Sanford and Son

Season 1 Episode 2

Happy Birthday, Pop

Aired Unknown Jan 21, 1972 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
107 votes

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Episode Summary

Happy Birthday, Pop
Lamont buys Fred a new hat for his birthday and then tries to take him out on the town to celebrate. However, a visit to a fancy bar, a movie theater to see Fiddler on the Roof and dinner at a Chinese restaurant are far from a celebration for Fred.moreless

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  • Fred turns 65 and Lamont wants to treat him to a special evening for his birthday.

    This is one of the funniest episodes in the series. Both characters (Fred and Lamont) are at their best. This episode also introduces the viewer to some of Fred's hilarious habits (like trying on several pairs of glasses before he finds one that he can see through).

    Lamont patiently entertains his father as they travel from place to place. At each place, Fred complains about everything. By the end of the evening, Lamont leaves Fred in disgust (giving him cab fare to go home on his own).

    There are many memorable lines from this episode, including Fred calling Fiddler on the Roof ,"Fiddle Up a Roof" and Fred's monologue about burping. This is comedy at its best!moreless
  • This episode is about Lamont trying to show his father a good time for his 65th birthday. At first Fred doesn't think Lamont remembers. Then when they go out fred finds some way of lousing up the whole evening.moreless

    I like the part when Fred tries on his new hat that Lamont gave him for his birthday. Fred tries many different ways of styling the hat. Then they get into a big argument about the birthday card. Lamont tells him to get dressed because they are going out in style. My favorite parts of the outing were when they got to the cocktail bar, Fred blurts out loud: "Hey, you got a pinball machine?" and Lamont is so embarrased by that. Then when they go to the chinese restaurant, the waiter asks Fred what he wants. Fred says: "I'd like some ham hocks and lima beans!" Lamont is very embarrased by this time. And to add insult to injury Fred starts to pester a man that is sitting right next to him and that starts to really aggrevate Lamont. When the food finally comes out, Fred sniffs some of the lobster cantonese and says it smelled like insect spray and says: "They probably gave it a shot, so that when it got out here wouldn't nothing on the plate move!". At this point, Lamont can't take anymore of Fred's antics and storms out of the place in utter disgust. Very funny!moreless
  • A pretty good "concept episode", with a downer ending

    I think that when you break this episode down, it's a "concept episode". It's basically a series of small vignettes that allow Fred to be a bigot against various groups of people. First, he's in a rich white man's bar, giving him a forum to make fun of them. Then he sees Fiddler On The Roof, giving him a forum to make fun of Jews, and finally in a Chinese restaurant, giving him an opportunity to rail on that. All good vignettes, and great examples of humor at the time, but stuff that wouldn't fly today.

    Ultimately, the episode was a sad ending, and really kind of a downer for such a fun episode. One could make the case that episodes like this set the stage for more modern sitcoms where everything didn't just turn out OK in the end.moreless
  • It's Fred's 65th birthday and Lamont tries to go all out, but Fred makes things difficult.

    Lamont tries to make his father's 65th birthday special. He buys a nice card and a hat, and offers to take Fred out on the town. Fred likes the card and hat (although his reading the card aloud embarrasses Lamont) but when they go out things are all wrong! They go to a nice bar for a drink, but Fred would rather go someplace where they have beer on tap and a pinball machine (more like his famous pool hall mentioned later in the series). Then they take in a movie, "Fiddler on the Roof" (popular at the time) but Fred can't stand it. The night ends at a Chinese restaurant, which Fred has no tolerance for.moreless

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