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

The series spoofs itself when the characters in the new television show 'Steinberg and Son' turn out to be Borscht Belt parallels to those in the life of Fred G. Sanford.



new shirt and tie
just to go somewhere.

I got them, Pop.
I got the tickets.

So what?

We've been waiting
for four weeks

to get these tickets.

You've been waiting for
four weeks to get them tickets.

I don't wanna see no
dumb television show.

I bet I know what would
make you feel better.

I called up that lawyer,

and he said if we can
prove that they're doing

that television
show about our life,

we can sue the
network for $1,000,000.

You got 'em! You got 'em.

You got the tickets!

I knew that'd make
you feel better.


Come on in.

How you doing, Aunt Esther?

[CHEERFUL] Hello, Lamont.

[COLD] Hello, Fred.

Hello, beautiful.

Oh, you calling me beautiful?

No, I'm looking at the junkyard.

Why, you fish-eyed...

I'll put this in your eye...

Hey, he don't mean
nothing, Aunt Esther.

And it's true. You look lovely.

Thank you, baby.

That's it, son.

Now you only got
six months to live.

Are those the tickets?


Did you get me one?
Yeah, I got four of them.

Rollo came through,
just like he promised.


Oh, good. Come on in.

Hi, everybody.

FRED: Hey, Grady.
ESTHER: Hi, Grady.

Say, Fred, it just
occurred to me

that instead of people
having to knock all the time,

you should get
yourself a doorbell.

You know,
something classy like...

♪ Dum, dum, dum ♪

♪ Dum, dum, dum ♪

♪ Dum... ♪

Grady, Grady.

As long as I got you, I
don't need no doorbell.

I got a dumbbell.

Hi, folks.

FRED: Hey, Bubba.

Hi, Bubba.

Hey, where's everybody
going dressed up so nice?

Well, we... We got tickets to
the hottest, newest TV show

in town.

Yeah? Yeah.

We going to see the
taping of Steinberg and Son.


Hey, you got an extra ticket?

Oh, I'm sorry, Bubba.

Rollo could only get four.

Oh, you know something?

I love that show, Fred.

It's just like it
was a direct copy

from your life.


Yeah, a mean,
grouchy old father...

Wait a minute.

The dumb son...
Wh... Hey, Bubba...

The ugly sister-in-law...
Watch it, sucker.

And the stupid, bumbling friend.


You too hard on yourself, Bubba.


Well, have fun

and tell me about it
when y'all get back,

you hear?

All right.

Fred, I think Bubba's right.

That... That show
Steinberg and Son

is a lot like you and Lamont...

and that Aunt Ethel is
exactly like you, Esther.

And that dumb friend
is exactly like you,

only not as dumb.

Well, see, I don't
agree with that at all.

I mean, that dumb
friend is nothing like me.

If we can prove that
they're copying our life,

we can sue 'em
for a million dollars.

A million dollars?

Well, Fred, you know that
dumb friend on that show?

It is me to a tee!

Yeah, that's right, Fred.

Be honest now. Tell the truth.

I'm dumb, right?

Son, I think his case
is stronger than ours.

Let's go. Let's go.

Welcome to Studio Four.

My name is Saul Green,

and I'm the associate
producer of Steinberg and Son...

and I'm out here to kind
of get you warmed up

before we start the show,
get you in a good mood.

Uh... anybody here
from out of town?

Yeah, right here.
Where you from, sir?

Idaho. Idaho!


Put on your shoes
and enjoy the show, sir.

Hey, one at a time.


We have what we
think is a wonderful show

in store for you.

And, uh-oh... [ALL ARGUING]

SAUL: Oh, my.

You're a little late.

Everyone else was here on time.

Where were you?

Can't you control...

You folks are a little late.


Well, could you tell us...


SAUL: Could you tell
me why you're late?

ESTHER: Nobody tells me nothing.

LAMONT: Excuse me, ma'am.

I told you we should've
gone on the truck.

SAUL: Could you sit
down hurriedly, please?

ESTHER: Don't worry
about sitting down.

I'll sit down when
I get to the seat.

SAUL: Thank you.

You folks are late.

Now, how about giving
us an explanation?

Back off, clown.

Oh, I guess we're just
about ready to start.

Now, for those of you
who haven't seen our show,

it's about a junk
dealer and his son

who live in a ghetto.

That's it.

Now, are there any
last-minute questions?

Where's my million dollars?

Would you...?

Why do you always st...?

I should have never
brought you out.

Can you hold it down?

All right, folks. Here we go.

Get ready, relax, and enjoy...

Steinberg and Son.



That sloppy house
and that filthy yard...

That's just like your place.

Will you shut up, Grady?

Hi, Pop. I'm home.

Hey, is that dude
supposed to be me?

No, he don't look anything
like you at all, Lamont.

You're taller.

There, is that the guy
that's supposed to be me?

Hello, dummy.


He sounds just
like you too, Fred.

Shut up.

I'm getting tired of
you calling me dummy.

It's wrong for you to do it.

You've got no
reason to, so stop it.

Just stop it.

Listen to how you're talking.

It's amazing.

A boy who couldn't
graduate high school

has such a college stupidity.

I had to quit high school

because you had a heart
attack after Mom died,

and I had to help you out here.

You hear that, Naomi, darling?

It's all my fault.

I should've had a heart attack

after he graduated high school.




Hello, Murray. Hello, Max.

Hello, Gabey.

What do you want?

What do I want? Did you forget?

Tonight's the night we
watch the monster movies.

It's a double feature:

Godzilla Comes Home For Passover

and Gork gets Bar-Mitzvah'd.

Oh, yeah.

So sit down and make
yourself comfortable.

WOMAN: Yoo-hoo, Murray.

In here, Aunt Ethel.

Oh, no.

[CHEERFUL] Hello, Murray.

[COLD] Hello, Max.


Look at her, Gabey.

She looks like an
Arab ran over her face

with a tank.

You watch it, you bagel-eyed...

You bagel-eyed lox!

You, you...

I'm sorry, people.
Uh, what is the line?

Fish-eyed fool!

Oh, save your face. I
know what I'm doing.

I got my rights.


I don't understand it at all.

If that guy is
supposed to be me,

why does he walk so funny?

I have no idea.

You know, watching
that show, Fred,

was just like watching
you and Lamont and Esther.

And what's a...?
What is a bagel?

That's a round hard
thing with a hole in it,

like your head, Grady.

Hey, you know, Pop, though,

that's true, man,

that story is based on our life:

the truck, the
initials, everything.

Everything but the aunt.

See, there's no
actress in the world

that could play Esther...

unless they dig up Trigger.

He didn't mean
that, Aunt Esther.

Hey, why don't you stop it, Pop?

Now, you know that lawyer's
gonna be here any minute.

We got that personal
business to discuss.

I can take a hint.

No, just take a walk.

Grady, will you see me home?

I've seen your home, Esther.

I didn't say "my home."

I said "me home."


There's all type of men

who might attack a person
walking the streets alone.

Yeah, Grady, and you
all go along with her,

then you wouldn't
have to be afraid.


Yeah, because they figure

any guy that could
put clothes on a gorilla

is too tough to mess with.


So, as far as I see,

we have a case here
of invasion of privacy,

as well as a violation

of your private
and personal right

to obtain profit.

How much?

All actionable both
at law and at equity

with remedies in
damages and injunctions.

How much?

I'm talking about
a million dollars.

Keep on talking.

Are you ready to go all
the way with this case?

All the way.

It may drag on for months.

I got months.

We may have to go all the way

to the highest
court in the land.

All the way.

Then you're willing 100 percent.

All the way.

See, this is America,

where right makes might,
where justice is blind,

where law is king,

and where man
should be able to pursue

his democratic rights

no matter how much it costs
him in time, effort, and/or money.

Wow, man, I'm proud
of you, Pop. Thanks, son.

Okay, I'll need about
$10 to file the complaint.

I drop the case.

I drop the case, and I
plead non compos mentis

and I apologize to your
habeas and your corpus.

Hey, Pop, what are you...?

What are you being
so cheap about?

It's only $10, man,

and we stand to
make a million dollars.

You're right, son. I
shouldn't be a cheapskate.

After all, what's $10

to get to the Supreme Court?

Ten dollars ain't nothing.

I'm not cheap.

Uh, give him $10, son.


Mr. Mac John,
this is Mr. Sanford.

Yeah, Fred Sanford.

Uh, Mr. Sanford.
This is Bert Lipson.

Hello, Bert Lipson.


My son, Lamont.


How are you?

Our lawyer, Albert Brock.

How do you do?

Mr. Brock. Mr. Brock.

I'm Anthony Marvinowsky,
attorney for NBC.

How do you do?

This is my client, Fred Sanford.

Fred G. Sanford,

and if you got
my million dollars,

the "G" is for "goody,
goody, gimme,

and I'm gone."

Have a seat, please.

Thank you very much.

Now, to begin with,

there seems to be some question

as to whether you are entitled

to that million dollars.

To begin with,
there's some question

whether you are
entitled to your teeth.

Just what makes you think

that the show and the characters
were stolen from your life?

Well, we're in
the junk business,

our name is Sanford and Son,

we drive a red pick-up truck,

and we live in a house
exactly like the one

on your show.

But, uh, young man,

I'm sure you don't
suggest for one moment

that the character I play
is like your father here.

I'm suggesting it all the
way to the Supreme Court.

Surely no real human being

could be that mean,
disrespectful of women,

insulting to his own son,

and live in such a sloppy home.

Well, I know some
people like that.

But certainly not you.

Oh, no, no. Not me. No way.

Well, then, there
goes your case.

They do have a
little resemblance.

Then you are claiming

that the character
that Mr. Lipson portrays

is really you.

Well, all but the part

about where I treat my son bad.

See, I'm not that bad.

Pop... Shut up, dummy.

We rest our case.

Better get Bernie in here.

Katie, is Bernie on his way up?

WOMAN: Yes, sir.

Bernie Taub is the
creator and producer

of Steinberg and Son.

Now, perhaps this all
can be settled quite easily

if we just find out where
exactly he got his idea.

I'll tell you where
he got his idea from.

He came to Watts
and saw my place

and had it xeroxed
and brought it here

and sold it to some fool.

I bought the idea myself.

Well, no offense.

Some of my best
friends are fools.

Tell him about Grady, son.


Mr. Sanford,

this is the man you
say stole your life.


Say, listen.

Are you the executive
writer and creator

of Steinberg and Son?

That's right.

Well, what you doing black?

Have you two met before?

Uh, no, we haven't.

Well, what gave you the idea

of doing Steinberg and Son?

It was about a year ago.

I couldn't break into television

with any of my ideas.

Then I heard about
these two people

from my cousin Rollo.

Rollo? Rollo.

See, the son was a nothing,

and the father was a nothing

who yelled at the
son all the time,

but no matter what,

those two nothings
really loved each other.

Now, are you
really trying to tell us

that you are those two nothings?

Don't you say that!


Hey, Pop, did you
have to hit that guy?

The head legal counsel at NBC.

Well, he shouldn't have
called you a "nothing."

Now, I don't mind him
calling you a dummy,

but you ain't "nothing."

What I can't understand

is why you simply refused
to continue the conversation.

Obviously, we had a strong case.

Yeah, I don't
understand that, either.

Well, see, I didn't
want to hurt the writer.

You know, because he
needed a break. He's nice.

Yeah, but I would think that
that would be the last person

you'd be willing to
help, Rollo's cousin.

It ain't got nothing to do

whether it's Rollo's cousin,

he just was a nice guy
who needed a break.


Hey, that's Rollo.
What's he doing here?

Well, I called him
up and told him

to bring his evilness over here.

What's happening, Rollo?

What's going on, home boy?

Say, man, what's happening?

Uh, Steinberg and Son
is what's happening, Rollo.

Did you or did you not
in fact tell your cousin,

one Bernie Taub,

about the life and
times of Fred G. Sanford

and his son Lamont,

hereinafter referred
to as the "nothings"?

Yeah, so what?

I mean, the poor brother
man needed a lucky break,

and I helped him.

And how much are you getting
from the studio each week

for coming up with that idea?

We're gonna sue NBC

for doing Steinberg
and Son about our life,

and this is our
lawyer, Albert Brock.


Hey, well, look here, pop.

I mean, you... You
and brother Brock

might have a case
here, you know,

if you wanna get
my cousin in trouble,

but, man, I'm not getting
one thin dime from it.

I mean, I gave the
brother the idea for nothing,

and now he's made
a break into TV,

and I hate to knock him out.

I hate to knock him out too,

but I don't hate
to knock you out.


I'll see you later.

Bert, Bert, there's
nothing I can do.

I'm sorry. We've got a contract.

Your salary is set. I can't
give you a penny more.

I don't want a penny more.

All I want is a rehearsal
hall without windows.

So pull the curtains.

I hate curtains!

I want walls.

All right, all right.

We'll... We'll have walls
built into the windows.

Thank you.

Hello, you.

Hello, me.

Mac, I've been
talking to Bernie.

Yeah, what's going on?

Bernie admits that his cousin

did get the idea
from Sanford here,

and he's got a case,
and a good one, Mac.

All right. How much do you want?

Two hundred.

Two hundred thousand dollars?

No, man, $200 a week.

Oh, yeah?

Yeah, and a title...

"Creative executive consultant
of Steinberg and Son."

All right.

And a small part every now
and then to help the ratings.

All right. And what?

And a dressing room
with my name on the door.


And lots of windows...
Lots and lots of windows.

You got it!

Okay, well, thank you very much.

Good day.

And Mr. Steinberg?


Now, let me tell you... Yes.

Now, when Aunt Ethel walks in,

you don't have to
say nothing to her.

Just stand there and
look at her like this...

You mean, like this...

Did you guys just eat
in the NBC commissary?

No, I... I just wanna
ask you a question.

If you were gonna write
a story about my life,

why didn't you make it
black, about black people,

and call it Sanford and Son?

Sanford and Son?

It would never make it.

Well, ladies and gentlemen,
here we are again.

The 14th episode
of Steinberg and Son.


Hey, Pop, I'm home.

Go to the telephone,
dial information,

and ask, "Who cares?"

Hey, listen, Pop,
you're gonna care

when I tell you that
there's somebody outside

who wants to buy
every piece of junk

we have in the yard.

Well, why are you letting him

stand outside, dummy?

Come right in, sir.

FRED: Listen...

I was driving by, and I noticed

all the junk that
you had here in the...


DIRECTOR: Hold it.

Uh, hold it.

Now, let's take that line again.

Hey, I was driving
by, and I noticed

all this junk that
you have here...

Now, wait.

We have to take it
from your entrance.

Uh, I was driving by,

and we have to take
it from the entrance.

Hey, you wait a
minute. Director, look.

Now, this is all wrong.

Now, I wouldn't come in
through this door here like that

and say what I just said.

This show is going out
before millions of people.

It's got to be great.

Give me a cue.

I'll show you.

DIRECTOR: All right, get ready.

Give him his cue, Max.


Come right in.

♪ And would I be sure ♪

♪ That this is love
Beyond compare ♪

We got three minutes
before Steinberg and Son.

Hey, where's your
father, Lamont?

Oh, he's upstairs
resting, Bubba.

Don't worry. He'll
be down in time.

For a man making
his debut on TV,

he's taking it pretty calmly.

Please, please,
everyone. No autographs.

Listen, son.

I'm afraid you're
sitting in the star's chair.

Excuse me.

Well, Grady, about
time to get it on, isn't it?

Ready when you are, F.S.


now for the premiere

of a brand-new comedy
about today's teenagers,

All in the Family Way!


What's wrong here?



Hey, Rollo, you
got the right time?

Hey, Pop, I know where
you're coming from, Jack.

You can stop worrying.

Steinberg and Son was canceled.

ALL: Canceled?

What? Yeah, man.

Coz said ratings were
so bad, bad, bad, man.

Plus nobody even
watched the show.

I thought the show
was just terrific.

Aw, man. Come on, Pop.

Admit it, Jack. I
mean, it was a bore.

I mean, who wants to
watch a grouchy old man

running across the
screen, yelling at his son.

Man, that's dead.

Well, I got a new TV
show for me and you, Rollo.

Hey, that's slick,
Pop. What's it called?

Well, it's called Rollo Derby.

See, that's where I
skate all over your face.

I'm gonna hit you. Say, man...

No, no. Don't be mad.
Now, don't be mad.

Well, I think we got enough.

Call 'em, Fred.

They're sure to like one of 'em.

One of 'em?
They'll like all of 'em.

Hey, what you doing, Pop?

Oh, son, I was about
to call the network.

See, listen to these TV
shows we came up with.

See, now, first,

there's a police
show based on my life

called... Ko-junk.

And I got a new sports show

for you and your
friends, Lamont.



Yeah, it's called
Dialing for Dummies.

Would you stop it?

You think that's good?

Mine is a musical
cooking show called

Eydie and Galloping Gorme.

Yeah, son, and
here's the topper.

I mean, this is the
one that's sure to sell.

It's about a family
of pioneer plumbers.

I'm afraid to ask
what it's called.

It's called Little
Outhouses on the Prairie.