Sanford and Son (1972–1977): Season 5, Episode 6 - Brother, Can You Spare an Act? - full transcript

When Fred's white brother-in-law Rodney lands a job emceeing a local vaudeville revival, Fred, Lamont and Smiley Rogers help out by providing the song and dance.


Who is it?

It's Smiley Rogers.

Smiley Rogers, what
are you doing here?



Oh, yeah!

Where is it?

Right over here, Smiley.

Oh, I can't believe
you found me one.

Yeah, there you go.

I picked it up for 10 bucks,

and I'll let you have
it for what I paid for it.

Thanks a lot, Fred.

Pretty good, huh?

Oh, man, sounds perfect.




♪ Old Father Time checked ♪

♪ So there'd be no doubt ♪

♪ To call on the north
wind To come on out ♪

♪ Then cupped his hands
So proudly to shout ♪

♪ La-di-dah,
di-lah-di-dum 'Tis autumn ♪

♪ Trees say they're tired ♪

♪ They've born too much fruit ♪

♪ Mm-hmm ♪

♪ Charmed on the
wayside There's no dispute ♪

♪ Mm-hmm ♪

♪ Now shedding leaves
They don't give a hoot ♪

♪ La-di-dah,
di-lah-di-dah 'Tis autumn ♪

♪ Then the birds got together ♪

♪ To chirp about the weather ♪

♪ Mm, mm, mm ♪

♪ And after makin'
Their decision ♪

♪ In birdie-like precision ♪

♪ Turned about ♪

♪ Whoa ♪

♪ And made a
beeline To the south ♪

♪ My holding you close
Really is no crime ♪

♪ Ask the birds and the
trees And Old Father Time ♪

♪ It's just to help
The mercury climb ♪

♪ La-di-dah,
di-lah-di-dah 'Tis autumn ♪

What did you say?

I said,

♪ La-di-dah,
di-lah-di-dah 'Tis autumn ♪

Just one more time.


♪ La-di-dah, di-lah-di-dah
'Tis autumn ♪♪


Yeah... Well, that
was nice, man.

I'll see you around, Fred.

I had a good time today, man.

That was really nice
singing that old song.

Incidentally, thanks
for the temple.

Hey, just a moment.

We sang, reminisced, and
had fun and all that stuff,

but the temple... This is $10.

Oh, yeah.

Well, can't I owe it to you?

Oh, no.

♪ La-di-dah,
di-lah-di-dah 'Tis autumn ♪

♪ La-di-di, di-lah-di-dum
'Tis money ♪♪


Who is it?

It's your sister.


Hi, Fred. Frances.

Oh! Hi.

I don't remember that
door ever being locked

during the day.

Well, that's the penalty
for being the landlord.

Oh, my...

Are you having trouble
with the residents

of the Sanford Arms?

Yeah, you know, you
try to be nice and friendly

and treat people kindly...

They walk right over you.

Oh, what are they doing?

Well, when they moved in,

I told them if they
ever had a problem,

my door was open.

Walk right in.

So when they have a
problem, they walk right in.

You need a resident
manager, you know,

someone who would take care

of all those problems.

Someone who would live in
there and look after the place,

and someone who
would live there rent free.

Rent free?


Are you crazy?

Does Ford give away his cars?


Does Levi give away his pants?

Does Sara Lee
give away her buns?

Well, all right.

I finally picked a time
when the vault was open.

What vault?

Getting in here is tougher
than cracking Fort Knox.

Does something
happen to be wrong here,

Mrs. Hopkins?

Yes, something happens to
be wrong here, Mr. Sanford,

and here it is in
alphabetical order.

Number one. Wait a minute, now.

You send that to
our London office.

Oh, Fred.

See, the real estate
branch of Sanford Arms

is located in London,
Piccadilly Square.

That's our motto,
"Piccadilly, starve a cold."

Oh, for God... Good day.

Well what exactly is
wrong with your apartment,

Mrs. Hopkins?

Who are you?

I'm his sister.

I'm May Hopkins. How do you do?

Nice to meet you.

Oh, yes. Hoppy's mother... Yes.

And you're living
next door, huh?

That is correct.

I'm living in the ghetto

with my black brothers
and black sisters and...

red ants.

I told you... I told
you before, no pets.


Furthermore, I need
a new window shade

for my bedroom.

What's wrong with
the old window shade?

It will not roll
up, Mr. Sanford.

Well that don't
make no difference,

because there ain't nothing

outside the window
for you to see,

and I'm sure anybody outside

don't want to look in.

Is that an insult?

Is a bullfrog waterproof?

Just get cracking on
that list, Mr. Sanford.

I'd like to get cracking on you.

Well, I never!

I can believe that.

Oh, oh!

Fred, those sound like

reasonable complaints to me.

Listen, honey,

now don't be concerned
with little things like that.

Now, by the way,
how is your thing?

What thing?

You know, the thing you married.

His name is Rodney,
and he's my husband.

Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah,
your husband thing.

How is he?

He's fine.

Is he still white?
Oh, Frederick!

Hello, Aunt Frances.

Hello, sweetheart.

♪ La-di-di, di-lah-di-dum
It's dummy ♪♪

Hey, Pop, you know, I
just picked up a piano

for $20 down at
Jimmy's Bar and Grill.

Twenty bucks.
Hey, that's all right.

Good, look.

I want you to help
me get it off the truck.

Uh, not now, son. May the 1st.

Why May 1st?

May 1st, that's opening
day of the hernia festival.

Why don't you stop?

How's Rodney doing
anyway, Aunt Frances?

Oh, not so well.

It must be tough for a
performer to be out of work, huh?

It is, but he loves
being in show business.

Well, he'd better not show
his business around here.

Oh, Lamont, let me get
you a cold glass of milk.

Now, wait a minute, Frances.

Now, if my son's exhausted,

if he wants something,
I get it for him.


Oh, gee, thanks, Pop.

I'll get it.

No, it's okay.
I'll get it myself.

Hey, I'll get it,
whatever it is.

You've got it, whatever it is.

My brother-in-law!

Don't come round to me.

Just let me... Just let me go.

Get off of me.

How are you doing, Rodney?

How do you feel?

I feel great.

Hey, hey, I feel like a
tongue sandwich to go.

Ask me how I want it to go.

How do you want it to go?

Hey, Frances, you know what?


You married Baskin and
Robbins' newest flavor...

tutti nut.

That's funny.
That's funny, Fred.

Hey, what do you want
me to do with this luggage?

What luggage?

The luggage here.
Didn't Frances tell you?

Oh, I was leading
up to it, Fred. I was.

Leading up to what?

Well, today was my last check
at the unemployment office,

and we're out of money,

so we have to move out
at the end of the week,

so we're gonna
move in with you, Fred,

until something comes up.

Well, you know you're in luck.

RODNEY: Really?

Yeah, something's coming up.

Uh, bend over,
and I'll show you.

No, wait.

Wait a minute!



Is that how you treat a brother?

A half-brother. Whoa!

Hi, Aunt Frances.


Hey, Pop.

Hey, son. Did we fix the stove?

Yes, we fixed the stove.

It's amazing how I get so dirty,

you stay clean, and
"we" fix everything thing.

Hey, did Rodney get back yet?

I want him to help me
get that piano off the truck.

No, dear, he's not.

Do you know where
he is? I have no idea.

He's probably somewhere
where he's needed,

the El Segundo
Institute of the Strange.

Fred, stop it. He's my husband.

That's the only reason
why he's moving around

without pall bearers.

Will you please
consider the idea?


That's it, and the
answer is still no.

Now, what's your
idea, Aunt Frances?

I don't wanna hear it.

Well, don't listen.

Go ahead, I wanna hear it.

Rodney happens to
be a decent handyman,

so I would like to
suggest that you give us

the basement apartment

and make Rodney the
manager of the Sanford Arms.


Do what? Give you the basement?

That place is worth a fortune.

Hey, Pop, that sounds
like a good idea to me.

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

Fred, please.


Rodney needs it.

I mean, he needs to
regain his self-respect,

and if it came from you...

I mean, if you asked
him or begged him...


Yes, pleaded with him.
It would make him feel...


Yes, it would make him
feel that you needed his help,

and it would help him
to feel like a man again.

Please, Fred.

Do it for me.

Listen, just stop
crying, will you,

for crying out loud?

Hey, come on, Pop.

Why don't you be a
little understanding, man?

I am being understanding.

I always be that way

just before I get ready
to plead and need...

Oh, thank you, Fred. And beg.

I don't want that
stuff on my face.

Well, I guess I'll go upstairs

and wash up for
the work that "we did"

on Mrs. Hopkins' stove.


Okay, Rodney.


Uh, I'd like to beg
something of you.

What is it?

Well, from a
pleading point of view,

I mean, needing-wise,

how would you like to be
the manager of Sanford Arms

and live there for nothing free?

Too far. Huh?

Oh, you've gone
too far this time, Fred.

Sure, you want your
sister to live in that dungeon

and do all your dirty work.

Probably for free, right?

Well, foul, foul, foul!

Foul, foul, foul.

I'll show you foul.

How'd you like me to shove
a chicken up your nose?

Rodney, I don't
think Fred is trying

to take advantage of us,

and we could use the apartment,

and it's free.

Free? Yeah.

Free? When did I ever
want anything free before?

How much are you
paying to live here now?


I wouldn't insult you
by offering you money

for a place where
your sister lives

that belongs to her brother.

I have class.

Well, meet me
outside after class.

Say, you know, Rodney,

the apartment at
the Sanford Arms

is not exactly free, man.

You'd be paying for it
by managing the place.

Thank you, but you see,

I'm not a building
manager, Lamont.

I'm an impresario.

An im-pro-who-rio?

I'm an impresario.

I'll have you know

that I just booked
myself and my show

in that little movie
house around the corner,

the one that's showing
the Tyrone Power...

Oh, I think it's about the geek.

Well, they've gone
back to a policy

of presenting vaudeville,

and I just booked myself and
my show for a $100 a week.

Hey, Rodney, that's great, man.

Well, you know, it was
just a one-week trial,

but the manager
said if he likes me,

he'll hire me as
the steady emcee,

and then I won't need

your apartment
next door for free

and your room here for free.

So in other words,

if the show is a
hit, you'll move out?

That's right.

Who you got?

Well, I come out
and open the show

with some real
socko jokes... [SIGHS]

And then I know
this little old lady,

and she comes out

and does great dramatic
readings from Shakespeare...

And listen to the finale.

For the finale,

I have this great opera singer,

and he sings an excerpt
from The Chocolate Soldier.

I can see the two of you now,

the chocolate soldier
and the vanilla Twinkie.


You got a better idea?

Yes, I got a better idea.

See, now, I know the
people in this neighborhood,

and I know what they want.

Now, if the show is a hit,

you said that you'll move
out of here tomorrow,

and then Frances
will stop talking to me

about you managing over
there at the Sanford Arms, right?

That's right, and
you've got my word.

Your word? That's right.

A man's word is
good enough for me.

I've always said that.

A man's word is his bond.

Oh, yeah.

Sign this here. Right here.


Good evening,
ladies and gentlemen.

Tonight, instead of the
Tyrone Power movie...

Where's the geek?

What geek? There's
no geek tonight.


Oh, man, as I was saying,

tonight, we're
starting our new policy

of bringing live
performers and vaudeville

back to our stage,
and to start things off,

here is your master
of ceremonies

for the night.

Let's hear it with a
big round of applause

for the fabulous Rodney Victor.


Thank you very much
and good evening,

ladies and gentlemen.

Good evening, geek.

Geek? Knock it off.

Let's show a little
respect in here,

or I'll throw you out.

He's a human being,
the same as you and me.

Go ahead, honky.

Thank you very much,

but I don't mind
insults from the public...


Because the public is
what America's all about.




Speaking of America,

I was reading about America
in the newspapers today.

Hey, listen to this.

MAN: Cut to the death
notices and read us your name.

That's good.

That's funny.

Isn't that wonderful,
ladies and gentlemen,

speaking out freely like that?


Because that's America...

And America is the
people in the next act

that I'm about to
introduce to you.

Ladies and gentlemen,

the wonderful and the exciting

Fred G. Sanford
and Smiley Rogers,

better known as
Sanford and Song.



♪ Gotta get My old
tuxedo pressed ♪

♪ Gotta sew a
button On my vest ♪

♪ Tonight I've got
To look my best ♪

♪ Lulu's back in town ♪

♪ Gotta get a half a
buck Somewhere ♪

♪ Shine my shoes Slick my hair ♪

♪ Gotta get myself
A boutonniere ♪

♪ Lulu's back in town ♪

♪ You can tell all my pets ♪

♪ And all my Harlem coquettes ♪

♪ Uh-huh ♪

♪ Mr. Otis regrets That
he won't be around ♪

♪ You can tell the
mailman Not to call ♪

♪ I ain't coming
home Until the fall ♪

♪ I might not get
back Home at all ♪

♪ Lulu's back in town ♪

♪ La-da-da-da-uh-ha-ha ♪

♪ La-da-da-da-uh-ha-ha ♪

♪ La-da-da-da-uh-ha-ha ♪

♪ You can tell all my pets ♪

♪ Uh-huh ♪

♪ And all my Harlem coquettes ♪

♪ Mr. Otis regrets That
he won't be around ♪

Change key.

♪ You can tell the
mailman Not to call ♪

♪ I ain't coming
home Until the fall ♪

♪ Yeah, and I might not
get Back home at all ♪

♪ Lulu's back in town ♪

♪ She came back, she came back ♪

♪ Looking good Like she should ♪

♪ She brought a 5'5"
Good Grace, alive ♪

♪ A little bit here
And a little bit there ♪

♪ Here a bit, there a bit
Everywhere a little bit ♪

♪ Lulu is back in town ♪

♪ Yeah ♪

♪ Oh, yeah ♪♪




Thank you very much,
Sanford and Song.

And now we'd like
to move right along,

ladies and gentlemen,

and I'd like to have you meet

my one and only wonderful
nephew in the whole wide world.

I'm sure you've
heard of him before,

tops in taps.

Here he is, Lamont
Sanford from the junk place.






I just helped Aunt Frances
move into her new apartment.

That's good, son. Yeah.

Hey, listen to this ad for
the basement apartment.

Hey wait a minute, Pop.

That apartment
is in no condition

to be rented out.

The pipes need fixing.

Oh, you crazy?

There ain't nothing
wrong with them pipes.

All we need is
a tenant in there,

because the mortgage payment
is due day after tomorrow.


Herald Examiner?

Let me speak to Herald.

Hello, Herald?

You remember me, don't you?

That's right, Fred G. Sanford.

Look, Herald, I got an ad
I want to put in the paper,

and get it right
this time, hear?

Now here it is:

For rent, luxurious
two-room suite,

private entrance,
wall to wall floors,

drapes, carpeting,
and refrigerator...

Mr... Mr. Sanford, for
heaven's sakes, come quickly.

The pipes have burst.
The basement's flooded.

And a swimming
pool... and a sunken tub

and fresh fish every day.



And the roof's gonna be flooded.