?

I'm not gonna display it, Bubba.

That wouldn't be humble.

I'm just gonna put it over there

in a little dark corner
right over there.

Why... hey, wait a minute, Pop.

Why are you gonna
put it in the corner?

Because I'm gonna
put a spotlight

right above it so
it shin... ah, ow!

Hey, take it easy.

Now, just take it easy.

What is it? My
back. I can't move.

Quick, Bubba, help me.

Come on.

Ah... I knew it. I knew it!

My finest hour arrives

and I'm not gonna live
past the first five minutes.

Hold it, Lamont.
I've got an idea.

Bubba got an idea.

That means there's still
a chance for a miracle.

Yeah, my brother's back
used to lock up on him like this.

You just gotta know what to do.

Hey, Bubba, I don't think
we should fool around

with Pop's back.

Maybe we should call a doctor.

Oh, it's so easy.

See, all you gotta do
is stand behind him,

and then fold
his arms like this,

and then...

give him an adjustment... watch.

Bubba, I'm warning you.

If you hurt me,

and I'm gonna sue you
for malpractice of the brain.



Ow, Bubba! Agh!

And presto!

Just give me strength...
give me strength.

I'll presto your head so hard
you won't know what hit you.

What's the matter?

Didn't the pain go away?

Yeah, for about two seconds
after I was unconscious.

Oh, Bubba, I'm
gonna knock you out.


Wait a minute,
Fred. Wait a minute.

Wait a minute now.

Here, Pop, we gotta get this

on the right spot
for it to work.

Ow. Man, get that off of me!

Hey, come on, Pop.

Now, you know
what Dr. Garvey said.

Yeah, he said, "That
will be $25, please."

No, he said you
should remain inactive

and apply a lot of heat.

Don't worry. I'm gonna
apply plenty of heat...

When his bill comes,
I'm gonna burn it.

Listen, I got an idea.


Take my two hands
and put them together

as hard as you can.

Put them against each other.

All right, but I don't
know what you expect...

Used to work for my uncle.

Like this?

Yeah, that's it. Okay.

Dear Lord...

You don't know me too well,
but I'm Elizabeth's husband,

and you know...
LAMONT: Aunt Esther.

I don't believe it.

Hi, Aunt Esther.

Hello, Lamont. I just
heard about your papa.

Please, Lord.

This is no time to
get even with me.

Do my eyes deceive me

or is this Fred Sanford

asking the Good Lord for help?

Yeah, but it didn't work.

You walked in.

Now, you listen to me.

I came here to help
you, Fred Sanford.

Now, you yell me
where the pain is.

In my eyes, from looking at you.

What's that?

This is my corset,

to help relieve
some of your agony.

I got a better idea.

Why don't you just
walk on back out the door

and relieve all of my agony?

Help me get him up.

Help me. Come on.

Oh! Ow... My back.

I'm not gonna put this...
Just get your hands off me.

I don't want that stuff on me.

You're just as stubborn
as an old jackass.

And you're just
as pretty as one.

I know where I'm not wanted.

Well, when are you
leaving this planet?

Right after you, you astronaut.

By the way, Lamont,
how's your fiancée?

Janet's fine, Aunt Esther.

She's visiting her
relatives up in Sacramento.

Yeah, why don't you go out
to the zoo and visit yours?

Oh, shut up, sucker.

♪ Lord, tryin' to help you ♪

♪ Oh, no! I can't help it ♪

♪ I'm putty In
your hands, Lord ♪

♪ Oh! Hallelujah! ♪♪

Pop, what'd you
go and do that for?

I don't know, Son.

I guess I wanted to die happy.

Now, you're not gonna die.

Would you stop
talking like that?

And you're not gonna
make that promenade

around that banquet hall tonight

if you don't let
somebody help you.

Son, I got to make it.

That's been my
goal for 35 years.

Yoo-hoo! Anybody home?

In here, Mrs. Hopkins.

Oh, there you are.

How is the patient?

Oh, Mr. Sanford, I have
just heard the news.



Did I say something wrong?

No, no, his back. His back.

Oh, his back.

That is precisely why
I am here... your back.

Yes, indeed.

I have this absolutely
marvelous idea.

I know how badly you want
to go to this banquet tonight,

so I have brought this
wonderful man with me.

He has traveled the entire world
teaching a whole new concept

for curing the ills of mankind.

You got Henry
Kissinger out there?

May I bring him in?

Yeah, sure, bring him in.

Oh, good. You may
come in now, Panjib.

Hey, that's not Henry Kissinger.

That's Golda Meir.

Now, Mr. Sanford, Lamont,
this is Mr. Panjib Randipur,

under whom I have the honor
studying universal meditation.

It is my honor.

May your inner house

soon be free from bodily pain.

Thank you.

And may your outer skirt
soon be free from gravy stains.

Uh, universal meditation...

That's where you
separate the mind

from the body, isn't it?

Oh, exactly.

Only we refer to it

as the state of
transcendental consciousness.

In the old days,

we used to call that the
state of total drunkenness.

Now, pain such
as you are suffering

is frequently caused

by the physical
manifestation of social stress,

and can, therefore, be relieved

by perfect relaxation
of the mind.

Oh, that is just beautiful.

You took the words
right out of my mouth.

Well, good. Now take
his mouth out of my house.

Hey, Pop, the man
is here to help you.

At least listen to
what he has to say.

Okay, okay. Uh,
listen, Left-jab...

If it means picking up

my Man of the
Year award tonight,

then I'm all yours.

Come on. Relax away.

Thank you. May I sit down?

Sure, have a seat.

Say, you missed.

No, no, you must
sit down on the floor

as I am doing.

Man, that floor is cold.

I sure hope you're wearing
some warm drawers.

Now, this is called
the Lotus position,

after the flower of tranquility.


You should try it, Mr. Sanford.


Take this leg, put it over...


Wait a minute. Wait a
minute. Wait a minute!

Hold it. Hold it!

Are you having trouble

with your flower of tranquility?

No, I'm having trouble
with my Fruit of the Loom.

Now then...

the next step is
to free the mind

of all conscious thought.

Now, this we do

by picking a word
to chant to ourselves.

Uh, what kind of word?

Well, a word that
best symbolizes

your inner state of mind.

I got it.


Maybe you should pick
another word, Mr. Sanford.

I'll give you another word!

Yes? Out!

I cannot.

You are stepping on my skirt.


I think perhaps we
better go now, Panjib.

I'm awfully sorry, Mr. Sanford.

We did our best.

What are you doing, Pop?

What's the matter?

May the river of your
rage soon spend itself out

and dispose you

on the sands of
eternal well-being.

And may the muddy
waters of the Mississippi

run up your Taj
and out your Mahal.

Hey, Pop, just take it easy now.

Now, why don't you
just try and sit down?

How can I sit down?

Can't you see my lap has locked?

Well, what are you gonna do now?

I don't know, Son.

If I don't get to that dinner,

I'd just as soon be dead.

Now you're talking like a child.

Well, what do you expect
from somebody four-feet tall?


Just relax. I'll get it.


Oh, hi, Ah Chew.

No, Pop's the same.
We tried everything.

No, we didn't try that.
Thanks a lot, Ah Chew.

You know, Pop, that was Ah Chew.

You know what he said?

We should try something
we never thought of.



You mean with all them
little needles sticking in you?

Yeah. Uh-uh.

I think we should
try everything,

including acupuncture.

Acupuncture's a
well-respected old Chinese cure.

That's all I needed to know.

Then you're coming?

As soon as I get an old
Chinese disease, dummy.

Take it easy, Pop. Take it easy.

Take it easy.
Watch it. Watch it.

Take it easy.


Hey, wait a minute,
Son. Wait a minute.

Huh? I just remembered.

I gotta go visit a sick
friend across town.


Me! Bye.

Hey, wait a minute, Pop.

Now, you've got an appointment
for acupuncture treatment

and you're gonna keep it.

Listen, Son... but
you don't understand.

Do you want to pick
up that award tonight

and promenade around the room?

Yeah, but, see, there's
something about needles

that I can't stand.

Pop, everybody
has that same fear.

Not like me, Son.

I used to have to leave the room

every time my mother
entered with her knitting.

Aw, come on, Pop.

That's right.

I was the only kid who threw up

when they played Pin
The Tail on the Donkey.

Now you stop it.

And last week, I was
down at the bus station,

and I couldn't even
watch that arrow

that points to the men's room.

And now look at you,

my own son trying to
get me shish-kebabed.

Look, Pop, now, just relax.

Now, come over here
and try to sit down, okay?

Now, just relax.

Now, relax and try to
sit. Take it easy. Okay?

Aunt Esther told me
that Reverend Spike

comes over here all the time

for his arthritis.

He don't mind getting them
holes punched in his body?

No, he says it
doesn't hurt at all.

That's why he's got that
holier-than-thou look, huh?



Mr. Sanford?

Over here, doctor.

Oh, please, don't get up.

What do you mean, don't
get up? I'm already up.

Dr. Tillis, would
you please explain

the procedure
involved in acupuncture,

so my pop won't
be so frightened?

You see, your body
contains certain key points

that control pain.

What I intend to do

is manipulate those key points

by inserting needles
into your body.

Doctor, I'm beginning
to feel better now.

I think I'll go home

and take a couple of
thumbtacks and go to bed.

Please, Mr. Sanford,

at least let me give
you an examination,

after which you can
decide for yourself

whether or not you
want to proceed.

How's that, Pop?

Is that fair enough or what?


That's it. I just
made up my mind.

I'll see you later, doc.

Wait a minute.

Wait a minute, wait a minute.

Mr. Sanford, please.

That is a patient
we are yet to treat.

Now, once we treat
him with our needles,

you won't hear a
sound out of him.

What you gonna do,
sew his mouth up?

Out of my way.

I'm not letting you leave here!

Ain't nobody gonna stick no
needles in me. Let me go now.

Now, this is final now. I'm
not sticking needles in me.

Ow! Ah! Ah! Ah!

Ooh... Ow!

Easy does it.

It's too late, Son.

I'm going fast.

Oh... oh, I'll bleed to death.

Murdered by a cactus.

Wait a minute, wait a minute.

Look at you, Pop.

What? Huh?

You're standing up straight.

Look at that. As good as new.

You'll be able to go
to that dinner tonight

and promenade around the room.

This is most remarkable.

A total-body acupuncture cure.

That's right, Doc. And
by a cactus, not you.


So, I suggest you
acupuncture your bill.

I don't understand.

Stick it.

And now to the purpose
for which we came tonight...

Hey, this is it, Pop,
the glass-key award.

Yeah, look at that thing.

It's beautiful, ain't it?

And it's crystal and it's mine.

As you know, we
have gathered here

to pay tribute to this
year's Man of the Year...

our own Fred Sanford.

And, as is our custom,

we have asked each
honored guest on the dais

to say a few words about
this very special man,

beginning with the newest
member in the Watts Community,

Mrs. May Hopkins.

Oh, ho.

Tonight, we have come
to praise Fred Sanford,

not to bury him...

though the vote
was close, I must say.

I salute you, Fred Sanford,

and if I may say

in the vernacular
of the ghetto...

Right on, sucker!

And now one of
Mr. Sanford's long-time friends,

a man who might himself deserve

the Watts' Businessman
of the Year award...

Except he's been out
of work for 12 years...

Mr. Grady Wilson.

MAN: Yeah!

Let me say that I'm proud
to be Fred Sanford's friend.

Look at him.

I know it's hard after
you've just eaten...

But look at him.

He's one of the best in
the world at his profession.

I love it when
Grady tells it like it is.

When you think
of Fred Sanford...

you think of junk.

You ain't never lied.

I'll never forget
the first time,

the first time I
met Fred Sanford.

I was down on my luck

and I asked him
to loan me $2.00,

and he did, without hesitation,

and to this very day,

has never asked me
for that $2.00 back.

Well, tonight, I'd like to
give him that $2.00 back.

Thanks, Grady.

Now, Fred, will you
please release my mother?

And now another good
friend, Mr. Bubba Baxley.

Thank you and good evening.

I think I can honestly say

that I'm the Man of
the Year's best friend.

Now you know what
kind of year I'm having.

But seriously, folks...

Speaking of World War II,

Fred was the first
in this neighborhood

to volunteer.

He volunteered me...
Grady, and Esther.

And Esther was the only
one who passed the physical.

If Bubba don't sit down soon,

I'm gonna have second thoughts

on what to do
with that glass key.

In closing, I'd like to take
a moment to be serious.

The man that we are
here to honor tonight

is one of the
greatest guys alive.

A man who doesn't
know the meaning

of the word "disloyalty,"

A man who doesn't know the
meaning of the word "anger,"

a man who does not know

the meaning of
the word "neglect,"

but a man who has
earned this honor tonight

despite the fact

he doesn't know the
meaning of too many words.

Congratulations and good luck.

Mrs. Esther Anderson.


Say, Bubba, I know
the meaning of gorilla.

Yeah! Hah, hah!

Lord only knows

I've had my differences
with Fred Sanford,

but tonight is a happy occasion,

so rather than speak
on his bad points,

I'll just dwell on
his good points.

Thank you.

And now, the son of
the Man of the Year,

Lamont Sanford.

Uh, I'm not very good
at public speaking, Pop.

Ah, that's okay, Son.

You don't speak too
good in private either.

Pop, I'll just say

that you've been
my Man of the Year

every year of my life.

Hey, ain't that nice?

All right.

And now, the moment
we've all been waiting for.

You can say that again.

The presentation of the award

to our Man of the Year,

who will take the award
and walk around with it,

shaking hands
with all of his friends.

Bring it in, sir,
please. Right here.

Hey, wait a minute.
Wait a minute.

This is the glass key

that I'm supposed
to walk around with.

I can't carry that...
That thing's heavy.

Wrong, Fred.

Look, that old key's being used

as second place from now on.

First place is this first-annual

Otto J. Cradshaw
Memorial trophy.

PRESENTER: Go on, Fred.

Take the traditional
acceptance walk.

BUBBA: Yeah, go ahead, Fred.

Wait a minute, Pop.

I think I should
help you carry that.

Aw, come on, Lamont.

Let your father have
his moment of glory.

Yeah, you said it.

I mean, this is my
moment of glory

and I've waited 35
years to make this walk.

I'm gonna make it alone.

All right!


Go right ahead. Bravo.

Go on, Fred. Yeah!


What's the matter with you?

What's the matter?

FRED: My back! My back!

Hey, how's your
back feeling, Pop?

A little bit better, Son.

You made the soup?

Yeah, I got it right here.

Is it nice and hot?


Okay. Give it here.


That's good, Son.

You know, Pop,
you never did tell me

how you hurt your
back in the first place.

I know I never told you, Son,

but I think you're old
enough to know now.

See, when I was a
young man in St. Louis,

I was quite the ladies' man.

In fact, they used to call
me Rudolph Vaseline-o.

I think that's "Valentino."

Yeah, him too.

Anyway, one Saturday night,

I took this girl, uh, Rosalyn
Wilson, to the movies.

It was dark and romantic

and after a while,
I made my move.

Then she made her move.

Then I made my move.

Then she made her move.

Then I made my last, big move...

That's how you hurt your
back, making your last big move?

No, I hurt my back when
she made her last big move

and threw me off the balcony.