The Mary Tyler Moore Show

Trivia, Quotes, Notes and Allusions

Quotes (308)

  • Lou: Murray! Get me that list of words that Baxter mispronounced on last night's show. Murray: (hands him the list) Catch the top one, Lou. Lou: The top one....(incredulously) 'Chicago'?? Ted: (abruptly, as he exits the newsroom for the studio) Come on, fellas! Lou: And take that make-up bib off! Murray: (to Mary) Last night, he wore it halfway through the show!

  • Rhoda: (to Mary) Where'd you get that nightgown from, Tricia Nixon?

  • Mary: So you're Rhoda? Rhoda: Morganstern. Mary: And I'm Mary Richards. Rhoda: Ah! Hello... get out of my apartment!

  • Lou (who is drunk, typing a letter to his out-of-town wife): My dearest... (Mary opens the door, her old boyfriend Bill walks in) Bill: How are you? Mary: I'm fine. Lou (reciting out loud as he types): How are you? I'm fine. No I'm not. Mary: That's my boss, down at the newsroom. Bill: Oh, is there a big news story here? Mary: No, he's uh, (she makes a drinking gesture) writing to his wife. Lou(continues typing): I miss you more than... (Bill hands Mary a bouquet of roses) Mary: Where ever did you find roses in winter? Lou(Lou continues typing): ...roses in winter. Beautiful. (conversation between Mary and Bill continues...) Bill: Hey, I don't know about you, but, I don't like being in separate towns. Lou (still typing...): Hey, I don't know about you... Bill: Say, it's uh, a little difficult to talk with...Is it possible to... Mary: All my love, Lou. Lou (still typing): All my love, Lou. (pulls the paper out of the typewriter) I am finished. I think I'm gonna go tie one on.

  • Lou: You know what? You've got spunk! Mary: Well, yes.... (turns slightly and blushes) Lou: I HATE spunk!

  • Lou: How old are you? Mary: Thirty. Lou: No hedging! No 'how old do I look'? Mary: (smiles and shrugs her shoulders) Why hedge? Lou: Yeah. Mary: How old do I look? Lou: (pauses) Thirty. (opens booze bottle in his desk drawer) What religion are you? Mary: Uh, Mr. Grant, I don't quite know how to say this, but, uh, you're not allowed to ask that when someone's applying for a job. It's against the law. Lou: Wanna call a cop? Mary: (sweetly) No. Lou: Good! Would you think I was violating your civil rights if I asked if you're married? Mary: Presbyterian. (Lou stares at her.) Uh, well I, I, I decided I would answer your religion question. Lou: Divorced? Mary: No. Lou: Never married! Mary: No. Lou: Why? Mary: Why? Lou: Do you type? Mary: Mr. Grant, there's no simple answer to that question! Lou: Yes there is! How 'bout 'no I can't type' or 'yes I can'? Mary: There's no simple answer to why a person isn't married. Lou: How many reasons can there be? Mary: (nervously) 65. Lou: (exasperated) Words per minute. My typing question!! Mary: Yes. Lou: Look, miss! Would you try answering the questions as I ask them?

  • Lou: Look, miss, I was just about to have a drink and I wouldn't mind some company. Want one? Mary: No, thank you. Lou: I said I wouldn't mind some company! Mary: Well, all right. I'll have a Brandy Alexander. Lou (dumbfounded): How 'bout some coffee?

  • Rhoda: Next time I'm asked out, no matter how lonely I feel, I'm not going to say 'yes' unless it's a couple I really like.

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Notes (258)

  • The pilot episode was filmed on July 03, 1970. This was a retake of a previous filming. It therefore ordered a “live audience” run-through test taping, and the day, June 30th, 1970, came to be known to the cast and crew as “Black Tuesday”.  Under the direction of Jay Sandrich, the taping took place on one of the hottest California nights of the year, and everything which could possibly go wrong did.
    1) - the air conditioning units didn’t work that evening, making the audience uncomfortable and moody.  

    2) - a bomb threat before the taping forced cast, crew and audience outside for an extended period before the show began, and ...

    3) - CBS chose this particular night to experiment with a new camera system which, large and noisy, prevented the audience from seeing and hearing much of the performance, hence there were no laughs.

    Even though the evening was a debacle, at the end of the taping Moore, the consummate professional, came onstage and cheerfully thanked the audience for attending before going home and collapsing into a jag of tears and depression.  Undaunted, Brooks, Burns and Sandrich knew they’d given their best, and Tinker continued to back them up, all the way through filming of the series official pilot premiere episode “Love Is All Around” (orig. air date 9/19/70).  With the exception of a few minor tweaks, including Asner toning down his “gruffness” just a little in the now classic scene where Mary is first hired, the creators made very few changes from the “Black Tuesday” script.

  • The show was originally planned to be about a divorced woman, but because divorce was still a hot subject in 1970, they settled for a broken engagement instead. Also, the network was afraid people would think that Mary had divorced Rob Petrie, her character's husband on The Dick Van Dyke Show, losing the audience's sympathy.

  • Reportedly test audiences to this pilot HATED the Rhoda character. She was seen as too "pushy", too "loud", too "Jewish", and worst of all "mean to Mary". Apparently the writers got around this by doing this: When Phyllis complains about Rhoda, Bess says "Gee I like Aunt Rhoda," thus giving the audience a chance to see there would be more to Rhoda later on.

  • This episode was filmed on July 17, 1970.

  • The episode was filmed in studio on July 10, 1970, and the shopping sequence completed filming on July 13, 1970.

  • This episode was filmed on September 04, 1970.

  • Edward Asner (Lou Grant) does not appear in this episode.

  • This episode was filmed on August 07, 1970.

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Trivia (74)

  • Goof: Howard said that it was no big deal that the film in his camera was exposed, it was only pictures of a total eclipse of the sun. Considering it was 1970, the film in his camera would have been very old since the prior eclipse that occurred in Minneapolis was June 30, 1954.

  • Richard Schaal, who plays the role of Howard, and later in the series the role of Howard's brother Paul, was married to Valarie Harper during this time.

  • This begins the "Battle of the Bulge" for Rhoda, with lines like "I gotta lose 10 pounds before 8:30" and while eating snacks from a bowl, she sees that her date is a newlywed with a beautiful wife and then DUMPS all the snacks out of the bowl into her lap, and starts shoveling them into her mouth.

  • This episode can be seen as the prototype for Mary's disastrous dinner parties. In this episode, the guests all show up expecting dinner, which Mary hasn't prepared as she thought the late start time of the gathering would let them know that dinner would not be served.

  • Goof: When Mary is telling Rhoda about being called a "ma'am" they are eating dinner at the table. Rhoda says something about her mother calling her an old maid and you can see the fork in her hand, then in the next shot she finishes her line, but only the coffee urn and coffee mugs are on the table.

  • In this episode, it's revealed that Mary's mother's name is Marge.

  • The outdoor sequence with Mary and Bess was actually shot in downtown Los Angeles around the Century City Mall.

  • Pat Finley, who played Sparkie in this episode, also plays the role of Twinks in an episode later this season, "A Friend in Deed". The actress will also go on to play a semi-regular role as Bob's sister (and Howard's girlfriend) Ellen in The Bob Newhart Show.

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Allusions (23)

  • Episode Title: Bess You Is My Daughter Now This is a reference to the a song from the 1935 George Gershwin opera Porgy and Bess, titled "Bess, You Is My Woman Now."

  • Episode Title: Support Your Local Mother This is an allusion to the 1969 film, Support Your Local Sheriff!, starring James Garner.

  • Episode Title: Toulouse-Lautrec is One of My Favorite Artists This is a jab at the shortness of the character Eric Matthews and refers to the artist, Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, whose legs ceased to grow after he broke them, presumably because of complications from familial inbreeding, so that as an adult he was only 5 feet tall, developing an adult-sized torso but retaining his child-sized legs. This is also known as Toulouse-Lautrec syndrome.

  • Clergyman: (speaking about Ted) This man has seen more suffering than Job! This is in reference to the Biblical recount of Job, whom God allowed to suffer at the hands of Satan in order to test his faith, and also to expand Job's own well-meaning but short-sighted doctrine.

  • Episode Title: Party is Such Sweet Sorrow This is reference is derived from a line in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet: "Parting is such sweet sorrow."

  • Episode Title: Smokey The Bear Wants You This is in reference to the mascot, Smokey Bear, of the United States Forest Service created in 1944 to educate the public on the dangers of forest fires.

  • Lou sends in a request for a news-chopper, after hearing about "that station with the helicopter in Los Angeles." This was in reference to the Southern California television station KTLA, whose telecopter was the most advanced airborne television broadcast device of its time.

  • Episode title: Thoroughly Unmilitant Mary This is an obvious reference to the 1967 film musical Thoroughly Modern Millie, which also starred Mary Tyler Moore.

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