‘Dick Van Dyke Show’: Mary Tyler Moore Was ‘Terribly Disappointed’ About This Episode

by Chris Haney
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During an interview held in October 1997, actress Mary Tyler Moore spoke about her dislike of a particular episode of the Dick Van Dyke Show.

Moore sat down with Diane Werts of The Interviews, which was created by the Television Academy Foundation. The Hollywood-based foundation records interviews with notable people from all aspects of the television industry. During Moore’s extensive interview, she touched on her entire career, including her time on the Dick Van Dyke Show.

She spoke highly of her time on the show and enjoyed working with talented writers like Carl Reiner. However, Moore was not a fan of one specific episode that Reiner wrote.

Reiner approached Moore one day with a script that he raved about being hysterical and original. Later that week, the cast sat down to read over Reiner’s script. The script Reiner promised Moore she would love had the opposite effect on the actress. She couldn’t stand it. During her 1997 interview, Moore called it “terribly disappointing” and said the script “devastated” her in the moment.

Mary Tyler Moore Admits She Was Wrong About the Episode

The episode in question is titled “Never Bathe on Saturday,” which aired on March 31, 1965. Mary Tyler Moore played Laura, the wife of Dick Van Dyke’s character Rob Petrie. In the infamous episode, Laura’s toe ends up stuck inside a bathtub faucet.

“I’m in a hotel room sitting in a bathroom playing with a drip from the faucet with my toe. And my toe gets stuck,” Moore recalled of the show’s scene. “I can’t get out and the bathroom door is locked and Rob (Dick Van Dyke) can’t get in. So the show takes place on either side of that door, but mostly on Rob’s side of the door.”

At the time, Moore felt frustrated since she shot most of her scenes off-camera. Yet she admits the episode became a huge hit and everything worked out for the best.

“Oh well, what a mistake it was [to be disappointed by the script],” Mary Tyler Moore admits. “Because it went on to be a hugely well-received show.”

In addition, Moore said the episode ended up working out better than she could have imagined. By putting her character in the bathtub, it drove men wild at the time who fantasized about her character.

“I came out of it as having been, again, every man’s fantasy. They were all visualizing Laura in the tub with her toe in the faucet. It worked out really well,” Moore concluded.

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