Season 13 Episode 5

The Great MacGrady

Aired Daily 4:00 PM Oct 19, 2009 on PBS



  • Trivia

    • During Francine's nightmare. Mrs. MacGrady was originally suppose to be walking towards a white light, but the film crew thought that it would be too much for a kids show, so they added a green wall over the lighting effects.

    • In this episode, we learn that Francine's grandfather died of cancer.

    • Francine reads the title display. It's the one in which Arthur falls behind in a race, so he hops on the back of D.W.'s tricycle to try to catch up.

    • And Now A Word From Us Kids: The kids talk about their school principal Mr. Springer, who has cancer and they talk about how they dealt with it. Notably, this segment was broadcast following the episode, rather than in the middle, splitting into two-parts as had been done with past double-length stories.

  • Quotes

    • Muffy: (reading from a bottle of dish detergent) "Cleans dirty dishes in time." (She squirts some of it onto a pile of dishes in the sink without running any water or doing anything else. She stands and waits. After sometime, she pulls out her cell phone and makes a call.) Bailey, this dishwash lotion doesn't work. What do I do?

    • Francine: (speaking out loud as the types an e-mail) Dear Mr. Armstrong, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Francine Alice Fre... (She seems frustrated, deletes this and starts over.) Hi, Lance! How are you? Hope this isn't a bad subject, but I heard you had cancer and... (stopping) Oh! (She deletes again.) I'm afraid. Really afraid. I have this friend. She's the cook in our school, but she's so much more than that. She's Mrs. MacGrady. Once she played in a rock band with me. She's one of the coolest and most amazing people I know. She's really wise, but fun, too. And now, she has cancer. So this is what I want to know. Will she be all right? Could you please let me know that? Thanks, Francine.

    • Arthur: Would you take that mask off?
      D.W.: I don't want to catch the cancer.
      Mrs. MacGrady: Don't worry, sweetie. You can't catch it, I promise.
      D.W.: Really?
      Mrs. MacGrady: Absolutely, positively promise.

    • (Muffy is trying to decide on a tie for her father's birthday, but Francine shows a distinct lack of interest when asked her opinion.)

      Muffy: You could pretend to be a tiny bit interested. It is for my father's birthday, after all.
      Francine: Muffy, Mrs. MacGrady has cancer. Excuse me if I don't feel like shopping.

    • Francine: I'm sorry I haven't come to see you. I just..I was afraid that...
      Mrs. MacGrady: You don't have to explain. It can be pretty frighting to see someone you care about when they're sick. There is something you can do to make it up to me though.
      Francine: Just name it.
      Mrs. MacGrady: First put some of this hand sanitizer on.
      (Francine puts some on her hands)
      Francine: Now what?
      Mrs. MacGrady: Now give me a big hug.
      Francine: (Hugs Mrs. MacGrady) I've really missed you.
      Mrs. MacGrady: I've missed you too Frankie.

  • Notes

    • This episode is currently not re-airing ever since Lance Armstrong revealed that he had a drug addiction.

    • This episode is dedicated to the memory of Leah Ryan, who co-wrote the episode with Peter K. Hirsch, one of the show's longtime staff writers and executive story editor. Additionally, in honor of Leah Ryan, Mrs. MacGrady was referred to as "Aunt Leah" in this episode by her nephew, Skip Bitterman. This may be a middle name, since Mrs. MacGrady's first name has previously been revealed on the program as Sarah. Leah Ryan was a playwright for theater and fiction, but Arthur was her only known television work. She passed away of leukemia at age 44.

    • This special episode of Arthur is being broadcast throughout the entire week of October 19-23 on PBSKids Go!

    • A promo for this episode was shown after each new episode of Arthur broadcast the week of October 12-16.

  • Allusions