Friday, January 21, 2011


Because Mary Tyler Moore made a special guest appearance in the season premiere of 'Hot In Cleveland' - and in a scene with Betty White to boot - the writers couldn't resist tossing in a few references to 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show' in which Betty White was a co-star.

To set the scene.....

Betty's character was in jail for the stash of stolen goods in her storm cellar. (Her late husband had been a fence for the mob.) And she was sharing the jail cell with a mob wife (played by Mayr) whom Elke had not seen in 33 years.

The mob wife used chalk to draw a stylized letter "M" on the wall above her bunk, and it was basically the same font as the wooden "M" which hung in the apartments of Mary Richards. When Elke asked what it stood for, she was told it was for "Murder". That's not what the mob wife was in for; but it was all she could think about once Elke started playing the harmonica.
When the mob wife found out that Elke once sold off a stolen Faberge egg and used the money to establish an animal shelter, she admitted that Elke's scheme took a lot of spunk. And then she added the classic follow-up line first heard in the pilot episode of 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show' - "I HATE spunk!"
(Not that it was related to the MTM show, but that Faberge Animal Shelter was a reference to Betty White's well-known love and protection of animals.)

When the mob wife was finally taken away by the guards, Elke urged that they not wait another 33 years before they see each other again. This one was a bit more subtle - the final episode of 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show' was the last time these TV legends worked together, and it had been 33 years since it was broadcast.

None of these references can be considered Zonks, because 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show' was never mentioned by name. They're all just coincidences, something that happens a lot in the TV Universe.


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