Topic: "Just to CU Smile" (5)
Rare it is that Frodo notes a passing with a good humor. He believes however, that David Lloyd untied his bonds with surly Earth, and slipped on a banana peel as he exited, stage left. What follows is the word-for-word obituary printed this day, and repeated here just to make you laugh dear reader, as you contemplate what was rated as the third-best episode of any show in television history.
Ted Baxter is invited to be the grand marshal of a circus parade, but Lou Grant forbids it as undignified. Ted's replacement is Chuckles the Clown, the host of a children's show on the same television station. But on the day of the parade, Lou rushes into the newsroom, stunned, and explains that Chuckles, who attended the parade dressed as one of his characters, Peter Peanut, had been crushed to death. As Lou explains it, "a rogue elephant tried to shell him." For the remainder of the episode the newsroom denizens deal with the shock of the death by joking about it. Mary finds this distasteful, but at the funeral, when the priest leading the service lists Chuckles' silly-sounding characters (Mr. Fe Fi Fo was one) and recites his catch phrase, "A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants, " Mary can't keep herself from guffawing. At the height of her embarrassment, the priest tells her to let it all out, that Chuckles would have approved of her laughter. At that point Mary bursts into tears. The hilarity derived from Mary's discomfort and Ms. Moore's rendering of a woman in full squirm, but the power of the episode was Mr. LLoyd's exploration of how people deal with shock over a death, by deflecting it with humor or stifling it with somberness.
It is Saturday evening anon, and in times past Frodo would have just watched this week's episode of the "Mary Tyler Moore Show." Perhaps he might have just watched a repeat of what is described above. Interestingly enough, as an aside, Lou Grant's reference to a "rogue" elephant is even more timely today than it was so many years ago. No matter, it was a great gift of composition left to us all by Mr. David Lloyd; he left us laughing.
You'll have to excuse Frodo dear friends, he just left in order to find a seltzer bottle.