Mary Tyler Moore (1970–1977): Season 1, Episode 24 - The 45-Year-Old Man - full transcript

No one but Ted seems concerned that Mr. Phelps, the station's new manager, seems to be on a firing spree based on show's ratings. But when Ted, Mary, Murray and Gordy are called into Mr. Phelps' office, they know that someone from their team is going to be fired and that person is the one person not invited to the meeting: Lou. The four have troubles even looking Lou in the eyes until he receives the news, which ultimately comes from Mary. However Lou is relieved that it is him as he figures it is easiest for him out of everyone in the newsroom to get another news job since he's had so many offers in the past. But those offers seem now to have dried up. After Mary, Murray, Ted and Gordy have a brainstorming session, they decide that Mary should speak to the station's owner, Wild Jack Monroe, on Lou's behalf since he was the one who originally hired Lou after a joint drunken spree. Mary is a little apprehensive about speaking to Monroe, an ex-movie cowboy and still real life cowboy, who has a reputation for coming by his nickname for good reason. Will Monroe even remember let alone help Lou?

♪ How will you make it on your own ♪

♪ This world is awfully big ♪

♪ And, girl
this time you're all alone ♪

♪ But it's time
you started living ♪

♪ It's time you let
someone else do some giving ♪

♪ Love is all around ♪

♪ No need to waste it ♪

♪ You can have the town
Why don't you take it ♪

♪ You might just make it ♪

♪ After all ♪

♪ You might just make it
after all ♪♪

Hi, guys.

Hey, Gordy. How are things
in the world of sports?

How would I know?
I'm the weatherman.

Oh. Yes. Why do I keep thinking
you're a sportscaster?

- Anyway, Barry thinks you're
doing a great job, though.
- Barry?

Our new station manager.
The one we call Mr. Phelps.

Keep up the good work. Our audience
sure loves that great sports stuff.

Uh, weather stuff.
[Clearing Throat]

Mary, what's that
you have all over your dress?

- Yellow feathers.
- Yeah, that's what I thought.

Why do you have yellow feathers
all over your dress?

Because I was trying
to console Big Chicken.

Well, I find it hard
to sympathize with a grown man...

that puts on
a chicken suit every day...

and shows cartoons
to three-year-olds.

Murray, you ought to try. Uncle Potato
got a higher rating than Big Chicken,

and Mr. Phelps fired him.

Gee, I'm sorry to hear that.
He's really a nice guy.

- Who are you sorry about?
- Big Chicken.

Mr. Phelps just fired him.

Too bad.
He was a great chicken.

Oh, Lou?
Lou, Lou, Lou, Lou, Lou.

What is it, Ted?

Just my whole life,
my whole career, my life.

Can't it wait?

Lou, they just fired Big Chicken.

Since when have you ever been
concerned about another human being?

This time I'm concerned.

Big Chicken had
a higher rating than I do.

Quit worrying. Big Chicken
had a higher rating than
all of us, but I'm not worried.

Ted, he hasn't been here
long enough not to like you.

He's only been here a couple weeks.
It takes three weeks not to like you.

I know.

But he hasn't thanked me
for my gift yet.

You're still doing that, huh? Buying
gifts for the new station managers.

I'll never forget what you got
the last one... ten bucks.

Well, he was a hard person
to shop for.

What did you get Phelps
that he didn't thank you for?

An autographed copy
of Winston Churchill's memoirs.

You know, he was
the prime minister of England.

- Yeah, I heard a rumor.
- Well, it's true.

Where did you ever find a copy
with Churchill's autograph?

No, no.
Not Churchill's. Mine.

"To Barry from Ted."

Should have put
my last name on it.

Now he'll think
it's Ted Martin of Sales.

What am I gonna do?
He's gonna fire me. I just know it.

Ted! Calm down!

Phelps doesn't own this station.
Wild Jack Monroe owns this station.

I've seen a dozen Phelps
in that job since I've been here.

I feel likeJ. Edgar Hoover watching
presidents of the United States...

come and go.

Now, if you're through,
I've got a TV show to put on.

- Thanks, Lou.
- Mm-hmm.

- [Rings]
- Newsroom.

Just a moment, please.
Ted, telephone.

- Find out who it is.
- It's Mr. Phelps.

Hello, Mr. Phelps, sir.

What? Now?

Oh, no. I'm not busy.
I'll be... I'll be right there.

Yes, I'll tell them.

Barry... Mr. Phelps...
wants to see us all immediately.

- I'll get Mr. Grant.
- All except Lou.

Let's go, gang.

- Where is everybody?
- Uh, they went to the bank.

- Where are you going?
- Uh, to the bank.

Say hello
to everybody for me.

I'm sorry I haven't gotten
to know everybody yet.
I've only been on the job for two weeks.

Only a couple of weeks, but you've done
a heck of a job. Right, gang?

I imagine you all know
why we're here.

Uh, no, I don't.

Our sales manager
can sum it up for us. Ev?

- I can't sell the news.
- Ev can't sell the news.

Why not?

Uh, why can't Ev
sell the news?

Uh, I don't know.

Ev is one of the top men
in his field.

- That's why I listen hard when he says...
- I can't sell the news.

Barry, I've been giving
the problem serious thought,

and I can only say that
my fan mail is up 28 percent.

In other words, I feel the source of
the situation may be behind the cameras.

Gordy, we haven't heard from you yet.
Oh, by the way,

I must say you're doing
crackerjack work handling sports.

I'm the weatherman.

Of course.
You're the weatherman, yeah.

Mary, someone is
letting us down.

Mr. Grant is very happy with the way
everyone's been doing their jobs.

So if there's a problem,
shouldn't Mr. Grant be...


- Oh.
- Precisely.

How would you judge
Lou Grant's work?

- I don't judge his work. He judges mine.
- Heavy.

- Quite frankly, Mr. Phelps...
- Please, don't get upset, Mary.

The matter has
already been decided.

- Decided?
- Yes. You can go.

Thank you.

Uh, I'm sorry
I took so long.

There was a long line
at the bank.

Yeah. Here it comes now.

A more miserable lot
I've never seen.

Hey, everybody, come on.
Let's all have a meeting.

Now, there's been lots of rumors
going around about people being fired.

I want to tell you all now that
not one of you is gonna be fired.

Hey, that was a pep talk.

What's with you?

- I, uh, have to go back to the bank.
- How do you like that?

I give you job security, and right
away you start taking advantage of me.

I was only kidding.

[Ted On TV]
So, be with us at 11:00 tonight, when
our whole WJ M news team will be back.

Gordy Howard with the latest
in spor... weather.

And yours truly, Ted Baxter.
See you then.

Pretty good show tonight.
Good film, good pace.

Only thing it didn't have
was commercials.
Maybe that's why it had good pace.

Right. Right.

- Good show tonight, Ted.
- [Mumbles]

Hey, listen.
I've got some ideas...

for some new features
for this show...

to give it
a little pizzazz, huh?

Okay, we'll talk
about it tomorrow.

If they're gonna fire a guy,
why don't they just tell him
instead of doing it like this?

I'll tell you one thing. It's not
gonna be Mr. Phelps who tells him.

He'd enjoy it too much.

- Good night, Mary.
- Good night.

Mary, I can't take it anymore.
I know what you're thinking,
and I can't take it.

I'm not thinking about you, Ted.

All right.
I did blame Lou for our low ratings.

Maybe I am the main reason he's being
fired, but that doesn't mean...

I don't love him.

It was either him or me.
Can't you understand that?


Put him down for a physical.

Mr. Grant,
I'd like to talk to you.

What's up?

Well, it's
a little awkward, but...

when I was
at the bank today...

I wasn't at the bank.

I was in Mr. Phelps's office.

- Yeah?
- He sent for me.

You don't work for him.

If he's dissatisfied with your work,
let him tell me about it.

Mr. Grant, it's not my work
that he's dissatisfied with.


- Then that's what's been bugging you?
- Uh, yeah.

- Aren't... Aren't you...
- No, not by a long shot.

- I figured I'd get the ax.
- You did?

Uh-huh. I was worried for a while there
that it wasn't gonna be me.

It's probably the best thing
that ever happened to me.

- No, you're just saying that
to make me feel better.
- Now, look.

When you're in TV,
changing jobs is a way of life.

Ten years in one job
is too long.

I've been turning down offer
after offer for years
because I was too lazy to move.

All I have to do
is just pick up the phone.

Can I get somebody
for you then?

Would you mind waiting till they
fire me, please? Would you?

Okay. Okay.

Get me Sid Winnick.

Sid Winnick.
Yes, sir.

Is Mr. Winnick in?
Lou Grant's calling.

Thank you.
Mr. Winnick's on two, Mr. Grant.

Sid. About that job
you've been pitching at me...

for eight and a half
months is it, now?

Well, I'm suddenly
available. Hmm?

I'm 45. What's that got
to do with anything?

Youth movement?
Oh, that's beautiful.

You're 63 years old,
and you're having a youth movement.

I'm all in favor
of your movement, Sid.

Why don't you fire yourself!

Uh, if I'd known I was gonna bomb,
I would have shut the door.

- I'm sorry.
- A few months ago,
they had to have me, but now...

That's just one.
You said you had lots of offers.

I did.
They were all from Sid.

All right, look. Mr. Phelps
isn't the last word around here.

It's Wild Jack Monroe
that owns this place. What about him?

I never should have left
that old newspaper.

But it was those mergers
that was driving me nuts.

I got tired of telling people
I worked for the Times-Globe-
Herald-. Journal-Chronicle.

I still should have stayed there.

You know how I got this job?
I went into a saloon, got drunk,

fell down and met
Wild Jack Monroe under a table.

- Where was that? In Hollywood?
- No, right here.

Whoever heard of a cowboy
from Minnesota?

The guy made 300 grade-B Westerns,
owns half the world...

and lives on a ranch
right outside Minneapolis.

I think he raises snow.

- Why don't you go see him?
- Because I've got nothing
to see him about. That's why.

I'm not exactly a has-been.

Hey, hey, hey, hey.

Associate producer.
What do you think you're doing?

I thought you'd like to talk.


You're very nice.

But what I really would like
is to be alone.



Forty-five years old.

If I was in politics,
they'd call me "the kid."

[Door Buzzer Buzzing]

- Hi. Did you get in touch with Gordy?
- Yeah, he's on his way.

- Did you get Ted?
- I think so.
I called three or four times.

Every time I mentioned we were
planning a strike, he hung up.

Well, the strike is out.

- What?
- My union won't let me.

They'll only let me strike
for what they want.

My union shop steward can't understand
why I want to strike...

to save the job
of someone in management.

Okay, what about
a very strong protest?

Well, that's one idea. We'll discuss it
when the others get here.

- Like an hors d'oeuvre?
- You weren't supposed to serve anything.

- It wasn't any trouble.
- This is supposed to be
a strike meeting.

I hate to tell you this, but when
the Teamsters have a strike meeting,

they only serve
cold hors d'oeuvres.

[Door Buzzer Buzzing]

- Hi, Gordy.
- Hi, Mary.

- I think Ted'll be here in a minute.
- What do you mean, you think?

When I was parking my car,
I saw him circling the block.

He's probably afraid
he's being followed.

Yeah. You know, Ted doesn't
exactly take it too lightly...

when he thinks someone's gonna
speak out against management.

By the way, I can't strike.

- What, you're union too?
- Mm-mm. My wife.

She just told me
we're gonna have another baby.

- Oh, Gordy, congratulations.
That's marvelous.
- Thank you.

What are you hoping for,
a boy or a girl?

We got a girl,
so I hope it's a boy.

Hors d'oeuvres, babies... This isn't
a protest meeting, it's a party.

Thank heavens. I thought
we were having a protest meeting.

Look who dropped in. Did you get
tired of driving around the block?

You saw me coming, huh?
I wonder if anyone else did.

- Ted!
- I mean someone from the other side.

Your other side, not mine.
I'm not taking part in this.

Will you please come in and relax?
No one saw you come in. But we need you.

I never thought I'd say this, but
you're the strongest weapon we've got.

Well, we just lost.

I know. You think I'm afraid
to join in with you, don't you?

- You bet.
- Well, I'm here, aren't I?

And I made a decision to come here
and listen to your arguments.

And if they're strong enough,
I'll stand with you a hundred percent.

Okay. All right.

Lou Grant is the best news director
our station ever had,

and he is about to be fired by a man
who knows absolutely nothing about news.

- Right.
- Plus the fact that every
one of us in this room...

owes him so much,
we couldn't ever repay him.

Add to that the fact that when some
of us thought our jobs were in jeopardy,

it was Lou Grant who was the first
to put his job on the line for us.

- That's the truth.
- Right on.

I'm afraid you're gonna have
to do better than that.

The only way we're gonna get him
on our side is to convince him
there's more money in this.

I just don't like
this strike business.

- We aren't gonna strike, Ted.
- We're not?

No. We're just thinking about presenting
Phelps with some kind of petition.

What good is a petition
with three names on it?

- But we're four.
- No, you're three.

- I vote we throw him out.
- Now, wait a minute, Murray.

Maybe Ted has
some ideas on this.

Ted, if you were about
to lose your job...

- I'm not about to lose my job.
- I know, I know, I know.

But if you were,
what would you do?

You mean, if Phelps were
about to fire me? Hmm.

I'd see the man who owns the station...
Wild Jack Monroe.

You know, that's not a bad idea.
Maybe Lou should go see him.

- No, Mr. Grant would never beg.
- That's exactly what I mean.

How can you help a man
who refuses to beg?

What if all of us
went to see him?

Are you kidding? With a name like that,
he must really be a weirdo.

Murray, all cowboys
have names like that.

Uh-uh. He was just
Jack Monroe in the movies.

He got the "wild"
just for being himself.

Look, Mary.
I think a girl should go see him.

- Why?
- Because the guys don't wanna.

All right. Okay.
I will go see Wild Jack Monroe.

- Terrific.
- I'm glad that's cleared up.

- Gordy, how weird is he?
- He is weird.


Hot dang, I got one there.
Hey, and another one bit the dust.

- Mr. Monroe, uh, Mr. Monroe,
- Heigh-ho, Fred!

I came to see you
about Lou Grant.

- Lou Grant?
- He said that you personally hired him.

To be the news director at WJ M.

Oh, yeah.
My station here in town.

Mr. Phelps is gonna fire him.

Oh, Slim Phelps,
my new station manager.

- He's gonna fire him, huh?
- Yes, sir.

Is he one of them radicals?

Mr. Grant? No.

I'm always kidding him
about being too conservative.

Young lady, there ain't no such
a-thing as being too conservative.

You know,
I said I was kidding.

You know, that's one thing:
You can't be too careful these days.

What with them longhaired hippies
a-running around...

with them wild clothes on,
why, I can't...

Oh, I'm okay.
I'm a cowboy.

I think I need
a shot of who-hit-John.

So... So they're
firing him, huh?

How old is this here,
uh, Grant feller?

He's 45.


You know, it was on
my 45th birthday...

that the studio called me in
and told me I was through.

That's when I found out.
You know that building they fired me in?

- I owned it!
- You didn't know that?

No. You see, I had this here
accountant feller.

And unbeknownst to me,
he'd been investing my money for me.

You name it, I owned it
lock, stock and barrel,

thanks to good old
Slim Schwartz.

That would be your accountant.

Yeah. And I thought
I was washed up.

And you weren't, and neither is Lou
Grant. That's why I came to see you.

I make it a point not to butt in
to the way my businesses is handled,

but let me just kind of
twist it around in my mind a while.

- I'll be a-getting back to you, Miss...
- Richards.

- I'll be a-seeing you, Slim.
- Okay.



- Mr. Grant?
- Finally got it. Want to know something?

Those pink slips you get?
They really are pink.

Red... that's what pink slips
should be. Or black.

You fire a ballerina
with a pink slip, not a newsman.

- But Mr. Grant...
- Don't talk.

You start talking, pretty soon
you'll be trying to organize...

a farewell party
with punch and cupcakes.

And everybody will chip in and buy me
a shaving kit for a going-away present.

There'll be a secretary
there who'll come over to me
and do this... [Whimpering]

- Not for me.
- Mr. Grant,

what I'm trying to tell you is
you might not have to leave.

I went to see
Wild Jack Monroe.

I do not remember
asking you for any help.

Here's the last order
I can give you, Mary... Lay off.

- I don't want to lay off.
- Lay off.


I just wanted to give you
this little token of my...

- It's a shaving kit.
- Thanks.


Oh, yeah.
I'm getting out of here.

Which one's Lou Grant?

- I'm Lou Grant. What about it?
- I want to talk to you in private.

- Okay. Let's go in my office.
- No!

When Wild Jack Monroe
talks private,

he don't go, they go.

Hey, you, Slim.

You're doing a great job
with that sports news. Keep it up.

- But I don't do...
- I said keep it up.

Don't worry. We'll get
a hundred Indians and come back.

Not you, little lady.

Didn't you and me have a hoop-de-do
one time or other?

You could call it that.
I lost four teeth myself.

Hot dang! That was the best
dang fight I ever had.

Hey. The little lady tells me
you're getting fired.

Little lady's got a big mouth.

Watch that, boy.
That's a woman.

Yeah, but it's a woman
with a big mouth.

See, what Mr. Grant
means is...

Hey, I do not need
an interpreter.

And I don't need any favors from you.
I don't want this job.

- I'll work someplace else.
- I got a TV station in Boise, Idaho.

- Keep talking.
- You got the job.

- Hey.
- "Hey" what?

- I got a shaving kit
and a job in Boise, Idaho.
- Yahoo!

I sure outfoxed you that time.

I already got me a TV news director
in Boise, Idaho.

So I'll have to
transfer you to in there.


Come on out
to the ranch house sometime;

we'll open up a keg of nails.

Welcome back.

I suppose you feel like
Mary Poppins or something.

Well, no, actually.
I'm a little disappointed.

I thought I was next
in line for your job.

What kind of a
going-away card is this?

"To Lou from Ted.
Forgive me, but I'm weak."

- Well, uh,
that could mean a million things.
- Could mean he's weak.

How do you go about
giving back a shaving kit?

I don't know.
I've never had one as a gift.

I never have either.
I think I'll keep this one.


Sometimes I don't know whether
I'm working or hallucinating.

Yeah, Big Chicken's back.
It turns out that Big Chicken...

is Wild Jack Monroe's
favorite show.