Sanford and Son (1972–1977): Season 6, Episode 19 - The Will - full transcript

Fred suffers amnesia after being bludgeoned with Esther's silver-plated Bible. Having looked death in the face, Fred wants to get his affairs in order and so prepares his last will and testament and summons his friends for its reading.


See, I'll get in
bright and early

before they can tell me
he's stepped out for the day.

Hello. Is the tax
assessor there?

He stepped out for the day?

Yeah, you can take a message.

Tell him Robin Hood called.

I wanna shove five of
my merry men up his nose.

I can tell you stayed up

and watched the
late movie last night.

Yeah, son, I like
that Robin Hood.

He took from the rich
and gave it to the poor.

Ah, that's the way
to whip inflation.

That's the way. I wonder
where that mailman is.

I don't know.

But I'd like to know why

you haven't paid the
property taxes yet, Pop.

They can add a 7
percent penalty for that.

I haven't paid it and
I'm not gonna pay it,

because part of my taxes
go for public transportation,

and the only buses
I see around here

are the ones
hauling kids to school

that they don't
even want to go to.

Come on, Pop, you
can't fight City Hall.

They'll just end up
throwing you in jail.

Then I'll go on a hunger
strike. Goodbye, menudo.

You know you're impossible?

Listen, son, don't worry,
because nothing's gonna happen.

I mean, we're not gonna get
in no trouble at all because...

Listen, do you
think for one moment

that I would risk
losing all of this?

What are you up to, Pop?

You'll see. I know I will.


I'm not kidding, son.

See, we're gonna be freed

from the nagging,
persistent pain of taxes,

and everything else!

Speaking of nagging,
persistent pain.

Watch it, sucker.

Hello, Lamont.

Hello, Aunt Esther.

Nothing you can say will
upset me this morning.

I've had a good night's sleep
and I'm as happy as a lark.

Then why don't you
just fly on out of here

and dig up a worm
for your breakfast.

Hey, Pop, why don't
you dig yourself?

Aunt Esther's not bothering you.

That old heathen will never
give me a moment's relief.

Esther, do you know
how I spell "relief"?


Relief up your N-O-Z-E, nose.

Would you stop it? Just
stop it right now, okay?

How's Uncle Woody, Aunt Esther?

He's fine, thank you. Good.

He'll be here later. Oh.

Mm-hmm. Here's your mail.

Oh, hey, thanks a lot.

Hey, give me that. I'm expecting
some important mail here.

Let's see.

Southern California Gas.

Pacific Telephone.

Sev... 7-Eleven
revolving charge account.

Nothing but junk mail.

Hey, wait a minute. What's this?

Oh, that came in the mail.

I guess it got mixed
up with the magazines.

It's got the right address
but the wrong name.

This is addressed to a
Reverend F.G. Sanford,

of the Divine Prophet Church.

That's mine, son. That's
what I've been waiting for.

This could be the big ticket.

Who's Reverend Sanford?

This is it, son.
We're on top now.

This is the express
train to easy street.

No more worries, no more bills,

and especially no more taxes.

What are you talking about, Pop?

Son, I've just been
ordained a full-fledged,

bona fide, legal minister in
the Divine Prophet Church.

Get my tambourine.

What respectable church

would ordain a
beady-eyed jackal like you?

Now that I'm a man of
the cloth, Sister Esther,

I suggest you behave
yourself in my church

because I'll
ex-communicate your face.

Wait a minute. Let
me have a look at that.

This can't be right. Let me see.


I'm gonna take a look.

Hi, Fred.

Hey, what's happening, Fred?

Well, well, Brother
Bubba. Do come in.

Brother Bubba?

Hey, don't tell me you got it?

It arrived this morning. Yeah?

Bubba, you are now talking to

the Very Right Reverend
Fred G. Sanford.


And the G stands
for "going to heaven."


Hey, this... This looks legal.

Well, it better be legal

because it took me for 10 bucks.

Sure it's legal, Lamont.

Didn't you see that guy on
television talking about it?

Man, he's selling them
things by the thousands.

Yeah, but what good is it?

What good is it?

Did you ever hear of
a church paying taxes?

Huh? Answer me.

Upon this junk I
shall build my church.

I'm a divine prophet.

And that's what I
call divinely profitable.


You better not play with the
Good Book, you old heathen,

or the Lord will cast
you into the fiery furnace!

Esther, in your case, I'm
available for exorcisms.

I can take you somewhere
and beat the devil out of you.

Fred Sanford, you are immoral,

indecent, blasphemous,

and the fires of hell
is gonna reach right up

and pull you down!

Goeth ye of little faith.

Vengeance is mine!

And ugly is yours.

Get thee behind me, Satan.

Oh, glory!


Have you read any of
those documents yet?

It says in order for a
church to be tax exempt,

it has to be a corporation, man,

with a president, a
treasurer and a secretary.

That's right.

I'm the president,

and you and Bubba are
all the president's men.

Hey, wait a minute.

Just count me out of this

because it's wrong
and I don't think it's legal.

It is legal.

If the big churches can do it,

then why can't the
little churches do it?

I mean, it's called
free enterprise, dummy.

Pop, I can't believe that you
and Bubba would use the church

for a get-rich-quick
scheme, man.

It's not right and
both of you know it.

This Bishop Lovelace
guy who runs the church

is getting rich selling those
franchises all over the country.

That doesn't make
it legal, Bubba.

I've got a friend
that's a lawyer.

I'm gonna call him up, and
he's gonna check this thing out.

But if he doesn't say
what I want to hear,

I'm gonna grab him by his
briefs and habeas his corpus.

Well, it's legal, all right.

Constitutionally, that is.

What is that supposed to mean?

Let me put it like this.

There's no law to stop it.

You see, Article One
of the Constitution states

that Congress shall make no laws

respecting the
establishment of religion,

or prohibiting the
free exercise thereof.

You see, son, like
you always told me,

I need more exercise thereof.

The signed application
was, in effect,

a legal contractual instrument.

And without seeing it, Lamont,

that's about all I can tell you

except be careful

because these things
can backfire on you.

Well, thanks a lot for
coming over, Walter,

and, you know, going
to all that trouble.

No trouble at all. Let
me know how it turns out.

Look, I'll tell you what,

just send me a bill for
your services, okay?

Oh, no charge.

Consider it a
donation to the church.

Hey, that's very nice of you.

When you come to my
services, I'll save you a front seat.

Well, that's very nice
of you, Mr. Sanford,

but I'm of a different sect.

That's the trouble
with the world today:

too much sect.

FRED: ♪ Counting up the
dough Counting up the dough ♪

♪ We shall come rejoicing
Counting up the dough ♪

♪ Counting up The dough ♪♪

Hey, Fred, you look
great. Don't he, Woody?


If I didn't see it
with my own eyes,

I swear I wouldn't believe it.

Say, Fred, you could even
pass for respectable in that outfit.

And I'll drink to that.

You're not drinking here.

You're not drinking
nothing here.

Okay, come on, let's
get down to business.


Now, look, I'm
officially calling

the first church board of
directors meeting to order.

Brother Bubba,
you're the secretary.

Brother Woody,
you're the treasurer,

but I'll keep the money
and you keep the records.

Okay. Look, Fred, are we
going to get paid for these jobs?

You'll be in my daily prayers.

Now, let's get to the
first order of business,

which is business.

See, I figure between the
collection of bake sales,

bingo games, senior
citizens' dances,

arts and crafts sales,

plus fees for baptisms,
weddings and funerals,

we can make a killing.

WOODY: Right, right.

Say, listen, though,

what kind of wine are you
gonna serve for the services?

Well, we've got to keep
the expenses down,

so we'll serve
fermented Kool-Aid.

And after the services,

we'll open the cash bar
for the hallelujah hour.

Hey, Fred, you're
gonna be a rich man.

Yeah, that's just for openers.

See, I can sell all this junk
and don't have to pay no taxes.

Hey, son,

we just finished a committee
meeting for the trustees.

Pop, what are you wearing?

This is the latest in
double-knit holy casuals.

Well, I think His Holiness
is here to see you.

Won't you come in?

I'd like you to meet my father,
the Very Wrong Reverend Sanford.

Reverend Sanford,
how nice to meet you.

I am Bishop Lovelace, the head
of the Divine Prophet Church.

I'm sorry to
surprise you like this,

but I just wanted to
stop by to wish you luck.

How do you do,
Your Bishopshipness?

So nice of you
to pay us a visit.

This is my son
Lamont, the unbeliever.

And these are my trusted friars,

Bubba Tuck and
Woody the wino-hearted.

How are you?

Pleasure to meet you.

Where will your devotional
services take place,

Reverend Sanford?

You're standing in it.

Where will the pulpit
be, and the pews?

The pulpit will be right here

and the pews will be
wherever Woody is.


Well, we'll see you
later, Fred... I mean, Rev.

Come on, Woody, let's go.

Yeah, let's get out of here.

Don't be long.

Remember, an idle mind
is the devil's workshop.

Well put, Reverend.

I'm glad to see you're a
man who uses the Proverbs.

Oh, sure. Proverbs,
pronouns, adjectives, adverbs.

I use them all.

Frankly, Reverend Sanford,

I was hoping to see

a little more of a traditional
establishment for my church.

Can you make it look a little
more like a house of worship?

I'm having a religious picture

painted on the
ceiling next week,

like Michelangelo.

It's gonna be Moses parting
an oil spill in El Segundo.

Excuse me, Bishop Lovelace,

but did I hear you
say your church?

Yes, that's right.

All the Divine Prophet
associated churches

are technically my property.

You mean all the money that
I make from the bingo games

and bake sales and the
wine-tasting contest is yours?

Oh, no. Not at all.

If you read the agreement,

I only receive a
small percentage.

How much? Fifty percent.

But that's just a
voluntary donation,

a mandatory voluntary donation.

Well, look here, can
I ask you a question?

Why, of course.

Are you crazy?!

Believe me, Reverend Sanford,

when your church
begins to get involved

in large land
speculations, trust deeds

and commercial-property

you'll find that my services

will be well worth
the percentage.

Well, what else do you own?

Well, technically,

our contract gives me ownership

of the Sanford and
Son junk business,

your home and property,
both real and personal.

Hey, now, just wait a second.
This whole thing is ridiculous.

You mean to tell me that
you can take over our business

and throw us out
of our own house?

Well, of course, I would
never do such a thing.

Believe me, your
property is safe,

as long as your church exists.

Now, what if the
church ceases to exist?

Well, in that case,

the property reverts to the
ownership of the mother church

and I would have
to dispose of it.

Of course, the
same thing happens

if you miss paying the
voluntary mandatory donation

for two straight months.

Nice going, champ.

You signed away
everything we own to a crook.

There is nothing crooked
about the Divine Prophet Church,

Mr. Sanford.

I mean, if people want to
use it for crooked purposes,

that's their business

and no concern of
the mother church.

That's right, son.

And remember, to err is human,

and to lay five on this
chump would be divine.

No, come on, Pop.

And another thing I
neglected to tell you,

your first services must
take place within 12 hours

of receiving your charter,

or else ownership reverts to me.

Don't worry, we'll have them.

Then I leave you in peace.

You're lucky you're not
leaving here in pieces.

I wish you wouldn't
hold me. I'll uppercut him.

You know, now
you've done it, Pop.

Now you have really done
it. What are we gonna do?

Don't give up, son.

There's one thing that
can get us out of this mess.

What's that?

Let us pray. Oh, no.

Look, I'm really worried
because this thing is serious.

Now, if Pop keeps the church

this bishop is going to
make our lives miserable,

and if Pop drops it,

he'll take away
everything we own.

I mean, we can't win either way.

Man, that's too bad.

Hey. Oh, hey, Pop.

I was just filling in Bubba
and Jimmy on the thing...

Who's Jimmy?

Oh, this is Jimmy. He's
Officer Smith's friend.

Smitty couldn't make it.

You said you wanted a
policeman here, so Jimmy came.

Okay, great.

Where have you been?

I've been up in the
chapel, meditating.

We thought you fell in
and baptized yourself.


See, I was reading this
pamphlet from the church.

Well, I hope there's a prayer
in there for the homeless.

We only got four hours

before we're supposed to
have our first service, you know.

Yeah, what are
you gonna do, Fred?

I was reading through
the church papers,

and I found out some information
that might solve our problem.

Oh, yeah? What did it say?

Well, see, the church
has no set rules

for what kind of
services you can conduct.

So you could do your own thing.

All right.

If the bishop told
people how to worship,

he'd lose a lot of customers.

FRED: That's right.

What are you driving
at, Mr. Sanford?

See, the church can be
fundamentalist, Baptist,

spiritualist, or anything
you want, right?

You said that to say what?

I'm saying, dummy,

that the bishop's got a
money-making deal going

and can't afford any trouble.

What kind of trouble?

I'm going to bring back some
good old-time religion tonight.


Oh, glory!

What is this?

I ain't never seen
nothing like this in my life.

The man has lost his mind.

Yes, he has.

What kind of a dive
pagan put-on is this?

This doesn't look like
any church I've ever seen.

I think, Esther, we should
really be getting out of here.

You know,

I just want to see that
Fred Sanford fall on his face,

but I think I've seen enough.

Ladies, please, don't leave yet.

I'm sure that Reverend Sanford

has an interesting
program arranged for us

to justify the collection he'll
be making during the service.

Who are you?

I'm Bishop Lovelace,

the national president of
the Divine Prophet Church.

What kind of church
are you running

to allow a slippery old fox
like him to become a minister?

Well, don't be too harsh
on Reverend Sanford.

Many a wayward soul have repent

after receiving
the higher calling,

and gone on to spend
the rest of their lives

doing good work.

I think he'll surprise you.

Yeah, you can say that again.

Oh, good evening, officer.

Welcome to the
Divine Prophet Church.

It's comforting to
see a policeman

take time from his busy schedule

to come worship with us.

I didn't come to worship.

I'm here to check things out.

The police have had this
place staked out for a long time.

But don't worry, they
don't know a thing.

I'm just gonna wait one
more minute, then I'm leaving.


Hey, I'm leaving right now.

No, no, wait, wait.

Sit down, sit down, it's
okay. Go on, it's okay.

But, Woodrow... It's okay.



and sometimes Y.

All rise.

Oh, sit down.

Here's the founder
of our new sect:

the Seventh Day
Junkist, Fred G. Sanford.

And the G stands for
"glory, glory hallelujah."

Hello, brethren and sisteren.


Hi, Fred!

Uh, Your... Your

Why are you dressed
like that, heathen?

Now, please, sister,

don't interrupt the services,

or I shall have to have you

kicked in the rear
of the sanctuary.

Reverend Sanford, what...?
What is the meaning of this?

The meaning of this is
that we are all Junkies

who practice Junkism,
each and every way,

each in his own heart.

Let us pray.

Give me a J!


Give me a U!


Give me an N! ALL: N!

Give me a K! ALL: K!

What are you giving me?

ALL: Junk!

Well, all right!

Now, I say unto you,

you who are without
sin, pick up some.


Oh, Tut, Lord of Grapes,

we've had enough hatred,
bloodshed and crookedness,

we've had enough of
being lied to and lied on

and being cheated by
the agents of the devil.

When will it all end?

Brother against brother.

Sister against sister.

Godzilla against Gork.

Minnesota against Oakland.

Let us send the evil...
and the ugly away!

Oh, Tut, Lord of Grapes,

cast out our enemies!

The fungus is among us.

You can say that again.



The Tub is speaking.

Reverend Sanford, I protest.

Don't interrupt the Tub, bishop.

The Tub says...

The Tub says...

Tut wants a
sacrifice in his honor,

or we'll be plagued by locusts

at the height of the
Watts Summer Festival.

Who among you will
volunteer for the sacrifice?

Great Tut, open your book,

send us a believer.

Pure of heart and not too smart,

skin is tight and pearly white.

We see you.

S-s-somebody stop this.

Tut has spoken.

Not the best, but junk is junk.

You're crazy.

The sacrificial victim
shall not speak!

You're all nuts.

Since this is our
opening ceremony,

I think it's only right
for me, the president,

to take the first whack.

What greater love has man
than to sacrifice a friend?

You're all nuts!

Here. Here's your 10 bucks back.

Tear up your church
charter and anything else.

You don't owe me anything.

I just want to get out of here.

I want to get away
from you crazy people.


Arrest them people!

Take a walk, Wonder Woman.

Okay, now, let's get
down to business.

Brother Bubba... Yes, sir?

You're gonna pass
around this collection plate.

And remember,

it's better to give than to
get one across your lips.

And while Brother
Bubba passes among you,

I'm going to read our
social calendar for the week.

Our Senior citizens' hustle
contest and potluck dinner

will be held on Friday night.

Admission is $2 per person.

Bring your own food
and your own music.

On Wednesday we're having
our first annual Bigot Beer Bash.

So bring a bigot and some
beer, and we'll bash them.

Now, we've got Millionaire's
Night on Thursday.

We're having bingo,
keno, craps, roulette,

and we're taking action

on Friday's races
at Hollywood Park.

Now, remember,
we're freeway-close.

We're open seven days a week

for baptisms, weddings...

It was a great idea, Pop,

but we still have to
pay the property taxes.

Yeah, I've been
thinking about that.

Hey, man, thinking about
it isn't gonna get it paid.

We gotta do something.

I am.

I'm gonna raise hell about
it in next week's sermon.