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#1
Old 08-30-2014, 05:39 PM
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Re I'm the Mary & you're the Rhoda. Was Rhoda really all that unattractive?

Re this movie clip debating the issue I never thought Rhoda was all that less attractive than Mary.

Was Rhoda really considered that far behind Mary?

Go to this "Rhoda" show clip at about 9:20 in for a head to head to head. They're different but Rhoda is quite attractive.
#2
Old 08-30-2014, 05:55 PM
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When Rhoda was a supporting character on MtM, she was slightly pudgy and frumpy; her look was deliberately less polished than Mary's. I think Romy and Michelle were discussing MtM Rhoda, not New York Rhoda Rhoda.
#3
Old 08-30-2014, 06:28 PM
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I watched them when they were new shows, and I always thought Rhoda was the more attractive, both physically and in terms of her personality and story. This probably reflects my being from a Jewish family from New York, with an artist for a mother, in an environment in which all hip women wore colorful scarves and big hoop earrings.
#4
Old 08-30-2014, 07:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astro View Post
Re this movie clip debating the issue I never thought Rhoda was all that less attractive than Mary.

Was Rhoda really considered that far behind Mary?

Go to this "Rhoda" show clip at about 9:20 in for a head to head to head. They're different but Rhoda is quite attractive.
Both women were attractive but Mary just had a prettier face
#5
Old 08-30-2014, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Bricker View Post
When Rhoda was a supporting character on MtM, she was slightly pudgy and frumpy; her look was deliberately less polished than Mary's.
Well, Mary was America's Sweetheart, so all females on the show would look inferior compared to her.
#6
Old 08-30-2014, 07:10 PM
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Rhoda couldn't turn the world on with her smile.
And she comes in second as Marge Simpson's sister too.

But unlike Mary she wasn't playing impossible to get.

Last edited by Aquadementia; 08-30-2014 at 07:10 PM.
#7
Old 08-30-2014, 07:59 PM
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See TV Tropes on "Hollywood Homely" in which attractive actors play putatively plain characters. According to that page, Rhoda was supposed to be the homely one on The MTM Show but the pretty one on Rhoda. I don't remember the latter well enough to comment.

Last edited by bibliophage; 08-30-2014 at 08:00 PM.
#8
Old 08-30-2014, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Aquadementia View Post
And she comes in second as Marge Simpson's sister too.
That's Rhoda's sister, not Rhoda. (I always thought Brenda was better looking than Rhoda.)
#9
Old 08-30-2014, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Kamino Neko View Post
That's Rhoda's sister, not Rhoda. (I always thought Brenda was better looking than Rhoda.)
yeah Brenda was cute in the face it was just her down and out personality that made her average looking
#10
Old 08-30-2014, 09:16 PM
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Semi-rambling answer: At the beginning of the series, Rhoda was a frumpy, though not horrifying, young, single, Jewish friend of Mary, and somewhat addlepated, female neighbor, juxtaposed against Mary's lean, WASP-ish turning the world on with her smilej attractiveness.
Rhoda was tolerable, but no great shakes-the kind teenage boys would fuck, but not brag about.
Somewhere in the series, and I can't remember when, Rhoda toned down to a slightly neurotic friend, instead of the female "Howard Borden" neighbor that she started out being. And, she started losing weight and getting more toned, and less frumpy. Then, on one episode, the storyline was Rhoda's weight loss, and how she was starting to look hotter, and had transformed. Neighbor Phyllis said something like "Gee,Rhoda, you've lost a ton!" In the 70s, and with Phyllis' delivery, this was considered amusing. She was now a (semi-) co-equal to Mary, with, IIRC, a better job/career. This worked out to make it a kind of a 'buddy' series, which made it easier to steal old plotlines.
In the looks department, she was now an equal of Mary, just, again, more ethnic.

Watching the series, in the late 90s, I was amazed by how spooky Mary looked in the series. Not the hot babe of the Dick Van Dyke Show, not even a milfy-version of the same-more of a sunburned, haggard reflection of what had been. I think that she was living off of her DVDS reputation, and that, along with her acting talent, and the shows writers, made her 'seem' more attractive than Rhoda.

Last edited by handsomeharry; 08-30-2014 at 09:19 PM.
#11
Old 08-30-2014, 09:25 PM
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Rhoda syndrome. The frumpy sidekick meant to make the lead female look more glamorous gets purtier every season. It happens in almost every situation. Remember Abby in the early days of LA Law? Frumpy student paralegal. End? Out-glammed Susan Dey.
#12
Old 08-30-2014, 09:25 PM
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Moving to CS.
#13
Old 08-30-2014, 11:08 PM
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Originally Posted by handsomeharry View Post
Watching the series, in the late 90s, I was amazed by how spooky Mary looked in the series. Not the hot babe of the Dick Van Dyke Show, not even a milfy-version of the same-more of a sunburned, haggard reflection of what had been. I think that she was living off of her DVDS reputation, and that, along with her acting talent, and the shows writers, made her 'seem' more attractive than Rhoda.
I had the same observation and mentioned it once to my brother, who worshipped MTM. He just looked at me and said "Diabetes."
#14
Old 08-30-2014, 11:12 PM
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FWIW, I always thought Rhoda was attractive*, and couldn't understand why the show's producers were going to such great lengths to make her appear otherwise. I guess the "sidekick" explanation provides the reason.

*And no, I'm not Jewish ... so far as I know.
#15
Old 08-30-2014, 11:21 PM
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Well, there is the "wholesome Caucasian lady" versus "suspect ethnic hippie" factor.
#16
Old 08-30-2014, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by susan View Post
Well, there is the "wholesome Caucasian lady" versus "suspect ethnic hippie" factor.
To some degree. But they actually did do an episode on that very topic in the first season: Mary hooked up with another beautiful WASP-type and quit spending time with Rhoda, until she realized her new friend was a bigot. One of the few "message" episodes in the series' history.
#17
Old 08-31-2014, 12:16 AM
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Originally Posted by handsomeharry View Post
Watching the series, in the late 90s, I was amazed by how spooky Mary looked in the series. Not the hot babe of the Dick Van Dyke Show, not even a milfy-version of the same-more of a sunburned, haggard reflection of what had been. I think that she was living off of her DVDS reputation, and that, along with her acting talent, and the shows writers, made her 'seem' more attractive than Rhoda.
I'd chalk that up to a couple of things:
1)It was 10 years later, that might be the main thing. She was in her 20's in DVD and in her 30's in MTM, so she's going to lose some of that 'cuteness'.
2)She played a similar but different character. In MTM she was much more serious. If you were attracted to her sense of humor in DVD, you might lose some of that in MtM. While she was the straight man in both shows, she was straighter in MTM. Plus she had to be the bad guy from time to time on MtM bossing around some of her co-workers or friends.
3)She had different hair and clothes in the two shows. In DVD she had much more of a pin up look. Remember, she was an ex-dancer from the Allen Brady show (and IRL IIRC). I remember hearing an interview with Mary Tyler Moore once where she said she had it written into her contract that she could wear capri pants in at least one scene in each episode because, in her opinion, housewives don't actually walk around in dresses all day like they had her (and Millie) doing.
4)This may or may not make a difference, but DVD was in B&W and MtM was in color. Remember when shows started going to HD before the makeup departments caught up. Add ten years to the DVD version of her PLUS seeing her in color.
#18
Old 08-31-2014, 12:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by handsomeharry View Post
Somewhere in the series, and I can't remember when, Rhoda toned down to a slightly neurotic friend, instead of the female "Howard Borden" neighbor that she started out being. And, she started losing weight and getting more toned, and less frumpy. Then, on one episode, the storyline was Rhoda's weight loss, and how she was starting to look hotter, and had transformed. Neighbor Phyllis said something like "Gee,Rhoda, you've lost a ton!"
I think you're referring to "Rhoda the Beautiful," the sixth episode of Season 3. That's when she wins the beauty contest at Hempel's department store - although she's too bashful to admit it at first.

Personally I think Rhoda is the sexier of the female leads. She's got more going on in the derriere department.
#19
Old 08-31-2014, 01:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Joey P View Post
She was in her 20's in DVD and in her 30's in MTM, so she's going to lose some of that 'cuteness'.
She actually lied about her age to get the part of Laura Petrie. (IIRC, she claimed to be 23 or 24 when she was actually 20; something like that.) On YouTube, there's an interview with MTM and DVD on Johnny Carson. Dick says he was astonished to see how young she was the first day they worked together. (He was around ten years her senior.)

She of course did look more mature on MTM; one of the series' central themes was how a woman in her 30s would cope with being alone and building a career after walking out on her no-goodnik fiance.

Last edited by terentii; 08-31-2014 at 01:06 AM.
#20
Old 08-31-2014, 02:13 AM
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We recall the DVD episode about Laura lying about her age (therefore, the wedding wasn't valid, IIRC).
#21
Old 08-31-2014, 03:05 AM
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Originally Posted by susan View Post
I watched them when they were new shows, and I always thought Rhoda was the more attractive, both physically and in terms of her personality and story. This probably reflects my being from a Jewish family from New York, with an artist for a mother, in an environment in which all hip women wore colorful scarves and big hoop earrings.
Nah, I watched them new too and always lusted after Rhoda. I can assure you I'm not from a Jewish family, not from New York by a long shot, and there were no artist types in our immediate family.
#22
Old 08-31-2014, 08:20 AM
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I always thought Valerie Harper was very attractive. Even when they had her in sweats and stuff, I never bought that Rhoda was "Mary's dumpy friend". Now Phyllis- she was unattractive because she was a snooty jerk to everyone. No wonder Lars cheated on her!
#23
Old 08-31-2014, 08:43 AM
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Man, that show sure did have a lot of spin offs. Rhoda, Phyllis, Lou Grant.

Has anybody ever beat it for direct spin-offs?
#24
Old 08-31-2014, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by kaylasdad99 View Post
Man, that show sure did have a lot of spin offs. Rhoda, Phyllis, Lou Grant.

Has anybody ever beat it for direct spin-offs?
Maybe not direct spinoffs, but All In The Family had The Jeffersons and Maude. Maude had Good Times. The Jeffersons had the short lived Checkin' In. Both of which are rare spinoffs of spinoffs.
#25
Old 08-31-2014, 09:25 AM
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Happy Days had Joannie Loves Chachi, Mork and Mindy, Laverne and Shirley, [Checks wiki], Blansky's Beauty's, Out Of The Blue, The Fonz and the Happy Day Gang.
#26
Old 08-31-2014, 09:55 AM
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It's worth noting that although the Rhoda character is definitely Jewish, Valerie Harper is not. Her ancestry is "English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, and French" and she was raised Catholic. She claims to have based the accent of Rhoda on a Jewish friend of hers.
#27
Old 08-31-2014, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by C. Montgomery Burns View Post
Maybe not direct spinoffs, but All In The Family had The Jeffersons and Maude. Maude had Good Times. The Jeffersons had the short lived Checkin' In. Both of which are rare spinoffs of spinoffs.
I think Archie Bunker's Place was technically a spin off.
#28
Old 08-31-2014, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Ellis Aponte Jr. View Post
It's worth noting that although the Rhoda character is definitely Jewish, Valerie Harper is not. Her ancestry is "English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, and French" and she was raised Catholic. She claims to have based the accent of Rhoda on a Jewish friend of hers.
Rhoda never struck me as having a "Jewish" accent. "Lawnguyland", sure, but not necessarily Jewish. But in Minneapolis, I can understand folks confusing the two.
#29
Old 08-31-2014, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by terentii View Post
To some degree. But they actually did do an episode on that very topic in the first season: Mary hooked up with another beautiful WASP-type and quit spending time with Rhoda, until she realized her new friend was a bigot. One of the few "message" episodes in the series' history.
It was called "Some of My Best Friends are Rhoda." Beautiful episode. The waspy friend was played by the actress who would play Bob Newhart's wife on Newhart (the Vermont one).

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Originally Posted by kaylasdad99 View Post
Man, that show sure did have a lot of spin offs. Rhoda, Phyllis, Lou Grant.

Has anybody ever beat it for direct spin-offs?
Law & Order: 1) L&O: SUV; 2) L&O: CI; 3) L&O: LA; 4) L&O: UK; 5) L&O: Trial by Jury.

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Rhoda never struck me as having a "Jewish" accent. "Lawnguyland", sure, but not necessarily Jewish. But in Minneapolis, I can understand folks confusing the two.
She seemed Jewish to me, and there were so few Jewish characters on TV (I say that like there are so many now).

It was more than Rhoda being homely (which she wasn't). She had a rain cloud following her around. Mary was perfect in every way, except for her terrible dinner parties. Nothing ever went quite right for Rhoda. She was a bit of a shnuek, and a shlamazel, words I really don't know good English translations for. I never connected this with her being Jewish at the time, although apparently my mother did, and it also didn't pass my mother's notice that they "goyed her up" (my mother's phrase) a bit for her own series.
#30
Old 08-31-2014, 11:59 AM
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Happy Days had Joannie Loves Chachi, Mork and Mindy, Laverne and Shirley, [Checks wiki], Blansky's Beauty's, Out Of The Blue, The Fonz and the Happy Day Gang.
Three of those I never heard of; one of THOSE sounds like a Saturday morning cartoon show, and I'm kinda iffy on letting Mork and Mindy count.

But, yeah, it looks like the champ (ETA: but only if we're specifying sitcoms, as RivkahChaya makes clear).

Last edited by kaylasdad99; 08-31-2014 at 12:02 PM.
#31
Old 08-31-2014, 12:01 PM
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Happy Days had Joannie Loves Chachi, Mork and Mindy, Laverne and Shirley, [Checks wiki], Blansky's Beauty's, Out Of The Blue, The Fonz and the Happy Day Gang.
Blansky's Beauties wasn't a spinoff
#32
Old 08-31-2014, 12:02 PM
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I think Archie Bunker's Place was technically a spin off.
Archie Bunker's Place wasn't a spinoff, the main character was still involved living in the same house. it was a continuation of the original under a new name
#33
Old 08-31-2014, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by kaylasdad99 View Post
Three of those I never heard of; one of THOSE sounds like a Saturday morning cartoon show, and I'm kinda iffy on letting Mork and Mindy count.

But, yeah, it looks like the champ (ETA: but only if we're specifying sitcoms, as RivkahChaya makes clear).
Mork and Mindy is a spinoff. Mork appeared on Happy Days in the spring of 78 and he got his own show in fall of 78
'
Plus Fonzie appeared in the 1st episode of Mork and Mindy
#34
Old 08-31-2014, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by C. Montgomery Burns View Post
Maybe not direct spinoffs, but All In The Family had The Jeffersons and Maude. Maude had Good Times. The Jeffersons had the short lived Checkin' In. Both of which are rare spinoffs of spinoffs.

Good Times was a spinoff, it was a Norman Lear Comedy starring Esther Rolle
#35
Old 08-31-2014, 01:37 PM
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Mork and Mindy is a spinoff. Mork appeared on Happy Days in the spring of 78 and he got his own show in fall of 78
'
Plus Fonzie appeared in the 1st episode of Mork and Mindy
Actually, the "Mork" episode of Happy Days just aired last night, and I put it on for my son (something else was supposed to be on), and I wouldn't have voluntarily watched it, but I thought my 7-year-old might like it, and he thought it was hysterical. At the end, Mork gets his assignment to go live in, and study, 1970s America. So the ep. was actually a backdoor pilot.

I don't know if a backdoor pilot is quite the same thing as a spin-off, because Mork wasn't a regular character on Happy Days. I'll leave that to other people, though. I mean, I guess my L&Os aren't really spin-offs either. They're franchises, and some of them had backdoor pilots.

It's always funny when backdoor pilots that failed still linger in the reruns of a series, like the "Kelly's Kids" episode of The Brady Bunch.
#36
Old 08-31-2014, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by RivkahChaya View Post
Actually, the "Mork" episode of Happy Days just aired last night, and I put it on for my son (something else was supposed to be on), and I wouldn't have voluntarily watched it, but I thought my 7-year-old might like it, and he thought it was hysterical. At the end, Mork gets his assignment to go live in, and study, 1970s America. So the ep. was actually a backdoor pilot.

I don't know if a backdoor pilot is quite the same thing as a spin-off, because Mork wasn't a regular character on Happy Days. I'll leave that to other people, though. I mean, I guess my L&Os aren't really spin-offs either. They're franchises, and some of them had backdoor pilots.

It's always funny when backdoor pilots that failed still linger in the reruns of a series, like the "Kelly's Kids" episode of The Brady Bunch.
It was a backdoor pilot that lead to the spinoff which included the happy days house and fonzie
#37
Old 08-31-2014, 02:11 PM
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#38
Old 08-31-2014, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by RivkahChaya View Post
Or the "Gary Seven" episode of ST:TOS.It's always funny when backdoor pilots that failed still linger in the reruns of a series, like the "Kelly's Kids" episode of The Brady Bunch.
Or the "Gary Seven" episode of ST:TOS.
#39
Old 08-31-2014, 02:54 PM
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It was a backdoor pilot that lead to the spinoff which included the happy days house and fonzie
What does that mean?
#40
Old 08-31-2014, 03:00 PM
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3)She had different hair and clothes in the two shows. In DVD she had much more of a pin up look. Remember, she was an ex-dancer from the Allen Brady show (and IRL IIRC). I remember hearing an interview with Mary Tyler Moore once where she said she had it written into her contract that she could wear capri pants in at least one scene in each episode because, in her opinion, housewives don't actually walk around in dresses all day like they had her (and Millie) doing.
Nitpick: Laura danced once or twice on the Alan Brady Show over the course of the series, but it was never a regular thing. She was a former USO dancer, which is how she met Rob.
#41
Old 08-31-2014, 03:12 PM
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What does that mean?
That Mork and Mindy was a spinofff
#42
Old 08-31-2014, 05:43 PM
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If you want to count it, All in the Family's final spin-off was the very short lived 704 Hauser, which aired in 1994. It was set in the Bunker's old house, now occupied by a black family. John Amos played the father, and in a reversal of the All in the Family dynamic, he had a conservative son who he was always arguing with. According to wikipedia, it had only 6 episodes, one of which was never aired. Memorable, if that's the word, largely for an early appearance of Maura Tierney.

As for MTM, I admit I've never been able to see Rhoda's supposed "pudginess" in the early episodes. I know that the episode "Rhoda the Beautiful," where she loses a bunch of weight and wins the beauty contest, was evidently based on Valerie Harper's actual weight loss. But to me, Rhoda always looked just the same before and after her "losing weight." And I would have preferred Rhoda over Mary (like I would have had a shot with either one!), largely based on the fact that she just seemed cooler, and like she would be more fun to hang out with.
#43
Old 08-31-2014, 09:11 PM
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That Mork and Mindy was a spinofff
The difference between a spin-off (I can't believe I'm having this conversation) is that a back-door pilot is for a series that is already planned, and inserts never-before-seen characters into an existing series for a single episode. The "Kelly's Kids" ep. of the Brady Bunch is probably the best-known example, but the episode "Behave" of Law & Order: SVU that introduced the characters for L&O: LA is a recent example.

Mork was not a regular character on Happy Days. He appears once, and the ending sets up the premise of Mork and Mindy. It's a back-door pilot.

Now, it is possible to have both. When the housekeeper on That show Gary Coleman and Todd Bridges did, cripes-- Diff'rent Strokes, yeah, with the apostrophe and all-- spun off into her own series, there was a back-door pilot with a Diff'rent Strokes ep. (I hated that show, but my brother liked it) set at the school, and introducing all the characters.


Back to MTM and Rhoda: Valerie Harper used to get dressed in a lot of baggy clothes; once she was dressed in tailored clothes, she had magically "lost weight." IIRC, this happened right before the spin off. A lot of things happened right before the spin off that had her shedding her nebbishkeit, preparing to take on the "Mary" role on her own show, while Julie Kavner would be the nebbisher sidekick.
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Old 09-01-2014, 12:32 AM
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Nitpick: Laura danced once or twice on the Alan Brady Show over the course of the series, but it was never a regular thing. She was a former USO dancer, which is how she met Rob.
Nitpick: The producers had Rob, Laura, Buddy, and Sally "doing shows" whenever they could work it into the script. It could happen at a cocktail party, a resort in the Borscht Belt, the Petries' living room, just about anywhere. (Sometimes it was like watching an old Judy Garland--Mickey Rooney movie: "Hey, I know! Let's put on a show to help these guys out!")

Check out this clip; brownie points if you can identify the guy on the drum!

https://youtube.com/watch?v=ANvMAyXuQpI
#45
Old 09-01-2014, 12:44 AM
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Originally Posted by terentii View Post
Check out this clip; brownie points if you can identify the guy on the drum!
SPOILER:
Bob Crane
Not too difficult to recognize.

But Mary Tyler Moore doing calypso; just doesn't quite work, does it?
#46
Old 09-01-2014, 12:49 AM
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But Mary Tyler Moore doing calypso; just doesn't quite work, does it?
Calypso was very au courant back then, thanks to the popularity of Harry Belafonte. Even the original theme song for Gilligan's Island, heard on the unaired pilot, was a calypso number:

https://youtube.com/watch?v=MEUHdOcvBjM

They made fun of the "Let's put on a show!" trope on MTM; this is one of my favorite episodes in the series:

https://youtube.com/watch?v=iodq...ZHBLv9k2#t=600

Last edited by terentii; 09-01-2014 at 12:51 AM.
#47
Old 09-01-2014, 03:23 AM
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But Mary Tyler Moore doing calypso; just doesn't quite work, does it?
I think it's a case of "presentism." It come across to us, in 2014 as a racial impersonation, with her fake accent and all, and we lump it in with Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany's, but really, it's not that different from an American doing a fake British accent when singing a Beatles' song, or a Northerner using a fake Southern accent to sing "Georgia on my Mind." But even knowing that, I cringe too.
#48
Old 09-01-2014, 06:12 AM
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It's worth noting that although the Rhoda character is definitely Jewish, Valerie Harper is not. Her ancestry is "English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, and French" and she was raised Catholic. She claims to have based the accent of Rhoda on a Jewish friend of hers.
And this is my "You Learn Something Every Day".
#49
Old 09-01-2014, 06:37 AM
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Originally Posted by FriarTed View Post
And this is my "You Learn Something Every Day".
She's not the first goy to play a Jew, and I think she did a great job. So Valerie Harper wasn't Jewish? you believed Rhoda was, and that was all that mattered.
#50
Old 09-01-2014, 08:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RivkahChaya View Post
I think it's a case of "presentism." It come across to us, in 2014 as a racial impersonation, with her fake accent and all, and we lump it in with Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany's, but really, it's not that different from an American doing a fake British accent when singing a Beatles' song, or a Northerner using a fake Southern accent to sing "Georgia on my Mind." But even knowing that, I cringe too.
I don't have an offended (for lack of a better term) reaction, I just think "why would you listen to this when there's a real Harry Belafonte out there?"
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