The Popcorn Stand: Love was all around with Mary Tyler Moore

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As I remember it, Mary Tyler Moore was my first crush. So when she died on Wednesday, it was obviously another reminder of just how old I am.

The Mary Tyler Moore Show was one of my favorite shows growing up as a kid. Ted Baxter, played by Ted Knight, was one of my favorite anchormen. He was basically Ron Burgundy before Ron Burgundy.

I remember one scene when he had to do the sports on a Monday night and reported the halftime score of the Monday Night Football game. I know the Minnesota Vikings were playing because the show was based in Minneapolis, and as I remember it they were playing the Green Bay Packers, although I’m not sure. I’ll just use the Packers to fill in the opponent because the rest of the line was hilarious when Baxter improvised in his signature anchorman voice: “Halftime Score: Minnesota Vikings 7. Green Bay Packers 7. The game is closer than the score indicates.”

When I was a student at USC, my journalism professor actually showed an episode of the Mary Tyler Moore Show when Mary Richards had to go to jail for protecting a source. (In the 1970s, there weren’t the shield laws to prevent journalists from going to jail for protecting the identity of their sources that there are now).

I remember the scene in which the judge basically said he would have loved to have raised a daughter like Mary — then sent her to jail.

Mary Tyler Moore and Ted Knight also starred in two of my favorite — and as about as opposite movies as you could imagine — in 1980: “Ordinary People” and “Caddyshack.”

Knight was perfectly cast as the uptight judge and country club member in the silly, but wonderful comedy “Caddyshack” while Mary Tyler Moore broke out from her All-American Woman image in “Ordinary People” in which she played an emotionally lacking mother who couldn’t come to grips with the death of her son or form an emotionally stable relationship with her surviving son. She was nominated for an Academy Award for her brilliant performance.

Even though she’s no longer with us and we’ll all miss her, when I think Mary Tyler Moore, I’m still smiling. After all, she could turn the world on with her smile.

— Charles Whisnand


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