Mary Tyler Moore (1970–1977): Season 7, Episode 20 - Murray Ghosts for Ted - full transcript

Ted has been asked by a local newspaper to write a 1,500 word article on Freedom of the Press for $200. Ted thinks it's going to be an easy task, and is out to prove he can do it after Lou bets him that he can't. But Ted finds that it is much more difficult to write than he thought. Ted asks Murray to write it for him. The deal: Ted will give Murray the entire $200, in exchange for the article and a complete vow of silence, even to Marie and Georgette. The article ends up garnering much public praise, with those that know Ted not believing that he actually wrote it. Both Mary and Lou know in their hearts that Murray wrote it, but Murray does respect his and Ted's agreement. When they all learn that Reader's Digest is reprinting the article and paying Ted $2,500 for it, Mary and Lou do whatever they can to break the code of silence between Murray and Ted.

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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 ♪♪

Great news, guys.

What's that, Ted? At last, my
true talent has been recognized.

Guess what I've been asked
to do for the newspapers.

Deliver them?

Joke all you want,
Murray. You can't bug me.

I've been asked to
write an article for $200.

An article about what? And why
you, if you don't mind my asking.

Oh, I don't mind. If you don't
ask, how are you going to learn?

My topic is freedom
of the press,

and they chose me, as the
best known newsman in the city.

And a newspaper is
paying you to write it?

200 clams, Murray, to assume my rightful
place among the giants of journalism.

[Chuckles] Ted.

You can't even name
the giants of journalism,

much less take your
place among them.

That's where you're
wrong, big fella. Name two.

Well, there's Woodward
Bernstein, for one.

Ann Landers, who was very
insightful this morning, incidentally,

answering "Mixed
Up in Michigan."

Oh, yeah. That was the woman whose
husband went to bed with his hat on.


I just happened to
read it, you know?

Well, uh, what makes you think
that you can write an article, Ted?

Well, all I'll do is sit
Georgette down and

dictate 1500 words
to her, just like that.

Just a question of
stringing words together.

El piece-of-cake-o! [Chuckles]

I, for one, don't think you can write
1500 words on freedom of the press.

Come on, Lou. You gotta
be kidding. Yeah? Really?

[Clicks Tongue, Exhales]

"Freedom of the
press... is good.

"Very good.


That's 10 words already.

It's only nine, Ted.

So I'm not a mathematician.
Words are my game.

[Horns Honking]

"Very important... for America."

[Carriage Return Bell
Dings] [Typing Continues]

How many words does that make?


Fifteen. Let's see.

They're paying me
$200 for 1500 words.

It's the same as
two dollars for 15.

Eh, not bad. I've already
earned two dollars.

For just three nights' work.

Oh. Isn't goin' so fast, is it?

No. But don't worry.

I know it's gonna be wonderful
once you get rolling, Ted.

Me too.

I tell you what,
Georgette. Read me into it.

Let's get a run at it, get the
old creative juices flowing.

From the top, with feeling.

"Freedom of the press
is very, very good...

and very, very, very, very
important for America."

I'd certainly sign
my name to that.

Your name will make it 17 words.

[Doorbell Rings]

Gosh darn. Just when
I'm really cooking.

Oh, hiya, Ted. Hi, Georgette.

Hi, Murray. Hi, Murray.
What... What brings you here?

What brings me here?
Ted, you had... Uh...

Honey, isn't that
the baby crying?

Oh, gee. I didn't even hear her.

Small wonder, with you
typing away like a storm in here.

Hey, what's the big idea, Ted? You
called me, you asked me to come over.

I didn't want Georgette to know. You
didn't want Georgette to know what?

That I can't write.

Well, she knows you can't
read, Ted. It's not a big jump.

This is no joke, Murray.
She has faith in me.

She was so proud when they
asked me to write this article.

Now, I... I tried, and I can't.

"Freedom of the press is...

as nice as a day
at the seashore."

You sure can't. Well, that
was just off the top of my head.

Uh, Ted. The
baby's sound asleep.

Oh... [Clears Throat] I didn't
say "baby." I meant "Davy."

David is 12 years old.
Why would he be crying?

Did I say crying? I-I-I meant
snoring. David is snoring?

Yeah, uh... Could be his
adenoids. You'd better check.

Okay, honey? Okay.

Murray. Hmm?

I want you to write that
article for me. [Chuckles]

And I'll tell Georgette that
I'm... I'm writing it at the office.

I'll give you all the money.

You will? The whole hundred.

200, Ted.

Okay, 200. But it's a secret.

You can't tell anyone,
not even Marie.

Not even my wife? Murray, once
one wife knows, they all know.

It goes out on jungle telegraph.

But you can't tell anyone,
Murray. You can't tell a soul.

Okay, Ted. It's a deal. As it
happens, I need the money.

But look, pay me now
before I write a word.

Right now? Right here and now.


Ted, David isn't snoring,
and he had his adenoids out.

I'll be darned. David
had his adenoids out.

- Are you sure?
- Yes, Ted.

You win, Murray.

I don't believe this article
by Ted. What's wrong with it?

It's too good. I don't
believe he wrote it.

- Murray, did you write it?
- No.

- Now come on. Really.
- Really, Mary. I-I-I didn't write it.

But, Murray, there are words in
here Ted couldn't possibly know about.

"Metaphor." "Allegorical."

Where would Ted ever
pick up words like that?

I don't know.

Has William F. Buckley ever
appeared on The Gong Show?

Hi, everybody. Hi.

Oh, hi. [Mary] Hi.

Honey, are we too early? Uh...

Oh, hey. Gee, I can't go
to lunch for another hour.

Oh, that's okay. We'll go
shopping in the meantime. Yeah.

We're gonna get Laurie
her new coat. Hey, good.

Uh, we were going to try
to make do another year,

but, all of a sudden, Murray
decided we can afford it now.

Yeah. I'm finally gonna say
good-bye to this ratty-looking thing.

Oh, I see you're
reading Ted's article.

[Mary] Yeah. I just finished
it. It's really wonderful.

You like it? [Marie] Yeah.

Oh, I just saw the governor's
press conference on television,

and he quoted from the article.

The governor quoted from the
article? Oh, isn't that exciting?

Murray, what's so exciting about the
governor quoting from Ted's article?

Well, everyone
isn't selfish, Mary.

I mean, some of us are happy
for our coworkers. It is possible.

No, it's not.

Not when you're the one being
happy and Ted is the coworker.

Well, you can say
what you will about Ted.

Uh, he's an idiot, an imbecile,

but that man sure
knows how to write.

We'd better be going. See
you later, honey. Bye, Dad.

Bye, Mary. Bye.

Hi, Lou. Hi, Marie.
Hi, Laurie. Nice coat.

Uh... [Indistinct]

Hey, have you seen this piece
by Ted? Yeah. Isn't it terrific?

You know, at first, I thought
Murray had written it for him.

No, this is too good,
even for Murray.

Hi, Mary. Hi, Georgette.

What about my Teddy bear?

I'm so proud of him I
could bust my buttons.

Well, actually this dress
doesn't have any buttons.

It has two snaps and
a zipper up the back.

But "I'm so proud, I could bust two snaps
and a zipper up the back" sounds stupid,

so I said "buttons."

Sue me.

No, it's okay. I
understand how you feel,

and I'm really glad
that you're so happy.

Ted! I am so thrilled with
the reaction to your article.

Oh, you are getting a quality that I
find more exciting than anything else...


Oh, any man who can
throw words around like that...

"Hyperbole"? [Chuckles]



[Chuckles] "Anachronistic"?

By the way, Ted, would you
define "anachronistic" for us?

Sure, Mary.

It's, um, a man who's
proud he's from Akron.

[Mary] Good.

Ted, you know what
simply amazes me is,

I mean, a person can work
next to somebody for so long...

and never see them
as a sexual entity,

and then all of a
sudden, here he is.

- Excuse me.
- I've always known you were
an attractive man, of course.

- Excuse me, Sue Ann.
- I think you and I ought to get
to know each other much better.

Sue Ann, I think it's very
nice that you like Ted's article,

and I'm glad you're so fond
of the big words he uses,

but if you don't knock it off, I'm
gonna vitiate your assiduity out of here.

Certainly, dear.

Wouldn't have worked anyway.

Is there anything special
you want for dinner, Ted?

[Chuckles] I don't know.
What do writers eat?

I'll see if I can find
some alphabet soup.

Hey. Isn't it crazy, the way
Sue Ann acted just now?

Oh, I had no idea that writers
affected women this way.

That Shakespeare must have
had to drive 'em off with a stick.

Say, Murray. Mmm?

I appreciate your not, you know,
saying anything. A deal is a deal, Ted.

Yeah, well, I realize that,
I respect you for it, but...

[Clears Throat] must have
been a little tough on you.

Ted, it's over, it's
done. Tomorrow, it will

be forgotten, so why
don't we forget it?

All right. You're a pal.

Mary? I didn't tell you the
best part. What's that, Ted?

Reader's Digest telephoned. They
want to reprint my article for 2500 bucks!

I'm gonna be famous!

[Knocking] Mr. Grant?

Speaking. [Door Closes]

Do you know what
Ted just told me?

That he really didn't
write that article?

- No, he wouldn't admit that,
although obviously he didn't.
- Obviously.

Mr. Grant, are you making
fun of me, or do you agree?

Sometimes, if I'm lucky,
I can do both, Mary.

But I definitely agree.

"Freedom shouldn't be
confused with license,

though these two cousins
often pass as twins."

I can recognize Murray's
style a mile away.

I just hope Ted
paid him well for it.

Not as well as Reader's Digest
is going to pay Ted to reprint it.

What? $2500.

Murray? Get in here.

What is it?

We both know what's goin'
on here, and we think it stinks!

What? Mr. Grant.

Murray, what Mr. Grant means is,

we both know what's going
on here, and we think it stinks.

Oh. Well, I don't know
what you're talking about.

The article that Ted
supposedly wrote.

- I still don't know
what you're talking about.
- Murray, come on.

I'm sorry. Is, uh, that all?

No. Sit down.

[Clears Throat] We're gonna
crack you open like an egg.

Obviously you've made
some sort of promise here.

I still don't know what
you're talking about.

Don't tell me you don't
know what we're talking about.

Okay, I don't know
what you're referring to.

Murray! We're
trying to help you.

Do you honestly expect us to
believe that Ted wrote that article?


He can't even look at us.

I can so.

Okay, Murray.

I believe you.
You didn't write it.

Uh, Mr. Grant, I don't think
he's telling the truth. Mary...

Oh, oh. We're just
gonna do that so we can...

Yes, yes.

You don't miss a trick.

Okay, Murray.

You didn't write it,
but somebody did.

We know that
Ted didn't write it.

Now let's say somebody
else wrote it for Ted,

some poor slob
that we'll call, uh...

Roland Satler.

My dentist.

It's a name.


Mary's dentist
wrote the article,

and everyone in Minneapolis
thought it was a great article.

- But everyone
praised Ted Baxter.
- Huh?

And who didn't get even
one little bit of recognition?

Roland Satler.

Not only that, but Roland
doesn't make a whole lot of money.

And here's Ted, who does.

He's got a total of $2700.

And how much did he pay
Roland in the first place?

Uh, maybe 500, 600 bucks.


Maybe less.

And the real... The
real sad part of it is,

that this article is maybe...

the best thing
he's ever written.

Maybe the best
thing he'll ever write.


And he'll never be
able to tell his friends,

his wife, his children...

or any of the other dentists.

All because of a stupid
promise he made to Ted.

Oh, that poor,
dumb, wretched soul.

Now Murray, given the situation,

don't you think the
original agreement was

unfair and shouldn't
be considered binding?

Not if he gave his word.

Don't you think a man's word
ought to be worth something?

If nothing else, that
should be worth something.

Mary? Hmm?

There goes one
hell of a dentist.

Ted, we'd like to speak to you.

H-Hey, guys. My
door is always open.

Lou, would you mind
closing the door?

Sit down. What do you
guys want to talk about?

Ted, we think you...
Oh, oh, oh. Whoa.

Isn't this sensational?

"Dear Mr. Baxter.

We'd like 400 copies of your excellent
article to distribute to our students."

Isn't that something?

A newspaper with my writing in it being
used to train students? Can you imagine?

That's what we'd like
to talk to you about...

the article you're
alleged to have written.

What do you mean,
"alleged"? Did Murray squeal?

About what? About my paying
him $200 to write the article...

and him promising
not to tell anyone?

No, Murray never said a word.

Oh, good, 'cause
that didn't happen.

200? Is that all you paid him?

Well, it's all they paid me.

Yeah, but the Digest is now paying
you 2500. Do you think that's fair?

No. But it's as
high as they'll go.

Ted, you just admitted
that Murray wrote the article.

Don't you think he's
entitled to share?

No, I don't, Lou, on principle.

[Scoffs] What principle?

[Sighs] Okay, Mary.

Let's say I paid a tailor
to make these pants.

If he stopped me on
the street, tried to take

'em back, I'd have him
arrested. Am I right?


Yeah, but you're makin' a
huge profit on this article.

Okay, Lou.

Let's say I pay a
guy to build a house,

and I later sell that house
for three times the amount.

Who gets that money?

Uh, suppose people say, "My, what a
lovely house." Who accepts the compliment?

You do. [Chuckles]

Let's face it, guys. You haven't
got a leg to stand on. I'm right.

But... Hey, isn't this great?

You guys always win an
argument, but not this time.

This time, I'm in the right.
You're wrong, and I'm right.

[Chuckling] Oh, I tell
you, this is a great country.

You know what makes it great?

Because you don't have
to be witty or clever...

as long as you can
hire someone who is.

Ted, what... Where's
your compassion?

You're talkin' about somebody
with whom you've worked for years,

who came through for
you when you had trouble.

You're talkin' about a man...

who's never had a chance
to be in the limelight.

You have.

I mean, here's a guy
who did one thing...

One single thing
in his whole life...

that can get him a
little national attention.

Something that when he
goes to sleep, he can say,

"Maybe I'm special."

Ted, Murray deserves...

the chance to say that to
himself once, don't you think?

Ted? We're talkin'
about a man...

who sold his name to
buy a coat for his daughter.



Yeah, you're... You're too good a man
to take advantage of Murray this way.

No, I'm not.

All right, all right. I am.

Come on.

Do you really like it?
Oh, it's beautiful, honey.

Hey, do me a favor. Try to
make it last till you're married.

Ah. Good. You're still here.

So, um, just... Okay, stay.
Because we'll, um... Just...

I wonder what's going on?

Hi, Marie. Hi, Ted.

Oh, I didn't tell you yet.
I just loved your article.

Oh, well, thank you. It's
always nice to hear... that.

Marie, there's something I
have to tell you about that article.

Yes, Ted?

Murray... may write something
like that himself someday.

I certainly hope so. We sure
would be proud of him if he did.

- Bye-bye. - [Murray] Good-bye.

[Muttering] Ted, get... Marie.

Marie, uh, Murray...

[Quietly] helped
me write that article.


Murray helped me
write that article.

[Marie] Honey, why
didn't you say... Hey, Ted.

He helped me a lot, maybe 30%.

- More than 30%.
- Did you really, Dad?

Make me proud of you, Ted.

Murray wrote the whole article.

Every word... was his idea.

I'm such a dope, I couldn't write
my own name without Murray.

Hey. I was afraid to say that.

Murray wrote the article.
Murray wrote the article.

And now that I said
it, I'm gonna be sick!

Ted, I have to get home to the
kids. What is it you wanted to tell me?

Sit down, Georgette. [Sighs]

Well, this may come as kind of a
shock to you, so you better hang on.

I... never wrote that
article for the paper.

Oh, I knew that. You did?

Sure. Just 'cause I love
you doesn't mean I'm stupid.

Oh, I'm sorry.
That's okay, Murray.

Hi, Murray. Congratulations
on the article.

Oh, well, uh... I-I
actually didn't...

Ted, uh... I mean...

Murray, you know, you
write a lot better than you talk.

Bye, Teddy. Bye, honey.


Uh, Ted, I, uh...

I've been thinking all day about
that gesture you, uh, made upstairs.

That's okay, Murray. No, Ted.

I have to say this.

For a long time now, uh, I've
made you the butt of my jokes...

because you were there and you
happen to be a preposterous figure.

But what you did
today was classy.

You're a fine man, Ted Baxter.

It's an honor to know you.

[Chuckles] Murray. Ted.

Hey, you know what? Huh?

That $2500 from
Reader's Digest? Yeah?

I want you to have it. Oh,
no. You can keep it, Ted.