Mary Tyler Moore (1970–1977): Season 6, Episode 6 - Mary's Aunt - full transcript

Mary's aunt, Flo Meredith, arguably the most renowned and well respected newspaperwoman in the country, is in Minneapolis to cover a murder trial. Mary loves and respects her Aunt Flo. By reputation, all those in the WJM newsroom also respect Flo Meredith, the newspaperwoman. That's why Mary is so disappointed when Lou and her Aunt Flo don't hit it off when they meet, as Flo's larger than life persona and attitude is too much for Lou to handle. Mary, believing that they just got off on the wrong foot, does whatever she can to foster a positive relationship between the two newspeople she respects the most, which includes inviting them both to her place for dinner. Will Mary's dinner party for three have the result that she wants?

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 ♪♪

Mail call!

[Chuckles] Got your mail, Murr.

Oh, thanks, Ted. What's the
occasion? You never bring in the mail.

I was just passing the mail room. I
thought I'd save the mail boy a trip.

Who knows? Someday maybe
he'll do something nice for me. Mmm.

- Can I get you some coffee?
- No, I can save you
the trouble, Ted.

I don't ever intend to do
something nice for you.

That's because you
didn't read the book that

Georgette got me called
Turn the Other Cheek.

Oh. Sounds like the
history of inoculations.

This books says I carry the best
weapon in the world inside here.

Well, it's certainly
the best concealed.

A kind thought...
That's all I need, Murr.

If I think kindly of
others, they can't hurt me.

Hey, go ahead. Try it. Insult me some
more. Not only will I turn the other cheek,

but I'll think of something
wonderful to say in response.

- Please, don't do this to me.
- All right,
I'll get the ball rolling.

Ted is so dumb that... Ted,
you're taking all the fun out of this.

Come on, Murr. It's okay,
really. Give me your best shot.

Believe me, I don't know the
meaning of the word "offended."

You don't know the
meaning of the word "duck."

A clever jibe by a
witty man. [Chuckles]

Let me get you some coffee. [Groans] This
is gonna be the longest day of my life.

Good morning, everybody.
Morning. Morning.

Murr, guess what. I
just got a letter from

my Aunt Flo, and she's
coming to Minneapolis.

A pleasant surprise
for a wonderful person.

- Who's your Aunt Flo?
- Flo Meredith. Murr, I told you.

What, the columnist? Oh, no, you
never told me she was related to you.

I sure did. You
just didn't listen.

An honest oversight
by a decent guy.

My gosh, Flo Meredith must be the
best-known newspaperwoman in America.

- What's she coming here for?
- She's covering
the Walker trial.

Oh, that's right. All the
papers are covering that.

How often does a
prominent millionaire go

around butchering three
people with a cleaver?

Still, I'm sure he has
many delightful qualities.

Gee, Murr, I'm just so excited. I
mean, Aunt Flo has always been my idol.

She leads the most fantastic
life. She goes everywhere,

gets exclusive interviews
with the biggest celebrities.

Hey, maybe while she's here,
she can interview me. Well, sure.

Why write about a butcher when
you can go straight to the baloney?

A telling thrust
by a droll chap.

Hey, Lou, did you know that
Flo Meredith was Mary's aunt?

- Your aunt?
- Well, no, she's not
really my aunt.

She's my mother's cousin... a distant
cousin. I haven't seen her since I was 11.

She's one of the best
newspaperwomen in the country.

Although we've
always been very close.

I guess journalistic talent
must run in the family.

Oh, come on. No, I would never put
myself in the same class as Flo Meredith.

Why? You do the same job she
does... keeping the people informed...

And you do it without a lot of glamour,
publicity and expense accounts.

Wise words... and well-earned...

From a man who knows
whereof he speaks.

Besides, Flo Meredith doesn't have
to put up with a pompous, overpaid,

undertalented anchorman.

Personally, Ted, I think the
last part was pretty well earned.

In your hat, skinhead!

[Doorbell Rings] Who is it?

[Woman] Open up, kiddo.
It's the working press.

Aunt Flo! Ha-ha! Mary.

Hi! Oh, look at you.
You're all grown up.

Oh, my gosh. Pajamas.

I haven't seen anybody
wearing pajamas since

Hubert Humphrey.
Well... Well, you know...

Now don't get me wrong. Mrs.
Humphrey was always present.

As a matter of fact, I had a note
from Muriel just the other day.

She wanted the name of a
little restaurant in Marrakech.

Baby, you look fantastic.

[Chuckles] Thank you. So do you.

Oh, gee, it's so great to have
you here. Uh, can I get you a drink?

Well, I wouldn't slug you in
the mouth if you did. Okay.

You know, I wasn't
expecting you until tomorrow.

Well, I thought I'd fly in tonight
and kinda get a... a jump on things.

Scotch'll be fine, on the
rocks. Easy on the rocks. Okay.

Right. Anyway, it gives
us a chance to talk.

- How have you been?
- Oh, just fine. I...

Oh, you certainly look in the
pink. I hear you're a producer now.

Well, yeah. I am. It's, uh... It's just
a little station, you know, but it's...

Oh, well, kiddo, you
gotta learn someplace.

Listen. Tell me, what do you think
about this murderer? Oh. Well, I...

Why did he chop all his
victims into little pieces?

Was he cuckoo or
just overorganized?

Well, I-I think, you know, it's...
[Clears Throat] it's pretty obvious...

that in order for him to have done
something like that, he'd have to be...

Deranged? Bonkers?
Wigged out? Fruitcake city?

- Mentally ill.
- That too.

Well, I think I better
talk to some newspeople.

Sometimes I've found that
a... A good local reporter...

has a lead that
everybody else has missed.

You wouldn't happen to
know anybody, would you?

What do you mean I
wouldn't know anybody?

Somebody who
knows what's going on.

Well, Aunt Flo, I am the
producer of the Six O'Clock News.

- I mean,
who would know any more?
- Oh, I don't know.

I guess I was just
thinking one of the old pros.

Okay. What's wrong with
one of the young pros?

I mean, this is my city. I-I know
what's goin' on. I know people.

Baby, I never said you didn't.

Oh, listen. If I sounded that...
I'm sorry. I apologize. Honest.

Well, no, no, no. You don't have
to apologize. Really, you don't.

Shall I freshen that for you?

- Who's the defense attorney
on the case?
- Uh...

Well, that information is, uh,
you know, over at the station.

- Oh. Who's on the night desk?
- Well, actually,
we don't have a night desk.

Well, who's the editor
of the evening paper?

Well, I-I never read
the evening paper.

I read the... the morning paper,
though, you know, straight through.

Well, what's the number
for Associated Press?

Okay, okay, okay. The,
uh, Associated Press...

Now, th-that's, uh...
Wait, it's, uh, 553-4...

Wait a minute. No, no.
That's UPI. Um, it's, oh...

I'll, you know, just look it up. I know
the number, I just... but I'll look it up.

Mary. Mary, wait a minute.
That's all right. Never mind.

Uh, let me ask you
another question. Okay.

How's the family? [Sighs]

Fine, fine. You know, fine.

She's incredible. She's the most
dynamic person I've ever met.

Do you ever feel that way about
someone? Do you ever say to yourself,

"Boy, he's doing
exactly what I'd like to do,

only he does more of it in
a week than I do in a year"?

Yeah. Warren Beatty.

Good morning. Oh. Hi.

Mr. Grant, We're gonna
have a visitor this morning.

My Aunt Flo is gonna
stop by the newsroom.

No kidding? Yeah.

Boy, I was hoping I'd
meet her. That's really great.

You two are really gonna hit it
off too. You're both newspeople.

[Lou Chuckles] I can't
wait to introduce you.

Yeah, I only wish I was working
on more exciting copy than this.

Irked by Putty Prices."

Hi, Mary. Oh, Aunt
Flo. Hi. Come on in.

Uh, Flo Meredith, I'd like you to
meet our chief writer, Murray Slaughter.

Murray. It's a pleasure.

And this is our executive
producer, Lou Grant.

- Hi, fellas.
- Pleased to meet you,
Miss Meredith.

You have quite a reputation.

Well, Mary seems to think
you're pretty hot stuff too.

[Chuckling] I do my best.

Well, hey. This is a cute
little place you got here.

Not really. Not all that
little and not all that cute.

Sorry, no offense. Mary,
you got a cute little boss here.

Flo Meredith?
Well, what a thrill.

I'm Ted Baxter,
the anchorman. Hi.

I suppose Mary has told you
all about me. Yes, she has.

Well, now you can hear
it from the horse's mouth.

Well, that's almost the
way she described you.

This is wonderful. It's so
great meeting important people.

You must be very excited.

So, Murray, you're
the writer, huh?

You must be having a field day
with this Walker trial. Oh, yeah.

Uh, but I was just finishing working
on a fast-breaking story first, uh,

on, uh, the, uh,
putty situation.

Mary, it's your newsroom,
but, honey, if I were you,

I'd drop everything and
concentrate on this murder trial.

You'll never have
a bigger story.

Uh, well, uh, I'm sure that Mary
feels, from a television standpoint,

that the trial could
go on for weeks.

Some of these other items will be old news
tomorrow. Yeah. That's really what I...

It's none of my business, but from a
newspaper standpoint, she's dead wrong.

Murder sells. It's
a fact of journalism.

Yeah, on the other hand, it's
hard to argue with that point.

I... I know a little bit
about journalism myself...

Not your scandal-sheet

but good old,
hard-nosed reporting.

My scribbling has won
16 journalism awards.

How many has your nose won?

How many has my nose won?

Uh, look, could I, um...

Could I say something here?
I've never done anything like this,

but, uh, I think we all
know what's happening.

I mean, you two should
really like each other,

but, uh, somehow things have just
gotten off to a bad start, you know.

And I-I think we should be
sensible enough to admit that,

you know, so that it doesn't get in the way
of what could be a terrific relationship.


Oh, all right. All
right, I admit it.

She was starting
to get on my nerves.

Okay. Now, Aunt Flo, you
too. Come on. Just... out.

All right, baby. If it's gonna
make you feel any better,

I was beginning to think that he was
a pompous, straight-laced blowhard.

- [Laughs]
- There, you see?

Now that it's all
out in the open,

we can just forget the last few
minutes ever took place and start fresh.


How do you do, Miss Meredith?

I'm pleased to meet you, Mr. Grant.
It's a cute little place you got here.

Hey, you know, your aunt is
really terrific. Isn't she though?

Gee, I just wish
Mr. Grant thought so.

I'm not gonna give up. She's
gonna come to dinner tomorrow night.

I'm gonna see if I can
get him to come too.

Hey, you know something, Mary? You
should've been a matchmaker. [Chuckles]

At Madison Square Garden.

Mr. Grant. What is it, Mary?

I'd like to ask you a
favor. Sure. What?

Well, it's a... personal
favor. Yeah. What is it?

[Stammers] I want you to understand
that it's not your ordinary favor.

I-It's something that I'm asking
you on the basis of our friendship.

It's a very... personal favor.

Oh. I understand.

Uh, but before you ask
me your personal favor,

I think that there's something
you should understand. [Murmurs]


If you ask me a
personal favor, and I do it,

I could turn around tomorrow
and ask you a personal favor,

and you'd be obligated to me.

I understand.

A guy like me could ask.

For instance, I'm part of a weekly
poker game with four other guys.

Every fifth week, the
game is at my place.

It was fine when I was married,

but now I've got nobody
to make the sandwiches,

serve the beer,
empty the ashtrays,

spray the stale
air out of the room.

I might ask you to
come over one week...

as a personal favor.

I could do that.


some weekends I've been
known to have one too many.

You might get a phone call,
say, at 4:00 in the morning...

from any bar in a
radius of 30 miles,

and you'd have to come over,

get me in the car
somehow, drive me home...

I don't drive when
I've been drinking.


Get me up to my apartment...
Which is three flights up...

Clean me up...

and dump me in bed,
as a personal favor.

I could do that.


uh, I've got this
friend, Iggy Wochuck.

Saved my life once
in the army. Mm-hmm.

And, uh, he comes to
town once, twice a year,

and he always asks me the
same thing... can I get him a date?

But he doesn't
phrase it that way.

What Iggy says is,

[In Gruff Voice] "Hello,
Lou. I want woman."

So, Mary,

are you sure you want to
ask me this personal favor?

How often did you say
Iggy comes to town?

Okay, what's your favor? Okay.

My Aunt Flo... [Groans, Mutters]

is coming to my house for dinner
tomorrow night, and I want you to come too.

All right. As a personal favor to you, I
accept your invitation to come to dinner.

Thank you, Mr. Grant. And now...

it's time for me to ask
you a personal favor.

- Yes, Mr. Grant. What is it?
- Cancel the dinner?


All right, all right. I'll
come. I'll come. Good.

Hey, wait, wait, wait. I want you
to remember one thing though.

When you go out
with Iggy Wochuck,

stay away from
candlelit restaurants.

Fire makes him crazy.



He took criticism well.

I liked that. You could look
him smack in the eye and say,

"Sir Winston, your
painting stinks."

- Did you ever meet him?
- No, I never met Churchill. No.

- I thought maybe
during the war.
- No.

We must have just
missed each other.

Lou, hit me again, will you?

I feel like celebrating tonight.

What are you celebrating?
The Walker trial.

This afternoon, I filed an
exclusive interview with the accused.

You're kidding. How
did you get in to see him?

Well, I can't reveal
the details, kiddo.

Let's just say it was a combination
of arm-twisting, bribery and deceit...

All the tools that we reporters
employ to safeguard democracy.


Thanks, Lou. I'm sure
you've done the same.

Mm-mmm. No, no.

I never interviewed a murderer.

Highest I ever got
was, uh, burglary...

w-with aggravated assault.

Oh, wait. What about the water commissioner
in Chicago? Tell Aunt Flo that.

This is... You just...
Go ahead. Tell her.

Yeah. Yeah, th-that's
a good story. Yeah.

- There was this crooked commissioner...
- Joe Funderburg?


- How did you know?
- Well, I sent his boss
to prison.

Oh. I almost got killed
collecting the evidence.

I had to crawl a half a mile
through a sewer pipe to escape.

But it was worth it. He was a
tough cookie, wasn't he, Lou?

Yeah, yeah. He sure was.

Well, I interrupted you.
What was your story?

No story.

- Aw, come on.
- No story. Dull story.

- Oh, come on, Mr. Grant.
- No story.

Mr. Grant was with
the Detroit Free Press.

- That was a great paper,
wasn't it, Mr. Grant?
- Great paper.

Oh, you don't have to sell me. I turned
down a chance to be their managing editor.

I've always wondered if
I made the right choice.

Uh, managing editor?

Yeah. So, believe me, I
know it's a great paper.

Fair paper.

[Flo] But in this business,
you have to move right along.

Life is too short to get
stuck behind a desk.

Come on. Let's
have a real drink.

Um, no, I've had enough.

Oh, and you call yourself
a newspaperman?

[Laughs] Ah, you... [Mutters]

Listen. Speaking of drinking,
Mr. Grant, tell her about your city editor.

I don't wanna. Oh, go on.

He had this city editor who used to
wear a tag around his neck, and it said...

It said, "If I'm found unconscious,
don't notify anybody. I'm a lush."

Oh, kiddo, that's
an old, old story.

I've never been on a
newspaper in my life where

somebody didn't claim
to have seen that tag.

Listen, kiddo.

I don't claim I saw
that tag. I said I saw it.

And if I said I saw it, I saw
it, see? Listen, I believe you.

If you say that you saw
that tag, you saw that tag.

Oh, don't say you believe me
if you really don't believe me.

I believe you. Good.

'Cause I never saw
that tag. I just said I did.

And you call yourself
a newswoman?

Good night, Mary. Uh,
wait. Uh, Mr. Grant...

Thanks for another
wonderful party.

- How could you do that?
- Do what?

You kept topping him
on everything he said.

Oh, Mary, look. Lou Grant is a... is a
big boy. He can take care of himself.

Harry Truman once said to me, "If you can't
stand the heat, get out of the kitchen."

Harry Truman said that to you?

Well, actually he said it to his chef,
but I was standing right behind him.

Mary, I can't believe you're
this upset about last night.

I know how anxious you were for things
to be okay between your aunt and me,

but is that any reason
for you to be hanging

out alone in a bar
at this time of day?

Huh? Is that any reason, Mary? Give me
a reason... Give me a good reason, Mary,

why you should be sitting
here like this at this time of day.

I'm meeting my
Aunt Flo for lunch.

Mr. Grant, I'm really sorry
about what happened last night...

I mean, the way
my aunt treated you.

That's one of the
reasons I'm having lunch

with her today... to try
to straighten her out.

It's all straightened out. I called your
aunt last night and apologized to her.

You apologized to her? Mm-hmm.

H-How could you change your mind
like that after the way she treated you?

Oh, Mary, she's okay. You
just have to understand her.

We had a woman like that
on the paper in Chicago.

One woman among 24 guys.

She was the best reporter there, so
naturally the others gave her the works...

Dirty tricks,
hostility, insults.

One rotten bum even took
her typewriter apart at night...

and left all the
pieces on her desk.

Didn't bother her. She
just picked up the roller...

and hit the dirty bum
over the head with it.

Well, I-I-I... I don't, uh...

Mr. Grant, what does this
have to do with my Aunt Flo?

You see, Mary, when your aunt
started out, she was a pioneer.

All working women were.

Pioneers have to be tough.
They don't win popularity contests.

People like Flo Meredith broke the
ground for people like Mary Richards.

You see what I mean?

Boy, you know something?
Sometimes you really surprise me.

I mean, you're not
what I'd ever call a

liberated man, but
sometimes, Mr. Grant, wow.

Yeah, well.

Course, I'm never really
sure about your stories. Hmm.

Not convinced there ever was a
woman on the paper in Chicago...

or that some jerk took
her typewriter apart...

or that she batted him
over the head with the roller.

You wanna see the scar?

Oh, Mary. Look, I can't stay to lunch.
I have to leave town this afternoon.

I wanted to say thank you for everything.
I'm sorry about the tiff we had.

Oh. Well, listen. Aunt Flo,

if you can't fight with your
family, who can you fight with?

Lou, I really had a
great time last night.

That was a terrific little
joint you took me to.

You took her to a little joint?

When I called her up last
night, I invited her for a nightcap.

Yes, one nightcap in six different
places. And you know something?

You oughta see
this little devil tango.

You danced with
this little devil?

And only once in three hours did
he let the rose drop from his lips.

That was to bite
her on the shoulder.

Lou, next time
I'm in Minneapolis,

maybe we can finish
up where we left off.

It's a date.

Bye-bye, baby.

You're... You're gonna
finish up... where he left off?

Hey, if I was good
enough for Churchill...

So, they finally found him guilty,
huh? Well, that's hardly a surprise.

Hardly. I'm gonna miss reading
your aunt's reports on the trial.

- Where's she off to now?
- I don't know. Said something
about a beheading in Iraq.

Oh, gee. That's a
pretty grim assignment.

Oh, well, no, it's
not an assignment.

It's just something she's
always wanted to see.

Well, if she thinks I'm gonna wait around
to give her an interview, she's crazy.

You hear that, Mary?

Yeah, I've got it, Ted.
Interview you, she's crazy.

She had her chance and blew it. I don't
need any help to get my name in print.

That's right. He's been
printing his name for years.

Know what's wrong
with your aunt, Mary?

She's got a big ego.

That's something no one
in this business can afford.

I mean, take me.

And I'm good. I'm exceptionally
good, but I don't go around showing it.

That's very true, Ted.

It's unfeminine, Mary. I have to tell
you this. Your aunt is pushy and arrogant.

This goes against nature. Women
should be gentle and refined.

If God had intended them to be pushy
and arrogant, he would've made them men.