Sanford and Son: Season 1, Episode 5

A Matter of Life and Breath (11 Feb. 1972)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy
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Concerned about his father's smoker's cough, Lamont brings Fred in for a free tuberculosis screening at the American Lung Association's Breathmobile. The test results take his breath away.



(teleplay), ("T.B. or Not T.B." by), 4 more credits »
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Episode cast overview:
Lillian Lehman ...
Noreen Gammill ...


While on his daily rounds, Lamont spots a "Breath Mobile" that is offering free chest X-Rays. Concerned about his father's chain smoking, he tries to get his old man to get a chest X-Ray, which Fred is reluctant to do. He and Fred both get chest X-Rays and when they get the results in the mail, Fred's letter comes up clean, but Lamont's states that his test was "unsatisfactory due to a technical fault". Taking this as a sign that he has tuberculosis, Lamont panics and decides to check into a sanitarium. Fred become nervous that the condition might be contagious and tries to sanitize the house. Later, Lamont comes home disgusted because the "technical fault" was due to his St. Christopher medal blocking the X-Ray. He also learns that while he was gone, Fred not only read his last will and testament, but also burned his mattresses, sheets and pillow cases. Written by Jerry Roberts

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Release Date:

11 February 1972 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This story was an adaptation of the Steptoe and Son (1962) episode titled "T.B. or Not T.B.?" See more »


Fred G. Sanford: [after flirting with the attractive young receptionist] Now, she's got T.B.
Lamont Sanford: What?
Fred G. Sanford: Terrific Body.
Lamont Sanford: You're a dirty old man, you know that?
Fred G. Sanford: And I'm gonna be one till I'm a dead old man.
See more »


Remake of Steptoe and Son: T.B. or Not T.B.? (1970) See more »

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