Another entry in our guide to some of the best individual episodes from classic TV shows.
History’s three best-kept secrets were the location of King Solomon’s mines (never disclosed), the plans for D day (made manifest on June 6, 1944), and the fact that Alan Brady wore a toupee, which suddenly became common knowledge when Laura Petrie accidentally blabbed it to a national audience as a contestant on the “Pay As You Go” TV game show. Big oops.
“What do you think Alan will do?” asks a quivery lipped, impeccably coiffed Laura (Mary Tyler Moore). “It’s not what,” replies her stammering husband and possibly soon-to-be-ex-Brady employee Rob (Dick Van Dyke), “but how.” And indeed, in the bright, witty, Emmy-winning script for “Coast-to-Coast Big Mouth” that kicked off this magical series’ fifth and final season, hell hath no fury like an egomaniacal TV star who’s had the rug pulled out from over him.
Series creator Carl Reiner, in one of his 12 appearances as Brady, is incensed and cutting, especially when addressing a desktop of heads, each sporting one of his wigs: “Fellas,” says Reiner (who revealed his own baldness in this episode), “there she is – there’s the little lady who put you out of business.” More than 30 years after it aired, “Big Mouth,” a caustic meditation on male vanity and office etiquette, is still one of the most precise, cohesive, and funny half hours of TV ever produced.
Original airdate: September 15, 1965