Sanford and Son S01E02 – Happy Birthday, Pop

Sanford and Son S01E02 – Happy Birthday, Pop

During his birthday celebration, Fred is overwhelmed by a visit to a fancy bar, a movie theater to see Fiddler on the Roof, and dinner at a Chinese restaurant.

Story line

It is Fred’s 65th birthday and Lamont wants to make it a special night, so after buying him a new hat, he takes him to a showing of the movie “Fiddler on the Roof”, which Fred complains about. Then he takes Fred out to a bar for a fancy drink, which Fred complains about. Then he takes Fred out for Chinese food, which Fred complains about. Frustrated, Lamont abandons Fred at the restaurant, leaving Fred to walk home in the rain.—Jerry Roberts

Did you know


This story was adapted from the Steptoe and Son episode titled “Sixty-Five Today.”


The last scene showed Fred finding out he was going to be getting less than the maximum amount Social Security paid out at the time, which he said was $218/month. Later on in the series, it is found that Fred pulls in about $3000 a year from Social Security, which averages out to about $250/month, which even with inflation and cost-of-living increases over time, would still be close to, if not the maximum you could get from SS.


Fred G. Sanford: [as he calls the Social Security Administration, to Lamont] You may as well head on over to the diner for breakfast, because this kitchen’s closed due to retirement.

[after they tell him how much he’s actually getting]

Fred G. Sanford: Why so little? Uh-huh? Uh-huh.

Not so happy birthday

“Happy Birthday, Pop” finds Fred celebrating his 65th birthday (Redd Foxx was only 49!), Lamont wanting to know what it is that he forgot: “forget it!” Fred likes the hat as a present but prefers the sentimental card more. Lamont wants to take him out for the evening, his preference for beer giving way to a too sweet ‘old fashioned.’ The movie they attend is the musical “Fiddler on the Roof,” which Fred also rejects: “it’s all about a milkman with an ugly wife and five daughters, and he’s always fussin’ at God!” Dinner at a Chinese restaurant meets more disapproval: “I can’t eat that Chink food…these people do their cooking and laundry in the same pot!” Ham hocks and lima beans are not on the menu!

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