Sanford and Son (1972–1977): Season 6, Episode 22 - Funny, You Don't Look It - full transcript

Inspired by Alex Haley's "Roots," Fred orders a family crest and genealogical scroll that states he's African royalty and a descendant of the Jewish Ethiopian Falashas.





And goodbye.

I'm sorry. Isn't this
part of the junkyard?

This is my living room,

in which I have some of
our finer articles of junk.

I thought so.

May I ask you a
question? Certainly.

Who gave you the idea

to come through my
door without knocking?

I just assumed this
was a place of business.

And one usually doesn't knock

before one enters
a place of business.

Excuse me, maybe
you can help me out.

I'll help you out.

Face the door and bend over.

What's the trouble?

Well, I seem to be getting
some rather rude treatment

from your help here.

Don't feel bad, I've
been getting it for years.

Help? Help?

I'll show you what help is.

Did I say something wrong?

Yeah, see, my pop doesn't know
the meaning of the word "help."


I'll show you the
meaning of what "help" is.

Listen, you see
this baseball bat?

I'll help you through the door.

Don't be holding me.

Come on, Pop.

He should be locked up.

I think you better lock
him up, young man.

I think you just
better leave now.

Thanks for sticking up for me.

I stuck up for you
because you're my father.

I wish I could've stuck up for
you because you were right.

I was right. I'm not your help.

Pop, how was that
guy gonna know that?

And, anyway,
what's the difference?

What's the difference?

Don't you see the difference

between a helper and
the head of an empire?

That's right, son, I'm
the head of this empire.

And the head of an
empire is the emperor,

and there's a big difference
between an emperor and a helper.

Yeah, an emperor
emps, and a helper helps.

Excuse me.

Look, let me tell you something.

I worked a lot of years, son.

Don't try to tell me
what a helper does.

There's no one in the world
that knows better than me

what a helper is,
and what it is to work

and labor and sweat and strain.

You should. You've been
watching me long enough.

I've been doing it, and
I'm entitled to relax now.

Once a man builds a bridge,

there's no sense
building more of it,

or it covers up the buildings
on the other side of the river.

Heavy. Heavy.

How come I never have a pencil

when you lay the
big quotes on me?

When a man finishes
building his empire

he's entitled to sit down
and relax on his fat throne.

Emperor? You know,
you are too much, Pop.

You are a piece of work.

But I wanna tell you
you're a great father

and a good friend,

but the sooner that you realize
that you're not an emperor

and that you're a man
working in a junkyard,

the better off we'll both be.

Hi, Lamont. Oh, hi, Bubba.

Hi, Fred.

Hi, Bubba.

Hey, let me ask you a question.

What do you see before you?

Besides all this junk?

You too, huh?

That's all you see
here, right? Junk.


Nothing else?

You don't see nothing else here,
not anything else but just junk?

Oh, I got it.

It's one of those games.

Find the face
hidden in the junk.


Bubba, why don't you go
down to the Mayo travel agency

and get you a ticket to where
your brain has been vacationing.

What's the matter
with you, Fred?

What are you so mad about?

I'm mad at the world for
surrounding me with people

that don't see stuff
right in front of their nose.

You and Lamont look
at me and my empire

and the only thing you see
is an old man and a junk pile.

There's nothing wrong with
an old man and a junk pile.

Fred, you're an honest
man in honest junk.

Well, look,

maybe I could've been
more than a junkman.

I mean, but I got a lot
more than my father had

and his father before him.

You remember your grandfather?

No, he passed on
before I was born.

My grandfather was a slave.

I don't know what
none of my folk were.

I mean, one of them
might've been a slave,

an emperor or a king.

You ought to do what that
man did who wrote Roots.

He traced his family back in
order to find out who he was.

Who knows? Maybe someone
in your family was a king.

Or a tribal chief, anyway.

That's right.

And if my great-great-great-
grandfather was a chief,

it would make me

the great-great-great-grandson
of a chief.

That's right.

That would be
great, great, great,

because the
great-great-grandson of a chief...

is still a chief.

Of what?

That tribe.

That tribe probably
was in Africa.

They need me, Bubba.

They need their chief.

Fred, why don't you check and
find out for sure who you are?

Well, I can't do that, Bubba.

See, I saw that guy
Haley, who wrote Roots,

on the Tonight Show.

He researched nine years to
find out where he came from.

See, at my age,
that's a lifetime.

Yeah, I see what you mean.

But you don't have to
do it the way he did it.

There's an ad in
the paper every day

about a company
who will do it for you.

You're kidding? Where?

Here in the paper.

Hold on a minute.
Now, look. See? Look.

"Let us trace your background

and we will send you your
family crest and coat of arms."

My family crest
and coat of arms?

Bubba, you've done it. How much?

"Fill out the application
form and mail it in with $25."

Twenty five dollars for
a lousy coat of arms?

I can get a whole suit

with two pairs of pants
and a vest and umbrella

with that kind of money.

Well, it's up to you.

Twenty five dollars, huh?

That's right.

Twenty five dollars to find out
if I'm descended from royalty.

Wouldn't that be something?

Yeah, that would
sure show Lamont

who's an emperor
and who's a helper.

How long will it
take to find out?

Uh, four weeks.

Four weeks?

Yeah, that includes
all the research

and the time it takes to
send this into Burbank.


Yeah, Research City.

That's the home base
of this big company.

All right, what else
have I got to do?

There's a few questions
to get them started,

like how far back can
you trace your family?

Well, I think my
mother once mentioned

we came from North Africa,

up near Ethiopia somewhere.

Well, that's good.

Now, the rest is easy.

Name, birth date, and sex.

Well, at least I have a
name and a birth date.

You also have sex.

It's been a lot of years, Bubba.

It's been a lot of years.

I'm asking $14 for this lamp,

but if you don't think
you can afford it,

I'll try to find you
something else.

That's really very
nice, Mr. Sanford,

but $14 seems reasonable.

You wouldn't consider
throwing in a lamp shade as well?

Of course I would.


Well, I've considered
it, and the answer is no.


That's it.

That's great. I love a man
with a great sense of humor.

Yeah, and I love a woman
with a great pair of legs.

Yeah, it's been a lot
of years, a lot of years.

Yeah, well, all right,
here's your $14.

Oh, that's fine.

And here's your lamp.

And thank you very much.

And I'll see you again
real soon, I hope.


Hey, that was great, Pop,
the way you handled that.

I liked that.

Of course, son.
You see, why not?

I mean, after all,
this is my empire,

and I know how to run it.

You know, Pop, I don't even
mind you calling it an empire,

because for the last month or
so you've been really great here.

You've been cleaning up
and everything and cooking...


Please enter.

How you doing, Aunt Esther?

Hello, Lamont and Fred.

Hello, Esther, and welcome.


Yeah, welcome. It's so
good to have you in my home.

Now, if you'll stand right
there, I'll be right back.

For what?

I'll look you over and tag you.

Incoming junk.

Watch it, sucker.

Hey, Pop, dig yourself.

You've been good for a
month. Don't go ruining it.


Come in.

Hey, Fred. Hey.

Lamont, Mrs. Anderson.

Here you go, Fred. I couldn't
get this in your mailbox.

That's it. That's it.

Is it from the Universal
Family Research?

Yes, it is. Thank you.

Now, listen, go back to
your appointed rounds.

And if you're waiting for a tip,

go back to your
disappointed rounds.

What is it, Pop?

What is it?

This box could
contain positive proof

I'm a king and you're a prince.

What are you talking
about, Fred Sanford?

Be patient. Incoming junk
should be seen and not heard.

I'll let you know shortly.

Hey, come on, Pop, what is it?

Wait a minute.

Look at it.

Have you eyes but see not?

Which will come in handy
if you're looking at Esther.

See, this is our family
crest, son, right here.

And look, look at that crown.

I am a king.

There it is right there.
I've been right all along.

See, that's the crown,

and right there,
that's Ethiopia.

That's where my
family came from.

And right here, see,

that's a black and
white hand intermingled.

Whatever that means.

And then here's a shield

showing that we
were great warriors.

With a Jewish star on it.

Yeah. I wonder what that means.

That means, Fred
Sanford, if I know my Bible,

and I know my Bible,

you are descended of a king,

a king of the Jews.

And if you're a king,
you're also Jewish.


Gee, that's funny.
You don't look it.

I'm Jewish.

Do you hear that, Elizabeth?
Elizabeth, honey, I'm Jewish!

This is it! This is the big one!

I'm coming to join you, honey!

I'll be the one with
the chicken soup.

And the matzo balls.

It's impossible. I can't be
Jewish. How could it be?

That's what the
scroll says, Fred.

Whoever heard of black Jews?

I did. Didn't you ever
hear of Falashas?

Sure. Lola Falasha.

She's one of my favorites.

I'd like to invite her over
here to see my scroll.

That's Falasha, not Falana.

They're a group of
blacks from Ethiopia

that happen to be Jewish.

Well, I know there
are blacks in Ethiopia,

but where does
that Jewish part fit in

and where does the
crown come from?

Well, some people think
the Falashas come from

the son of King Solomon
and the queen of Sheba.

Oh, King Solomon from the Bible,

the guy who had an argument
with those two mothers,

took their kids and split.

Something like that, fool.

I don't understand
how the wisest of men

begat the biggest
turkey in Watts.

Kosher turkey. That's
the biggest kosher turkey.

Now, wait a minute.

Let me straighten
this thing out.

Now, you're admitting
I could be a king, right?

It's possible.

Well, I was right all along.

Now all I have to decide is
whether I like being Jewish.

Wait, Pop. You're only a king
if you admit that you're Jewish.

If you decide you're not
Jewish, then you're not a king.

Yeah, I see what you mean.

Esther, I'm glad you know
so much about the Bible

and religion and all that stuff.


Because you'll be able

to help Lamont study
for his bar mitzvah.

And long live the king!


Come in.

Hey, hi, Lamont.

Oh. Oh, hey, Bubba.

Hey, is it true that Fred
found out that he's a king?

Well, he's got something

that says he's possibly
related to a king, maybe.

No kidding. Mm-hm.

Is he home?

Yeah, he's upstairs. Yeah?

Hey, Pop!

FRED: That's sire.

Oh, forgive me,
sire. Bubba's here.

Well, look at you, Fred.


The full name is King
Frederick G. Sanford.

And the "G" stands
for "gefilte fish."

What are you talking about?

I'm talking about being a king.

And unless you
treat me like one,

I shall not name you
Sultan of Central Avenue.

What are you doing now?

Thinking of going shopping.

Shopping? For what?

For what? Some kosher
food and a stethoscope.

What's a stethoscope for?

It's the beginning of my
collection of equipment

for Lamont here,

so when he gets out of
medical school, he'll have it.

His son, the doctor.

Yes. See you, doc.

Can I help you?

Oh, that's all right.
I'll just browse around.

You finish your lunch. I
don't want to interrupt you.

That's very thoughtful.

Yeah. I bet that's a
very ethnic dish there.

That's right.

Yeah. What is it?

Chow mein.

I thought you weren't
allowed to eat that stuff.

It's just some vegetables
and noodles I cooked myself.

It's kosher.

Don't you eat corned
beef and chopped liver?

What are you talking?

That stuff will give
you terminal heartburn.

I know. I've been
eating it all day.

I'm trying to
acquire a taste for it.

Are you a masochist?


I just found out I was Jewish.

You didn't have enough trouble?

You see,

I traced my heritage
and found out

my ancestors were "galoshes."

That's Falashas.


Since I'm so new
at being Jewish,

I wonder if you could
set me up a beginner's kit.

If you really want
to be a convert,

you've got to feel
it in your heart.

I feel something,

but how do I know it's
not the corned beef?

Does it feel genuine?


Does it feel strong?


Does it make you
feel warm all over?


It's the corned beef.

Well, can you help me?

All right.

Why don't you start
by reading this book?

Is this the training manual?

You could say that.

It's a history of our people.

It explains the laws and
traditions of our religion.

Yeah, it looks
like a lot to learn.

Where do I start?

I've got an idea.

Why don't you start by coming
with me to a synagogue?

Our Sabbath begins
at sundown on Friday.

Well, that's tonight.

You're learning fast.

Yeah, but see, the only
thing, if I pay for this book,

I won't have no money to
put in the collection plate

for the bingo game.

We don't have a
collection plate and a bingo.

No collection
plate and no bingo?

How do you raise money?

Once a year,

the members of our congregation
pledge to make a donation.


It's the same as a promise.

You mean all you have to do

is promise to give some
money once a year?

That's right.

Hey, that's a great system.

I can't wait to read the book.

I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

That'll be 9.95.

Is it by cash or by charge?

By pledge.


Hello, Grady?

Did you hear
anything from Pop yet?

Okay, well, give me a call
the minute you do, okay?




Oh, hey, Rollo.

No, I haven't heard anything.

He hasn't checked
in either, huh?

Okay, well, ask your friends

to keep cruising the
neighborhood for me.

Okay, buddy, bye-bye.

Any word, Lamont?

No. I guess you haven't
heard anything either, huh?

No, and I looked places I
never would have looked.



I went into bars,
go-go dance halls,

one massage parlor.

Aunt Esther, you went
into a massage parlor?

For a half hour.


It took them that long to
get the crook out of my leg.

But they're very
talented, Lamont.


No luck on Fairfax Avenue.

Why would you look for
him on Fairfax Avenue?

Well, because that's the
Jewish section of town,

and Pop said he was gonna go
shopping for some Jewish stuff.

Maybe he didn't go at all.

Oh, he went.

How do you know that, Bubba?

A storekeeper remembered him.

How did the man
know it was my pop?

Well, because there probably
wasn't too many black men

in a kosher butcher shop

demanding chicken fat on credit

because he was
the king of Ethiopia.

And by the way,

I went by that place in Burbank
where they made the crest.

Oh, you mean Research City?

Yeah. And you were
right, the crest is a phony.

They got 10 different designs

that they send to
anybody that writes in.

It's a real rip-off, Lamont.

Poor Fred.

I hate to see the
look on his face

when he finds out
he's been dethroned.

Yeah, poor little
lost wandering Jew.

Come on, Bubba, knock it off.

Hey, Pop, where have you been?

Patience, my son, patience.

As our sages tell us,

it is better to ask
softly and with care

than to shout like a dummy.

Where have you been?

I was so worried I got sick.

Now we're even.

Pop, where have you been?

In the synagogue.

Meet Sam Gittleman.

How are you? Can I get
you something to eat or drink?

No, thanks.

Uh, you're the son?

Yes, that's right. I'm the son.

Your father tells me
you're a wonderful son.

That's nice.

And you're the friend?

Yeah, I'm the friend.

Your friend tells me
you're a wonderful friend.

That's nice.

And you're the sister-in-law?

I'm the sister-in-law.

How do you do?

I see you two really got to
know each other, didn't you?

Yeah, and you know
what I found out?

Before you go making
a fool out of yourself,

we checked on that
research company in Burbank,

Research City.

You're not a king.

And you know you're not Jewish.

That's what I found out.

You did?

That's right.

See, a lot of people
were ripped off

and they came into
Mr. Gittleman's store here,

and he told me all about
that phony company.

Well, you certainly
seem to be taking it well.

I am, son.

You see, I had a very
good conversation

with my friend Mr. Gittleman,

and for the first time

I learned that there
are many Falashas

living in New York City,

and they've got their
own synagogue in Harlem.

GITTLEMAN: That's right.

And they are as truly
black as they are Jewish.

And not only that,

I learned that we have a lot
in common with Jewish people.

See, first of all,
they were slaves too,

I mean in Egypt 3000 years ago.

I could've told you that, Fred.

Or you could've
learnt it for yourself

if you'd bothered
to pick up a Bible.

Thank you, Esther,

for your contribution to
this religious discussion.

Now, why don't you
close your eyes in prayer

and walk out
there in the traffic.

You know, the Jews and
blacks do have a lot in common.

I hope their similarities
will bring us closer together.

I'm glad to meet
you all. Good night.

ALL: Good night.

Fred, good night. Good night.

You know, I like that old guy.

Yeah, I like the old guy too.

You just met him.

No, I meant you.

I'm sorry you're
not a king, Fred.

Oh, that's all right, Bubba.

It was great just
being king for a day.


By the way,

I learned that "Bubba"
is a Yiddish word

for "grandmother."

No kidding, Fred?

No kidding, Grandma.

And did you learn that
Esther was a Jewish queen?

The most beautiful
queen there ever was.

Well, somebody lied.

No, they didn't.

There's a whole story
in the Bible all about me.

Oh, yeah, I remember now.

Samson slew the
Philistine with your jaw bone.

ESTHER: That...!

Hey, was it interesting at
that synagogue tonight, Pop?

Yes, it was, son.

But, of course, it
was hard to follow

because the service
was all in Hebrew.

Were you able to
pick any of it up?

Well, I picked up a little.

Uh, listen, do you
want the sports section?

LAMONT: Get out of here.

Well, I'll be
doggone. Look here.

It says President Jimmy
Carter thinks inflation is going up.

Oy vey!

Let me see that.