Mary Tyler Moore: Season 2, Episode 6

Cover Boy (23 Oct. 1971)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 41 users  
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Ted receives a visit from his super-competitive brother, a male model.

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Title: Cover Boy (23 Oct 1971)

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Hal Baxter
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Storyline

Ted receives a visit from his younger brother, Hal Baxter, the two who have not seen each other in five years. Hal, an actor and ad model, is in town for a modeling job. On first glance, Mary can see that Hal is, in her words, an even more Ted than Ted, the two who are always trying to do and be one better than the other. Hal even corrects people when they refer to him as Ted's brother: in his mind, Ted is his brother. And good looking Hal knows he's good looking, and lets the world also know as much. Because she sees their ultra-competitive nature, Mary reluctantly agrees to pretend to be Ted's longtime girlfriend on a double date with Hal. Since Hal was going to ask Mary, Mary, on Ted's further pleading, asks, as Ted refers to her, her "Israeli friend" (Rhoda) to be Hal's date. As the oneupsmanship between Ted and Hal takes its toll on especially Mary during the course of the date, Mary tries to convince Ted to be the bigger brother and stop all the game playing. Will Ted listen to ... Written by Huggo

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Comedy

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23 October 1971 (USA)  »

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Trivia

The character of Ted Baxter was openly patterned after the character Oscar North - an egotistical actor in the 1967 series He & She (1967) (for which series creator, Leonard Stern gave permission). Oscar North was played by Jack Cassidy, who portrays Ted's brother here. The role of Ted Baxter was originally offered to Cassidy who turned it down, not wanting to commit full time to a series and fearing the role might typecast him. See more »

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Baxter vs. Baxter
16 February 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This entertaining episode stars the late, great Jack Cassidy, who's as hammy as ever, and very funny as Ted's brother, or as Hal(Cassidy)puts it, Ted is "his brother", not the other way around. I heard somewhere that Cassidy was originally offered the part of Ted, but turned down the offer, which was too bad. That isn't to say that Ted Knight wasn't great either, but I think Cassidy would be my personal preference if he took up the offer. In this episode, they both try to outclass each other with fake stories of success and the like, and Ted even manages to convince Mary to be his girlfriend, while Hal dates Rhoda. Cassidy's arrogance and smugness are really the best moments, as Mary and Rhoda don't do all that much, although Ted has some funny moments as well. While the ending seemed a bit rushed, having the brothers come clean after their false pretensions, added a nice touch. Both actors died too young, and I think they would've added more humor to our lives. This episode meant a tad more to me because of that, and I do recommend it.


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