Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Mary Tyler Moore is Alive and Well, But Chuckles the Clown is Still Dead


Mary Tyler Moore, the beloved actress, is alive and well in Connecticut, thanks. She’s thriving with her long time husband Dr. Robert Levine. MTM somehow trended over night on Yahoo as “Mary Tyler Moore death.” It was either a hoax or a bobbled interpolation of the death of an actor from her show, Richard Schaal. The 86 year old actor was married to Valerie Harper, who played Rhoda, during the MTM golden years. He was a droll, funny actor who had many memorable characters including Howard Arnell and his twin brother Paul, each of whom Mary dates– regrettably. Schaal will be sorely missed.

Also still dead is Chuckles the Clown. Cited as maybe the best of all the amazing “Mary Tyler Moore Show” episodes, “Chuckles Bites the Dust” remains absolutely stunning. David Lloyd–the famous father of “Modern Family” and “Frasier” writer Christopher Lloyd (not the Christopher Lloyd  from “Taxi,” another series written by David Lloyd)–wrote a show that should still get a Pulitzer Prize. It’s the high water mark for all TV comedies. Watch  it now without interruption. The mix of high and low humor, satire and philosophy is just beautiful.

And as Chuckles used to say: “A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants.”

I hope Mary Tyler Moore is having a great day.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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