Fred and Lamont buy a load of copper from a man who has been stealing it from people in the neighborhood.



(teleplay by), ("The Lead Man Cometh" by) | 3 more credits »

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Episode cast overview:
Noam Pitlik ...
Officer 'Swanny' Swanhauser


Fred's friend Kelly, turns Fred and Lamont onto a sweet deal involving some copper that a contact, named Otto, is trying to get rid of because he says his church is being torn down to put up a parking lot. Fred is skeptical of the deal but Lamont assures him that he knows what he is doing. Fred and Lamont are instructed to wait at a diner for the man to show up to close the deal. After doing so they return home where Smitty and Swanee pay them a visit and warn them about a copper thief that is working in the area. Panicked, Fred and Lamont drive their newly acquired load of copper down to the ocean and dump it. Returning home, they discover that all of their plumbing has been stolen, and that the copper dealer sold them their own copper which he pulled out while they were waiting for him at the diner. Written by Jerry Roberts

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Release Date:

4 February 1972 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Noam Pitlik is billed as 'Swanson,' but his name is clearly pronounced as 'Swanhauser.' See more »


Remake of Steptoe and Son: The Lead Man Cometh (1964) See more »

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User Reviews

Introducing Hal Williams as Officer Smitty
13 December 2016 | by (Youngstown,Ohio) – See all my reviews

"The Copper Caper" (final 1971 copyright) was the episode that introduced Hal Williams as Officer Smith, better known by his nickname 'Smitty,' along with first regular partner Officer Swanhauser (Noam Pitlik, first of six), better known as 'Swanny.' A black cop paired with a white one made for a perfect match, 'Swanny' the ultra serious, by-the-book policeman whose literate pontifications need to be translated into slang by the street savvy 'Smitty' (after six appearances, Noam Pitlik would be replaced by the far more lighthearted Officer 'Hoppy' Hopkins, played by Howard T. Platt). Leonard Stone (first of two) plays Otto, offering the Sanfords 200 pounds of copper at 10 cents a pound. Lamont is anxious to double their investment, while Fred is convinced it's a scam. When Officers 'Smitty' and 'Swanny' show up, they're convinced that an arrest for receiving stolen goods is about to happen. Even worse, they realize that their own home has been victimized by the copper snatcher!

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