275. “Valerie Harper lookalike contests are held.”

The episode:Progress Island, USA,” the second short in front of “The Beast of Yucca Flats,” ep. 621

The riff: Quipped by Crow as a bevy of young, brunette dancers are shown dancing in San Juan.

The explanation: Harper is an American actress who was best known for the role of Rhoda Morgenstern, which she initially played on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” As the upstairs neighbor and friend of Mary, she was the sardonic foil to Mary’s “everywoman” likability. The character was popular enough to get her own spin-off into another sitcom simply called “Rhoda,” which ran from 1974-1978, winning both Emmy’s and Golden Globes along the way. Unfortunately, she has recently been in the news for her public battle with cancer.

Novelty factor: I can recognize that this should have been an easy one, but I honestly didn’t know the name when I heard it. Sorry! I know vaguely about “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” but that knowledge stops somewhere before knowing the other actors.

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3 thoughts on “275. “Valerie Harper lookalike contests are held.”

  1. You really should get to know (and hopefully view) “The MTM Show.” It not only was very much an ensemble show, but also contains some of the most iconic moments of television. I can think of one line that goes down as one of THE MOST repeated line in television history (or it seems so). Then there’s the Chuckles the Clown episode.

      • For fear of getting off-topic, I’ll reply. I LOVE Twilight Zone, and to further show my age, I saw most if not all when they were originally broadcast. Of course, at the time I didn’t see/know/realize the underlying messages that Serling was conveying. I just knew they were cool and often scared the heck out of me. (My “favorite” was Eye of the Beholder. At the reveal, I leaped from my place on the floor, a few short feet from the TV, and hid behind the couch, FAR away from the TV. I still couldn’t take my eyes off the screen, though.)

        Now, after “growing up” and watching countless reruns (thank you, SyFy), I can’t, however, think of any specific lines – only ideas. I LOVE Serling’s pre- and post-episode. Also the recurring theme or settings of his shows was (or appeared to me, anyway) loneliness/desolation/solitude. How many episodes contained a single character the whole show – or single until the final reveal.

        I know that I was being hyperbolic when stating the MTM Show had iconic lines, plural. The one that is often quoted, used is Asner’s “spunk” line; the other is the catchphrase for Chuckles the Clown. That particular episode is “iconic” in and of itself.

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