Classic TV Episodes: Mary Tyler Moore Show – Chuckles Bites the Dust

Some sitcom episodes are classic and will live on. When you tell someone you like a certain show, there is always that certain episode that many people will bring up that represents that show. I’ll go through a few random shows in the next few weeks and pick the one that I remember the most. These will be in no particular order. I want to thank nostalgicitalian
for giving me the idea for this.

“A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants”
“We all fall down and hurt our foo foo.”
“Chuckles the Clown is dead. It was a freak accident. He went to the parade dressed as Peter Peanut, and a rogue elephant tried to shell him.”

MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW – Chuckles Bites the Dust

This show’s writing was top notch. There are a lot of shows that are memorable with The Mary Tyler Moore Show. The Characters are Mary Richards, Ted Baxter, Lou Grant, Murray Slaughter, Georgette Baxter, Sue Ann Nivens, and Reverend Burns

Ted Baxter is mad at Lou Grant because he won’t let Ted be the Grand Marshall at a circus parade in town. Ted gets more upset when he finds out that Chuckles the Clown, who works at the station gets to be the grand marshall. However, a freak accident at the parade – a rogue elephant believing that Chuckles, who was dressed as a peanut, was the real thing – killed Chuckles. Mary is appalled that everyone in the newsroom seems to be treating the nature of Chuckles’ death as a bizarre yet funny joke instead of respecting the sad fact that someone died, period. By the time the funeral arrives, everyone seems to take Mary’s words and thoughts to heart… with one exception, Mary cannot stop laughing at the funeral and everyone else just stares at Mary who tries so hard to hold the laughter in.

At the end when the Reverend notices Mary trying to hold in the laughter…tells her that Chuckles would love laughter at his funeral and to just laugh at loud. At that time Mary then starts crying.

Full Episode

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

27 thoughts on “Classic TV Episodes: Mary Tyler Moore Show – Chuckles Bites the Dust”

  1. The Greatest episode in a groundbreaking sitcom. Still funny. It’s a master showpiece in any “How To Write One Of The Funniest TV Sitcom Episodes Of All-Time” instruction manuals, and a guide to how a great cast can elevate a great script….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a great cast on this show! This certainly is one of my favorite MTM shows! Every time she starts laughing and people look at her, I am reminded of a time I was in church and my brother did something that made me laugh. Trying to stifle a laugh when it is totally inappropriate is VERY hard to do! This scene takes me back to that day – trying not to laugh only makes the laughter more hearty! The twist with her crying – perfection!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The cast was top notch no doubt…funny you say that…some of it reminds me of Algebra class and my buddy and me would make each other laugh. Trying to be quiet during that was hard.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I appreciate it. When I did the first one…I was thinking…wait…someone else did this and it came to me after it was posted lol. I do thank you. I have a few made up…Green Acres and Andy Griffith Show so far…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I really need to go back and do a few more. It is fun to rewatch episodes and write about them. I have a few DVD sets that I want to dive into (The Untouchables, Mission: Impossible, Star Trek, Sanford and Son, etc…) I just need to find the time!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, God. I remember this one. It was funny as hell.

    I watched the show a lot when I was younger…this and The Bob Newhart Show. Enjoyed both. I guess I soured on MTM & Asner when they turned out to be flaming Hellyweird jerks. Ditto Rob Reiner. I can’t watch All In The Family reruns or MASH, either.

    Sorry to be a downer. I DID enjoy this show.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Bob Newhart Show I simply loved…and still do. I liked it better than Newhart but I might feature the last episode of Newhart which is great…I think the best last episode ever…You are such a downer! lol no…


      1. Yes I liked her voice…I liked her.
        They got on my nerves also…the wife wasn’t as good as Suzanne…it’s a shame what happened to her though.


      2. That is interesting… I guess it might have been because of their careers.
        I’ve read she was upset at the last episode… I guess because it was a dream… and I guess going back to the old show.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. One of my favorites. Thank you for writing about it. The show is still groundbreaking for women. Rarely do we see these days a woman who lives alone, who is happily unmarried but would have married had the right guy come along, who has female friends as well as male friends, who has a cool job and doesn’t date her co-workers (except for the one disastrous date with Lou, which was never repeated and Mary and Lou both knew it was a mistake). Bob Newhart was also groundbreaking because they never had kids. And Emily kept her job and they lived in a condo. I’ve said this before — these shows were ground-breaking but someone came along and filled it in.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. My mother was divorced and single in the 70s so I could relate to this even as a small child. It is not easy being single and divorced now either I’m sure but they made Mary strong but she remained nice and not so cynical. Yea I remember that episode with Lou and Mary…yea…it didn’t feel right.

        Loved The Bob Newhart Show…yea kids would have ruined that show I believe. Emily and Bob were really strong.

        Thanks for Commenting


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