Tuesday, June 22, 2010

When lady tennis-player jokes were still lady-German-swimmer jokes

I've been watching a lot of Mary Tyler Moore on DVD lately. It's a great show, and it holds up really amazingly well.

The one thing that often strikes me is the dated pop culture references. There's at least one reference per episode I have to look up. Recent examples include (how many do you know?):
  • Eric Sevaride
  • Chad Everett
  • Dave Garroway
  • Euell Gibbons
  • Kathryn Kuhlman
  • Veal Prince Orloff
  • Baked Pears Alicia (and this one's not fair, because it appears to have been made up. I don't have time to look up imaginary food. Well, OK, yes, I do. But I can at least save you the trouble.)
But then, sometimes, there's a reference so dated it's hilarious — even though I don't have to look anything up. This was the best exchange of this evening:
Lou: What would happen if Billie Jean King married Bobby Riggs?
Mary: What?
Lou: Her husband would be very upset.
(Big laugh from Lou, little chuckle from Mary)
Lou: See? That was a joke that we could both enjoy. It had women's lib in it for you and sports in it for me.

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