Friday, November 13, 2009

Chuckles Bites the Dust

I imagine you've probably already seen it (many maybe times)but it's sure worth seeing again. This is David Lloyd's classic MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW episode, "Chuckles Bites the Dust". I've seen it forty times. I still marvel.





18 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have an original "Chuckles Bites the Dust," script. It's an airloom to me but I'm sorry Ken, it's autographed by Mary Tyler Moore.

It should have been David Lloyd.

Genius,

Mark Bennett

Ian Taylor said...

Growing up in Australia, I never saw this show. I think that was the first full episode I've ever seen.

I see now what I missed.

It was interesting reading the script you linked after I watched the episode, and seeing what was changed or just dropped.

Jerad said...

I've heard of the episode many times, but never saw it until now. Thanks for sharing. I can see why you recommended hunkering down for laughs when "Written by David Lloyd" comes on the screen.

WV:frevents: Occasions related to the culture of france.

The Milner Coupe said...

Thanks Ken,

Can't think of a better tribute than the man's own words. Your remembrance was very touching. Well done. You were lucky to have known him.

benson said...

I've known of David Lloyd's writing genius for a long time, but didn't realize how much he truly must've believed what he wrote in "Chuckles", about laughing at death because death will have the last laugh at us.
I've been laid up in bed with a nasty cold for the past few days and have been watching Frasier DVD's. He wrote so many great episodes, and some also had death as a central theme. As mentioned by Ken, "Martin does it his way", but also "Death becomes him" ("You're not Jewish, are you?) and "Taps at the Montana". And they were funny!

Condolences to all who knew him.

benson said...

Oops, misread IMDB. "Death becomes him" was written by Leslie Eberhard.

Michael said...

One of the obituaries on Mr. Lloyd mentioned that the script benefited from the brilliance of Mary Tyler Moore's performance. She was the one who had to keep a straight face. It must have been incredibly difficult. What a magnificent show.

Anonymous said...

@Michael: I was about to post a similar comment. MTM plays it pitch perfect.

Beautiful tribute to the man who made her performance possible. Great actresses need great writers. Thanks for sharing this and making the argument that David Lloyd is one of the greatest.

evwkr said...

I hope someone sent fruit...

Max Clarke said...

Great episode, I saw it when I was a kid the first time it was aired. People talked about it the next day. We didn't know who David Lloyd was, of course. The script holds up so well.

It also includes a nice borrowing of the line attributed to Billy Wilder.

Murray and Lou notice that the turnout for the Chuckles memorial service isn't big. Ted says that when he dies, the place will be packed. Murray says, It's all a matter of giving the people what they want.

When Louis Mayer of MGM died, somebody mentioned to Billy Wilder how large the turnout was for the Mayer memorial service, and Billy Wilder said in so many words, Give the public what they want....

Anonymous said...

I thought it was Harry Cohn...

Mark Bennett

Max Clarke said...

It's been attributed to both funerals, but Iz Diamond was cited by Maurice Zolotow as having seen Wilder say it about Mayer. I heard it a couple of weeks ago on a podcast, where it was attributed to Wilder about Harry Cohn. Give the public a line they like....

VP81955 said...

It's been attributed to both funerals, but Iz Diamond was cited by Maurice Zolotow as having seen Wilder say it about Mayer. I heard it a couple of weeks ago on a podcast, where it was attributed to Wilder about Harry Cohn. Give the public a line they like....

And, of course, the irony is that the studio Cohn founded is now headquartered at the site where Mayer held sway for so many years (although that Culver City facility was actually built by Thomas Ince around 1916 or so; Ince would later move down Washington Boulevard, building a complex with the imitation Mount Vernon in front that would be best known as the Selznick studios).

Mike Barer said...

The days of the single anchor doing local news are sure gone. I don't think that there were any female co anchors when the show was conceived. At least not many.

Kevin Ashworth said...

Why is this line so funny? Sure, it's funny more or less, but was there some popular element in the air at the time that made it funnier so the audience and characters laugh at it?

"After all, you know how hard it is to stop after just one peanut."

Kevin Ashworth said...

More importantly:
Thank you for this!

(And congrats to guest John Harkins, in addition to brilliant work by regulars.)

(And so interesting to see them congregate in Frasier's apartment after the funeral.)

Brad Brickley said...

This very situation happened to me at a older friends funeral. I was sitting in a back row next to my mom and some friends. The Reverend was speaking, talking about how God will be counting the hairs on your head. (Not really sure why.) My mom leans over to me and whispers, "What if you're bald?" I lost it. I started giggling. I was biting my tongue. I was chewing my cheek. I was shaking uncontrollably. Luckily I didn't laugh out loud. Everyone just thought I was broke up about Carl's death. When the service was over I ran out and started laughing like hell by my car. The whole time during the service all I could think about was that Mary Tyler Moore episode and trying not to laugh. My Mom and me still laugh about it today.

Anonymous said...

Not sure why the Australian commenter said that growing up in Aust meant he's never seen the show: the Mary Tyler Moore show ran on commercial TV in Australia in the 1970s, in prime time. It has subsequently been repeated on cable tv and is currently showing on Foxtel. Chuckles Bites the Dust will be shown on Foxtel 4 March 2011.