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Chuckles Bites the Dust 

Mary thinks that the death of Chuckles the Clown is nothing to laugh about--until she attends the funeral.

Director:

Joan Darling

Writers:

James L. Brooks (created by), Allan Burns (created by) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
Mary Tyler Moore ... Mary Richards
Edward Asner ... Lou Grant
Gavin MacLeod ... Murray Slaughter
Ted Knight ... Ted Baxter
Georgia Engel ... Georgette Franklin
Betty White ... Sue Ann Nivens
John Harkins ... Rev. Burns
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Storyline

Mary is appalled with everyone's reaction to the death of their station co-workers Chuckles the Clown is killed. He was the Grand Marshall at a circus parade but having appeared as one of his TV characters, in the form of a peanut, is shelled by a rogue elephant. Murray in particular simply can't stop making jokes about it all and Mary thinks it's all inappropriate, despite Lou's claim that it's just a way of dealing with death. They all attend the memorial service but it's Mary who has trouble remaining solemn. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

clown | manic laughter | See All (2) »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

TV-PG
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 October 1975 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

MTM Enterprises See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Influential comedy writer Danny Simon (I) used to read this script to his classes as an example of excellent writing. See more »

Quotes

Mary Richards: All right, just forget what he was wearing. Suppose he hadn't been dressed as a peanut, would his death still be funny?
Murray Slaughter: Could have been worse. He could have gone as Billy Banana and had a gorilla peel him to death!
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Connections

Referenced in St. Elsewhere: Close Encounters (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Love Is All Around
Written and performed by Sonny Curtis
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User Reviews

 
Sometimes We All Hurt Our Foo Foos
24 February 2017 | by HitchcocSee all my reviews

When Mary Tyler Moore died a couple weeks ago, I decided to watch all the episodes, in order, one more time. I can't express the joy that this series brought to me. No, not every episode was perfect, but she was a lovely woman and a great comedienne. I was wondering when, exactly, this episode would show up. I've seen it at least 25 times and I can't help but laugh out loud every time. First of all, the absurdity of Chuckles' death. The idea of him leading a parade, dressed as a peanut is funny enough, but to be crushed by an elephant. Not all of Murray's jokes were hilarious, but the guys falling apart were priceless. Of course, Mary is indignant at how disrespectful everyone is over the death of the clown. Those little phrases which I won't repeat here. But the crowning glory is the funeral itself. Here, Mary Tyler Moore is at her absolute best as she tries so hard not to laugh. You can feel her almost internally hemorrhaging as she holds it all in. This would be my first choice for funniest moment in television because of the pacing, the humor, and the writing. Rest in peace dear Mary.


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