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The Rockford Files: Just Another Polish Wedding

Jim’s old friend from “C” block, Gandolph Fitch, rolls back into his life. Fitch has lost his job as a bouncer for smacking around one too many folks, and wants to partner with Jim. But Jim doesn’t really need a hammer, so he hooks Fitch up with Marcus Hayes. Jim goes off to track down an heir for the county probate office. But Hayes uses what Fitch knows with his own skills to try for the same heir, figuring on a nice fat finder’s fee if he can get there first. Trouble is, no one thought to ask the most important question of all: where did the money originally come from? Asking that question might have prepared both detectives for the bent-nosed folks who really, really want their money back...

Episode Info  

Episode number: 3x17
Production Number: 45030
Airdate: Friday February 18th, 1977

Special Guest Stars
Isaac HayesIsaac Hayes
As Gandolph "Gandy" Fitch

Guest Stars
Louis Gossett, Jr.Louis Gossett, Jr.
As Marcus Hayes (as Lou Gossett)
Pepper MartinPepper Martin
As Melvin

Co-Guest Stars
Walter BrookeWalter Brooke
As Mr. Gertmainian
Dennis BurkleyDennis Burkley
As Bartender
Anthony CharnotaAnthony Charnota
As Dancer
Barney McFaddenBarney McFadden
As Fred Koska
Jack Collins (1)Jack Collins (1)
As Frank Martin / Finn O'Herlihy
George SkaffGeorge Skaff
As Maitre'd
Melendy BrittMelendy Britt
As Musicians Union Secretary
Alfred DennisAlfred Dennis
As Mr. Koska
Jean LeBouvierJean LeBouvier
As Mrs. Mitchell
Bruce TuthillBruce Tuthill
As Yacht Club Attendant
Sidney CluteSidney Clute
As Funeral Administrator
Raymond SingerRaymond Singer
As Johnny Goodbie
Boni EntenBoni Enten
As Hildy Mitchell
Hollis IrvingHollis Irving
As Mrs. Martin
Episode Notes
Walter Brooke, Dennis Burkley and Anthony Charnota appear in the beginning credits, but are explicitly listed as co-stars there, which is unusual for The Rockford Files. Usually all co-stars appear at the end of the episode.

Episode Quotes
Answering Machine Message: George DeBold, Malibu Spacewatch. Had three sightings last week. You see anything unusual, television reception interrupted, call 555-1313.

Gandolph Fitch: That was a good job, Rockfish. Doing what I liked, helping folks have a good time. Every now and then you show some dude the gate. Guy acts up, he gets to hold his teeth on the way to the hospital.

Gandolph Fitch: Hey, Rockfish, I got an idea.
Jim: Yeah?
Gandolph Fitch: Yeah.
Jim: Nothin’ doin’.

Jim: Look, Gandy, you know if I needed a hammer you’d be the guy I’d come to. But I just don’t work that way – I like to keep my business quiet.

Marcus Hayes: One of these days I’m going to have to buy you out.
Jim: Well, that’d be great, except you deal more in hot air and I deal more in cash...

Marcus Hayes: You’ve got a hair trigger, Mr. Fitch.
Gandolph Fitch: That’s right. And you’re sitting on the edge of a big disaster.

Gandolph Fitch: One thing I never got used to is taking shuck off of anybody. Now, you were going to give me a job. I need a job. So, get on with it.
Marcus Hayes: As much as I would like to, Gandy, there are some economic facts of life that have to be considered. You see, I run my business on a three percent deficit balanced against a six month actor on my accounts receivable. Now, what that means in lay terms is that I compute the cost of living index against the current glut in the job market, and then I deduct my three percent deficit and then I divide that by my accounts receivable, see?
Gandolph Fitch: You’re going to give me a job, Gabby, or your teeth is going to be accounts receivable!
Marcus Hayes: Welcome to the firm!

Marcus Hayes: Right now I work for the Musicians Union. The guy hasn’t paid his dues. You tell me what I want to hear or (waves a shotgun) you’re going to start paying yours.

Gandolph Fitch: I ain’t going to be no Tom.
Marcus Hayes: Man, for $400,000 I’d be Howard Cosell!

Marcus Hayes: Mr. Martin, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Marcus Hayes, and I would like to offer you a fortune in cash.
Finn O’Herlihy: Excuse me, but I’m playing this gig right now.
Marcus Hayes: If you would just sign this little document that I’ve prepared, I will guarantee to give you, in case, $400,000 with absolutely no risk at all, and no obligation to you.

Gandolph Fitch: Hey, Rockfish. How do you shut this dude up?
Jim: Put him to sleep.
(Gandolph Fitch gives Marcus Hayes a solid left cross. Hayes’ eyes go glassy and he falls.)

Marcus Hayes: How was I supposed to know the O’Herlihey brothers stole that $600,000 from the mob twenty years ago? No wonder the guy ran.
Jim: That’s why Finn and Pat were living under aliases. The mob never cancels anything off the books.

Episode Goofs
Marcus Hayes plans to collect 40% of a $600,000 inheritance. That works out to $240,000. Later he claims he’ll collect $400,000. It’s possible that he plans to somehow scam his way into collecting two thirds of the inheritance, but more likely an error: Gossett says the same incorrect thing several times.

The credits misspell maître d', which is short for maître d'hôtel (master of the hall) as “matre’d.” Even allowing for the common lack of special characters such as î, the word is missing an ‘i’ and has the apostrophe in the wrong place.

Cultural References
When Gandy Fitch tells Marcus Hayes that he “ain’t going to be no Tom” he’s referring to the main character from “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” an 1852 novel penned by Harriet Beecher Stowe. Originally an anti-slavery story (and a successful one – some cite it as one of the causes of the Civil War), the book has contributed stereotypes that have recently somewhat overshadowed its original message. These include “Uncle Tom,” now a pejorative describing an servile black person who remains loyal to a white master. Fitch believes that Hayes’ plan, where the two men pose as waiters, will present him as such a character.

Episode References
Gandolph Fitch last appeared in “The Hammer of C Block” which revealed that his skill at brawling kept his friends out of trouble with the other cons, who were afraid to bother him. He will appear again in “Second Chance.” Isaac Hayes, who is better known as a singer than as an actor, portrays Fitch. Hayes also provided the voice of South Park’s “Chef” until he split with the production crew over religious differences: Hayes is a Scientologist, and resented an episode of South Park that mocked the controversial religion.

Marcus Hayes last caused trouble for Jim in Foul on the First Play, when he was still a parole officer. One of his parolees had problems with mob characters pressuring him to shave points, but as is always true with Hayes, the truth was more complex.

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