Sanford and Son (1972–1977): Season 6, Episode 5 - I Dream of Choo Choo Rabinowitz - full transcript

Fred is determined to break Choo Choo Rabinowitz's official world record for the longest amount of time staying awake.


Hey, listen.

Listen, Roger, didn't I
tell you to cut that out?

How you expect
me to get any rest

if you're making all that noise?

But, Grandpa Fred,

I'm gonna be just
like Walt Frazier,

the star of the Knicks.

Good. Well, go
practice in New York.

Give me that ball.

How am I gonna learn to
dribble without a basketball?

You don't need one.

Haven't you ever heard
of shadow dribbling?

Shadow dribbling?

Yeah, we used
to do it all the time

when I was with
the Globetrotters.

You were in the
Harlem Globetrotters?

Wow! Can you teach me
how to shadow dribble?

Sure. See, it's like
shadow boxing...

only you shadow dribble.

Get it? Yeah, just
pretend you're dribbling.

That's it. Now back up.

Take a back step. That's it.

Now to the right.

To the left. Dribble back.

Higher, higher!

Higher! Higher!

Back step!

Higher! Bye-er.


What are you doing?

Grandpa Fred was just teaching
me how to shadow dribble.

Shadow dribble? Yeah.

Like when he was in
the Harlem Globetrotters.

Pop, you were never in
the Harlem Globetrotters.

Yes, I was. You
just don't remember.

Because when I was
dribbling with the Globetrotters,

you was slam-dunking
in your diapers.

Listen, Pop, I got
some good news for you.

Don't tell me, I know.

Esther had her face
lifted by a two-ton crane.

Well, you remember I told you

that Janet's mother was a
schoolteacher up in Oakland?

Mmm. Well, see,
she wrote this paper

on how to discipline
problem children,

and the paper was so good, Pop,

that she was named Teacher of
the Month by Education Magazine.

I'm sure she'll make
a lovely centerfold.

That's my grandma.
She's the greatest.

Hey, Roger, will you excuse
me and Pop for a minute?

Yeah, Roger, look here.

If you wanna be
great and full of spunk,

go out in the yard
and dribble in the junk.

Well, for your information, Pop.

Education Magazine
is very big, man.

Now, this is a big
honor for Mrs. Gordon.

I understand. I was
once in Dump Daily.

I was Junkmate of the Month.

I give up. It's impossible
to try to talk to you.

I'm sorry, son. I know
it's a great honor.

Next time you're in Oakland,
congratulate her from me.

Why don't you do it yourself?

Because I'm not
going to Oakland.

Pop, that's what I've
been trying to tell you.

You don't have to tell me,

I know I'm not going to Oakland.

Look, every year, there's
this big teachers' conference

here in L.A.,

and Mrs. Gordon was
picked to read her paper here.

Now, she's coming here
next week, man, you know.

And she's dying to meet you.

Well, I'm not dying to meet her.

What do I have in common with
some old stuffy schoolteacher?

Well, to start with,
me and Janet.

Don't worry about it, Pop.

She's a wonderful
woman, and the two of you

are gonna get along just fine.

Oh, I always get along
swell with schoolteachers.

I can't wait to meet her
so I can clap her erasers.



Fred, could you stand still?

I can't see the movie.

And it's my very
favorite one too:

The Giant Baboon
Who Ate Rangoon...

at Noon... in
June... with a Spoon.

And will you shut up soon?

What's eating you,
Fred? I don't know, Bubba.

I just haven't...
I'm just nervous.

I haven't even slept
since I heard the news.

What news?

You know, Janet's mother,

the big-shot schoolteacher
up there in Oakland,

and she's coming
all the way down here

just to read a paper.

Don't they have no
papers up in Oakland?

Bubba, it's a paper
that she wrote.

You see, she's reading it

at a big teachers'
convention here in town,

out loud, in front of everybody.

Fred, you must feel very dumb.

What are your
grandchildren gonna think?

They got a grandmother
who writes papers

and a grandfather
who collects them.

Before I talked to
you, Bubba, I felt awful.

Now I feel terrible.
How'd you like to feel this?

Well, I'm sorry.

You're right, Bubba.

What she gonna think of me?
I ain't nothing but a junkman.

Fred, you remind me of
the immortal Phil Greene.

Who's he? He used
to be just like you.

A nothing, a nobody,

a useless empty shell of a man,

until he became world-famous

by pushing a water barrel
from Los Angeles to Detroit,

a feat that got him a place

on the Official Book
of World Records.

What's that got to do with
me? Don't you see, Fred?

If you could get your name

in the Official Book
of World Records,

it would be just as important

as reading a paper at
some teachers' conference.

You think so? Sure.

Maybe Janet's mother might
even write a paper about you, Fred.

I think you got something there.

Yeah... No...


How's that feel, Fred?

Oh, fine, Bubba,
it's easy. Good.

Just stay that
way until Thursday,

and you'll be immortal.

If I stay this
way till Thursday,

I'll be a stork.

So, so far, every record you've
come up with is impossible.

Try harder, look in there.

We haven't even
scratched the surface, Fred.

Here's a good one, Fred.

Make two fists.

Now stick 'em in your armpits.

That's it.

Now flap your arms and squat.


Uh, now, how long
do I have to do this?

Just till the eggs are hatched.


No man has ever
done that before!


How would you like
to hold the record

for the world's fattest lip?

Hold it, Fred.

I think I got it.

You like apple pie, don't ya?

Sure, all Americans
love apple pie.

Your problem's solved. It is?


Now, who told you you
could use my phone?

I'm sorry. Can I use
your phone, Fred?

Sure, you don't have to ask.

Hello, is this
Paul's Pie Palace?

I'd like to order
243 apple pies.

Put that phone down! I
can't eat no 243 apple pies.

You only have to eat 240.

Three of 'em are for me.

Oh, Bubba, we can
do better than this.

I'm a nervous wreck.

I haven't slept a wink,

and I probably
won't sleep a wink

until after Janet's
mother leaves here.

Oh... Wait a minute.

That's it.

Awake... awake... awake.

Yeah, here it is.

You know, if you stay
awake until she leaves,

you'll break the world record

currently held by
Choo Choo Rabinowitz.

How much longer
do I have to stay up?

Oh, about 7 days, 14
hours and 20 minutes.

I don't think I can
make it, Bubba.

How am I going to
stay up that long?

It'll be easy, Fred.

I'll supervise the
whole operation.

You will?

I can see it now. I'm
gonna be immortal!

Look out, Choo Choo Rabinowitz,
I'm gonna break that record.

What is all this
talk about a record?

Oh, son, you see, I'm
gonna break the record,

the world's record for staying
up longer than anybody else.

Sure you are.

You just don't believe me

because you don't think

I can be nothing but a junkman.

Pop, you don't have
to prove anything to me.

Think of how proud
you're gonna be of me, son,

with my name right
next to Hank Aaron,

Jesse Owens and Melvin Watson.

Who's Melvin Watson?

Oh, he went to
Guido's Italian Grotto

and ate continuously
for 314 hours.

May he rest in pizza.

Go ahead, Pop. Make a fool
out of yourself. I don't care.

I'm not gonna make
a fool of myself.

I'm just gonna show you

that I'm just as important
as your future mother-in-law.

Would you do me a favor?

Please don't mess up

Mrs. Gordon's visit here
to Los Angeles, okay?

[GRUMBLES] Mrs. Gordon, indeed.

You know, maybe it's not
such a great idea, Fred.

Listen, don't worry about
him. He's just jealous.

Now, what do we do?

Well, first, I'll have to call

the Official Book of Records

and tell them to get
their erasers ready.

Okay, well, I'll just
make myself comfortable.

I mean, after I get
comfortable, I don't need...

What are you doing, Bubba?

I'm not gonna let you relax.

That's the worst thing you
can do is to get comfortable.

What you need to do

is to be around things
that make you jumpy,

things that annoy you,

things that make
your skin crawl.

Well, what are you
waiting for? Call Esther.

Lamont, relax.

I can't, baby. I'm too nervous.

You've met my mother before.

I know. That's not the problem.

Your mother's never
met Pop before.

I can't believe he's actually
going through with this.

I mean, he's been up
for four straight days.

I hope he's not under
any kind of a strain.

No, well, I made sure.

I called up the doctor and had
him come over and check Pop out.

What'd the doctor say?

Well, he said Pop's
in good shape,

but he's in no condition
to meet your mom.

I mean, he's irritable
and cranky and grouchy.

This morning, he bit
one of the neighbors.


I think you're exaggerating.

I also feel that everything
is gonna be just fine.

Maybe you're right.

Pop is notorious for not
finishing what he starts.

Oh, I know something
that he finished,

and am I delighted.

Don't you start now, your
mother's coming here.


There she is. Oh, there she is.

Hi, Mom. Hello, sweetheart.

How are you? Fine.

Hello, Lamont.
Hello, Mrs. Gordon.

I'm so excited about this visit.

Oh, so are we.

You must really be looking
forward to the conference, huh?

Oh, I am. It's quite a thrill.

And I'm also looking
forward to meeting your father.

Uh, I just remembered: Pop
can't meet anybody this week.

See, it's the height
of the junk season.

And right now,
rust is at a premium.


It's all right, dear.

I know how Lamont feels.

It's always hardest on the kids

when the future in-laws
meet for the first time.

And I'm sure your father
is as up for it as I am.

Oh, he's up for it, all right.

♪ Come on and hear
Come on and hear ♪

♪ Alexander's Ragtime Band... ♪♪
Please, Bubba.

Shut up, shut up.
You're driving me crazy.

Oh, come on, Fred, you know
my singing keeps you awake.

Yeah, but you keep singing
the same old tune over and over.

Sing something else, will you?

I only know one other tune,
and I don't think you like that.

I don't care what it is, Bubba.

Just start
singing it. All right.

♪ Rock-a-bye, baby ♪

♪ In the treetop ♪

♪ When the wind... ♪♪

Wake up, Fred!
Oh, Bubba, please.

It felt so good.
Let me try it again.

♪ Come on and hear,
Come on and hear... ♪♪

No, not that one, Bubba, please.

Just let me take a little
nap. Nobody will know.

It'll just be between
me and my pillow.

You can't do that, Fred.

You have to break the
record fair and square.

And besides, the man from
the Official Book of Records

said he might
drop by at any time.

You know, they
check on you that way.

Here, I'll get you
some more coffee.

Wait a minute,
Bubba, no more coffee.

I've had so much coffee

you're beginning to
look like Mrs. Olson.

All right, then it's time to
bring in the second team.


Hi, Grandpa Fred.

Keep it up, Roger.

How's that, Fred?

Oh, it's no good, Bubba.

I'm fading fast.

Fear not, Fred. We still
have our ace in the hole.

Esther's on her way.


There's our ace in the hole

who should have
her face in a hole.

I was wondering what took
the old groundhog so long.

Welcome to my
castle, your ugliness.

Well, now you've met Pop.

How do you do?

Well, I must say

you have a unique way
of answering the door.

He's not always like that.

No, you see, Pop
hasn't slept in four days.

Oh, you poor man.

Do you suffer from insomnia?

Oh, no, let me explain. See...

Don't explain that
now. Just hush.

You don't have to explain that.

Well, your father's
right, Lamont.

No one needs to give
me an explanation.

Now, that's what I like:
a woman with class.

If no one's going
to tell her, I will.

The reason why Mr. Sanford
hasn't slept in four days

is because he's trying to
break the official world record

for staying awake.

Why, that's wonderful!

It is, isn't it?

I'm sorry, I didn't
mean to call...

I didn't mean to call
you "your ugliness."

I mean, I thought you
was my sister-in-law.

Oh, that's all right.

You know, I am impressed.

Well, it's quite an undertaking.

Yes, I'm doing it for
my grandchildren.

See, I want them to remember
me for something other than Lamont.

Well, I understand
what you're trying to say,

and I think it's just beautiful.

Mr. Sanford, you're
so thoughtful, Mmm.

So kind, so warm, so loving...

So off your duff!

I didn't write a paper
on discipline for nothing,

so keep moving!

Left, right, left, right!

Left, right, left, right!

You can't put that five on top.

How would you like me to
put this five on your bottom?

I was only trying to help.

Well, look, Roger, why
don't you dribble that ball

on into the kitchen and
get yourself some breakfast?

All right.


I just came over to
help you stay awake,

you old fish-eyed fool.

Well, that certainly was
sweet of you, Esther,

just to deliver such
a lovely message.

Oh, really? Yeah.

Reminded me of something
from Western Union:

an ugly-gram.


Step back, please,
I got company.


I'm coming. What do you
expect? I've decided to run off?

[BRITISH ACCENT] How do you do?

I'm Walter Grayson from the
Official Book of World Records.

Is this the Sanford residence?

Yes, it is. I'm Fred G. Sanford.

And the G is for
"Grab yourself a seat."

Thank you, but I have a
terribly pressing schedule.

You mean "skedule"?

We say "shedule."

Now, I've been informed

that you're attempting to
break one of our records.

That is correct.

Which one are you after?
Most debris in one room?

Well, how about that, Esther?

You in the book already.

Why don't you try
for the lollipop record?

All-day sucker.

Listen, I'll soon... I'll
soon be in your book

for staying up longer
than anybody else.

Well, we'll see.

Forty-eight more
hours is a long time

when you haven't
slept for a week.

I'll wager your eyelids
are feeling very heavy.

Oh, Lord have mercy!
Fred, you all right?

Esther, yeah, I'm all right.

Take your hands off me!

I ain't had my tetanus shot yet.

I suppose you're
one of the witnesses.

Yes, I'm Miss Esther Anderson.

Better known as
"Dog Face Afternoon."

FRED: Look, never mind her.

You got your pencil warmed up?

Come on over here

and let me tell you a
little bit about myself.

You may not believe it,
but, like most celebrities,

I came from an humble beginning.

My family had the only
log cabin in St. Louis.

And I suppose your schedule

called for you to walk five
miles to school every day.

You mean "shool", don't you?

Mr. Sanford...

Listen, I walked
five miles to "shool"

and then swam five miles.

Really, Mr. Sanford?

I remember it so well.

At the time, I was sharing a bed

with my youngest
brother, Jerome.

Then I realized I could
stay up night and day.

You mean even as a child
you were an insomniac?

No, Jerome was a bed-wetter.

Well, I'll get all this down
when and if it counts.

I just stopped by to make
certain everything was in order.

Let me remind you that I
could stop by again at any time.

Oh, I can assure you, sir,

that Mr. Bexley
and I will see to it

that Mr. Sanford
keeps the rules.

Mr. Bexley?

Oh, I almost forgot to
introduce you to my friend here,

the genius that masterminded
my climb to the top.

Eh, Bubba, wake up.

♪ Come on and hear
Come on and hear ♪

♪ Alexander's Ragtime Band ♪

♪ Come on and hear
Come on and hear ♪

♪ Alexander's Ragtime Band... ♪♪

I can't go through it,
Bubba. I can't make it.

You can't quit now, Fred.

You only got one more day.

The Official Book of Records
doesn't care for second place.

Now, suck in that gut,
straighten that back,

and go out there and
get this one for the Gipper.

You're right, coach.

I don't know what got into me.

Give me some
coffee, Bubba. Okay.

Roger, go upstairs
and get my radio.

Yeah, now you're working.

ROGER: Way to go, Grandpa Fred.


What are you doing
sneaking around,

scaring people like that?

I was just coming over
to help you stay awake!

And I'm glad I did.

Oh, I don't know what to do.

I just can't keep my eyes open.

Well, I'm going to
have to do for you

like I do for my students.

What's that?

Start running in place!

And repeat after me... Huh?

I... I... will...
will... not... not...

fall... fall... asleep! Asleep!

Again! Again!

LAMONT: Well, you only
got six more minutes, Pop,

to break the record.

Oh, son, I... I can't
make it. I know I can't.

ALL: ♪ Come on and
hear Come on and hear ♪

[GROANS] ♪ Alexander's
Ragtime Band ♪

♪ Come on and hear
Come on and hear ♪

♪ It's the best
band In the land ♪♪

And when I get back to Oakland,

all my friends are going
to ask me about my visit,

and I'm gonna tell them

the highlight wasn't the
teachers' conference,

it was meeting Fred Sanford!

And now the man of the hour,

I should say the
man of the final hour,

well, really, the man
of the last five minutes,

my pop, Fred Sanford.

Thank you, son.

And now that I have the
record almost wrapped up,

I'd like to propose a toast.

Down the hatch, bottoms up,

l'chaim, good health
and good night.

ALL: Speech, speech,
speech, speech!

Where was I?

Oh, uh, I want to
thank everyone here

that made this possible for me,

especially you, Bubba,

with your terrible singing,

and for you, Roger,

for dribbling that
ball all the time,

and Choo Choo
Rabinowitz for not staying up

any longer than she did.


There's the door. That
must be Mr. Grayson.


I'm coming.

Well, Mr. Sanford, I
see you're still awake.

I was certain it was
way past your bedtime.

Sorry to disappoint you,

but what you see is
history in the making.

Oh, good. Uh, come
in, Mr. Grayson.

Make yourself comfortable.

Uh, you know Bubba
and my son Lamont.

Hello. Hello.

Let me take your briefcase.

Oh, thank you. That's okay.

Oh, isn't that lovely?

I've always been
fascinated by signs.

Did you know that the record
for the world's largest sign

is held by two ancient
Chinese workmen?

Really? Yes.

They did it in 407 A.D.

and it stretched from one end
of the Great Wall to the other.

And it read... [SPEAKS CHINESE]

What does that mean?

"Wet paint."

However, that record is
currently being challenged

by a gentleman
from Cleo, Kansas,

who's attempting to body
paint the entire King family.

Well, enough of that

about those who've
already achieved immortality,

back to the
business at hand, eh?

I must confess that when I
first met your father, Mr. Sanford,

I didn't think that he was
World Book material, no,

but he certainly fooled me.

Tell me, I wonder, what
prompted him to go for the record?

Well, you see, it all began...
LAMONT: No, no, Bubba.

Now, let Pop do his
talking for himself, man.

Hey, Pop!

Oh, Pop!

Where'd he go? Hey,
Fred, where are you?

If this is some sort
of a practical joke,

I certainly don't appreciate it.

I have an appointment with a man

who has eaten nothing but
prunes for the past two weeks.

I'm sure you can understand

I don't want to
keep him waiting.

Well, he must be some place.

He must've stepped
out for a minute.

Well, let's see, I came
in, gave him my briefcase.

He went toward the couch,

put the briefcase
on the table...

and fell asleep on the floor.

ALL: Oh, no, no, no.

Nice try.

I'm sorry, but Mr. Sanford
missed the record by 43 seconds.

Oh, Fred, how could you do this

when we almost
had it in the bag?

And just think,

I sang 3,249 choruses of
"Alexander's Ragtime Band"

for nothing.

LAMONT: Roger, you can
stop dribbling the basketball now.

I don't think I can.

I've been dribbling
for five straight days.

Just a moment!

Do you mean to tell me that
you actually sang 3,249 choruses

of "Alexander's Ragtime Band"?

BUBBA: That's right.

And you've been
dribbling a basketball

for five straight days.


Oh, I have good news for you.

You have both just
broken world records!



BUBBA: Me and you. Me and you.

What about me? What about me?

What about me? What about me?

Uh, what about me?

Just repeat that
another 27,000 times

and give me a call.

What about me? What about me?
What about me? What about me?

What about me?

Where's your father? I
haven't seen him for three days.

Yeah, well, that's
because he's been sleeping

ever since Bubba and Roger

were inducted into the
Book of World Records.

I have to give it
to him, though.

He did one heck of a try. Yeah.

Well, I'm just
glad it's over with,

and now Pop finally realizes

he doesn't have to
break any silly record

to impress anybody.

What about me? Yeah.

What about me? What about me?

Hi, son. Hi, Janet.

Hi, Dad. Hey, Pop,
how you feeling?

Oh, I feel pretty good, son.

I'll feel better after I
come out of the shower.

I'll see you next week.

Next week?

Yeah, I'm breaking
another record.

I won't be out of the
bathroom for eight days.