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Funny / The Mary Tyler Moore Show

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  • The fact that the show had Johnny Carson as a guest during an episode where there was a blackout at Mary's apartment. The credits even just show a black screen when Johnny Carson's name comes up.
  • "Chuckles Bites the Dust". Full stop.
    • Before the parade:
      Ted: Nothing can spoil my day now that I'm going to be Grand Marshal of the circus parade.
      Lou: Forget it, Ted, you aren't.
      Ted: What?
      Lou: I said, forget it. My anchorman isn't marching down the street with a chimp. It tends to give him an undignified image.
      Ted: Oh, Lou... it won't give me an undignified image!
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    • Lou's description of how Chuckles was killed. "It was a freak accident. He went to the parade dressed as Peter Peanut, and a rogue elephant tried to shell him."
    • Ted's improvised on-air eulogy: "Ladies and gentlemen, sad news. One of our most beloved entertainers, and close personal friend of mine, is dead. Chuckles the Clown died today from... from, uh... he died a broken man. Chuckles, uh, leaves a wife. At least I assume he was married, he didn't seem like the other kind. I don't know his age, but I guess he was probably in his early sixties; it's kind of hard to judge a guy's face especially when he's wearing big lips and a light bulb for a nose. But he had his whole life in front of him, except for the sixty some odd years he already lived. I remember, Chuckles used to recite a poem at the end of each program. It was called "The Credo of the Clown," and I'd like to offer it now in his memory: "A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants." That's what it's all about, folks, that's what he stood for, that's what gave his life meaning. Chuckles liked to make people laugh. You know what I'd like to think, I'd like to think that somewhere, up there tonight, in his honor, a choir of angels is sitting on whoopee cushions."
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    • This gem, about the point where the Black Comedy really starts:
      Lou: Lucky more people weren't hurt. Lucky that elephant didn't go after somebody else.
      Murray: That's right. After all, you know how hard it is to stop after just one peanut. [giggles helplessly]
      Lou: That's not funny, Mur— [busts out laughing, and Murray joins him]
      [Ted enters the office, sees them laughing, sits down]
      Ted: [grinning] Hey... what are we laughing at?
      Murray: [still cracking up] Chuckles!
      [Ted stares in ashen horror, then slowly gets up and leaves the office, stopping to flash them a disgusted grimace]
    • At the funeral:
      Georgette: Why do people always send flowers when someone passes on?
      Sue Ann: What would you suggest, dear— fruit?
  • Ted's epic Manchild rant in "The Dinner Party" when he learns that Mary has invited Murray to her party instead of him. It even inspired a similar rant from Ron Burgundy in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.
    Ted: Oh, please, you don't owe me any explanations. You know why? Because I'm glad I wasn't invited to your party. Do you think I even wanted to go to one of your parties? It is to laugh, Mary! You know something, Mary? You don't know this, but I've had lots of parties that you were never invited to. Oh, yes, that's right! Wonderful parties, and you were never invited. Come-as-you-are parties, surprise parties, Hawaiian night parties where you had to say "Aloha" or you couldn't get in. Parties that would have changed your life, Mary, and you weren't invited. Parties where you would have fallen in love with that Mr. Right you've been so desperately waiting for. Yes, Mary, he was at one of my parties too! The one man in the world meant just for you, Mary, and you missed him. The man that would have given you a home and marriage and children and comfort in your old age was at one of my parties, Mary, AND YOU WEREN'T INVITED!!!
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  • Possibly even funnier than “Chuckles Bites the Dust”: the episode “Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Writer,” in which Ted enrolls in the same creative writing class Mary is taking. Ted freaks out about an assignment and Mary tells him the story of something that happened to her in high school, which is the topic of her assignment. In the next class, Ted tells a ridiculously gender-switched, poorly researched version of Mary’s story, which would have been the funniest moment of the episode were it not for Mary’s priceless response to Ted’s story.
    Mary: Thank you. I have never been so happy to tell a story in my life! This is a story about someone insensitive. Yes, insensitive, Ted Baxter, that he would use part of a person's get a crummy three minutes of attention! This is somebody so... Look at me, Ted! This is somebody so insensitive and who has reached such a low point that he would steal a story! That was one of the most important moments in my life, Ted, and you made it into a...a horse story! Well, you've gone too far! I have some things on my chest that I have been saving for YEARS! [the bell rings] NOBODY MOVE!
  • Ted playfully acting as the third wheel on a date Mary had in the beginning of Season 6's "One Boyfriend Too Many", even interrupting a kiss between Mary and her boyfriend with an excited "AH-HA!". It's particularly funny because Ted comes off more as a trolling big brother than his usual self.
    • Later, when Dan comes back and comes looking for Mary, the rest of the cast are reluctant to reunite them, out of fear that he'll hurt her again.
      Dan: Where's Mary?
  • In Season 6's "Once I Had a Secret Love", a Tear Jerker moment between Mary and Lou (the latter stating that they aren't friends anymore after the former told Murray that Lou had slept with Sue Ann) is broken up by Ted's arrival, particularly when he tries to stop Mary from crying.
    Ted: Mary? You want to see what I do to stop Georgette from crying?
    Mary: [stops crying to look up at Ted]
    Ted: [throws out his hands in a frightening motion] BOO!
    Mary: [shrieks, resumes crying]
    Ted: Oh, shoot! That's for hiccups!
  • Ted's attempts to avoid getting subpoenaed in "Mary Gets a Lawyer", which includes donning a disguise while doing his daily report. It's almost difficult to hear what Knight is saying because the audience starts laughing so loudly.
    Ted: [dressed in a beard and mustache] This is Nigel Reed substituting for Ted Baxter, who's on religious retreat... in Washington.
    • Later, Ted does show up as a witness for the prosecution, and it's clear that they underestimated his incompetence, as they constantly ask him what he knows about Mary's job, only for Ted to repeatedly answer with "I don't know".
    • Ted makes it a Brick Joke in the stinger when he thanks "Nigel Reed" for filling in for him.
      Ted: God bless you, Nigel.
    • Mary's lawyer showing up drunk to the trial could also count.
    • When Mary presses Ted on whether or not he actually knows what she does, he lampshades the general routine of any given episode.
      Ted: You don't want me to tell them what you really do around here, do you?
      Mary: What do you think I do around here?
      Ted: [laughs] Well, you come in, you hang up your coat, you talk to Murray. You go in there, discuss your problems with Lou. You wear a lot of different clothes and you have a lot of big parties. You wouldn't want me to tell them that, would you?
      • After Mary proceeds to go into detail about what she really does for the station, Ted replies with a line that even she finds rather funny.
        Ted: Gee, and I always thought it was my fault the show had stunk!
  • The episode "But Seriously, Folks" has Mary asking Lou if he could watch an audition tape of her comedy writer boyfriend, with him getting a job delivering "the lighter side" of the news if Lou likes it. She Won't Take "Yes" for an Answer; she doesn't even notice when Lou says okay as soon as she asks, so she keeps on trying to convince him. He tells her again that he says it's okay, and that he'll watch the tape. Mary can't believe he's agreeing to this so easily, so she says:
    Mary: Mr. Grant, you're having fun with me, aren't you?
    Lou: [In as unexcited a tone as possible] Yes, Mary. I am having fun with you. This is probably the most fun I have had here. Pretty soon, I will have to stop all this fun, and go back to work. After all, Mary, life is more than just mirth and whoopie, isn't it?
    Mary: [Easily picking up on the Sarcasm Mode] I will go and tape it.
    [She goes to open the door]
    Lou: Mary? Thanks for a great time.
  • When Ted and Georgette get married. The entire episode is hysterical. Last minute arrangements, a newbie minister who doesn't know what he's doing, and the requisite nervousness of the groom.
    • With the lack of time to prepare, Mary asks Georgette if there's anything in particular she had in mind to wear.
      Georgette: Well, I'd always dreamed of being married in something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. [Beat] But what the hell. We're in a hurry.
    • No vows written in advance, and the minister without his book, Murray assists Ted with what to promise Georgette. Ted repeats what Murray is whispering.
      Ted: Georgette... I promise... to be a faithful husband to you... and never... give you cause to regret... having married... such a cluck.
  • Sue Ann's younger sister and nemesis gets a job similar to Sue Ann's own at another Minneapolis station. When Sue Ann's sister drops this news, Sue Ann receives it with total grace and a huge syrupy smile, then excuses herself from her sister's presence and lets out a huge horror movie scream...without letting the smile leave her face.

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