Mary Tyler Moore (1970–1977): Season 6, Episode 12 - Ted's Tax Refund - full transcript

On receiving a $6,000 tax refund, Ted seems a changed man. The usually frugal Ted is lavishing his friends with expensive gifts, stating that they are tokens of his appreciation for their friendship, especially as he realizes that he is an imperfect person. His happiness and his new outlook on life changes when he receives notice that he is being audited. He is hoping that his friends will help him in any way they can, meaning that he wants them to lie for him about business deductions he made that weren't legitimate. Mary in particular wants to help Ted, but she, like the others, won't lie for him. So they all anxiously await the results of his audit. Meanwhile, Mary is having problems hooking up her new stereo system, something the salesman told her any fool could do.

♪ 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 ♪♪

"And now turn on
the power switch...

and get ready to enjoy
beautiful, living stereo."

Right. I did that, Murr. I did everything
it says to do in the instruction manual.

But I was only getting
one speaker. No stereo.

I could hear Gladys
Knight, but none of the Pips.

Mary, I gotta talk to you.

Remember, last year, when you wouldn't
let me change the name of the show...

from the Six O'Clock News
to the Ted Baxter Report?

Oh, yes. Well, I came up
with a great compromise.

And you won't even have to
have new title cards made up.

I mean, you know how the
opening titles go now. Mm-hmm.

Di-di-di-di. Six O'Clock News.
Di-di-di-di. With. Di-di-da-da. Ted Baxter.

Now, all you have to do it switch
'em around just a little itty bit.

Listen to how much
better this sounds.

Di-di-di, da-da. Ted
Baxter! Di-di-di-di-di-di. With.

Da-da-da-da, di-di-di-di.
Six O'Clock News.

- Doesn't that sound great?
- No.

Just trying to help build
up the ratings, Mary.

If we wanted to build up the
ratings, we'd say, Di-di-di-di.

The Six O'Clock News. Di-di-di.
Without Ted Baxter. Di-di-di-di.

Ted, it's not a variety
show we're doing.

This is a news show, and the
star of the news is the news.

I mean, even Walter Cronkite
doesn't get billing ahead of the news.

It's the CBS Evening
News with Walter Cronkite.

It is? Yes, Ted, it is. Why
don't you watch it tonight?

Find out for yourself.

I can't. I'll miss
Celebrity Bowling.

They got Trini Lopez tonight.

Hey, guys, look! I got
my tax refund back.

6,000 bucks! [Whooping]

You got back $6,000? Yeah!

I can't believe this.

Every year, I pay
thousands of dollars in

taxes, and that's what
they're doing with it.

- What better use
could they put it to?
- [Sighs]

Carpeting Guam.

You know, I always get a refund,
but I don't usually get this much.

6,000 bucks! [Laughing]

How can anyone
say there's no God?

Thanks, big guy.
Keep up the good work.

Morning. Hey, Lou,
look. I got my tax refund.

6,000 bucks. What do
you think I oughta do with it?



Hey, that's funny, Lou! That's
really funny! Isn't that funny, Murray?

Oh. Oh, yeah, Lou. How could
Ted possibly retire on $6,000?

The way he spends money, that
wouldn't last more than 20 years.

Murr, I did everything
you told me to do.

I took the whole thing apart,
put it back together again.

Now I'm not getting
any sound at all.

No, and I don't
understand it either...

'cause the man in the store said
any fool could do it. [Doorbell Rings]

Who is it? It's Ted.

Help has arrived.

Come on in! Murr, I'll
call you back. Thanks.

Hi, Mary. Hi, Mary. Hi!

I hope you don't
mind that we didn't call

before we came over.
We wanted to surprise you.

We thought if we called first, then came
over, it wouldn't be much of a surprise.

- Right.
- Then we figured, if we came
here and you weren't home,

the surprise would be on us.

As it turns out, here
you are. And here we are.

- [Together] Surprise! - Ah!

We just stopped by to give
you a belated housewarming gift.

Oh, Ted, Georgette.
That's so nice. Thank you.

Come on. Open it up, Mary. Okay.

I hope we're not interrupting
anything. No, not at all.

I'm really glad you came over.

[Georgette] Do you
like it? Oh, it's beautiful!

- It's an antique.
- It's sterling.

It's better than
that. It's silver.

Oh, I-I-I just feel terrible.

I mean, this is...
It's too extravagant.

I know.

Well, since I got my tax refund,

I figured I wanted to
share my good fortune

with my friends, and
you are my friend, Mary.

Oh, that's really very
sweet, but I feel awful.

When you two got married, all I
gave you was that dumb blender.

Mary, don't say that.
It's a beautiful blender.

Much nicer than the
other three we got.

Listen, Mary. It's not the
price of the gift that's important.

It's the thought that counts.

All that matters is that you've
shown us that you care about us...

just as we've shown you
that we care about you.

Gifts are just tokens of what
we feel inside. Nothing more.

Thanks, Ted. Guess
how much it cost.

Go ahead, Mary. Go ahead.
Don't be afraid to go wild.

Mary, you'll have to excuse Ted.
He's never given a present before.

Listen, can I get
you guys something?

Oh, no, thanks. No,
thanks. We really have to go.

Yeah, I want to stop and pick up a
couple of gifts for Murray and Lou.

Something special, something unique,
something that shows I really care.

- That's nice. What are you gonna get 'em?
- Whatever's on sale.

Oh! Mary, we want you to
come to dinner tomorrow.

- You haven't seen
our new apartment yet.
- No, I haven't.

- I'd love to. Tomorrow night.
- Okay. So long, Mary.

Good-bye. And listen,
thanks again. This is beautiful.

You're welcome. You're
welcome. So long. Bye-bye.

146.50, plus tax.

I have to tell you, Georgette,
that dinner was really delicious.

Yeah. I didn't know you
were such a good cook.

- That was the best chicken
paprikash I ever had.
- Thank you.

I got the recipe
from my Aunt Ruth.

She's a dietitian
at the state prison.

All I had to do was figure out how to
make it for five people instead of 6,000.

Well, you certainly
did a terrific job.

Thank you. If anybody wants
more, there's tons of it left.

Hey, guys. Time for
the pièce de résistance.


Lou, this is for you.

Ted, what's this for?

Just a token of appreciation
from Ted Baxter, humanitarian.

Murray. To you, from me.

Ted, I don't understand.

That's all right. I'm sure a lot of people
never understood Albert Schweitzer either.

That's probably because
he spoke German.

Mary, you already got
your present. Yes, I did.

- And thanks again, Ted.
- Did you tell Murray and Lou
what I got you?

Oh, no. I didn't. A
beautiful antique pitcher.

- Tell 'em what kind?
- Sterling silver.

- Tell 'em how much
you liked it?
- I liked it a lot.

- Tell 'em how much it cost?
- $146.

And? Fifty cents.

Plus? Tax.

Enough, Mary! You're
embarrassing me.

Why don't you open
your present? Oh. Okay.

I hope you like it. I spent
a lot more than I wanted to.

Ted! What did you do?
This is beautiful! Look!

- Oh, wow.
- Read the inscription.

All right.

Aw, that's a very touching
sentiment, Ted. Very touching.

- What does it say?
- "To you know who
from you know who."

- Not bad, huh, Mary?
- Very clever.

Georgette helped
me with the last part.

Hey, Murray, open
your present. Oh, yeah.

Oh. Wow! Isn't this great?
This is just what I needed, Ted.

I was gonna have it engraved
with your initials, but then I figured...

if you lost it, and
another guy with the same

initials found it, you'd
never get it back.

Yeah. Uh, Ted, why are
you giving us these presents?

Yeah, Ted. I mean,
this is pretty extravagant.

Tell me, does
this, by any chance,

have anything to do with you wanting to
change the name of the Six O'Clock News?


I can understand your thinking
that I've got an ulterior motive.

Well, I don't.

You see, getting that tax refund
made me realize something.

I mean, I'm a lucky guy.
Life's been good to me.

I've got a good job,
I've got good health,

got a good wife and
a fantastic barber.

And I just felt that I should try to
be a... better person than I've been.

I mean, let's be
honest. I've got flaws.


It's true. He does.

Well, that's not the kind
of flaws I'm talking about.

From now on... From now
on, I'm gonna be a new man.

These presents are
just my way of proving...

that the old Ted
Baxter no longer exists.

Now, Ted, I have
a surprise for you.

I think you got another refund
check from the government.

- Another one?
- Hey! How about that?

Uh-oh. It's not a
refund. It's a tax audit.

Oh, Ted. That's too bad.

Hey, hey. Hey, guys.
Relax. Don't sweat it.

It's like I said... the old Ted Baxter
would have fallen to pieces over this news.

But not this, the new Ted.

What's the worst
they can do to me?

Make me pay back a
couple of thousand dollars?

It's only money.

It's only money.

You know what matters?
What matters is what's right here.

My family, my home...
[Chuckles] and my friends.

- Ted, where are you going?
- Brazil!

So then I wired this speaker to this
connection, just like Murray told me to,

and all it did was just
make this weird sound.

All right. I'll tell
you what I'll do.

I'll come by tonight and hook
up the whole thing for you.

Oh, Mr. Grant. No, I
couldn't ask you to do that.

I'm sure you must have
more important things to do.

You're right. Tonight's the
night I usually count my socks.

I'll count 'em twice next week.

Hey, thank you a lot. Yeah.

Say, Mary.

You've gotta help
me with my tax audit.

Yeah. Sure, Ted. What can I do?

Well, the Internal Revenue
man is coming tomorrow...

to check on some
deductions. Uh-huh.

Well, just say that I took you
out to lunch a few times last year...

and we discussed business.

A few times? 217.

Ted, you never took me to
lunch. Just say an even 200.

Ted, look. I know this is important
to you, and I'd like to help you,

but, please, don't
ask me to lie.

Oh, that's not lying, Mary.

It's just exaggerating.
Everybody does it.

The government
expects it. Don't you see?

You'll be helping me to live
up to my country's expectations.

Ted, I'd like to help
you. I really would.

But I just... I can't.

Murray? Yeah?

You gotta help me.
What do you want now?

Just a letter... something to prove
that I took you out once in a while...

so I could write it off as
an entertainment expense.

That would be lying, Ted.
Oh, no. Don't think of it as lying.

Think of it as creative writing.

No, I'm sorry, Ted. There
isn't a writer in the world...

who can make anyone believe that
going out with you is entertainment.

All right, all right.
Don't lie for me.

But if they should
ask if I ever took you

out for lunch, tell
them the truth... I have.

When was that, Ted? On your
birthday last year. Don't you remember?

No, I don't. Well, sure you do!

Remember? I took you to
that deli across the street.

We had to wait 10
minutes for a table.

Then when we sat down, a
waitress named Sylvia took our order.

She had on funny white shoes, and
she wore a Band-Aid on her thumb.

Don't you remember?
No, I'm sorry.

Well, sure you do.

You had a hot pastrami
on rye with mustard, a

sour pickle and a side
order of potato salad.

I had a corned beef sandwich
with a side order of French fries.

Then you had a
tea with two sugars,

and I had a coffee,
light, and a cheese

Danish because they
were out of blueberry pie.

Then the check came, and I
didn't have any cash on me,

and you loaned me 10 bucks,
and I promised I'd pay you back.

Oh, yeah. But you never did.


Uh... Well, you can't expect
me to remember everything.

Lou? I gotta talk to
you. I'm busy, Ted.

What if I told you it was
a matter of life or death?

- Mine or yours?
- Mine.

I'm busy.

Busy! Busy, busy! I'm
busy. You're always busy!

Well, that's not fair, Lou.

If Mary or Murray came
here, you'd take the time.

But if I come in here,
you're too busy... busy, busy.

Well, you're
absolutely right, Ted,

and I apologize.

That was very thoughtless of me.

I want you to know...

that if you ever have a problem,

no matter how big or small,

I'm always here to help you.

Thanks, Lou. I
really appreciate it.

Any time, Ted.

Lou? I'm busy.

You didn't hear my
problem. Aw, geez!

Okay. What is it?

Last year, I went out and bought
a whole new wardrobe. Mm-hmm.

And I put down on
my income tax return...

that I needed that wardrobe,
you know, for my newscast,

so I could write it off
as a business expense.

And now that you're getting an
audit, you want me to back you up...

that you wore all
this stuff on the air?

It's just a couple of things,
Lou. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Things that I could actually
have worn on the air. Mm-hmm.

Suits, sports jackets,
slacks, evening gowns.

Evening gowns?

Okay, they're for Georgette.
They don't have to know that.

Uh-huh. And you want
me to say that you wore

an evening gown on
the Six O'Clock News?

I'm not asking you to
say I looked good in it.

Get out of here
before I throw you out!

Lou, please, please help
me. I'm in deep trouble.

How am I gonna
get out of this jam?

I don't know, Ted, but
I will tell you one thing.

Even if you do get out of it, it'll
be on your conscience forever.

Maybe you'll be able
to fool the auditor.

Maybe you'll be able to fool the
whole Internal Revenue Service.

But there's one person
you'll never fool... yourself!

Till your dying
day, you'll know...

that you cheated the government
of the United States of America!

How's that gonna make you feel?

A hell of a lot
better than I do now.

Now all I have to do
is connect this lead...

to this terminal right here,

and this one to this terminal.

Gee, Mr. Grant. I had no idea
you knew all about this kind of stuff.

Where'd you learn it?

At Fort Dix, when I
was in the service.

Across from the base,
there was this little strip joint...

where the guys would hang out.


So, uh, there was this
one girl named Velma.

[Chuckles] Velma
and her magic tassels.

Yeah. She used to spin them
in time to "Bumble Boogie."

Anyway, there was
no band in the joint.

Just a phonograph that
used to break down a lot.

Naturally, when the phonograph
stopped spinning, so did Velma.


Any guy who couldn't fix a
phonograph got shipped to Iwo Jima.

Hey, Mr. Grant. Could
I ask you something?

What is it?

Well, Ted's having
that tax audit tomorrow,

and I was just wondering, isn't there
something we can do to help him out?

Mary, are you saying
we should lie for him?

No, Mr. Grant. I'm just thinking that maybe
we could give him a character reference.

Tell the auditor what
a wonderful guy Ted is.

Mary, are you saying
we should lie for him?

I was up all last night...

trying to figure out something nice
I could say about Ted, if I had to.

About the only thing I
could come up with is,

in the seven years
I've known Ted,

not once has he clipped
his toenails in the office.


Mmm. Well.

I wouldn't worry
too much about Ted.

I'm sure he'll come out
all right. He always does.

Well, why don't you get
busy? It's all connected.

You mean that's
it? It's ready to play?

Yeah. Turn it on.

Oh, please, let it work.


♪♪ [Classical]

Ah! Oh, you are amazing. I
mean, you knew just what to do.

I know. That's what
Velma used to say.

Gee. Oh, that's just beautiful!

I... [Laughs]

I was starting to think I'd never
have music in this apartment.

[Doorbell Rings] Oh, that sound. It's
even better than I dreamed it would be.

Hello. If you don't turn that
thing off, I'm calling the cops!

Rotten kids!

Morning, Murr. Oh, hi.

Where'd those come from? Ted.

You're kidding. No,
I'm not. Read the card.

"Roses are red, so
here's a big bunch.

Please tell the income tax
man I took you to lunch."

Is that all you got?
I got a blender.


Hi, pals.

Hey, Murray! How's my most favorite
person in the world feeling today?

You look fine to me, Ted.

Ted, about the flowers...
Yeah. Aren't they beautiful?

Yes, they're lovely. I hope you don't
mind I got you short-stemmed ones.

I was gonna get the long-stemmed
ones, but I figured, why should I?

They're just gonna
die anyway. Right.

Ted, they're very nice, but I
really can't accept them. Why not?

Because I feel badly enough about
not being able to help you with your audit.

If I accept these, I'm gonna feel even
worse. Please, you've gotta help me.

The Internal Revenue man
is gonna be here any minute.

Just... Just do this
once, and I promise,

tomorrow, when you come in to
work, there'll be meat on your desk.

I'm sorry, Ted.

Murray. Just this once?

I don't know, Ted.
It's a tough decision.

I swear, if you say no,
I'll never talk to you again.

No, Ted. And thanks.

Mary, here are
those budget figures.

Lou? Hmm?

Nobody in this office wants
to help me with my audit today.

I'm gonna ask you one
more time to reconsider.

Not if my life depended on it.

Take your time, Lou. No rush.

Even if we did lie for you, the
auditor would never take our word for it.

You have to have
receipts for every deduction.

Right. Without
receipts, you're dead.

I don't need any of you.

You know why? Because
I've got an ace in the hole... me.

I'm Ted Baxter, anchorman
of the Six O'Clock News.

That guy from the Internal Revenue
probably watches me every night.

Just think of how impressed
he's gonna be when he meets me.

That guy's not gonna make
any trouble for Ted Baxter.

You're Ted Baxter, aren't you?
Irv Gevins, Internal Revenue.

It's a real pleasure. I watch
you every night on television.

[Ted, Chuckling]
It's nice to meet you.

[Gevins] Where do you wanna
do this? You can use my office.

Oh, by the way, Mr. Baxter, this is
a real special pleasure meeting you.

Oh? Yeah.

Remember that story
you reported last week...

on Councilman Anderson
from the 18th District?

Oh, yeah. The guy who
went to jail for tax evasion.

Right. I was one of the guys
who helped send him up.

Oh! Oh!

[Groans] Oh.


[Adding Machine Clicking]

Ah, Mr. Grant, I feel awful.
Isn't there something we can do?

Relax. He'll be all right.

At least he's got one
thing going for him.

If he pleads ignorance,
they can't call him a liar.

[Ted Whimpering]


[Exhales, Groans]

- What do you think's
happening in there?
- I don't know.

Either he's disallowed one of his
deductions, or Ted's having a baby.

- [Ted Groans Loudly]
- Maybe twins.

[Ted Whimpering]
Pencil sharpener.

Pencil. Yes. Sharpener.
[Whimpering Continues]

Uh, is, uh... Is he
gonna be all right?

It's a little too early to tell.

[Door Closes]

[Adding Machine Clicking]

Water. Water!


[Ted Shrieks]

I owe $7,000?


Oh, Mr. Grant, there's gotta
be something we can do.

Like what, Mary? I don't know.

Please, Mr. Gevins.
Give me a break.

I'm sorry, Mr. Baxter.
There's nothing I can do.

Next time, make
sure you have receipts,

or at least have someone to
substantiate your business expenses.

Wait, wait. Are you saying that if you
had somebody to back up Ted's deductions,

- that you wouldn't
necessarily need receipts?
- Exactly.

You mean to say that you would
take the word of a business associate...

if they said that his
deductions were legitimate?

Possibly, if he swore to it.

In other words, if someone
who worked with him said...

that he, or she, had a
business lunch with Ted,

you might accept that, even though
he couldn't prove it with a receipt?

That's correct.

That's very interesting.

- It sure is.
- Live and learn.

Bye, Mr. Baxter.


Ted, we've been
thinking it over,

and we've decided to
change the title of the news...

to Ted Baxter's
Six O'Clock News.

- Ted Baxter's
Six O'Clock News?
- Yeah.

- My name over the title?
- Mm-hmm.

You mean, just like
Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho?

More than you know, Ted.

Gee, thanks, guys!

Wait a minute.

Wait a minute.

Are you saying this
because you think I deserve it,

or because you feel sorry for
me because of the tax thing?

Ted, we are saying this
because we honestly...

and sincerely believe
that you deserve it.

Isn't that right?



- Thanks. Can I ask you
one more question?
- Yeah. Sure.

Why couldn't you lie like
this for me when I needed it?