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'Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted': 8 stories from the making of 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show'

Writer Jennifer Keishin Armstrong explores what happened behind the scenes of legendary sitcom "The Mary Tyler Moore Show." Here are eight stories from her book.

- Staff Writer

Ed Asner with Mary Tyler Moore and Cloris Leachman

3. Ed Asner's do-over

When Asner read for the part of Lou Grant, he uttered what would become one of the most iconic lines of the show: "You've got spunk.... I hate spunk." But Asner made the decision to yell the line, startling everyone in the room. He knew he hadn't read it the way they'd envisioned. Asner left and started walking out to his car, dejected, then decided to ask for a second chance. He knew he'd gotten it wrong, so why not try again? "I was terrible," he told those assembled when he went back in. "And you know it was terrible and you were too polite to tell me.... Tell me what you want in this character." Burns and Brooks talked about the character with him for half an hour and he read again. That time, everyone in the room laughed.


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