Sanford and Son (1972–1977): Season 6, Episode 17 - When John Comes Marching Home - full transcript

Lamont's engagement to Janet is jeopardized by the unexpected return of her ex-husband John.


Hey, Bubba, uh, hold
these for me a minute.

Glad to, Fred.

Let me freshen this up, here.

It's gonna be perfect.

Now, Bubba, wh...

Where are those
rubber bottle-stoppers?

They were on this
plate a minute ago.

Well, what do
you think of it, son?

Hey, it's beautiful, Pop.

You really went all out.

Yeah, of course I did.

How many times am I
gonna cater a bridal shower

for my son's fiancée?

Yeah, Janet's
gonna really love this.

Is there something
bothering you, son?

Huh? Something bothering you?

No, Pop. Why?

You just acupunctured a cupcake.

I guess I just got
a lot on my mind.

Well, I know how you feel,

because everybody gets a little
nervous before that big plunge.

Really? Sure.

How do you think I felt
before I married your mother?

Nervous? Nervous.

How do you think Bubba
felt before he married his wife?

Nervous? Nervous.

And how do you think Woody felt

when he married
your Aunt Esther?



I guess you're right, Pop.

Maybe I am just
a little nervous.


Uh, I'll get it.

Come in!

Oh, Lamont, this is
such a glorious day.

I just love bridal showers.

Oh, it just reminds me of my
beautiful courtship with Woodrow

and our wonderful wedding.

I remember your wedding, Esther.

Never forget it.

Three ushers were crushed

trying to help give you away.

How would you
know, Fred Sanford?

You spent the whole night with
your face over the punchbowl.

Yeah, and when
you took your veil off,

Woodrow spent the whole night

with his face over
the toilet bowl.

You just jealous because
you didn't catch my garter.

Oh, that's because
when you threw it,

it was so stretched out
you lassoed the band.

Watch it, sucker.

And at the time, the band
was playing your song.

Never forget it.

The "Love Theme" from King Kong.

Hey, come on, Pop,

this is supposed to be
a happy occasion, man.

Now, don't go spoiling it

by starting a fight
with Aunt Esther.

Thank you, Lamont.

You know, Janet will
be here in a few minutes.

We better get busy.

Yeah, you have to leave, Lamont.

See, because it's bad luck

for the groom to see
the bride take a shower

before the wedding.

It's not bad luck.

Woodrow was at my bridal shower.

Woodrow saw you in the
shower before you all was married

and he still married you?


Hey, partner. I'm
sorry I'm late, man.

Hey, man, where you been, Rollo?

I've been here for over an
hour waiting for you, man.

Oh, man, I was discussing
politics with Marian Hastings.

She's very liberal.

Really? Yeah.

She kept saying, uh,

"More to the left,
Rollo. More to the left."

You understand, man?

Yeah, yeah, I
understand. I understand.

Say, look, man, when are
the other guys gonna get here?

What other guys?

What other guys?

This is my stag
party, isn't it, Rollo?

You know, they
had dates tonight.

But they wish you the best.

Thanks a lot.

It's okay, man. Look,
this is the way it should be.

The groom and
his best friend, huh?

I mean, you can't beat that.

Look, I even brought
you a present.

Hey, man, you
didn't have to do that.

You got me a present.
Yeah, it's all right.

You go ahead and
open the thing, man.

Thanks a lot, Rollo. What is it?

Hey, man, it's a combination
nightlight and skillet.

They call it the
flash in the pan.

Thanks a lot.

Hey, hey, waiter.


We have a wedding to celebrate,

so give us two glasses
of your best house wine.

Oh! Who's the lucky fellow?

Well, I'm the one
that's getting married.

Oh, then you're
the lucky fellow!

No, man.


Would you like some good advice?


Well, do exactly what I did.

Don't be henpecked,

and be sure to marry for money.

Well, if you married for money
how come you waiting tables?

My wife owns the place.

No. Yes.

Look, would you just
bring the wine, please?


Hey, Lamont. Hey, man, I'm
sure gonna miss you, Jack.

Hey, man, we had some
great times together.

What you talking about, Rollo?

"Had some great times," man?

I'm just getting married.

Ain't nothing changed.


ROLLO: Are you sure
you're ready for marriage?

Rollo, I-I don't even
know her name.

Oh, oh, you mean,
um, uh... Janet.

Yeah, yeah, Janet. I guess
so. You know, why not?

Yeah, well, I'm
glad you're sure.

But I don't think
marriage is for me.

I mean, I dig security and
home cooking and all that jazz.

So why don't you get married?

And give up sex?


Hey, you really
cleaned up, baby.

Oh, I got some terrific
presents, Lamont.

And little Roger, he
had such a good time

helping me open all my gifts.

Oh, wait till you see
all the things we got.

Well, maybe tomorrow.

I'm a little tired.

You know how those
wild stag parties can get.

No. Tell me about it.

No, I can't do that. You'd
be too embarrassed.

Try me.


Try to let your imagination
run wild with you.

And when you get to the
part about me and Rollo

sitting in a bar alone, having
a boring conversation, stop.

Just the two of you?

No, no, there were
some other guys there.

Let me see, uh, Tom
Collins showed up.

Harvey Wallbanger fell
through there for a while.

And there was some
black Russian dude

whose name escapes
me at the moment.

What happened to
the rest of your friends?

Why didn't they show up?

Well, they were out with
girls, having a good time.


Were you sorry you
weren't with them?

No. Are you kidding?

I'm glad that my single
days are just about over.

Well... Hey, wait.

I gotta get up early in the
morning, so I better leave.

Oh... Now... Mwah! Yeah.

Goodnight, Lamont.
Goodnight, baby.



Did you forget something...?

Hello, Janet.


It's been a long time.

What are you doing here?

Oh, well, I'm stationed
here now, and I...

Well, I just wanted
to talk to you.

I don't understand.

Mom, I can't sleep.

Hey, Roger.


Hey! Come here.


A man can't even
clean up his own place...


No. Lamont's my son.

I'm Fred G. Sanford,

and the "G" is
for "Guadalcanal."

Uh, wanna see my diary?

Were you a veteran?

That's right.

Did you see much action?

Well, only on leave.

Come on in. Oh, thank you.

Mr. Sanford, maybe
you can help me.

Yeah, well, I carry a large
stock of military memorabilia.

Oh. Well... I'll show
you. Look here.

Now, these are the
original boxer shorts

worn by Teddy Roosevelt

during his charge
up San Juan Hill.

Uh, only 9.95.

But this is just a burlap bag.

That's why they called
him "The Rough Rider."

Mr. Sanford, really...

I know, soldier. I know,
you're a little short of cash.

But don't worry.

I mean, you're just
in time to qualify

for the Sanford and
Son military discount.

All you have to do is serve
in any of the armed forces

or have watched two Bob
Hope Christmas specials.

Mr. Sanford, I don't
want to buy anything.

I want to talk to
your son, Lamont.

Well, Lamont's not home,
so you can talk to me.

Well, it's kind of personal.

I-I think I better
talk to him myself.

Listen, would you do me a favor

and ask to meet
me at Kelley's Bar,

say, at 6?

Uh, are you a friend of his?

Uh, well, no, we haven't met,

but we do have
something in common.

Uh, I'm a friend of Janet's.

She's gonna be
my daughter-in-law.

Uh, where you know her from?

Uh, well, we went to the
same wedding a few years ago.

That's nice. Yeah.

I'll give Lamont your
message. Thank you, sir.

Uh, wait a minute. Yeah.

Since you're a friend of Janet's

I can give you a
break on these shorts.

Uh, $6.

Forgive me, Teddy.

I-I think I'll pass.

But don't be hasty, now.

I mean, this is a
chunk of history here.

Every time you look at these,
you can hear the immortal words

of Teddy saying...
"Remember the Maine."

No. "Pass the salve."

Uh, excuse me. Yes?

You again?

Back for more advice?

No. I'm looking for
somebody in a uniform.

Uh, how about a
cute little nurse?

Or did you have your
heart set on a doorman?

Never mind. I think I see him.

Lamont? Yeah, uh...

You must be, uh, Janet's friend.

Well, actually,
more like a relative.

Oh, that's right.

You're Janet's brother.

But she doesn't have a brother.

Oh, I know!

You're her cousin
that's in the Army.

No, her cousin's in the Navy.

It's her ex-husband
that's in the Ar...


Could you make mine a double?

It's getting late, gentlemen.

[DRUNKENLY] Well, just
go whenever you're ready

and I'll turn out the lights.

like to propose a toast

to you and Janet.

No, no. Allow me.

To you and Janet.

To Janet. To Janet.

All right.

You know, John,

when you told me
you wanted Janet back,

I wanted to punch
you right in the nose.

You what?

I wanted to punch
you right on the nose.

Oh. Well, why didn't you?

Well, because I
wanted to find out...

I wanted to hear
the whole story first.

Well, do you still wanna
punch me in the nose?

I don't think so. I don't
even think I can find it.


Well, I wouldn't blame you.

Janet's worth fighting for.

Yeah, she's some woman.

I can see why you want her back.

Yeah. I love her, Lamont.

We had a great
relationship, but I blew it.

What happened?

We got married.

I mean, we were too
young when we got married.

I was immature
and irresponsible.

We fought all the time.

Finally, we just decided
that the best thing to do

was to get a divorce.


what makes you think it's
gonna be different this time?

Because I'm different.

Oh, I see. Yep.

See, I-I'm gonna make
things different this time.

The Army has taught me
how to be a better husband.

I-I know when to
keep my mouth shut,

and I-I do as I'm told.

And I make bed
check every night.

And I know I can make
Roger a good father,

and give him
somebody to look up to.

Waiter? Waiter?

That looks delicious. I'll
have another bowl, please.


Here, son. Drink this.

Hey, Pop, please,
don't say "drink."

No, this'll make
you feel better.

It's my old recipe,
guaranteed to cure a hangover.

Now, drink as much
of it as you can,

and what's left over, we can
use it to simonize the truck.

What's in it?

Well, just a little castor
oil and a pinch of vinegar

and some bat hair.

I know this might
sound a little strange,

but where did you
get the bat hair?

Out of your Aunt Esther's comb.

Well, maybe later, Pop. Not now.

Okay, suit yourself.

I hate to waste stuff.

She changed her hairspray.

Lamont, I've never
seen you like this.

Yeah, and you'll never
see me like this again, Pop.

I feel awful.

Yeah, you must.

Last night, you came home and
hung your clothes in the closet.

I always hang my
clothes in the closet.

Yeah, but usually
you take them off.

Well, I had a good
reason to get drunk, Pop.

All I know is some guy
asked you to meet him

and you came home smashed.

He wasn't just "some guy," Pop.

He was Sergeant John Lawson,

otherwise known as
Janet's ex-husband.

Isn't that nice?

He heard y'all
were getting married

and came to congratulate you.


Then what did he want, then?


Oh, I see.

Uh, Janet told him to get lost

and you helped him
drown his sorrows.

I'm not sure what
Janet told him, Pop.

I don't even know how she feels.

Well, you better
get over to Janet's

to straighten things out.

I can't do it now,
Pop. I feel awful.

I gotta go lie down.

Yeah, but what about
Janet and that GI gigolo?

I'll take care of that tomorrow.

I'll take care of that later.

Okay, son.

Well, if you need me,
I'll be watching television.

Thanks a lot.

Over at Janet's.


[QUIETLY] Janet?




Hey, baby. I'm
glad you came back.

Hey, man!


Hold it! Hold it!

What are you talking about?

Just a minute. Why are you...?

Y-y-you home-wrecker!
Wait, wait!

What are you doing here?

Y-y-you gigolo in khaki!

Well, wait a
minute, Mr. Sanford.

What are you doing here?

What am I doing here?!

I'm about to turn you

into a five-star
general, that's what.

Put up your hands.

No, wait a minute,
now, man. Wait a minute.

Just let me try
to explain, okay?

I know what you're thinking.
You don't think I should be here.

Oh, that's not
what I'm thinking.

I'm thinking about giving
you a face alteration,

and you can pick it up Tuesday.

No, wait, Mr. Sanford,
please, please.

I'll explain to you.
You mind if I sit down?

I got a terrible hangover.

Well, then, start talking.

All right.

Oh, look, I know it's
hard to understand,

but try and put
yourself in my position.

You mean, lay
down there with you?

No, no, I mean, just try to
see things my way, that's all.

Hey, man... Wait a
minute, Mr. Sanford...

Mr. Sanford, all I did

is come over here this morning
to see Janet and my son,

and they went out and I
passed out on the couch.

I mean, that's all.

"That's all"? You're trying
to take Janet from Lamont.

No, I'm not trying steal her.

Mr. Sanford, I don't think that
Janet wants to marry Lamont.

What are you talking about?

Lamont and Janet are very happy.

I mean, we've had a bridal
shower and everything.

Look, I didn't know
Janet was engaged.

When I came back, I just
wanted to see her and my son

and to ask for a second chance.

What about Lamont?

Well, I don't mean
to hurt anybody.

I mean, he's a nice man.

But, uh, look, if Janet
wants to marry him

then I'll wish him
good luck and ship out.

You mean it?

Yeah. My word of honor,
one soldier to another.

Yeah, I was one of the best.

It's all coming back to me now.

Yeah, I remember crashing
in the Pacific in 1942.

You mean a Zero shot you
down out of the skies at Iwo Jima?

No, a bigot threw me
off the pier at El Segundo.

Bubba, I wish there
was something I could do

to keep Lamont
and Janet together.


No, you can't
have your gift back.


Hold on, Bubba. There's
someone at the door.

Come in.

Hi, Dad. Oh, Janet.

Uh, I'll be with
you in a minute.

Uh, sorry to keep
you waiting, mayor.


You were saying
how wonderful it was

for Lamont to rescue
those three people

from that burning building.

Oh, well, I told
you, forget the gift.

I mean, the reward.

Yeah, Lamont never
accepts rewards

for routine bravery.

Well, bye, Tom.

Lamont rescued three
people from a burning building?

Well, actually, it was four.

See, one woman was pregnant

and Lamont helped
deliver the baby

on the way down the ladder.

Isn't he wonderful?

Yes, he is. Yeah.

Is he home?

Don't say nothing
to him about it,

because you know
how modest he is.

Yes, I know. I won't. Good.

Hi, Janet. I was just on
my way over to see you.

I couldn't wait.

I have to talk to you.

We do have a lot to talk about.

We sure do.

Pop, this is just between
Janet and myself.

Would you mind
excusing yourself?

But I'm an expert
in domestic affairs.

Good. Go wait in the kitchen.

Wait in the kitchen...

This is really difficult for me.

Well, maybe I can make it
a little easier for you, Janet.

See, um, I'm not sure if
I want the responsibility

of having a wife and a family.

You're not?

It's just that I need
more time to think,

and I think you've got
some unfinished business.

Ever since John came
back, I've been confused.

I don't know what to do.

Hey, baby, if you're confused
and I'm having doubts,

there's only one
thing we can do.

Will you hold this for me?

You know where it goes.

Maybe it's only temporary.

I hope so.

There's just one other thing.


I love you.

Now that everything's
all patched up,

I thought you two might
like some Oreo cookies

and a bowl of warm menudo.

Uh, where's Janet?

She left, Pop. She's gone.

She gave me back Mom's
ring. She put it in the drawer.

You mean the wedding's off?

I'm afraid so.


Your mother's wedding
ring is beautiful, son.

I mean, maybe one day

you'll be able to slip
it on a girl's finger,

the right girl's
finger, like I did.

Is it final?

I think so.

Gee, I feel so bad.

Hey, come on, Pop.

Pull yourself together, man.

Then I guess you won't
be moving out of the house?

Well, not right now.

It's a terrible thing to happen.

Hey, would you stop it?

Now, if I can take
it, you certainly can.

Yeah, but... can
Charlie Phillips take it?

Who's that?

That's who rented your room.

Hey, Pop, I can't believe
you rented out my room, man.

Well, I only did
it for the money.

I figured that since
you were married

and had a family to support,

that I could use
the extra money.

Hey, I can understand that.
But everything's changed now.

Yeah, we could still
use the extra money.

What do you mean?

Well, you've always said

how comfortable
this couch is here.

Hey, wait a minute.

I don't think it's right
to have some stranger

sleeping in our living room.

I don't consider
you a stranger, son.

Will you stop that?

I'm gonna call this
Charlie Phillips.

You got the number?


I'm gonna get this
now, and I'm gonna call.

I'm gonna call the number.


Hi, Freddy!

FRED: Hello.

Who are you?

I'm Charlotte Phillips, but
everyone calls me Charlie.

Can you show me to my room?

Your room?

So it wasn't for the money.

Uh, come on, Charlie.