Sanford and Son (1972–1977): Season 6, Episode 20 - Fred the Activist - full transcript

Angered by the age discrimination policy of a local stereo dealer, Fred rallies a troop of Gray Foxes and leads the charge to change the policy.



That ends that.

Can I ask you a question?


What did you just hit me with?

It was that old record
player, son. I'm sorry.

That's the best it
sounded in years.

Well, I admit it was
in bad shape, Pop,

but at least it played.

But not as good
as our new stereo.

Wait a second. We
can't afford a new stereo.

Say what?

I said, we can't
afford a new stereo.

That's why I'm stealing one.

You see, that's what
Honest Al said on TV.

His stereo special is a
steal at 19.95 a month.

For how many months?

Forty-eight months.

Forty-eight months?

Pop, that's four years.

You're paying
more for the interest

than you will for the stereo.

Honest Al wouldn't
rip nobody off.

Oh, sheesh.

I mean it.

See, I really got
to know him today,

because he came on TV 32
times during the movie matinee.

Oh, my... It was a
great picture too, son.

Gork fights a giant cyclops.

You see, when cyclops
was losing, he cried.

Tears fell in the Pacific Ocean

and caused a tidal
wave in El Segundo.

Would you stop that?

Anyway, I called Honest Al,
and he's on his way over here.

Honest Al.

Pop, with a name like Honest Al,

he couldn't possibly be honest.

Why not?

Tricky Dicky was tricky.


I'll get that.

You don't have to
bother, I'll get that myself.


You Honest Al?

Honest Hank of Honest Al's.



Well, where's Honest Al?

He's in court.

I think you're making a
fine choice, Mr. Sanford.

Wait a minute, wait a minute.

He's not making
any choice. I am.

You want to buy a stereo?

I happen to be a
great music lover.

Can you still hear well enough

to appreciate fine
music, old man?

Can you still see well
enough, youngster,

to duck some of these?

Hey, Pop, dig yourself.

I'm sorry, Mr. Sanford.

It's just that most of our
customers are younger.

What kind of stereo
were you interested in?

The one Honest Al
talked about on TV,

the Quasimodo.

Oh, you mean the quadrasonic.

Yeah, yeah, that one too.

Our quadrasonic sells
for $475 without tax.

Honest Al said it
was 19.95 a month.

He wants to buy it on time.

That's not possible.

Why not?

Four years is a long time.

And when a man reaches
your age, Mr. Sanford,

you never know
when He'll be calling.

Well, if you don't sell
me that stereo on time,

He might be calling you
sooner than you think.

Look, it's not up to
me. It's company policy.

We don't sell on time
to anyone over 65.

Who said I was 65?

I'm 47.


And how old is your son?

He just had his
sweet 16th party.

Oh. He did?

Yeah, at Manny's Menudo
Manor on Manchester.

Yeah, see, we Sanfords

have always looked
somewhat old for our age.


Excuse me.

Just like Esther

has always looked
somewhat ugly for her age.

Watch it, sucker.

Hello, Lamont.

Hi, Aunt Esther.

We were having a
bake sale at the church,

and I know how much
you like sweet potato pie.

Oh, hey. Thank you, Aunt Esther.

It was awfully nice
of you to think of me.

Mrs. Anderson?

Honest Hank. How are you?

I'm fine.

You mean you two
know each other?

Oh, I bought a stereo
from Hank a few weeks ago

for only 19.95 a month.

Why did you sell her one
and didn't sell me one?

Well, Mrs. Anderson isn't old.

No, she's just ugly.

How dare you call me ugly!

I dare not call you
anything else but ugly.

It's a sin to tell a lie.

Fred Sanford, you
are an evil man,

and someday you're gonna pay.

I'm paying now just
by looking at you.

Don't you see, Hank?

Ugly people are as much
a big a risk as old people.

Like, any time now, a
policeman might mistake Esther

for a Bigfoot and
shoot her on sight.

Now, what about my stereo, Hank?

As I said earlier,
Mr. Sanford, you're too old.

But your son can sign for it.

Hey, no way. I'm not going to
get ripped off by them charges.

I'm surprised you bought a
stereo on time, Aunt Esther.

Well, it was the only way I
could afford one, Lamont.

And it does work well.

Of course.

At Honest Al's we sell
the best for the least.

Wouldn't sell me one, but
you sold one to the beast.

Well, uh... I gotta run.

Let me know if you
change your mind.

How would you like
me to change your face?

Good day.

Not selling me one
just because I'm old.

I feel useless and worthless.

Well, I think I better
be running along too.

Goodbye, Lamont.

Goodbye, Aunt Esther.

Goodbye, Gramps.

Back to your cave, bat.

Why, you old, miserable
gray-headed, fish-eyed fool!

Oh, glory!

What kind of a
world is this, son?

Ugly is good, and old is bad.

Hey, come on,
Pop. You're not old.

You've still got

a lot of productive
years in front of you.

Yeah, well, if you are what
comes out of my assembly line,

I'm closing down production.

It's not easy being an
old man in a young world.

I know, Pop.

Unfortunately, our
society is youth-oriented.

Yeah, see, the only time
you see old people in TV

is in laxative and
denture commercials.

The whole world must think
that everyone over 65 years old

ain't got no teeth and
they're constipated.

You know, Pop,

if you're really angry
with this guy Honest Al,

there's something
that you can do about it.

I mean, there's a
group of senior citizens

that fight against
discrimination of the elderly.

They call themselves
the Gray Foxes.

I read about them in Jet.

Well, can they
get me the stereo?

I don't know, but we can
call them up and find out.

They should be listed
in the Yellow Pages.

Yeah, well, look in the
Yellow Pages under "old,"

and let your fingers
do the creeping.

Oh, here it is.

Here it is.

The number's 555-6245.

If Esther got a stereo,
then I should get one too.

Hello, Gray Foxes?

I say, Gray Foxes.
This is Fred G. Sanford.

The G stands for "growing old."

Yeah, I'd like to
speak the head Fox.

Not Redd Foxx, head Fox.

You know, the old guy in charge.

Yeah, well, wake him up.

The Gray Foxes should
be here any minute, Bubba.

Oh? Well, maybe I
better be going, Fred.


Well, I heard that if you
stay around real old people,

you start getting
older yourself.

Oh, that's crazy, Bubba.


Excuse me.

But I hope it doesn't
work for real ugly people,

because I've been
around Esther a long time.

Are you Fred Sanford?

Uh, yeah. Who are you all?
Tony Orlando and Twilight?

I'm Clarence Richardson

and these are the
Stephens sisters,

Millie and Rose.

You're a good-looking young man.

Back off me, wrinkles.

Go over there and meet
my friend Bubba. Please.


We're pleased that you wanna
join the Gray Foxes, Fred.

I see a lot of gray, but
where are the foxes?

We need a strong young
man to show the world

that the elderly won't be
pushed around anymore.

Power to the Foxes!

How about you,
Bubba? You wanna join?

Uh, no, thanks.

Fred, they've been
here only a few minutes

and my teeth are starting
to get loose already.

It's good to find a
man like you, Fred.

You can say that again.

He's cute.

A man who's willing to
fight for his principles,

a man with determination...

A man who wants a stereo.

A man who's getting
older by the minute.

You believe in action, Fred?

Not with you, Polident puss.

I have to leave.

Even my... Even my
blood is starting to get tired.

FRED: Won't you sit down?

Like you said on
the phone, Fred,

we're not gonna let Honest
Al deprive us of our rights!

Well, we ought to
do something about it.

Power to the Foxes!

We believe in
peaceful political action.

You are absolutely right.

MILLIE: Let's bomb the place.

We can't do that.

That's clear thinking, Fred.

If we bomb the place, my
stereo will be destroyed.

Well, Millie gets
carried away sometimes.

How else is she gonna move?

There's a lot of stores that
won't give credit to old people.

Then we should picket
Honest Al's tomorrow.

WOMEN: Right on!

And you should lead, Fred,
to celebrate your first protest.

Fidel Sanford,
leader of the people.

You can lead me anywhere.

How about out to pasture?

Two, three, four.

Hup, two, three, four.

Hup, two, three, four.

All right.

Attention and fall in.

We're ready, Fred!

All right, straighten
up that line!

You have to look meaner.

Yeah, you fine, Millie.

Hey, you're a real
revolutionary, Fred.

That's Fred G. Sanford, Bubba.

The G stands for

I like to keep
my forces in line.

Yeah, you need to be
strict to move an army.

That's to move most armies.

To move this
army, I need Geritol.

Hup, two, three, four. Hup...

ALL [CHANTING]: Honest Al is no
one's pal! Honest Al is no one's pal!



It's almost time to
enter the field of battle.

Power to the Foxes!

Make sure you take everything.

Take the pickets, the
signs, the oxygen tents,

take your Supp-Hose.

But most important
thing not to forget,

the closest toilet is across
the street in the gas station.

Now one more time.

Hup, two, three, four.

Hup, two, three, four. Hup...

Power to the Foxes!

Power to the Foxes!

What is going on in here?

Uh, history's in
the making, son.

Yeah, he's leading a revolution.

Yeah, and when I'm finished

senior citizens
will have the right

to be ripped off on credit
just the same as anybody else.

And I'll have my stereo.

Pop, you mean to tell me

these people are going
to picket Honest Al's?

ALL [CHANTING]: Honest Al is no
one's pal! Honest Al is no one's pal!

Pop, you've gone too far.

No, I haven't.

Honest Al is only a few
blocks down the street.

Foxes, move out!

all the way! Gray all the way!

Hey, be careful out there, Pop.

Just be careful.

I'll keep an eye on him.

You can do what you
want with your eye.

Just keep your hand off me.

Move out!

Power to the Foxes!

Pop should've been home a
long time ago, Bubba. I'm worried.

There's nothing to
worry about, Lamont.


Get that for me, Bubba,
because I'm too nervous.

Who is it? Hello.

Who is it?

Smitty? It's Smitty, Lamont.


He is?


He's with your
father. He's all right.

Okay, give me the phone.

Hello, Smitty.

Where are you?


Guard! Guard! Guard!

Okay, what's the
matter now, Sanford?

I just can't take these bars.

I feel closed in.

I got bar-a-phobia.

Wait a minute.
Just cool it, huh?

I wouldn't be upset if I
had something to eat.

Well, I'm hungry too, but
I got to make my rounds.

Well, can you get
me a Fatburger?

Not hardly.

Look in death row.
Maybe they left something.

Sanford, you're just
gonna have to wait.

You can't treat me like this.

This is cruel and
inhuman punishment.

MAN: Shut up! Huh?

I said shut up,
and I mean shut up.

But I can live with it.

I guess you ain't
got much choice.

Hey, Pop, what it is?

What are you in here for?

I'm a political prisoner.

See, I was leading
a peaceful protest

when I had a run-in
with the police.

And then they ran me in here.

Yeah? This your first time?

Yeah, I ain't never been
in the big house before.

How about you?

Oh, man, this is my second home.

Well, what are you in for?

I was lifting something heavy.

Is that why you walk funny?

No, I mean some expensive stuff,

you know, that didn't
exactly belong to me.

Oh, you in robbery.

Robbery, burglary, extortion.

Sort of a jack of all trades.

Kidnapping, arson.

Let me out of here!

Guard, let me out
of here! Please!

Hey, Lamont.

Hey, what's happening, Jake?

You all right, Pop?

I will be as soon as
you get me out of here.

Don't worry about a
thing. I raised your bail.

Okay, come out
of there, Sanford.

What kind of guard are you?

I mean, putting a
good citizen like me

in the same cell with
a human crime wave.

Good thing that you
got here when you did,

because five minutes more,
and I would've been in bad trouble.


I was just about to
tear this guy apart.

Yo! Wait a minute.

Don't do that! Don't
do that. Don't play that!

I wish you would now.

Don't hold me now.

You better be glad
I'm locked out here.

I tell you, son, it was the
worst experience of my life.

Horrible conditions, mean
prisoners, sadistic guards.

I don't know how I survived it.

Maybe because you
were only there 20 minutes.

Well, it seemed like 20 years.

You know, I wanna
ask you a question, Pop.

How come you were the
only Gray Fox arrested?

Well, you see, son, we
were picketing peacefully,

then all of a sudden, we
were surrounded by police.

There must've been
over a hundred of them.

See, and Honest Al called them.

Naturally, they
came after me first

because that's good
military strategy.

Always get the generalissimo.

I've heard that.

This policeman asked me to move,
and we exchanged a few words.

Unfortunately, he
didn't like none of mine.


then my picket sign slipped,

and I accidentally
hit the officer.

Pop, you can't accidentally hit
somebody on the top of the head.

Well, you can if you're
standing on a truck.

Anyway, I'm proud of you, Pop,

because you stood up for
what you thought was right.

Well, thanks a lot, son.

See, I believe in
the American way.

I mean, fight for what you
believe in and what's good.

That's the way Mohammad Ali is.

He never fights for
under $10 million.


I'll get it.

And I'm ready
to fight right now.

Please, Mr. Sanford. I
came over here to apologize.

We had to call the police
for business reasons.

What kind of business reasons?

If we had let
those pickets stay,

we wouldn't have any business.

If you let me buy on time,

you wouldn't have no pickets.

Do you plan any more picketing?

We will picket until
we get what we want.

Look, Mr. Sanford,

perhaps we can work it out.

Work what out?

I smell something rotten.

You started this action

because you wanted
a stereo, Mr. Sanford.

I think that can be arranged.

You mean you're gonna
change your policy?

No, but if you call
off your pickets,

we'll give you a stereo free.

Hey, my father wouldn't
sell out the Gray Foxes

for a mere stereo.

Uh, yeah, you're right, son.

However, if you throw in
a free record collection...

But, Pop... Anything you want.

You got any Isaac
Hayes and Leslie Adams?

We certainly do.

What about ethics and morality?

Yeah, throw them in too
with Earth, Wind and Fire.

Mr. Sanford, you wash our
back and we'll wash yours.

You're gonna wash my back?

You call off your pickets

and you'll get your new
stereo and record collection.

Hey, Pop, that's wrong, man.

No, it's not, son.

Now, if you'll just
sign right here.

Uh, I thought the
stereo was for free.

It is. Signing is just
a mere formality.

I don't know where to
begin. LAMONT: Then don't.

I mean, this looks
like an encyclopedia.

Sign there and
the stereo is yours.

Yeah, and your life is theirs.

He said it was for free, Lamont.

Look right here, Mr. Sanford.
It reads as clear as day.

Pop, before you sign that,

I mean, this is a very
important decision.

You should think about it.


There you go.

Pop, you're selling out
the Gray Foxes for a stereo.

I can't believe that.

Don't forget the albums.

You can stop by and pick
them up any time you like.

I would rather
have it delivered.


All right.

Just put your name
and address on this form

for our shipping department.

I assume you'll be
talking to the Gray Foxes.

Consider them already talked to.

All right.

Allow me to show you out.

Hey, Pop, how
could you do it, man?

How could you do it

after you told me how you
believed in the American way?

What are you gonna
tell the Gray Foxes?

I'll think of something.

You better because they believe
in action against their enemies,

and I have a feeling
you just became one.

Don't worry, Lamont.

Kunta can handle his troops.



Power to the Foxes!

Power to the Foxes!
Power to the Foxes!

Power to the Foxes!
Power to the Foxes!


You hear that?

They're out there
picketing us, Pop.

We're gonna lose our business.

Power to the Foxes!


I told you it was gonna happen.

We did it! We did it!

We did it! We did it!

What did you do?

We forced Honest Al
to change his policy.


Well, when we got to
our offices this morning,

we found one of
Honest Al's stereos.

How did it get there?

As if you didn't know.

Wait a minute. I...
I don't understand.

When your father called me
last night to call off the picketing,

I couldn't understand why.

Then when we found
that stereo, I knew.

That's the stereo that...

Hey, Pop, you just went
along with this whole thing

so you could give the
stereo to the Gray Foxes.

Yeah, I figured as long
as Al was giving it away,

I mean, we might as well give
it to the people who deserve it.

I filled out the address
on the delivery form.

But how did you
get Al to change?

Well, when we found
out how good it sounded,

we went down to Honest Al's

and we demanded that
he let us buy it on time.

And when he saw how
many of us want to buy,

he changed the policy.

I'm proud of you, Pop.

Yeah, you ought to
be, Lamont. We are.

I sure am.

Oh, Freddy, you're so
wonderful, so easy-going.

Want to fool around?

Are you crazy?

No, I mean it.

You're so soft, so
warm, so soothing.

I need you.

You don't need me,
you need a sitz bath.

Well, we don't
have to get married.

We would just live together.

I think it's a great idea, Pop.

No, don't do that, son.

No, no.

I can't live in sin.

Well, come on, ladies,
we've got work to do.


Don't do that. I
don't like that stuff.

ALL [CHANTING]: Power to
the Foxes! Power to the Foxes!

You know, Pop,

I'm ashamed of myself
for thinking the worst of you.

That's all right, Lamont.

I couldn't tell you
what was on my mind

because I wanted
it to be a surprise.

I'd never sell out the Foxes.

Well, you know, I guess
we both learned a lesson:

If you're willing to fight for
something you believe in,

you can make things happen.

You're right, son, we
really showed them.

Except we still
don't have a stereo.

You threw away the old one
and gave away the new one.

If you wanna listen to music,

I'm afraid you're gonna have
to go to Aunt Esther's house.

No, son, we have
different tastes in music.

What do you mean?

I respond to easy listening

and Esther only responds to
the mating call of the moose.