Who are the "guests"? The only one we recognize is Sybil Gooley. Where are the Jeffersons or Lorenzos or Cousin Maude or Cousin Amelia or any of Edith's other friends or relatives who surely would have attended her 50th birthday party. (Of course it would have been too expensive to get everyone, but a few more familiar faces would have been appreciated).
This classic episode, even though it was an hour-long episode was taped as two segments. The first part was taped on August 26, 1977.
Edith Bunker was 50 in this episode, but Jean Stapleton was actually 54.
According to David Dukes, the actor who played Edith's rapist, the original taping of the scene in which Edith shoves the cake in his face had to be redone because both times that they filmed it in front of a live audience(there was both a 5:30 and an 8:30 taping), the studio audience was so loud and stamping on the bleachers and cheering for so long that it overrode all the subsequent dialogue, and had to be reshot.
This two-part episode was heavily criticized by some, including both The New York Daily News, which accused Lear and CBS of stooping to a new low to get ratings, and The New York Post, which derided Lear as "a good showman."
David Dukes, the actor who portrayed the rapist, actually received numerous death threats after this episode aired. Apparently, there were people who could not distinguish David Dukes the actor from his role as a rapist.
The loud cheering we hear during the scene where Edith hits Lambert in the face with the burnt cake, kicks him out the back door and storms out of the house through the front door, is a standing ovation given by the live studio audience.
This episode won the 1978 Emmy for Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series.
Screen Captures of this episode are available at the Singing Dingbats;