Mary Tyler Moore (1970–1977): Season 7, Episode 7 - My Son, the Genius - full transcript

Ted and Georgette are beside themselves not only because of David's poor showing in school (his latest report card filled with D's), but also because he doesn't seem to be trying and doesn't seem to really care he's failing. Against Ted's wishes, Georgette makes an appointment for David to see a child psychologist to determine if there are any emotional issues causing the problem. What they learn is that David's poor showing is because he has a genius IQ of 160 and is bored. This news makes Ted and Georgette take a new approach not only with David's schooling, but most specifically the way Ted treats his son. Ted, now in awe of David, gives in to his every wish. And David, asking more and more, throws tantrums whenever he doesn't get his way. Georgette thinks they've created a monster, and needs Ted to demonstrate to David that they deserve respect. Ted learns that it's not so much discipline that David needs. Meanwhile, Mary tries to put into practice what she is reading in "The Importance of Being Selfish". And Lou reluctantly hosts his daughter's father-in-law, Morris Bender, who Lou deems the slowest man in the world.

♪ 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 ♪♪

Good morning. Oh, morning, Lou.

Good morning, Mr. Grant.

Uh, why are you
holding the door open?

- Because I'm with somebody
who walks very slowly.
- Who?

There's a story
connected with that.

Unfortunately, I know
I have the time to tell it.

My oldest daughter
called me from New York...

and said her father-in-law's coming to
Minneapolis and could he stay with me.

- I said yes.
- Oh, isn't that nice?

Nice? He's the slowest
man in the world.

Crossing the park this
morning, a vine grew up his leg.

Oh, thanks, Lou, for
holding the door open for me.

You want to help me with
my coat? No, I guess not.

Lou, look, you don't have
to stand there like that.

I'm sure he can find his
way in. Yeah, you're right.

What's the matter, you
couldn't hold the door open?

Mary, Murray, this is Morris
Bender. Well, it's nice to meet you.

[Mary] How do you do? Hello.

Yeah, Morris is gonna be
spending the day here with me.

I was going to put him
on a sightseeing tour,

but he said I shouldn't go to all that
trouble. I don't want to be a bother.

- Ahh. Can I get you
some coffee?
- Oh, no, don't bother.

It's no bother. Okay.

- You sure it's no bother?
- No, no bother.

Come on, Morris. You
can sit with me in my office.

- Uh, only if I don't
get in your way.
- It's right in there.

You sure I won't be
in the way? Positive.

You'll tell me if
I'm being a bother?

Oh, yeah, yeah. Here, here.

Coffee. Thank you.

- I hope it was no bother.
- No, no bother.

Nice little guy,
isn't he? [Chuckles]

- Look, how long is he
staying with you, Lou?
- Oh, a couple of weeks...

or until I kill him,
whichever comes first.

Mary, I have a big favor to
ask. Oh, no. No, Mr. Grant.

He's not staying with
me. I'll barricade my door.

I didn't ask you to take him in,

although a good friend would
have volunteered a long time ago.

I just asked you to take him to
lunch. I have a meeting. Just lunch?

Yeah. Yeah, okay. I
guess I can do that.

Oh, wait, Mary, before
you say yes, I need you

for lunch. I've got a
big personal problem.

I've already got her, Ted.
She's mine. No, you don't.

It's her lunch. We all get a
shot at her. Ted, leave her alone.

No, I can't. It's a big problem.
All right, look, Ted, uh,

Georgette and I were talking
about getting together for dinner.

Why don't we make it tonight? I can't
wait till dinner. I need you for lunch.

Well, look, I can't have lunch with
both of you. I only have four hands.

Dinner. Sure. What
am I gonna do till then?

What about getting
ready for your broadcast?

No, that's no good.

I really appreciate this, Mary.
But it's not such a bad deal.

You're gonna have a great
time with him. Uh, just one tip.

When you cut his meat,
make it small pieces.

Figure about 1:00.

I'll start sending
him out about 12:00.

[Door Closes] Why is it always
me, Murr? Why is it always me?

You really want to know? It's
because you probably get a kick...

out of letting people walk
all over you. That's why.

Look, I said it. I said it. I'm glad I
said it. I'm not gonna take it back.


- Okay, I apologize.
- But you meant it, didn't you?

Yes, Mary. Yes, I did.

You know, a couple
of weeks ago, I read a

book called The
Importance of Being Selfish,

and, boy, if ever there
was a book written for you.

It talked about people
like you, Mary Richards.

It talked about people
who were always helpful.

And it said the real
reason they did that...

was because they had such a
low opinion of themselves that...

that was the only way they knew
that they could get people to like them.

Well, thank you, Murray.
How very flattering.

Look, Mary, I know this
may sound harsh, but

isn't there a little
bit of truth in it...

That the reason you
can't say no to people...

is because you're afraid
they're not gonna like you?

Well, I'm... No, I'm... Maybe.

It's a terrific book, Mary.
Boy, it really helped me a lot.

I mean, everybody thinks that
selfishness is this terrible thing,

when a lot of times it's just
somebody recognizing his true value.

Now I know you may not believe
this, but selfishness can be a virtue.

- It sounds like an interesting
book. Can I borrow it?
- Get your own.

Here we are.

Looks like a nice tuna fish
sandwich. But why is it so shiny?

That's the cellophane.

Would you like me
to take it off for you?

If it's no bother.
It's no bother.

- What's that you're having?
- Egg salad.

I didn't know they
had egg salad.

Well, they do.

I love egg salad.

Would you like to trade?

You don't have to trade. I'll give you
my sandwich, and you give me yours.

Okay, we'll do it that way.

What's the matter? I forgot.

It's not egg salad
I like. It's cheese.

- Mary?
- Ted, hi. Come on over
and sit down.

Join us.

Ted, I'd like you to
meet Morris Bender.

Hi. He's a friend of Lou's.


Do you know how many
pair of socks I have?

- How many?
- Four.

I used to have six, but I found
out I didn't need that many.

That's interesting.

Mary, I've got to talk to
you about my problem.

Well, Ted, don't you
think it's a little... rude?

Oh, I'm sure he
won't mind. Go ahead.

You got to speak to Georgette.
Georgette is Ted's wife.

- She's upset about David.
- That's their son
they adopted last year.

So he's having a little trouble in school.
She's making a mountain out of a molehill.

Don't tell me. It's a
little hill with moles in it.

One little thing happened, and she actually
wants me to take him to a psychologist.

Well, Ted, I don't see that
there's anything wrong with that.

I mean, if David's having
problems with his schoolwork...

Mary, now, you may not believe
this, but I had trouble in school too.

But look at me. Today
I make more money...

than all those brainy
straight-C students put together.

Ted, I'm glad I finally
caught up with you. Hi, Mary.

Hi, Georgette. Georgette, this is
Morris Bender. How do you do?

Ted, will you look at
this report card? All D's.

I thought I told you not to
take things out of my scrapbook.

This is David's. He's
failing every subject.

I went to see his teacher, and she
said he never pays any attention.

And in class, he's always
daydreaming. I think he needs some help.

I'm not taking
David to a shrink.

Ted, come on. It's just
a child psychologist.

I don't care how old he is.

Ted, I don't care what you say.

I've already made an appointment,
and I'm taking him there tomorrow.

I'm gonna find out why
he's getting such bad grades.

Excuse me for butting in.

I'm an old man, and I've seen
one or two things in my lifetime.

And sometimes there's a reason
why a child is not doing well in school.

And it's very simple, but
no one ever thinks of it.

- What's that?
- He could be stupid.

What did I say?

Nice wood.

Ted, will you please sit down?

The psychologist will tell us
everything when he's through.

That's, uh, my son
in there. There's

nothing wrong with
him. He's a terrific kid.

He's just in for a
six-month checkup.

I'm sure he is. Most of the children
who come in here are quite normal.

Did you hear that, honey?
There's nothing to worry about.

Of course, there
are exceptions. Oh?

Well, like the little boy
we had in last week.

For his eighth birthday, his parents
gave him an electronic hobby set.

He built a time bomb.

- Blew the roof
right off the house.
- Oh, no.

- Fortunately, they weren't
home at the time.
- Oh, that's good.

Late yesterday, the cat
came down in Toronto.

[Buzzer Buzzes] Oh, excuse me.

I don't know what we're
doing here anyway.

You don't push a kid in a
direction he doesn't belong.

Not every kid was meant
to be a fifth-grade graduate.

I'm telling you, Georgette, no
son of mine needs a psychologist.

Ted, you have to realize
this has nothing to do with you.

David's problem
isn't your fault.

You're a terrific father, a great
husband and a wonderful provider.

That's right.

I do bring in 50 G's a year.

You told me it was 30.

Yeah, right, right,
30. [Door Opens]

How'd it go, Son?

Oh, okay, I guess. The doctor
would like to see you both.

[Georgette] David, you sit over
there. We'll be right out, okay?


Mr. Baxter, Mrs. Baxter,
won't you sit down?

Now I've given your son an
exhaustive amount of tests, and I think...

Now wait a second, Doc. Before you
get started, let me get one thing straight.

I'm not impressed with any of
this psychoanalytic mumbo jumbo.

To me, the whole
business is just silly.

Child psychology... $40 an hour.

How's a kid gonna
get that kind of money?

Ted... I don't want any
stranger telling me about my son.

I don't want anybody telling me my
son's neglected or that he needs love.

He happens to come
from a very loving home.

Ted... Shut up, Georgette.

Mr. Baxter, this is nothing
to break our crayons over.

Now as I was saying, I've
given your son exhaustive tests...

Aptitude, adaptability,

And it seems that he's
in the genius category.

He has an I.Q. of 160.


That's more than mine.

Yeah. Double.

Say, let me ask you
a theoretical question.

Of course. Let's
assume that someone...

has a kid with
an incredible I.Q...

and that someone wasn't
great in the fifth grade,

do you think that would cause
any problems between the two?

No problems at all, Mr. Baxter,

as long as the parent is a reasonably
secure, mature, well-adjusted adult.

Boy, are we in trouble.

Murray, thank you. Hmm?

But for what? For telling me about that
book... The Importance of Being Selfish.

I was up all night reading it.

And I realize now the amount of time I
have spent in my life accommodating people.

This book really
teaches you that the first

person you have to
worry about is yourself.

Otherwise, you're no
good to anyone else.

Mm-hmm. Terrific.

Boy, this is really
amusing. Why? What is?

Well, I'm the one that
told you about the book,

and, uh, I want to ask you
if you'll cover for me tonight.

- Ask me.
- Will you cover for me tonight?

Not on your life.

Murr, thank you.
It feels so good.

Come on, Mary, I'm not kidding.
I really have to leave early.

In your hat, baldy.

Mary, come on. The book
said just be selfish, not mean.

Yeah, you're right, Murr. I guess
I did go too far. I read it so fast.

But I am supposed to
turn you down, aren't I?

Well, the book was very
clear in stating that, uh,

there are times when
you can make exceptions.

Oh, good. Th-Then it's all right
for me to cover for you tonight? Yes.

Oh, thanks, Murr.
Hey, you're welcome.

Why did you say no to
me on the phone last night?

I really needed you
to help me out, Mary.

I think I created a Frankenstein.
Well, what did you want her to do, Lou?

Take Morris to Mount
Rushmore for three days.

You don't even have to
bring him back. Just take him.

Great news, everybody.
Lou, have a cigar.

- Murray, Mary, guess what?
- You found a box of cigars.

[Laughs] Better than that.
My son, David, is a genius.

But why was he having
so much trouble in school?

Well, according to the child
psychologist, he was bored.

It wasn't challenging enough for
him, so he wasn't paying any attention.

He's got an I.Q. of 160. He
could be going to college today.

Though he might have a
little trouble getting girls.

Well, how does Georgette
feel about it? Swell.

She took him to school to enroll him
in a special class for advanced children.

[Chuckles] I should have
known he was a genius.

Last night, when he was saying
his prayers, he stopped and said,

"Am I goin' too fast
for ya?" [Laughs]

Ted, don't you think you're making too
big a deal out of all this? After all...

What's the matter, you can't
hold the door open for me?

[Mary] Hello, Mr. Bender.

I'm sorry I can't take you to
Mount Rushmore. Oh, that's all right.

Who wants to look at a lot
of old stone faces anyway?

- Come on in my office, Morris.
- You sure it's no bother?

It's no bother!

Hi, everybody. [All] Hi.

Hi. So, how is the new school?

Oh, you should
have seen it, Ted.

- They made such
a fuss over David.
- Did they?

All the children are so smart.

A nine-year-old girl gave me
directions to the ladies' room in Latin.

- Oh.
- I finally had to ask
a handyman.

[Mary] How do you
like the school, David?

Oh, I think it's real neat.

Now I have classmates I can relate to,
and I think that's very, very important.

Yes. I can understand that.

I think people usually
get along with other

people whose I.Q.'s
are closer to their own.

Don't you agree,
Dad? Indubitably.

Now, for instance,
I'm sure the reason you

get along so well with
Mr. Slaughter here...

is because your I.Q. is
probably very close to his.

Interesting theory.
What's your I.Q.?

Go ahead. Tell him, Mar. Most
people's I.Q.'s are lower than David's.

Doesn't mean anything. So you're not
as smart as he is. Go ahead. Tell him.

118. How about
yours, Mr. Slaughter?

- 125.
- You see. Very close.

That's why you get
along so well together.

And nice little
I.Q.'s they are too.

Nothing to be embarrassed about.

What's yours, Dad?

- You really want to know?
- Yes, I do.

Okay. Father to son, no
secrets. I'll tell you. [Chuckles]

My I.Q. is 190.

Oh, sorry. I-I've got
to go to the studio.

But, Dad, Albert
Einstein's I.Q. was only 185.

Well, we know much more
now than they did then.

[Doorbell Rings]

Hi, Georgette. Come
on in. Hi. Hi, Mary.

What are you reading? Ah.
The Importance of Being Selfish.

It's a book about how a person
should worry about her own problems...

without getting involved
in other people's.

Really terrific. Good-bye, Mary.

Georgette, come on
in. What's on your mind?

Are you sure it's okay? I could find
somebody who hasn't read the book yet.

No, come on in. Sit down.

Well, I hate to bother you, but I
really don't know what to do, Mary.

What's wrong? Everything.

Ted and I should never have taken
David to see that child psychologist.

Well, I thought you were so
pleased to find out David's bright?

Oh, I was. But Ted doesn't
know how to deal with it.

It's like he's
afraid of him now.

And David knows it
and takes advantage of it.

I mean, Ted's so impressed with him
that he lets him do whatever he wants to.

If David wants to stay up
till midnight, Ted lets him.

If David doesn't want to eat his
dinner, Ted doesn't make him.

Yesterday, he wanted his allowance
doubled. And Ted gave it to him?

Oh, come on. You can
only push Ted so far.

Want some coffee? Yes. Thanks.

You know, David used to be such a
sweet boy. Now he's spoiled rotten.

He talks back, he
throws temper tantrums...

and he calls Ted
the "Silver Dummy."

And Ted just laughs at it.
Couldn't you talk to him for me?

Me? Yes.

Explain to him that even
though David may be

brighter than other
children, he's still a child...

and needs discipline just as much,
if not more, than other children...

and that Ted can't be
intimidated by him...

or else he's shirking his
responsibility as a father.

Georgette, why
don't you talk to him?

I wouldn't know what to say.

Say, listen, Mar, is it okay if I
let David sit in the control booth?

It's something that I promised him.
I know it's against the rules, but...

Yes, Ted. Fine. Okay.

Then after the show, I promised him
he could take one of the cameras apart.

Well, he could probably
put it back together.

I don't care what you say.
I want to go. I want to go!

We'll see what your father has to say
about this. Hey, hey, what's going on?

I promised my mother
I'd bring the baby over.

David insists that I take
him to the museum instead.

They have a terrific
exhibit, Dad. I want to

see it, and she won't
take me. She's mean.

What do you think,
Miss Richards?

Don't you think she should
take me to the museum?


David, I think this is something
your parents have to decide.

That's right. It's...
It's our responsibility.

Ted, talk to him.
Use your authority.

Okay. David, your mother wants to visit
with her mother, and I think she should.

If you want to go to the
museum, I'll take you tomorrow.

I don't want to go
tomorrow. I want to go now!

Kid's got a point, Georgette.

Maybe you ought to
take him to the museum.

Ted, you have to be firm.

Okay, okay. Georgette,
take that kid to the museum.

Ted, if you won't
handle this, I'll have to.

David, we are going to see
my mother, and that's that.

Well, I think it's mean
and rotten, and I abhor you.

David, don't you ever use
that word in front of your mother.

It just means I hate her.

[Gasps] Ted.

[Sighs] All right,
David, come on with me.

Where we going? To get spanked.

Aw, come on, Dad. That's
old fashioned. So am I.

Lou, you've got to do
me a favor. Hi, Mr. Grant.

Hi, David. How are you?

Lou? What?

- I've got to use your office
just for a few minutes.
- What do you want my office for?

I've got to spank my kid.

You don't want to spank David.

Yes, I do. Have you
got a hairbrush handy?

What would he be
doing with a hairbrush?

Go ahead. Spank him.

I've got to do it, Lou.

He just made Georgette
cry. And I'm his

father, and it's my duty
to teach him a lesson.

Okay. I understand. You wouldn't want
to spank him for me, would you, Lou?

No, Ted. I'll be outside.


Well, okay, let's
get this over with.

[Sighs] You're
really gonna do this?

David, you're a
very smart little boy.

But it's a lot more to being
smart than just having a high I.Q.

And what you did out there
just now, making your mother cry,

was not smart, that was dumb.

I know.

I also know, even though I'm
still learning how to be a father,

what I have to do now is right.

Now you're a lot smarter than
I am and a lot cuter than I am.

I've only got one
thing going for me.

I'm bigger than you are.

Come on.

[Sighs] Okay, Dad.

Now, don't hold this against me,
because this is for your own good.


Just try to understand I'm
trying to be a good father.

But I also want you
to be a good son.

[Sobs] Now your
mother loves you.

[Sobbing] And I love you.

I don't ever want to have
to do this again. [Sobbing]

Are you all right, Dad?

I'm fine. [Sobs]

I didn't want to hurt you, but
you had that coming to you.

Don't cry, Dad. [Sobs] David,

don't ever make me do
this again. I can't take it.

[Sobs] I won't, Dad. I'm sorry.

I'm sorry I had to spank you.

You know something, Dad? What?

I'm really glad
you're my father.

Even though I just spanked you?

Well, spare the rod,
and you spoil the child.

"Spare the rod and spoil
the child." That's genius.

Pure genius.