The Mary Tyler Moore Quiz

By: Staff Writer
Image: Youtube

About This Quiz

Remember which legendary actor played Mary's boss in the newsroom, or what everyday item the star throws into the air during the opening credits? Show off your knowledge of this classic '70s series with our "Mary Tyler Moore" quiz!

Model and actress Mary Tyler Moore is credited with revolutionizing the way woman are portrayed on television, but her first major role was surprisingly traditional. From 1961 to 1966, she played suburban housewife Laura Petrie on "The Dick Van Dyke Show." While Moore's character is remembered as feisty and ahead of her time, she still largely filled the role expected for a woman on TV at the time -- homemaker and mother.

Moore's second major turn on television broke the mold, however, and paved the way for shows about single, working women to appear on screen. From 1970 to 1977, she played Mary Richards, a Minneapolis news producer who lived alone, worked, had no kids -- and was shockingly single. 

Of course, the "Mary Tyler Moore" show was so much more than a social statement; it was smart and funny, with Moore's co-stars being so beloved by audiences that three of them got their own spin-offs. 

And paraphrasing the words of the show's unforgettable theme song -- you might just make it after all -- to a perfect score on this "Mary Tyler Moore" quiz!

The Mary Tyler Moore Show was a television breakthrough, why?

It had the first never-married, independent career woman as the central character.

Moore's character was initially intended to be a divorcée, what happened?

There were actually two reasons. The first was that divorce was still controversial at the time. The second was that CBS was afraid viewers might think that Mary had divorced Rob Petrie, Laura's husband on The Dick Van Dyke Show.

Dick Van Dyke never guest starred in any Mary Tyler Moore episode to avoid confusion with her Mary Richards character. However, one actor who regularly guest-starred on the Dick Van Dyke show, also was a guest-star in a couple of Mary Tyler Moore episodes during the third and fourth seasons. Who was this actor?

Dick Van Dyke’s brother, Jerry Van Dyke, guest-starred in a couple episodes during the third and fourth seasons. Apparently there was no confusion even though Jerry Van Dyke resembles his brother.

Let’s talk characters, what was the name of the News Anchor on the "Six O'Clock News"?

Ted Baxter was the character, Ted Knight was the actor.

The character Lou Grant was played by:

Ed Asner, played the Lou Grant, the Producer and later Executive Producer, of the "Six O'Clock News".

What was the name of Mary’s wise-cracking best friend?

Rhoda Morgenstern was Mary’s friend and upstairs neighbor who trades insults with Mary’s other neighbor and homeowner, Phyllis Lindstrom.

Phyllis Lindstrom is married to Lars. What does Lars do for a living?

Lars is a dermatologist that makes blemishes and other skin imperfections disappear. It is interesting to note that Lars is also an unseen character throughout the entire series.

Phyllis and Lars had a precocious daughter. What was her name?

Bess was the precocious daughter played by Lisa Gerritsen. Bess only referred to Phyllis by her first name rather than “mom” or “mother”. To Phyllis’ horror Bess bonded with Rhoda, calling the upstairs neighbor “Aunt Rhoda”.

What was the name of Ted Baxter’s sweet, but somewhat ditzy girlfriend?

Georgette Franklin was the name of the character who play Ted Baxter’s sweetheart and later his wife.

When Georgette made her first appearance in the sitcom, where was she working?

Georgette worked as a window dresser at Hempel's Department Store along with Rhoda. Later, she worked for a car rental service, as a Golden Girl, and for Rhoda selling plants.

What was the name of the head writer of the news show?

The head writer of the news, Murray Slaughter, makes frequent quips about how Ted Baxter mangled his news copy. Murray is married to Marie, and has several children.

So who was Gordon “Gordy” Howard?

The producers introduced Gordy as a weatherman because at the time they felt very few weathermen at the time were black. In several early episodes the character of Gordy remarks, "Why does everyone think I'm the sportscaster?"

This will really test your memory, what were the call letters of the local TV station?

The correct answer is WJM

No one could forget Betty White’s portrayal of Sue Ann Nivens. Although Sue Ann was not on the Six O’Clock News, she did have her own show. What was the name of that show?

Host of WJM's The Happy Homemaker Show, Sue Ann Nivens has a superficial, cheerful demeanor while making hilarious judgmental comments about Mary and exchanging personal insults with Murray. She is also highly attracted to Lou and makes veiled comments indicating her interest.

Why do you remember so much about the cast? Because the show was one of the best written TV series of all time. In fact, what ranking did it receive from the Writers Guild of America on its list of the 101 Best Written TV Series of All Time?

In 2013, the Writers Guild of America ranked The Mary Tyler Moore Show number six in its list of the 101 Best Written TV Series of All Time.

There was much praise from critics for the Mary Tyler Moore Show, including Emmy Awards for Outstanding Comedy Series. How many years in a row did it receive the Emmy Award?

The Mary Tyler Moore Show earned the Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series for three years in a row (1975–77), and continued to be honored long after the final episode aired.

One of the episodes, Chuckles Bites the Dust” was number one on TV Guide’s list of The 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time. What happens in that episode?

Chuckles is hired as the grand marshal for a circus parade and is asked to dress in character as Peter Peanut. During the parade, a "rogue" elephant spots Chuckles and tries to shell him. Chuckles dies from his injuries.

Besides “You know how hard it is to stop after just one peanut”, what other memorable quote came from the Chuckles Bites the Dust episode?

In the eulogy the minister asks, “And what did Chuckles ask in return? Not much. In his own words, 'A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants.'"

"The Lars Affair" episode made the list at number 27. What happens in that episode?

When Phyllis notices Lars’ clothes are cleaner than when he left the house, Phyllis realizes that Lars has been having an affair with Sue Ann Nivens, the star of WJM-TV's The Happy Homemaker show.

In the episode “Put on a Happy Face” what hilarious situation occurs?

In the episode “Put on a Happy Face” the perfectly coiffed Mary Richards attends and receives a Teddy Award at the awards banquet. She accepts in an ill-fitting dress, hair bump, sprained ankle while sniffling with a cold. According to Mary Tyler Moore, this is her favorite episode.

In 1995, Entertainment Weekly said that "TV's most famous bachelorette pad" was Mary's apartment. What was the fictitious address of the Victorian house where she, Rhoda and the Lindstrom family live?

The fictitious address of the Victorian house where Mary, Rhoda and the Lindstrom family live is 119 North Weatherly, Minneapolis, Minnesota. However, the exterior establishing shots were of a real house in Minneapolis at 2104 Kenwood Parkway.

Once fans of the series discovered where exterior shots had been taken, the house became a popular tourist destination. Then what happened?

The correct answer is all of the above.

The opening title sequence features many scenes filmed on location in Minneapolis in both summer and winter, as well as a few clips from the show's studio scenes. The sequence changed each season, but always ended with what?

The sequence changed each season, but always ended with Mary tossing her hat in front of what was then the flagship Dayton's department store at the intersection of South 7th Street and Nicolett Mall in downtown Minneapolis.

And what was playing as she tossed her hat? The famous theme song of course! Which one of these lines is NOT correct?

“You’re gonna make it for us all,” should really be “You’re gonna make it after all. So go ahead and sing it one more time."

"Love Is All Around", the theme song for the Mary Tyler Moore show was written and performed by who?

American singer and songwriter, Sonny Curtis wrote and performed the famous song. Sonny Curtis joined the Crickets after Buddy Holly's death in 1959, and soon took over the lead vocalist role in addition to lead guitar. Two of Curtis's best known songs are "I Fought the Law" and "More Than I Can Say" (co-written with drummer Jerry Allison).

How did every show end?

The ending sequences show snippets of the cast and guest stars and on-location scenes including a rear shot of Mary holding hands with her date, played by Moore's then husband, Grant Tinker. The ending sequence music is an instrumental version of "Love is All Around". The ending finishes with a cat meowing within the MTM logo.

Now it’s time to give kudos to the creators and executive producers of the Emmy award-winning show. Which one of these people should take a bow?

Both James L. Brooks and Allan Burns were the creators and executive producers of the Mary Tyler Moore Show.

The Mary Tyler Moore show was produced and distributed by MTM Productions and MTM Enterprises respectively. Who owns MTM Enterprises?

Mary Tyler Moore and her second husband Grant Tinker produced and distributed the series through their company MTM Enterprises and MTM Productions. Their company produced a number of other popular television programs, including The Bob Newhart Show, Hill Street Blues, Remington Steele and several spin-offs from The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

How did the Mary Tyler Moore show initially do in syndication?

The show did not do well initially in syndication. However, in the fall of 1992, Nick at Nite began broadcasting the series nightly and it became the network's top-rated series.

Many times there are spinoffs after the series is over. In the case of the Mary Tyler Moore show, there were two spinoffs during the series. Which characters had their own show?

The show spun off two television series that were very successful. And the spinoffs were not a surprise to the viewers - as the show worked the spinoffs into the script. The sitcoms ‘Rhoda’ aired from 1974–78 and ‘Phyllis’ aired from 1975–77. The last episode of the Mary Tyler Moore Show aired March 19, 1977.

After the Mary Tyler Moore Show ended there was yet another spinoff, what character had its own one-hour drama?

Lou Grant had his own one-hour drama that was quite successful. It aired from September 1977 to 1982, called “Lou Grant”.

In the final episode, a new owner is coming in to take over WJM, and there will be many people fired. Who is the one person that didn’t get fired?

Ted Baxter was kept while all the other characters were let go. Throughout the episode, the characters were convinced that it was Ted who would be let go, although it never happened.

The final episode was a classic, what was Mary Tyler Moore’s favorite improvised moment in that episode?

In the script it was written that the actors break from the group hug and go to the Kleenex box. However, in rehearsal they came up with the group shuffle. That was Mary’s favorite improvised moment.

The character, Mary Richards, did what for a living?

Although she applied for a secretarial job at the TV station, that position was already taken. She is instead offered the position of associate producer of the station's "Six O'Clock News".

Why did Mary come to Minneapolis determined to “make it on her own”?

: Mary had been living with a man whom she had helped through medical school. He left her once receiving his degree. She relocated to Minneapolis determined to “make it on her own.”

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