The Mary Tyler Moore Show

Season 6 Episode 7

Chuckles Bites the Dust

Aired Saturday 9:30 PM Oct 25, 1975 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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out of 10
67 votes
  • The WJM-TV children's clown is killed by an elephant during a parade. The fact that he was dressed as a peanut leaves the newsroom in stitches. The jokes disturb Mary, who admonishes them for their lack of respect. And then a funeral....

    This is one of the most beloved and funniest Mary Tyler Moore episodes and is one of television history’s most famous moments.
    Not only are the jokes corny and funny, the situation in which Chuckles dies is hilarious, and Mary’s reaction is amusing, against all the laughing. She tries so hard to make them show more reverence for a fallen comrade.
    This all leads to her own demise at the funeral. As the priest performs the eulogy, he lists all of Chuckles various characters from the show. Mary finally sees the humour and begins to snicker and snort, trying in vain to stop herself from laughing at what should be a very solemn moment.
    We’ve all been there. Trying desperately to stop laughing in church or during a speech, or anywhere inappropriate. It is very hard once it starts, and we are treated to a virtuoso performance by Mary Tyler Moore. Her snickering and embarrassing attempts to conceal it are priceless! She laughs and looks around innocently, as if she too is attempting to see who is laughing.
    Finally, she lets out a series of snorts, giggles and a big huge guffaw. She is whimpering from the strain of holding in the laughs, as she listens to the minister tell her that it is ok to laugh, that’s what Chuckles wanted here today, not tears, but laughter. Tears and crying were an insult to him. He encourages her to laugh for Chuckles, and bursts out in sobbing tears!
    It is without a doubt one fantastic episode, and is one of televisions most memorial moments indeed!
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