This Week's Guest: Chris Schleicher
How will you make it on your own? This week's guest is Chris Schleicher, who moved to a big city all by himself with some dreams, some talent, and a determination to stop living for other people. He started his career inspired by sitcoms like the Mary Tyler Moore show, and now he makes sitcoms as a writer on The Mindy Project. Season 5 starts February 14 on Hulu, and you can catch Chris on episode 513, playing "Nurse Chris."
This Week's Recommendation: Mary's Incredible Dream
We all felt the passing of Mary Tyler Moore this week, and I'm overflowing with recommendations for her work. Go to IMDB to see a ranked list of the best episodes of the Mary Tyler Moore Show, or listen to her interviews on Fresh Air to hear about her big break on the Dick Van Dyke Show. You can find some of her more obscure appearances on YouTube, such as the variety show The Mary Tyler Moore Hour, where she begins the pilot by shrugging to the camera, "So, variety. Okay, let's give it a try."
But at the top of my list is an incredibly strange special called Mary's Incredible Dream. It aired in 1976 and stars Mary, Ben Vereen, and the Manhattan Transfer, and it's an hourlong quasi-religious musical dream sequence that is absolutely bananas, and also very very catchy. On the show, Mary and Ben and the band drift from song to song, vaguely suggesting a narrative that always seems just out of reach. My favorite part is when she talk-sings, a la Rex Harrison, through "I'm Still Here" while standing next to giant hand with a nail in it.
It's kitschy and campy and weird and jaw-dropping and also great great fun. You might feel some guilt for laughing at what was clearly a passion project for all involved, but as Mary Richards was once reminded, don't try to hold it back. Go ahead, laugh out loud.
Nothing would have made her happier.