TV Moments

This page 2003-07 Matt Hinrichs

(originally appeared in the March 1991 issue of EGG magazine)

Lucy at the chocolate factory, Nixon's Checkers speech, Lucy stomping grapes, the shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald, Lucy with the Friends of the Friendless, The Beatles with Ed Sullivan, Dan Ackroyd as Julia Child, Carol Burnett wearing the drapes, Ernestine, Edith Ann, Lucy setting fire to her nose while meeting William Holden, Dr. Richard Kimble finding the one-armed man, Sammy Davis Jr. kissing Archie Bunker, Lucy with the loving cup on her head. You remember these great moments of television, don't you? Of course you do. In fact, you remember them even when you don't think you remember them, because each time the history of television is anthologized or encapsulated, these clips are ceremoniously trotted out as if trained by Siegfried & Roy.

Ralph threatening to send Alice to the moon, Nixon chanting "Sock it to me," Don Knotts' man on the street, Paul Lynde as the Secret Square, Lucy guzzling Vitameatavegamin. These are the 501s of television's past: dependable, ubiquitous, and common knowledge. But they're not the stuff of private jokes - the you-were-theres that heighten relationships, the sources of laughing-till-you're-stupid that remind you why someone's your best friend. Don't ever sell TV short. In an environment that now cross-references more than it cross-pollinates, Chuckles the Clown's motto (#23), what Aretha Franklin had on her head when she sang at the 1969 Academy Awards (#24), how Dukakis blew the second debate (#29), and the sporting event that bares the name of Claudine Longet (#21) - these are often the recollections that cement friendships and forge the ties that bind for a lifetime.

Therefore, in the interest of fraternity, frivolity, and ultra-high frequency, we invite you to open a tin of General Foods International Coffees (Swisse Mocha: our favorite), call a good friend, and share some of the moments of your life with Egg's 100 Favorite Moments In Television.

- Lisa Kogan and the staff of Egg

Some selections link to online videos. If you have a link to contribute, please contact me at - M.
1 Michael tells Hope he'll pull out. thirtysomething Dec. 6, 1988
2 Gilda Radner uses Autumn Fizz, "the world's first carbonated douche." Saturday Night Live Apr. 17, 1976
3 Dick wakes up, discovers he doesn't have an inn, hasn't hired Stephanie, isn't married to Joanna, and his name is Bob. He then asks Emily to think about wearing sweaters. Newhart May 21, 1990
4 Sue Ann rescues her soufflee and slams the wall oven after Phyllis has slammed it in disgust after discovering that the Happy Homemaker is having an affair with Lars. The Mary Tyler Moore Show Sept. 15, 1973
5 Connie Stevens, in Aztec costume, races up and down ramps, amid firebursts, singing "Live and Let Die". The 46th Annual Academy Awards Apr. 2, 1974
6 Phoebe Cates asks, "Which one of you bitches is my mother?" Lace Feb. 24, 1984
7 Buddy gets her period. Family 1976-77 season
8 Betty Ford tells Morely Safer that her kids have smoked pot and had premarital sex. 60 Minutes Aug. 10, 1975
9 Mary, refusing to believe she's on the phone with Betty Ford, replies "Yeah, and this is Mary .. Queen of Scots." The Mary Tyler Moore Show Jan. 10, 1976
10 On the premiere episode Phyllis Diller tries to roast a chicken in the dryer. The Pruitts of Southampton Sept. 6, 1966
11 Crispin Glover disappears during the commercial after almost kicking Dave in the face. Late Night with David Letterman Jun. 28, 1987
12 Florence Henderson sings "Bad Bad Leroy Brown". The Mike Douglas Show May 24, 1974
13 Vivian Blaine, as a psychic, tells Mary Hartman that she has water in her eighth house. Mary replies, "Do you think I need a diuretic?" Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman 1976-77 season
14 Suzanne Sugarbaker demonstrates her workout routine by twirling an imaginary baton while humming "St. Louis Woman."
Correct song is "St. Louis Blues". - M.
Designing Women May 21, 1990
15 Audrey Horne knots a cherry stem with her tongue. Twin Peaks May 17, 1990
16 Rob Petrie steps around the ottoman. The Dick Van Dyke Show October 1964
17 Alexander Butterfield drops the bomb that Richard Nixon's office was bugged. Senate Watergate Hearings Jul. 16, 1973
18 Madonna defiantly tells Forrest Sawyer, "Okay, I have chained myself though, okay? I crawled under my own table, you know." ABC News Nightline Dec. 3, 1990
19 Captain Kirk plants one on Lieutenant Uhura. Star Trek Nov. 22, 1968
20 Joan Rivers gives out Victoria Principal's home phone number on the air. The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers Dec. 15, 1986
21 The Claudine Longet Ski Invitational Saturday Night Live Apr. 24, 1976
22 Mary McCarthy tells Dick Cavett that Lillian Hellman never wrote a single honest word in her life, "including and and the." The Dick Cavett Show Jan. 25, 1980
23 "A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants." - Chuckles the Clown. The Mary Tyler Moore Show Oct. 25, 1975
24 Aretha Franklin sings "Funny Girl" with antlers on her head. The 41st Annual Academy Awards Apr. 14, 1969
25 Big Bird and thousands of children learn why Mr. Hooper will never come back. Sesame Street Nov. 24, 1983
26 Miss Jane Pittman drinks from the water fountain. The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman Jan. 31, 1974
27 Leslie Uggams spits into Sandy Duncan's water. Roots Jan. 30, 1977
28 Marcia gets Davy Jones to sing at her school dance. The Brady Bunch Dec. 10, 1971
29 Governor Dukakis remains stoic when CNN anchor and debate moderator Bernard Shaw asks him what he'd do if Kitty were raped. Bad move. The Senate Presidential Debate Oct. 30, 1988
30 As they leave earth, space voyagers realize to late that their alien benefactors' token of friendship, To Serve Man, is a cookbook. The Twilight Zone Mar. 2, 1962
31 Raiders score two touchdowns in the last 42 seconds to win 42-32. TV audiences never see it, however, as Heidi preempts the last 65 seconds. Heidi vs. Jets/Raiders Game Nov. 17, 1968
32 Maude has an abortion Maude Nov. 14/21, 1972
33 Suzanne Pleshette goes ape over wet lettuce. Leona Helmsley: The Queen of Mean Sept. 23, 1990
34 Willard kisses Bryant on the air after the memo. Today March 1989
35 Simka marries Latka. Taxi Mar. 25, 1982
36 Jeannie marries Master. I Dream of Jeannie Dec. 22, 1969
37 Maddie does David. Moonlighting Mar. 31, 1987
38 Leland does Rosalind. L.A. Law Dec. 13, 1990
39 Rob Lowe duets with Snow White. The 61st Annual Academy Awards Mar. 29, 1989
40 Lucy mirrors Harpo. I Love Lucy May 9, 1955
41 Laverne and Shirley meet Fabian. Laverne & Shirley November 1977
42 Mike's "problem". All in the Family Nov. 20, 1971
43 Roseanne Roseannadanna goes to Studio 54. Saturday Night Live Oct. 7, 1978
44 Dan Rather ends his broadcast with "courage". The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather Sept. 3, 1986
45 Linda Blair is gang raped in the shower with a broomstick during a stint at reform school. Born Innocent Sept. 10, 1974
46 Erica has daytime TV's first abortion. All My Children February 1972
47 Jennifer Holliday sings the national anthem. The 1984 Democratic National Convention Jul. 19, 1984
48 Emma Peel's husband returns bearing a striking resemblance to Jonathan Steed. The Avengers Mar. 20, 1968
49 Greg Louganis hits his head on the springboard. Games of the XXIV Olympiad Sept. 19, 1988
50 Mary's father tells her mother not to forget her pill. Mary says "I won't." The Mary Tyler Moore Show Oct. 28, 1972
51 At the end of the final telecast Linda Ellerbee draws a parallel between her show and Mark Twain's young missionary who went among the cannibals: "They listened with the greatest of interest to everything he had to say. And then they ate him." And so it went. NBC News Overnight Dec. 2, 1983
52 Jodie's mother catches him in her dress and compliments him with his choice of accessories. Soap October 1977
53 After viewing his resort collection, Carrie Donovan breathlessly asks Mr. Klein, "Calvin, why white?" 60 Minutes Sept. 22, 1985
54 The Munsters become TV's first conjugal couple as Lily joins Herman in a double bed. The Munsters 1964-65 season
55 Scott Jacoby realizes why Hal Holbrook prefers Martin Sheen to Hope Lange. That Certain Summer Nov. 1, 1972
56 Chad Everett talks. Lily Tomlin walks. The Dick Cavett Show Mar. 31, 1972
57 Cher calls Dave an asshole. Late Night with David Letterman May 22, 1986
58 Shirley MacLaine calls Dave an asshole. Late Night with David Letterman Oct. 4, 1988
59 Larry "Bud" Nelman calls Dave an asshole. Late Night with David Letterman August 1989
60 Sonny and Cher reunite to sing "I Got You Babe." Late Night with David Letterman Nov. 13, 1987
61 John and Yoko cohost with Mike. The Mike Douglas Show Feb. 14, 1972
62 Lance Guest and Linda Kozlowski get all tied up. Favorite Son Nov. 1, 1988
63 Phyllis George suggests that Cathleen Webb and Gary Dodson, the man Webb wrongfully sent to jail for rape, kiss and make up. CBS Morning News May 15, 1985
64 Toonces drives Steve Martin and Victoria Jackson off a cliff. Saturday Night Live May 20, 1989
65 Puppeteer Burr Tillstrom's Berlin Wall hand ballet. That Was the Week That Was May 4, 1965
66 Brendan Sullivan swears under oath he is not a potted plant. The Iran-Contra Hearings July 10, 1987
67 Robin Williams and Billy Crystal play Broadway gypsies rehearsing a Las Vegas revue. Comic Relief II Nov. 14, 1987
68 David Cassidy sings "I Think I Love You." The Partridge Family October 1970
69 Pot smokers space out and let their daughter drown in the bathtub. "I think I'm gonna be sick, Joe." Dragnet Nov. 2, 1967
70 Richard and Elizabeth can't get the Burton-Taylor diamond off Lucy's finger. Here's Lucy Sept. 14, 1970
71 Mario Cuomo delivers the keynote address. The 1984 Democratic National Convention Jul. 16, 1984
72 The "walnut" dream ends. The Dick Van Dyke Show Feb. 6, 1963
73 The first Sweeney Sisters medley, featuring "Clang, Clang, Clang Went the Trolley." Saturday Night Live Oct. 18, 1986
74 Gig Young gets off at "Next Stop, Willoughby," his last.
The episode was titled A Stop at Willoughby and starred James Daly. - M.
The Twilight Zone May 6, 1960
75 Bing Crosby duets with David Bowie on "Little Drummer Boy." Bing Crosby's Merrie Olde Christmas Nov. 30, 1977
76 Meeting him for the first time, Marlo says to Phil, "The woman in your life must be very lucky." Donahue Jan. 26, 1977
77 Kystle and Alexis go at it in the lily pond. Dynasty Apr. 13, 1983
78 Radar breaks the news to the 4077th that Henry Blake never made it back to the states. M*A*S*H Mar. 18, 1975
79 A blind Joan Crawford acquires Tom Bosley's eyesight in time for a plunge into the New York City blackout. Director Steven Spielberg's TV debut. "Eyes," Night Gallery Nov. 8, 1969
80 Dennis Weaver's car is chased by a truck with an unseen driver. Director Steven Spielberg's feature length debut. Duel Nov. 13, 1971
81 Jim McKay announces that terrorists have kidnapped Israeli athletes in Munich. Games of the XX Olympiad Sept. 6, 1972
82 At the climax of "Lovely Story," Harvey Korman embraces Carol Burnett and exultantly asks, "What could possibly go wrong now?" Carol coughs. The Carol Burnett Show Feb. 1, 1971
83 A horny Barbara Stanwyck puts the moves on Richard Chamberlain. The Thorn Birds Mar. 27, 1983
84 Oliver North explains why charges for lingerie appeared on his AmEx bill. Iran-Contra Senate Hearings July 1987
85 Ginny Tillman meets "Laurence Tillman, proctologist"'s new girlfriend (Isabella Rossellini). The Tracey Ullman Show Sept. 10, 1989
86 Jeffrey MacDonald blames the army for bungling the investigation of his murdered family. The Dick Cavett Show December 1970
87 Kirk Gibson hits a ninth-inning home run off Dennis Eckersley. 1988 World Series Oct. 15, 1988
88 James Caan and Billy Dee Williams run in slow motion to the strains of Michael Legrand. Brian's Song Nov. 30, 1971
89 Dr. Westphall resigns by saying, "You can kiss my ass, pal," then offers it up for the opportunity. St. Elsewhere Sept. 30, 1987
90 Hash brownies are delivered - and devoured - at the 12th Precinct. Barney Miller Dec. 30, 1976
91 Arsenio gets very dizzy, in a tizzy, anything but busy when members of Queer Nation accuse him of never having gay guests. The Arsenio Hall Show Dec. 14, 1990
92 Ann Reinking glottals instead of ooh-oohs the bridge of "Against All Odds" while Phil Collins takes a horrified look at her now from the audience. The 57th Annual Academy Awards Mar. 25, 1985
93 Diana Ross reaches out and shoves Mary Wilson.
Much publicized incident was edited out of the final broadcast. - M.
Motown 25: Yesterday-Today-Forever May 16, 1983
94 Al Campanis "explains" why blacks are physiologically poorer swimmers. ABC News Nightline Apr. 6, 1987
95 Jack Paar cracks up, graciosly pretending Judy Garland slid out of her seat on purpose. The Jack Paar Program Dec. 11, 1964
96 Judy Garland begs Merv Griffin to let her keep the dress she borrowed for the show. The Merv Griffin Show December 1968
97 TBS colorizes. Yankee Doodle Dandy Sept. 8, 1986
98 Geraldo hosts his show from a topless doughnut shop. Geraldo Nov. 2, 1989
99 In a teary tribute, Chad Everett tells Jerry Lewis, "You, my friend, are the pied piper of love." The Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon September 1978
100 Donald Hollinger proposes to Ann Marie. That Girl September 1970