Pat Nardo was initially hired as secretary to "Mary Tyler Moore Show" co-creators James L. Brooks and Allan Burns and would later become a writer on the show. After the initial interview that won her the job, Nardo's new bosses invited her to a meeting they were attending. As they drove across town, Brooks and Burns were talking about how terrible they found most of television. "Talk about a bad show," Nardo remarked. "How about that 'My Mother the Car'?" The show had been co-created by Burns, and there was an awkward silence. Nardo had had no idea the show was Burns', but she instantly guessed. "And you wrote it," she sighed.