Mary Tyler Moore (1970–1977): Season 5, Episode 11 - A Boy's Best Friend - full transcript

Ted goes through a series of emotions about the news that his mother is getting remarried to a man named Walter Tewksbury. He is initially excited at the prospect of having a new father, something he's never really had in his life. Then he begins to feel overwrought, not really realizing that this feeling is from the belief that he is losing his mother to another man. Next, he feels stressed at making the necessary arrangements for the wedding. But on a subsequent piece of news from his mother, Ted feels ashamed. That news is that she and Walter have decided not to get married, but solely to live together in sin. On Lou's advice, Ted decides he needs to have a man-to-man talk with Walter to know what is truly in Walter's heart toward his mother. Meanwhile, everyone in the newsroom tries to fill in her responsibilities while Mary is on vacation in Mexico.

Are you wondering how healthy the food you are eating is? Check it -
♪ Who can turn the
world on with her smile ♪

♪ Who can take a nothing day ♪

♪ And suddenly make
it all seem worthwhile ♪

♪ Well, it's you, girl
and you should know it ♪

♪ With each glance and every
little movement you show it ♪

♪ Love is all around
No need to waste it ♪

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

♪ You're gonna
make it after all ♪

♪ You're gonna
make it after all ♪♪

Okay, here's the editing
schedule through Friday,

and here's a list
of the sponsors.

It's worth checking to see which news
item comes before which commercial.

Otherwise, it can be
a little embarrassing.

Like when Ted read that item about
the raid on the massage parlors...

followed by the commercial about
letting your fingers do the walking?


So how come you picked Mexico for
a vacation? Well, you know what I did?

Got out a great big map, closed
my eyes, jabbed my finger and said,

"This is where I'm gonna spend
the week." And landed in Mexico.

No. Racine, Wisconsin.

Took me 11 jabs
to get to Mexico.

Morning, Murr. Morning, Mary.

Morning. Morning.

[Laughing] Oh, what a
great day! Look at me.

I guess with a
glance at my face...

you can tell something
wonderful's happened, can't you?

No. There are no
pennies on your eyelids.

Something wonderful
has happened!

Wake the town, tell the people.
Shout it from the highest rooftops!

- Ted, what is it?
- Come to think of it,
it's kind of personal.

I'd better just tell Lou.

I didn't hear you knock, Ted.

No time for knocking, Lou.
This is too important. Great news.

Ted, I'm very busy. What is it?


Ted, I've got a-a better game.
Close your eyes, pick a number,

and take a hike.

Lou, this is the best thing that's ever
happened to me. Come on, guess.

- Ted!
- All right. Here it is.

No, wait. I can't
leave Mary out of this.

Mary, would you
step in here, please?

Ted, if it's so important, why...
Why am I excluding Murray?

Right. Murray, you too. Come
on in here. On the double, fella.

Oh, what the heck? All you guys in
there. Come on. Come one, come all.

You wanted to see me,
Mr. Grant? I don't even

know what the news
is, and already I hate it.

It's good news, Lou. And good news is
something you share with your friends.

And you are my friends. And I want
every one of you to be the first to know.

- Ted!
- My mother's getting married.

- [Mary] Oh!
- [Quietly] That's nice.

I hope it's not
because she has to.

Isn't it wonderful? I
knew you'd all be thrilled.

Yeah, yeah. We're all
thrilled. Okay, that's it.

Back to your desks.

- That's really
wonderful news, Ted.
- Yeah.

It's been 40 years since my
old man walked out on her.

Forty years with no one but
little Ted for her to lean on.

Oh, boy.

Oh, you guys don't know
how important this is to me.

You've all got fathers.

Every mother's son of you.

You don't know what it's like
to lie in bed at night praying,

praying the styles won't change
so Mom won't need a new dress.

You can sleep knowing that when
the chips are down, Daddy's there.

Well, now so can I.

Because I'm gonna become a son.

I'm going to become
a son! [Giggling]

Let's just hope he's not twins.

Thanks for the
champagne, Mr. Grant.

It was really sweet of you
to bring it. My pleasure, Mary.

Bon voyage! Thank you.

Hey, hey, hey. Let me
do that. That's a man's job.

Oh, thanks. I always have
trouble with it anyway. Yeah.

You twist that little
wire. It lifts right off.

Oh, right. Listen, you be
careful down in Mexico, Mary.

A woman traveling alone in a
foreign country is pretty helpless.

Right. I will.

If you spread the wire,
it lifts right off. Yeah?

Yeah. Oh, check.

You know anybody down there
if you need help or anything?

Yeah. I've got a
couple of friends.

Uh, Mr. Grant, I think you
want to tilt the bottle a little...

to keep it from foaming
when the cork comes out.

Oh, yeah. Got it. You
got my home phone?

Yes, I do.

You know what, instead of
easing it with your thumbs,

you can grasp the
cork and then twist it out.

I mean, I've seen
people do that.

[Pops] Ah! There.

Nothin' to it.

I guess it just looks hard. Not
if you know what you're doin'.

[Doorbell Buzzes]
Hey, I'll get it.

Now don't hesitate to call me
if you need help, you hear me?



- Oh, hi, Lou. Hi, Mary.
- Hi.

Champagne, huh? Yeah.

Actually, it's a little premature.
My mom's not getting married...

Ted, Mary's starting on her
vacation. This is her bon voyage.

- Oh, she's going
by boat, huh?
- What are you doing here?

Well, it's Friday night, Lou,
and Georgette's got a class.

Usually have dinner with Mom,
but she's pretty busy these days.

So I thought I'd stop by
to see how Mary's doing.

Gee, Ted, I'd ask you to have dinner
with us, but I only made enough for two.

Oh, hey, that's all
right. Enjoy yourselves.

I'm sure I can find a
greasy diner open...

somewhere in
this cold, hard city.

Well, look. At least stay and
have a glass of champagne with us.

If you insist. Okay. Sit down.

Here's to my new
dad! Here's to...

Gee, I don't know
what to call him.

Lou, what do your kids call you?

When they were
little, it was Daddy.

In college, it was Father.

Now it's Daddy again.

I like Daddy.
Father costs money.

Daddy. Daddy.

Nah, that's for girls.

You've got girls, Lou. I don't
think a man would say Daddy.

Pop. Pop. I could say Pop.

Hi, Pop. Morning,
Pop. Pop, meet Mary.

- What's his name?
- I don't know.

My mom just calls him
her gentleman friend.

When I was little, she used to
always say they were my uncles.

I had more uncles
than any kid I knew.

This is great. Oh, thank you.

[Mary] It's a new recipe of
Sue Ann's. Sure looks good.

It is.

That's another thing. When you're down in
Mexico, be careful of the food down there.

And don't drink the
water. You know why?

I'll give you a hint, Mary.

Did you get it? You
get it? [Laughing]

You know something?

None of those uncles
ever played with me.

None of them ever took
me to a baseball game.

They don't have
"uncle and sons" day.

Hey, Ted. Don't go have dinner
by yourself. Have dinner with us.

We'll give you some of ours.
You don't mind, Mr. Grant, do you?

- Oh, I guess not.
- Gee, thanks, guys.

You know, it wasn't
easy for my mom.

She had to be both
mother and father to me.

You know that little lady
actually put on boxing gloves...

to teach me to fight because
she thought a boy should learn?

Sounds like a wonderful woman.

And a wonderful teacher.

By the time I was 13,
I could knock her silly.


Sorry. You're so tense,
everything is clenched.

Are you using your thumbs?
Mom always used her thumbs.

I'm doing the best I can. Your
mother has bigger thumbs than I do.

She has the biggest
thumbs I ever saw.

Giant thumbs.

Yeah. Like tennis paddles.

Where are they when
I need them though?

Every time I call
her, she's too busy.

Thanks. That's enough,
Georgette. [Groans]

Is your back better? Yeah.
But now my neck hurts.

Can I tell you something?
Not now, Georgette.

I think I'm getting
a headache too.

Ted, listen to me. It's hard
for me to make people listen...

because I don't have a
very forceful way of talking.

But sometimes what you say is
more important than how you say it.

That's not true.
Say that's not true!

This is what I want to tell you.

I don't think there's anything
wrong with your back or your neck.

Then why do they hurt?

I think they hurt...

because deep down inside
you think you're losing your mom.

All these years, she's taken care of
you, and now... She's taken care of me?

I've been sending her money
every month for 20 years.

There's no telling how much!

Somewhere between
60,000 and 61,000 bucks.

And she's given you
comfort and advice and love.

And now your brain is telling
your back and your neck...

your mom is leaving you,
and they're not taking it too well.

It's what doctors...

It's what doctors
call psychosomatic.

Psychosomatic? Yes, Ted.

What you have to realize
is you're not losing a mother.

You're gaining a father.

Yeah, that's right. I'm not losing
a mother. I'm gaining a pop.

[Laughs] When they get
married they can visit me,

and I can visit them.

They can take me to
dinner. I can visit them.

We'll be just like
one big happy family.

Of course you will.

Hey, you know something?

My back doesn't hurt anymore and my neck
doesn't either, and my headache's gone.

Soon as I realized there was nothing
to worry about, the pain went away!

- That's wonderful, Ted.
- Yeah!

And you thought it
was psychosomatic.

How come we didn't get
backup coverage on the remote?

Mary usually takes care of that.

This whole week, every time I've asked
a question I've gotten the same answer:

"Mary usually takes care of that." Why
can't someone come up with a new alibi?

Mary usually takes care of that.

If I had realized
how hard she works,

I'd never have
given her a vacation.

Hi, guys. Sorry I'm late, Lou.

I've been running all over town
making plans for the wedding.

When's the big day, Ted? I don't
know. They haven't set a date yet.

Walter just came
into town this morning.

Gosh, I... I can't
wait to meet him.

It's gonna be a
beautiful ceremony.

I cry every time I think of it.

Why? Are you paying for it?

Well, actually, I
am, and it isn't easy.

I've got to take care
of all the details myself.

Right now I'm trying
to pick out an orchestra.

Say, Lou, which one of
these two do you think is better,

The Lester Goldman Trio
or the Electric Bananas?

Ted, Mary's gone and I've
got a lot of extra work to do,

so if you don't mind... Just
one more question, Lou.

Do you think your friend Murphy the combat
photographer could do a wedding album?


If the bride and groom don't mind
wriggling to the altar on their bellies.

[Door Closes] Murphy... maybe.

Oh, it's gonna be a
beautiful ceremony!

I'm going to give
away the bride.

Give away? I figured
you'd find a way to sell her.

Where the bride and groom each read
something they've chosen themselves.

Walter's going to read
a poem by Tennyson,

and Mom's going to read a
short passage from the Joy of Sex.

Oh! I almost forgot.

I've got to ask Mom about
the minister she wants.

Boy, that reception's
gonna be something too.

When I propose a toast,

it's gonna be the most
beautiful, touching,

moving tribute that ever
poured out of a son's heart.

Write me something, Murr.

Hello, Mom? Hi. Did
Walter arrive in time?

Oh, good. Say, listen, Mom,
about the minister for the wedding...




Oh. Yeah.

Yeah, I'll... I'll, uh... I'll, uh...
I'll call you when I get home.

[Handset Clatters In Cradle]

What's the matter, Ted?

[Sobs] Nothing.

Come on, Ted. What's the matter?

Mom and Walter aren't
getting married after all.

Oh, they've decided to break up.

No, they... they
decided to shack up.

[Phone Rings]



Hello? They hung up.

What's the difference?

Probably some lurid
scandal magazine.

- It might have been
your mother.
- Don't mention that name.

You mustn't be like this, Ted,

sitting in your apartment all
weekend with the drapes closed.

You missed a
beautiful sunny day.

It may be sunny out
there, but in here...

it was night with early
morning cloud cover,

turning to occasional
rain by midafternoon.

The fresh air would
have done you good.

[Laughs] Oh, yeah.

Out in the streets where
people would stare at me,

pointing, whispering,

"There goes Ted Baxter, the one whose
mother is... Psst, psst, psst, psst, psst."

Ted, no one even knows your
mother is... "Psst, psst, psst, psst."

And anyway,

your mother is really
a very sweet person.

I remember the first time
you took me to meet her.

She gave me a big hug and
led me over to the couch...

and sat me down and took a
good, long look at me and said,

"So you're Ted's broad."

She liked you
right from the start.

And I liked her, Ted.

I think I understand her.

She's just lonesome.

I mean, a woman
needs tenderness.

A woman needs affection.

A woman, yes, but not a mother.

Why is it so important to you...

that your mother get married?

'Cause it's the only decent
thing to do when two people are...

You know.

It is? Of course it is!

You believe that?

Of course I do.
Marriage is the only way...

For people of their generation.

Uh-huh. Okay, thanks a lot.

Excuse me. I want to
make a long-distance call.

Long distance? It's all
right. I'm going to pay for it.

I've written down
everything I'm going to say.

The phone company
recommends that, you know.

Keep long-distance calls short.
Write everything down ahead of time.

- Who are you calling?
- My father.

My real father.

Somebody's gotta tell him.
Somebody's gotta break the news...

that another man has stolen the affections
of the woman he deserted 40 years ago.

That could be a real blow.

Poor little father out
there somewhere,

never expecting a voice from
afar that'll change his life forever.

Hello, Dad?

"This is Ted. How are you? Nice
talking to you. But I've got bad news.

Mom's living with a guy. Bye."

There's no good way
to break bad news.

Hello, everybody! Hi!

Not a word about the
disgrace of the Twin Cities.

She's seen your newscast, Ted.

Hiya, Mar. Welcome
back. Aw, thanks, Murr.

Welcome back. Thanks, Mr. Grant.

Yeah, Mar. Welcome
back! Thanks, Ted.


Mexico was absolutely beautiful.

I mean, the sights and
sounds, the smells...

Welcome back, Mar. Thanks, Ted.

Oh, and I saw a sunrise over the
ruins at Yucatán that was breathtaking!

Welcome back, Mar!

Thanks, Ted.

[Giggling] You don't know
how good it is to see you, Mar.

We all missed you around here.

The place just hasn't been the
same without good old Mary to talk to.

Aw, Ted. That's really
nice of you to say.

So how's your mother?
None of your business.

Sit down.

[Clears Throat]

Ted, may I offer a
little friendly criticism?

Sure. If it's constructive.

You're acting like a jackass.

Food for thought.

I'm tired of you carrying
on about your mother.

Lou, you don't know what it's
like to spend every day in fear...

that someone you're responsible for
is going to make you a laughingstock.

Yes, I do, Ted.

She's living in sin, Lou.

My own mother's living in sin!

Have you talked to
the guy? Talked to him?

Well, that's how I'd handle it. Meet
him for a drink. Find out his intentions.

I know his intentions.

What I mean is... talk to him.

Tell him where you stand
and find out where he stands.

Talk to him man-to-man.

Huh. You know something,
Lou? You may be right.

That's what I'll do. Tonight.

Talk to him. Man-to-man-to-man.

Haven't you got an
extra man in there?

No. Because you're
comin' with me, Lou.


I sure appreciate this,
big fella. I hope so.

I feel like a fool.

Well, I'm sorry it
had to come to this.

But he asked for it,
messin' with my mom.

[Doorbell Rings] There it
is, Lou, the bell. What'll I do?

Come out of your corner
bobbing and weaving and answer it.

All right. You stay right there.

Mr. Baxter? I'm
Walter Tewksbury.

This is an honor. May
I... May I call you Teddy?

Certainly not. Oh.

I didn't know you had company.

I'm, uh, Walter Tewksbury.

Lou Grant, Mr. Tewksbury.
I was just leaving.

Oh, I hope I'm not breaking up
the party. Oh, no, no. Not at all.

I just dropped by to pass
the time of day with Teddy.

I'll just be slipping along now.

Think you can handle
it, killer? Don't go, Lou.

I have to, Ted.

In about 15 seconds,

I'm gonna start to giggle.

Now, I don't giggle often.

You've probably
never seen me giggle.

Let's keep it that way.

- Nice meeting you,
Mr. Tewksbury.
- Oh. Good-bye.

[Lou Giggles]

- Nice man.
- Yeah, he's nice.

But hard like me, Tewksbury.

Doesn't put up with
any funny business.

Sit down. Thank you.


you seem to be upset,
and I think I know what it is.

Now let me assure you I'm not
going to try to take the place...

of your natural father.

[Laughs] My natural father!

I met him once in 40 years.

He borrowed 2,000
bucks and split.

Well, I can ease your
mind on that score too.

I'm financially pretty well off.

I want you to know that anytime
you're in need of anything,

you can always come to me.

- I can?
- Sure.

You mean, if I needed,
say, a hundred bucks,

- I could just come to you
and you'd give it to me?
- Sure.

[Laughs] I want
you to know, Walter,

that I appreciate
that very much.

Course I wouldn't
ask you for any money.

But it's certainly
nice of you to offer.

Listen, Walter, why aren't
you and Mom getting married?

Well, we just don't want
to rush into anything.

After all, marriage
is for a lifetime.

But I'm sure that
we will eventually.

You will? Well, that's terrific!

That's what I wanted to know!

That's quite a load off my mind.

And you'd really give me a
hundred dollars if I asked you for it?

That's right.

Would you like a
drink, Walter? Yes.

I'll take a little
scotch if you got it.

You know, my father taught me
to drink scotch long years ago.

And you know something?
It's still my poison.

Well, no one ever
taught me to drink.

I had to pick it
up on the streets.

He was a grand
old guy, my father.

He and I had some
wonderful times together.

Did he take you
to baseball games?

Oh, sure. Sure.

In fact, I'm, uh, I'm a big fan.

Are you? Yeah. Big fan.

Well, say. Would you like to
go to a Twin game someday?

- Twin game?
- Yeah. Minnesota Twins.

Oh! I thought you meant like
when they play two games in a row.

No. That's a
doubleheader. [Laughing]

You really do know
the game, don't you?

Can you vouch you've got a hundred
dollars on you right now... cash?

I do. Good scotch, by the way.

Well, I've got to
get going, Ted.

I'm very glad we had a
chance to meet each other.

And you know something?

You're a splendid young man.

Well, you're... you're four
stars with me, too, Walter.

Thank you. See
you soon. Oh, Walter.

Could I please have
a hundred dollars?

Sure. Why didn't you say so?

It's-It's not that I need the
money, you understand.

Actually, I, uh... It's just that
nobody ever gave me anything before.

There you are.

[Sobs] Oh, Daddy!

Walter's such a terrific guy.
I can't wait for Father's Day.

I'll have two fathers
to send cards to.

Of course, Walter's
not really my father.

Say, you think they've got a Father's
Day card for your mother's lover?

Well, if they don't, they're
missing out on a sizable market.

[Chuckles] Hey.

It just occurred to me the fact
that my mother's living in sin.

Does that make me a...

No, Ted. That
doesn't make you one.

But we'll always think
of you as one anyway.

Thanks, Murr.