Ted Baxter
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Quotes for
Ted Baxter (Character)
from "Mary Tyler Moore" (1970)

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"Mary Tyler Moore: The Critic (#7.14)" (1977)
Ted Baxter: [Murray's just introduced Ted to the professor] Professor, I understand your aces in the 'brain-game.'
Karl Heller: [Looks confused] Of who is this person doing a parody?
[Sue Ann laughs]
Ted Baxter: [Arms folded in 'seriousness'] We had a couple of egg-heads in my family. But, I'm the one that became rich and famous, funny, isn't it?
Karl Heller: No, not really. One never goes broke underestimating the public's taste.
Ted Baxter: [Acting like he understands - but doesn't, he smiles] A-ha.Ha, ha
[Ted still smiling, turns away, and looks serious, and skulks away]

Ted Baxter: [Ted's sitting next to Professor Karl Heller, who's about to do his first critique on the 6 O'Clock News] And now, the distinguished professor, Karl Heller. Karl; what are you going to criticise tonight?
Karl Heller: When I accepted the job as 'cultural watchdog,' to this metropolis, my immediate question was; 'what sort of people live here?' At first glance, this town might appear to be an enclave of be-knighted yahoos...
Ted Baxter: Well, I couldn't agree more...
[Ted smiles, vacuously, then gets serious-looking]
Ted Baxter: ... unless, of course that's bad.
Karl Heller: I wondered; are their cultural pretensions as vacant as their smiles? Is this really the heart, of what Mencken called the 'booboisie'?
Lou Grant: [Watching with Murray and Mary in the newsroom] He just called our entire audience 'boobs, and 'yahoos.'
Mary Richards: May-maybe that was just a teaser. May, maybe he was kidding
Karl Heller: It is said that a people get the culture they deserve. In the night's to come,we shall try to find out exactly why no first-rate art has ever been created in this vacant - but intellectually famished - arid - and sterile city.
Ted Baxter: [Ted, who's been staring at Karl, unfolds his arms and turns to the camera, and clears his throat] This is, uh... Ted Baxter
[nervously smiling]
Ted Baxter: saying 'good night,' from Phoenix, Arizona.

Ted Baxter: [Ted reporting a story] Miss LaRue late explained her costume to vice squad officers by explaining she was an unemployed lion-tamer.

Ted Baxter: Tonight, our critic-at-large turns his attention to the TV scene. Karl.
Murray Slaughter: [Mary and Murray in the newsroom, watching on Murray's TV] Well, I wonder who Jack-The-Ripper will attack tonight.
Karl Heller: I think it is only fair that we apply the same critical standards to television that we do to anything else.
Ted Baxter: Very sound thinking.
Karl Heller: [Without looking at Ted] Thank you.I think our first task out to be to putter own house in order.
Ted Baxter: Call them the way you see them, Karl. Let the' chiperinos' fall where they may.
Karl Heller: What you're watching at this very moment is a classic example of what's wrong with television in this town.
[Though Ted's smiling at Karl, he has no clue what Karl meant]
Karl Heller: It is the pursuit of personality at the expense of competence.
Ted Baxter: [All serious-faced] I'm not sure I understand.
Karl Heller: [Not even looking at Ted] I'm sure you don't.
[Ted nervously looks off-camera]
Karl Heller: Let's face I; WJM is the biggest offender in that regard. From the dowdy frumpy of The Happy Homemaker Show, to the bumbling, foot-in-the-mouth delivery of a certain anchorman
[Ted -utterly confused - slowly tuns his gaze off-camera to see if anyone knows what Karl's talking about]
Karl Heller: And backing them up, right down the line
[Murray shakes his head, as Mary looks on in disbelief]
Karl Heller: are dull writing, inept staging, and high school production methods.
[Murray looks mad, and Mary looks mad, as well]
Karl Heller: Well, there you are; the emperor has no clothes
[Ted looks too see if he's wearing clothes, then again, looks off-camera, confused]
Karl Heller: Tomorrow, we shall look at some other stations in town, and see if they fair any better. Meanwhile this is Karl Heller saying; let the viewer beware.
Mary Richards: [Murray turns the TV off] 'High school production methods?'
Murray Slaughter: 'Dull writing.' Buy, he didn't miss anybody, did he?
Lou Grant: [Lou's door opens, and he slams his door, and walks to Murray] Murray; be a good guy, and go buy me a gun.
[Lou pulls out a wad of cash, and hands it to Murray]

Ted Baxter: [the 6 O'Clock News has just ended, and Ted walks out of the studio - angrily, with Karl] 'Bumbling'? Do you think that's a nice thing to say about anybody? 'Bumbling'?
[In his 'deep-voice']
Ted Baxter: My mother watches this show!

"Mary Tyler Moore: Ted Baxter's Famous Broadcasters' School (#5.23)" (1975)
Ted Baxter: I think I see a hand out there...
The Student: What's the passing grade?
Lou Grant: [arms tensely crossed, scowling, does a slow, silent burn] We'll probably go by a class average
The Student: Is that plotted on a normal bell curve?
Lou Grant: Plotted on anything you like.

Ted Baxter: Ah - one final question...
The Student: Can I still get my $300 back?

Ted Baxter: [Opening the door to Lou's office] Come on in, Lou. Great news!
Lou Grant: [Walking out of his office] What is it now, Ted?
Ted Baxter: Oh, Lou. How come every time I come to you to say something, you say, "What is it now, Ted?" like I'm going to say something dumb?
Lou Grant: How come every time I see a duck, I expect it to quack?
Ted Baxter: No, no, no. You answer my question first!

Ted Baxter: I'm going to be rich, Mary! I'm going to have all the things that money can buy. Happiness. Good health. Spiritual fulfillment. Then - then one day, I'm going to use my money to do something good for my country. I'm going to make a huge contribution to a presidential candidate and buy myself a political appointment. Ted Baxter: United States Ambassador to Hawaii.

"Mary Tyler Moore: Ted's Change of Heart (#7.5)" (1976)
Dr. Carter: I've known people in your condition who lived to be 100.
Ted Baxter: Yeah? And then what?

Ted Baxter: Mary, I didn't get a chance to thank you. You saved my life by pressing your lips to mine.
Mary Richards: Ted, it was nothing.
Ted Baxter: What'd you expect? I was sick.

Ted Baxter: Say, doc?
Dr. Carter: Yeah?
Ted Baxter: I didn't want to ask with everybody around. Something's been bothering me. It's kind of personal. How... how does it affect you if you have a heart attack about... you know... uh...
Dr. Carter: Sex?
Dr. Carter: Ted, you can have it as often as you did before your heart attack.
Georgette Baxter: I thought you said he was going to be better.

Ted Baxter: [Gets up from the table and dashes to the balcony door] Aw, gee! I forgot to watch the sunset, darn it!
Georgette Baxter: [Follows him, visibly irritated] , Ted, there'll be another sunset tomorrow!
Ted Baxter: That's not the same thing, Georgette! Tonight's sunset will never come again! Tomorrow, you and I and the sun will be a day older!
Georgette Baxter: Not if you don't knock it off!

"Mary Tyler Moore: Chuckles Bites the Dust (#6.7)" (1975)
Ted Baxter: [ad-libbing an on-air obituary] 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.

Ted Baxter: Nothing can spoil my day now that I'm going to be Grand Marshal of the circus parade.
Lou Grant: Forget it, Ted, you aren't.
Ted Baxter: What?
Lou Grant: I said, forget it. My anchorman isn't marching down the street with a chimp. It tends to give him an undignified image.
Ted Baxter: Oh, Lou... it won't give me an undignified image!
Lou Grant: I was talking about the chimp.

Ted Baxter: You saved my life, Lou. You saved my life.
Lou Grant: Please, Ted, I feel bad enough today.

"Mary Tyler Moore: My Son, the Genius (#7.7)" (1976)
Ted Baxter: I'm not taking David to a shrink!
Mary Richards: Ted, come on. It's just a child psychologist.
Ted Baxter: I don't care how old he is!

Ted Baxter: Wait a second, doc. Before you get started, let me get one thing straight. I'm not impressed with all this psychoanalytic mumbo-jumbo. To me, the whole business is just silly. Child psychology, $40 an hour... How's a kid going to get that kind of money?

[Ted and Georgette have just been informed that David is a genius]
Ted Baxter: Say, let me ask you a theoretical question.
Doctor: Of course.
Ted Baxter: Let's assume that... someone... has a kid with an incredible IQ. And that... someone... wasn't great in the fifth grade. Do you think that would cause any problems between the two?
Doctor: No problems at all, Mr. Baxter. As long as the parent is a reasonably secure, mature, well-adjusted adult.
Georgette Baxter: Boy, are we in trouble.

"Mary Tyler Moore: A Son for Murray (#5.12)" (1974)
Ted Baxter: Why not, Lou?
Lou Grant: I'm sorry, Ted. My anchorman is not going to be a judge at a Miss Nude Minnesota contest.

Mary Richards: A woman doesn't have to have a baby if she doesn't want to.
Lou Grant: Well, I say a man's entitled to have a baby if he wants to.
Mary Richards: [Chuckles] Well, Mr. Grant, on behalf of women everywhere let me say we'd sure like to be there when he has it.
Ted Baxter: She got you there, Lou.

Murray Slaughter: [Referring to the argument he had with Marie] She's got a point, Ted. Overpopulation is a real problem.
Ted Baxter: Sure overpopulation is a problem. That's why people should have lots of babies. Because one day, one of those babies is going to grow up and solve that problem.

"Mary Tyler Moore: Neighbors (#5.13)" (1974)
[Ted is pestering Lou about losing his cue card boy]
Lou Grant: What do you want, Ted?
Ted Baxter: It's about my cue card boy, Lou!
Lou Grant: Oh, yeah, that's right. Mary, hire somebody to do idiot cards for Ted.
Ted Baxter: Don't call them "idiot cards." I resent that. They're called "cue cards."
Lou Grant: Uh-huh. I'm - I'm sorry, Ted. Mary, hire somebody to do cue cards for the idiot.

[Ted is complaining to Mary that he doesn't like the new cue card *girl*]
Ted Baxter: And there's, uh, there's something else, too. I, ahem, I don't feel right, you know, ahem, when I make, ahem, certain kind of jokes during the commercial breaks when a girl's around.
Mary Richards: Well, Ted, if you don't feel right, then don't make them.
Ted Baxter: Well, I... I have to! They keep the little people relaxed. They keep them sort of loose, you know? I need a loose crew, Mary!
Murray Slaughter: Ted, if you don't have a loose screw, nobody does.

"Mary Tyler Moore: Mary's Delinquent (#6.8)" (1975)
Ted Baxter: Hey Murray. Murray; where's my money?
Murray Slaughter: Uh, in my top left-hand drawer, Ted.
Ted Baxter: Is that camera left, or 'real' left?
Murray Slaughter: Left, Ted.
Ted Baxter: It's not here, Murray.
Murray Slaughter: What do you mean it's not there?
[growing concerned]
Murray Slaughter: It's got to be there - I just put it there, before lunch!
[after Murray rummages though the drawer]
Murray Slaughter: It's not there!
Ted Baxter: Somebody stole my money!
Mary Richards: Oh, Ted, that's ridiculous. Oh, oh, I know what you're thinking, well, you're just wrong! Francine doesn't steal money from desks! She happens to be a shoplifter!

Ted Baxter: [after handing Ted his money back after finding out it was indeed Francine, who stole it from Murray's drawer] So; she stole it, huh?
Mary Richards: Yes, Ted.
Ted Baxter: [Smugly] I was right, huh?
Mary Richards: [Trying not to play Ted's game] Yes, Ted, you were right.
Ted Baxter: [Smug] You were wrong.
Mary Richards: [Beginning to get irked] Yes, Ted, I was wrong.
Ted Baxter: [Trying to emphasize he was correct] I was right, and you were wrong.
Mary Richards: Yes, Ted, you were right, and I was wrong.
Ted Baxter: [Again trying to emphasise he was right] You were wrong, and...
Mary Richards: [Exasperated] Ted, I was wrong and...
Ted Baxter: [shouting] Alright, alright, Mare, let's not dwell on it

"Mary Tyler Moore: Two Wrongs Don't Make a Writer (#4.23)" (1974)
Ted Baxter: Come on, Mary, if you were me, would you have any self-respect?
Mary Richards: Gee, I wish you put it another way, Ted.

Lou Grant: Where do you get off changing Murray's copy?
Ted Baxter: It was flat, Lou! I didn't change the facts, I just jazzed up the language.
Lou Grant: Jazzed up? Jazzed up? Ted, you do not change the wording of a direct quote. And I do not believe that the Queen of England calls the French Ambassador "The Dude from Frog Town."

"Mary Tyler Moore: The Good-Time News (#3.1)" (1972)
Ted Baxter: Why are you giving a fifty dollar a week raise to someone who told me to shut up on the air?
Lou Grant: It's all I could afford, Ted.

Gordy Howard: [Mar's 'happy talk' revamping of the 6 O'Clock News is a disaster, as Ted s trying to be funny, and show he has 'personality'] And now, speaking for the management of WJM-TV, Mary Richards. And I'm sure after you see her, you'll understand why I say; 'Mary, I don't know what it is your for, or against, but, whatever it is, I'm with you.
Mary Richards: [Smiling] Thank you, Gordy. We'd like to speak out tonight for population control . Between the years 1932 and 1978, the population of the world will have doubled.
Ted Baxter: [Interrupting Mary] that should do something for our ratings, hey, Mary?
Mary Richards: [Nervously smiling] population experts agree that if growth continues at this rate, world population will reach 7 billion by the year 2000.
Ted Baxter: [Interrupting Mary, again] Hey, I think I'll go into the diaper business.
Mary Richards: [Beginning to stutter] Which points to a disaster of global importance.
Ted Baxter: Oh come on, Mare, don't be such a gloomy Gus.
Mary Richards: The management of WJM feels that television can play a critical role in the control the population growth...
Ted Baxter: [Interrupting Mary] We sure can. As long as they're watching the old tube, they can't make the population grow, can they?
Mary Richards: Television has a responsibility...
Ted Baxter: Get it, Mare?
Mary Richards: [Turning to Ted, off camera] Will you shut up, Ted?
[Ted - off-camera - looks at Mary with disbelief. Mary, turns to face the camera. We see her on a monitor - shocked at what she just said. Her mouth open, and eyes wide, she just stares straight ahead]
Lou Grant: [Lou, who's been drinking while watching the broadcast with Murray] Murray, did I just hear right? Did I hear Mary tell Ted to shit-up on the air?
Murray Slaughter: [Drunk] Yeah.
Lou Grant: [Smiles] Good.

"Mary Tyler Moore: A Reliable Source (#6.22)" (1976)
[Ted, still upset about Sue Ann's salary, confronts Lou]
Ted Baxter: Did you read the article? It says Sue Ann makes more money than I do.
Lou Grant: So what?
Ted Baxter: You lied, Lou! You went around telling everybody that I was the highest paid person here!
Lou Grant: No, Ted, no, you got it wrong. I said you're the most *overpaid* person here!

[an upset Ted has just learned how much money Sue Ann makes]
Ted Baxter: Mary, do you know what Sue Ann takes home every week?
Mary Richards: Three sailors, a tree surgeon and the boy in the mailroom.

"Mary Tyler Moore: A Boy's Best Friend (#5.11)" (1974)
Ted Baxter: I can't wait for Father's Day. I'll have two fathers to send cards to. Of course, Walter's not really my father. Say, do you think they've got a Father's Day card for your mother's lover?
Murray Slaughter: Well, if they don't, they're missing out on a sizable market.

Ted Baxter: Hey, it just occurred to me, the fact that my mother's living in sin - does that make me a...
Mary Richards: No, Ted, *that* doesn't make you one.
Ted Baxter: [sighs in relief]
Murray Slaughter: [Smiles at Ted] But we'll always think of you as one anyway.
Ted Baxter: [Smiles sheepishly as he exits the newsroom] Thanks, Mur!

"Mary Tyler Moore: Lou's First Date (#4.8)" (1973)
Martha Dudley: You know, Mr. Baxter, you look very familiar to me?
Ted Baxter: Oh, you've probably seen me on television.
Martha Dudley: No, I don't watch television - I have a fireplace.

"Mary Tyler Moore: It's Whether You Win or Lose (#3.5)" (1972)
Ted Baxter: Does three of a kind beat a flush?
Gordy Howard: No, Ted.
Ted Baxter: But it does beat two of a kind.
Gordy Howard: Yes.
Ted Baxter: What's a "kind"?

"Mary Tyler Moore: One Boyfriend Too Many (#6.14)" (1975)
Ted Baxter: Hey! Joe! Congratulate me! I'm smashed.
Joe Warner: Why should I congratulate you?
Ted Baxter: It's the first time.
Lou Grant: Yeah. In drinker's terms, tonight he lost his olive.

"Mary Tyler Moore: Mary's Aunt (#6.6)" (1975)
Ted Baxter: I have to tell you this. Your aunt is pushy and arrogant. This goes against nature. Women should be gentle and refined. If God had intended them to be pushy and arrogant, He would have made them men.

"Mary Tyler Moore: A Friend in Deed (#1.22)" (1971)
Ted Baxter: She kept touching me as if she couldn't believe I was real.
Murray Slaughter: We all have that problem with you, Ted.

"Mary Tyler Moore: I Love a Piano (#5.6)" (1974)
[Mary and Lou are hustling around the newsroom, upset that Murray has been out to lunch all afternoon]
Mary Richards: Oh, well, I just don't believe it - 4:30 and Murray is still not back from lunch?
Lou Grant: Doesn't he know that we have a show to get on the air?
Ted Baxter: You know, it's fascinating. Here in Minneapolis/St. Paul, it's 4:30 and we're hard at work. In New York, it's the cocktail hour, and the lights are beginning to twinkle on the Great White Way. And, in London, smartly dressed theater-goers are strolling down the Strand for a late supper at the Savoy. And in Tokyo, it's tomorrow. Actually tomorrow! Do you realize there are people alive here in Minneapolis who are already dead in Tokyo?

"Mary Tyler Moore: Menage-a-Lou (#6.19)" (1976)
Ted Baxter: [Ted's sitting on the couch - silent , as he and Georgette are having a fight] Mary, will you tell me when it's 9 o'clock? I want to watch S.W.A.T.
Lou Grant: Maybe Kenny would like to watch Sesame Street.

"Mary Tyler Moore: You Sometimes Hurt the One You Hate (#5.3)" (1974)
Ted Baxter: I finally came up with my title. It's "A Piece of My Mind."
Murray Slaughter: Well, if they can split the atom... ,

"Mary Tyler Moore: Murray Ghosts for Ted (#7.20)" (1977)
Ted Baxter: I tell you, this is a great country. You know what makes it great? Because you don't have to be witty or clever as long as you can hire someone who is.

"Mary Tyler Moore: Sue Ann Falls in Love (#6.23)" (1976)
Sue Ann Nivens: [Commenting on Ted's and Georgette's matching tuxedos] Ted, you two look adorable!
Ted Baxter: You hear that, Georgette?
Georgette Baxter: I don't care what anybody says. I think we look like the top of a gay wedding cake.

"Mary Tyler Moore: Sue Ann's Sister (#7.3)" (1976)
Ted Baxter: Sue Ann tells us you're from Dixie.
Lila Nivens: That's right.
Ted Baxter: My wife and I use your cups a lot.

"Mary Tyler Moore: Don't Break the Chain (#2.10)" (1971)
Ted Baxter: I'll show you to the elevator.
Armond Lynton: That won't be necessary. I prefer the stairs. It's good exercise.
Ted Baxter: Oh, is that how you keep in such great shape?
Armond Lynton: Well, yes. That, and yoga.
Ted Baxter: Yoga? No kidding. I love yoga. Have you ever tried the kind with the fruit on the bottom?

"Mary Tyler Moore: The Co-Producers (#4.18)" (1974)
Ted Baxter: [offended at having been insulted by Rhoda] Some people don't like the color green, I don't like the word 'dumb.' I don't know what it is about that word that rubs me the wrong way; I just don't like it.
Murray Slaughter: It must be the same reason I don't like the word 'bald.'

"Mary Tyler Moore: Father's Day (#4.6)" (1973)
Ted Baxter: What if he doesn't like me?
Murray Slaughter: Why shouldn't he like you? He doesn't know you.

"Mary Tyler Moore: Divorce Isn't Everything (#1.4)" (1970)
Ted Baxter: Mary, I need your advice about something.
Mary Richards: Yeah, sure, Ted.
Ted Baxter: Not that it's important, but... Do you think it sounds too risqué for an anchorman to say he sleeps in the raw?

"Mary Tyler Moore: More Than Neighbors (#2.19)" (1972)
Mary Richards: [to Ted] You're going to have a lawyer look over a simple lease?
Ted Baxter: An ounce of perversion is worth a pound of cure.

"Mary Tyler Moore: Bess, You Is My Daughter Now (#1.3)" (1970)
Ted Baxter: Whatever happened to the good old days when they had wars in England?
Murray Slaughter: You'd find a way to mispronounce London.

"Mary Tyler Moore: Ted's Wedding (#6.9)" (1975)
[Georgette and Ted are going to recite their own vows]
Reverend Chatfield: [to Ted] Would you like to say something?
Ted Baxter: You mean, wing it?
Sue Ann Nivens: Just say what's in your heart, Ted.
Ted Baxter: Oh, right.
[Leans over toward Murray]
Ted Baxter: Murray?
Ted Baxter: [Murray leans over and whispers in his ear] Georgette, I promise...
Ted Baxter: [Murray whispers in his ear] ... to be a devoted husband...
Ted Baxter: [Murray whispers in his ear] ... and to never give you cause...
Ted Baxter: [Murray whispers in his ear] ... to regret...
Ted Baxter: [Murray whispers in his ear] ... having married...
Ted Baxter: [Murray whispers in his ear] ... such a cluck.

"Mary Tyler Moore: We Want Baxter (#4.12)" (1973)
Woman: Mr. Baxter, what is your position on School Tax?
Ted Baxter: I'm against it. I don't think school kids should be taxed.