Sanford and Son (1972–1977): Season 6, Episode 16 - A Matter of Silence - full transcript

Lamont fears Fred is going deaf, and Fred is content to play along and milk sympathy from Lamont and Donna.


My, my, my.


LAMONT: Hey, Pop, get the phone.


Hey, Pop!

The phone! FRED:
My... Get the phone!



My, my.

My, my, my, my. My, my, my, my!

Hey, Pop! Huh?

Would you get the phone?!

Who do you want me to call?

Hel... Yeah.

Hello. Hello?



Who was it, Pop? What?

I said, who was it? I
don't know. They hung up.

Would you give me this magazine?

Just put this down. I
wanna ask you something.

Have you been having
trouble hearing lately?


[LOUDLY] I said, have you
been having trouble hearing lately?

My hearing's fine.

I don't think so, Pop.

People talk to you
and you ignore them.

Oh, well, I've been
doing that for 50 years.

And I may ignore a lot
more in the next 50 years.

So you better take a number,
so you have to wait in line.

Now, listen, Pop, I know
what you're gonna say.

You're gonna say I'm a dummy,

and I don't know what
I'm talking about, right?

There you go, putting
words in my mouth.

But luckily, they
the right words.

Look, I'm running a little late,

and I don't wanna get
into a tangle with you.

Is breakfast ready? Huh?

[LOUDLY] Is breakfast ready?

Uh, yeah, in the
oven. Thank you.

Huh? [YELLING] Thank you!


LAMONT: Hey, get the phone, Pop!

Thought I heard something.

LAMONT: Get the
phone! I'm getting it!

Sanford and Son.

Huh? What?

Can you speak a little louder?

Little louder. I'm having
trouble with my phone.


Shoot. All right.

I'll have one of my
associates get in touch with you

this afternoon.


I know this... This
might sound strange,

but what... What is this?

This is my own special recipe:

Freddie's fluffy flapjack.

Well, what am I
supposed to do with it,

eat it or exercise?


Just as I thought, a
little too much pepper.

Here, I'll get...

Let me fix you another one.

No, no, no, no, no. I think...
I think this... One is enough.

Well, listen, son,

this guy wants to
get in touch with you,

so drop by and feel him out.

Hey, fantastic. Mm-hm.

And, listen, here.
Have... Have...

Have the truck washed,

because I've got a
date with Donna tonight,

and I want everything
to be perfect.

You know, she broken two
dates with me this week already.

She's been working, Pop.

Oh, are you kidding?
She ain't been working.

She's been two-timing
me with another guy.

Are you kidding?
There is no other guy.

Donna's been busy
with her patients.

What stations? I
said patients, Pop.

I'm patient... Patients!

I'm patient.



Hey, Pop, there's
something wrong with you.

I know. My only
child is a dummy.



Will you listen to me?




What does that say?

It says, "Freddie Walters.

1465 Edgeworth Street."

And you took this message
over the phone, right?

Yeah. So what?

Well, so we missed
out on a great deal, Pop.

The man's name is
not Freddie Walters.

It's Eddie Salters.

And it's not Bedford
Street, it's Medford Street.

Well, we better call
the doctor. I think I will.

Yeah, tell him to rush over
there to Medford Street,

because tell him Salters

doesn't know who
he is or where he lives.


I'll get it.

Come in.

Hello, Fred. Hi,
Lamont. Hi, Donna.

Donna, this is the perfect
evening for a moonlight drive,

and a bottle of wine, two
tacos and a bowl of menudo.

Fred, I can't keep our date.

Light on the cheese,
light on the lettuce

and heavy on the lips.

Lamont, he didn't hear me.

I know, Donna. Pop's going deaf.

Oh, my!

Fred! What dear?

I have to work
tonight, Fred. What?

can't keep the date!

[YELLING] Why not?!

[LOUDLY] I have
to work tonight, Fred.

I only found out an hour ago,

but I thought I ought to come by

and tell you in person.

And I'm glad I did,
because you need help.

Yeah, and you can give it to me.

See, you've broken two
dates this week already,

and now you say
you have to work late.

I know what you're doing, Donna.

It's another man.

Oh, there are
other patients, Fred.

That sounds familiar.

I'll come back as
soon as I get off.

Don't do me no favors.

Goodnight, Lamont.
[YELLING] Goodni...

[NORMAL VOICE] Goodnight, Donna.

Hey, Pop, you didn't
have to be so rude.


That's it. That's it.
You're practically deaf.

I'm gonna call the
doctor. Wait a minute.

Wait a minute. Wait a minute.
Doctor? Doctors cost money.

Oh, Pop, don't you want to
hear the birds singing in the trees?

I can live without that.

Well, what about the little
children playing in the park?

I can live without that too.

Or Godzilla whispering
sweet nothings into Gork's ear?

What are we waiting for?
Get that guy on the phone.

Call the doctor. I figured...

Just call for the doctor.

Oh, yes. The doctor
is expecting you.

We'll take care
of your ear, honey.

And I'll take care of
your teeth, sweetheart.

Come on. Go right in.

Come in, Mr. Sanford. I'm in.

Make yourself
comfortable. I will. Bye.

No, in the chair.

Come on, in the chair.

Oh, man. Telling
me to... Alrighty.

Hey, wait a minute,
man! What are you doing?

I don't play that.

Okay, let's see
what we've got here.




What's the matter, have
you forgot the words?

I think all we have is a
little ugly wax build-up here.

You looking in my
ear or at your floor?

Your ears, Mr. Sanford.

I'm going to have
to flush them out.

Oh, no, I ain't getting my
head in one of them things.


Now, relax. In a minute
you'll be as good as new.

Now, hold this.

And hold that.

Trust me, you
won't feel a thing.

I know it, because I'm
gonna shove it up your nose.

Hold still.



All right, the other side.



[WHISPERING] Can you hear me?

Yeah, I can hear you.

And I can smell
you too. Back off.

[YELLS] Good! Man, you did it!

You did it, doc!

Thanks a lot.
Whoa! You're great.

I'm like:

♪ Hello ♪

♪ Hello-o ♪

♪ That old black magic ♪

♪ Has me in a spin ♪

♪ Whoa ♪♪

Hey, thanks a lot, doc.
You're a good ear doctor.

Of course, I'm a
leg man, myself.

You know, it must
be terrible for Pop

to watch himself fall apart.

DONNA: Poor dear. It
must be a shock, going deaf.

Donna, couldn't you drop
by the house every day

just to, you know,
see if Pop's okay?

Oh, Lamont, I'd
love to but I can't.

This private duty is murder.

I've got this problem patient.

Why, he needs me so much,

he won't even eat
unless I'm there.

Well, just for a few
minutes, Donna.

I mean, you could
stop by the house

on your way home from work.

Pop's practically deaf
and he really needs you.

DONNA: You're right.

Thanks a lot.

Well, maybe, uh,
hopefully he won't need me.

Maybe the doctor will cure him.

Why me?

Why me?

Here's your bill.

Why, you...

Come on, let's get out of here.


[YELLING] Hi, Pop.
[YELLING] Hello, Fred.




Hey, Pop, we found this
book, you know, Donna and I,

and it's a book
on sign language.

Huh? We f...

[LOUDLY] I said, we found this
book, and it's on sign language!

We thought you should read it.

Oh, let me see it.


Oh, here's one.

What does that mean?!

Get lost, dummy.

It means I want to
be alone with Donna.

Oh, Fred. Fred, I'm sorry.

I can't stay.

I've got to go and take
care of one of my patients.

That's it.

That's what
happens. It's all over.

As soon as everybody
finds out that I'm deaf,

nobody wants to be around me.

See, I'm old. I'm through.

I'm washed up.

I'm going to wash up.


Wow, Donna, he's
really depressed.

Lamont, he's in a bad way.

We've got to do something
to snap him out of it.

Hey, I know. A party.

A party. That's what Pop needs.

Good music, old friends.

How about tomorrow night?

Tomorrow night would be perfect.
We should get him a present too.

DONNA: Um, I know.

You pick out a gift, and
I'll do some shopping.

Right. All right?

Okay, bye. Bye.

LAMONT: A present.
That's it, a present.


Hello, Dr. Fuddle?

Hi. This is Lamont Sanford.

Listen, I was just wondering

if I could buy a hearing
aid without a prescription,

or do I have to bring
my father over there

to have him fitted for it?

What do you mean, why?

Well, because he's, uh,
you know, tremendously deaf.

He's not tremendously deaf?

He's not slightly deaf?

Well, how about a little deaf?

Then he must be lying a little.

He's not lying a little?



Okay. Thanks a lot.

But how did he stand
all that loud noise?

Oh, I'd like to wring his neck.

I take it you'll go
along with the plan?

You bet I will. It'll
serve him right.

Hi, Donna. I'm
surprised to see you.

[YELLING] Well, isn't
life full of surprises?


[LOUDLY] My, my.
Don't we look nice?

I just thought I'd
be prepared, son.

You know, I might
have the big one tonight,

and if I'm going, I
wanna go in style.


Lamont, uh, you know,
sometimes I wonder

if you're father isn't faking.

LAMONT: Oh, why, Donna! How...?

I mean, how could you?

Well, I've done some research,

and when a man
is really going deaf,

he gets restless.

LAMONT: Oh, yeah, I know.

He just can't sit still.

DONNA: Always doing
something with their hands.

LAMONT: And they
fumble with their ears.

But that doesn't work,

so they become frustrated
and start wringing their hands.

LAMONT: And then
they start pacing the floor.

DONNA: And going faster.

LAMONT: And faster.
DONNA: And faster!

LAMONT: And faster.

DONNA: But then
they realize it's no use.

LAMONT: So they stop.

DONNA: And start
biting their nails.

I guess that proves it, Donna.

I mean, Pop's got all
the classic symptoms.

DONNA: It certainly does.


Sounds like Rollo.



Got it, Rollo?
You got it, homes.

Uh, do they know what to do?

Man, it's together. Okay.

Pop, look who's here.


[YELLING] I hear you're having
trouble with your ears, Pop.

Too bad it's not with my eyes.

Hey, come on, Pop.

Rollo brought some
friends to help you cheer up.

Oh, thank you. Thank you,
Rollo. That's very lovely.

Now you can go away forever.

Hey, that's no
attitude to take, Pop.

Relax, enjoy the party.

Who bought the booze?

We ran out of money, so
we decided to use yours.

Help yourself, everybody.


Help your...?

LAMONT: You got bourbon
over there, and some Scotch.

Bunch of leeches,
that's all I got to say.

Mama, you know what?
You sure looking good tonight.

Ah! Why, thank
you, Rollo, honey.

Yeah, I got some talk for you,

if I could ever get you alone.

Oh, well, don't
worry about Fred.

He's deaf in one ear and
can't hear out of the other.


Look here, look here.

In that case, we'll stick
around for a little while

and then we'll sneak
away to a quiet, cozy place.

Oh, Rollo!

Why, I'll think about it.


Is something wrong, Pop?

No, I'm just, uh, going to
get Rollo some refreshments.

Okay, quick, Rollo, pull
the wire on the speaker.

Got it.

Everybody get
ready for phase two.

Hey, Rollo.

You rat. Gnaw on this.

Say, man...

Yeah, I heard that, Donna.

Mm-hm. You see,
it's like stuttering.

If you pretend to talk that way,

then one day you'll
wake up and it's true.

Yeah, this guy
pretended to be deaf

and, all of a sudden, he was.

That's right.

He went deaf... [CLICKS
FINGERS] just like that.

Uh, come on, Donna.

Let's have some sit-down

so you can tell me how you gonna
please me in my waning years.

ROLLO: Hey, hey, look, Lamont.

What are we standing around
for? Why aren't we getting down?

LAMONT: Yeah, Rollo.
You low enough already.

Put on some music.







You mean, you hear the music?



Why don't you speak up, Rollo?



Isn't you young to
have a sore throat?


Hey, Donna. Donna,
speak to me. Speak to me.

[MIMES] Huh?

[MIMES] No, no!

Listen, please, sir... or madam.

Or Ms.

Don't do this to me.

Let me hear the sweet
sound of birds again.

The song of the birds
and the rustling leaves,

the rattle of the junk.

I didn't mean any harm.

I just thought Donna
was seeing another man,

so I wanted to find
out who he was.

I won't pretend no more.

Please, I'll do
anything you say.

I'll fight lions and tigers.

I'll walk through
fire and kiss Esther.

Please, Lord, if
you take my hearing,

you might as
well take all of me.

Wait a minute. I mean,
I didn't mean that.

I didn't mean it.

Look, Lamont, Donna, help me.

Please, help me.


Son, I wanna hear music again.

You do, huh?


Yeah, sure, Pop, that was
a dumb trick to play on you.

But what about the dumb trick
you were trying to play on us?

Yes, you really should be
ashamed of yourself, Fred.

Do you know that 20 percent
of the people of the world

have some form
of hearing problem?


Don't start that again.

No, no, no, son. I'm not...

I was saying, like, "What?"
in surprise to the 20 percent.

That's right.

Four million people
in this country alone

have difficulty even
hearing television

and can't even enjoy it.

Well, I'm sorry, honey.

I was jealous, and I wanted
to find out who you were with.

You will meet him tomorrow.

We walk and feed him at noon.

He's 97.



Here's your present, Pop.

Oh, you mean that you're
really gonna give me a gift

after all... everything?

Yeah. It's from all of us.

Rollo, Esther,
Woody, Donna and me.

Wow, must be worth about $50.

A hundred.

A hundred-dollar gift?

A hundred-dollar gift.

Nothing in here,
son, but a card.

Ah, read the card, Fred.


"One hundred dollars
has been donated

"to Los Angeles League
for the Hard of Hearing

in honor of Fred G. Sanford."

The "G" stands for
your "generosity."

I know that "G"
stands for "Gonna cry."