A little song. A little dance. A little seltzer down your pants.
November 11, 2009 11:46 PM   Subscribe

The man who killed Chuckles the Clown David Lloyd is dead. He wrote one of Mary Tyler Moore's funniest moments. He also wrote for Frasier, Cheers, Lou Grant, and Taxi, including Elaine's Strange Triangle . He also wrote and created Brothers, an early TV show to feature a character who just happened to be gay. No big deal.
posted by arse_hat (19 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Aw, this is not funny.
posted by Cranberry at 11:59 PM on November 11, 2009

Oh geez, David Lloyd wrote Ham Radio, one of the funniest twenty-some minutes of comedy I've ever seen. My friends and I sat together the day after it aired and pretty much recounted the whole thing to each other. I don't know what else I've seen that he's written but based on that single Frasier episode I'd say that man was a comic genius.
posted by Kattullus at 12:30 AM on November 12, 2009

Comedy writer/blogger Ken Levine remembers David Lloyd as a remarkable talent.

From the script of "Chuckles Bites the Dust":
It's a release, Murray. A kind of defense mechanism. It's like whistling in a graveyard. You try to make light of something because it scares you. We laugh at death because we know death will have the last laugh on us.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:49 AM on November 12, 2009 [3 favorites]

Donald Maltby was a bit of a hero for me when I was a preteen sneaking downstairs to watch "Brothers" after my parents had gone to bed.

posted by crataegus at 3:47 AM on November 12, 2009

posted by mikelieman at 4:50 AM on November 12, 2009

A little song, a little dance.
posted by fish tick at 5:01 AM on November 12, 2009

A little read the title of the thread before you comment.
posted by fish tick at 5:05 AM on November 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

If I so much as hear a mention of "Chuckles Bites the Dust," I'll start to laugh.

RIP, Mr. Lloyd
posted by Shohn at 5:16 AM on November 12, 2009

Brothers was an awesome show.

posted by jquinby at 5:29 AM on November 12, 2009

Lloyd, who received an Emmy Award in 1976 for penning what is routinely ranked as one of the top television episodes of all time, died Wednesday after a long illness.


He also wrote for Frasier, Cheers, Lou Grant, and Taxi, including Elaine's Strange Triangle.

And don't forget "The Bob Newhart Show."
posted by blucevalo at 5:53 AM on November 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


and a little spritz of seltzer.
posted by Mcable at 6:38 AM on November 12, 2009

Wow, I couldn't come up with too many specific plots from the Mary Tyler Moore show but I remember this one - as soon as I read "Chuckles the Clown" this post's title popped into my head, though I haven't watched a full episode of the show in probably 20 years. That's writing.
posted by nanojath at 8:46 AM on November 12, 2009

One of my favorite lines from "Chuckles Bites the Dust," and something I'd put into my will if I thought I could get away with it:

I don't want anybody to make any
fuss. When I go, I just want to be
stood outside in the garbage with my
hat on.

posted by PlusDistance at 9:02 AM on November 12, 2009

Also, the "a little song, a little dance" line wouldn't be half as good without the absolutely perfect, detail-filled buildup that preceded it:

...there was always some deeper
meaning to whatever Chuckles did.
Remember Mr. Fee-Fi-Fo's little catch
phrase, remember how when his arch
rival Senor Caboom would hit him
with the giant cucumber and knock
him down? Mr. Fee-Fi-Fo would always
pick himself up, dust himself off
and say, "I hurt my foo-foo."

Life's a lot like that. From time to
time we all fall down and hurt our

If only we could all deal with it as
simple and bravely and honestly as
Mr. Fee-Fi-Fo. And what did Chuckles
ask in return? Not much--in his own
words--"A little song, a little dance...

Every phrase adds something to the one before it. Then -- boom! -- seltzer down your pants. And you're gone.

posted by PlusDistance at 9:14 AM on November 12, 2009 [4 favorites]

"Look out! He's got a nug!"
"Ham Radio" ranks up there with Chuckles the Clown, IMHO.
RIP, Mr. Lloyd.
posted by Oriole Adams at 11:56 AM on November 12, 2009

It doesn't surprise me at all that he wrote one of the funniest Cheers episodes: An Old-Fasioned Wedding.

posted by sbutler at 12:07 PM on November 12, 2009

David Lloyd also helped write the last Mary Tyler Moore episode but I couldn't presume to pick his bits out of that one. I'd like to think, though, that he came up with the wonderful bit where the cast shuffles across the newsroom in a giant group hug because they cannot bear to let anyone go, even if it's just to pick up the box of tissues.

Well, whoever wrote that bit was brilliant. David Lloyd was brilliant. These two statements are both true no matter what. I think I've lost the point here, but that group hug scene gets me every time.
posted by Spatch at 1:13 PM on November 12, 2009

posted by bearwife at 2:52 PM on November 12, 2009

Two other Mary Tyler episodes that are worth mentioning that Lloyd wrote: Will Mary Richards Go To Jail? and The Happy Homemaker Takes Lou Home.

My first year at NYU in a television writing class, the Chuckles script was a required text, and with good reason.
posted by ltracey at 5:59 PM on November 12, 2009

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