Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman

television series

Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman is a satirical soap opera originally syndicated in the United States from January 5, 1976 to July 1, 1977. In the show, Mary Hartman is a frustrated housewife married to an emotionally immature man (Tom Hartman). Mary and Tom are the parents of a pre-teen daughter, named Heather. They and their friends and family live in Fernwood, Ohio, a town in the Midwestern United States.

Despite living in a small town of working-class people, Mary is beset by one shocking event after another, from infidelity to mass murder. She navigates her world with guidance from television, magazines, and library books, and tries her best to respond to crises with cleaning products and processed foods.

Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman satirizes the arbitrary, anything-goes storylines of daytime soap operas; the strange contrast between such stories and the TV commercials that accompany them; and the culture of consumerism in the United States generally. The show was co-created by Gail Parent, Ann Marcus, Jerry Adelman, and Daniel Gregory Browne. It was developed for television by producer Norman Lear, who was also known for his work on such sitcoms as All in the Family (1971), Sanford and Son (1972), and The Jeffersons (1975).

Season 1


Episode 1

Loretta Haggers: [about the Lombardi family] Someone just shot 'em.
Mary Hartman: Oh my God. The whole family?
Loretta Haggers: All five of them, plus two goats and eight chickens.
Mary Hartman: I can't believe that. What kind of a madman would shoot two goats and eight chickens? [after a pause] And the people... the people, of course.

Mary Hartman: [On the phone] Grandpa Larkin's at the police station?
Sgt. Foley: Yes he is.
Mary Hartman: Is he alright?
Sgt. Foley: Well, not exactly.
Mary Hartman: Is he hurt? I mean, what did he have, an accident?
Sgt. Foley: No, he's not hurt. And I'm afraid what happened to him was not an accident.
Mary Hartman: I don't know what you mean.
Sgt. Foley: I'm afraid he did it deliberately. That's why he was arrested.
Mary Hartman: What was he arrested for?
Sgt. Foley: Indecent exposure.
Mary Hartman: [Puzzled] Indecent exposure?
Sgt. Foley: That's right. I'm afraid Miss Hartman that your grandfather is the Fernwood flasher.
Mary Hartman: [stunned] Listen. Uh, um... I can't talk now. I'm on the phone.

Episode 3

Mary Hartman: It was a wonderful book. It was guaranteed to improve my emotional health.
Harold Clemens: Did it improve your emotional health?
Mary Hartman: I think so, I definitely think so. You see, it was while I was reading that book that I realized that I needed glasses, and that made me feel much better.

Mary Hartman: Heather's one of the real achievers in her class. We think that she's sure to win the Rotary Club award when she graduates... that's for good citizenship and posture.
Harold Clemens: Ah, my, my. How nice.
Mary Hartman: Yeah. Oh, we're sure of it, we're sure of it.
[Raising her voice to Heather, who's slouched in a kitchen chair]
Mary Hartman: Mr. Clemens is writing an article about the Lombardi murders Heather. Heather? Isn't that interesting, dear?
Heather Hartman: [Only her eyes are visible above the table] I don't know.
Mary Hartman: [Quietly] Can you sit up a bit straighter when you "don't know," dear?

Episode 4

Judge: Now, let's see, what exactly are these charges? They said it might be better to keep all this behind closed doors.
Mary Hartman: [whispering to Tom] Isn't that one of Loretta's tunes?

Tom Hartman: Did you think I was sexy then?
Mary Hartman: Yeah, you were. You were just like Johnny Carson. You were just all boyish and proud of yourself.
Tom Hartman: He's a comedian. I'm a Robert Redford, huh?
Mary Hartman: [thinks a moment] Johnny Carson.

Episode 5

Loretta Haggers: Thank you, I love you all, I really do! And right now I'd like to end this last show, which marks the end of my appearances here at the Capri Lounge at the lovely Rosemont Bowling Lanes, with an original composition that I wrote myself. It's a song that was inspired by the terrible tragedy that befell Mr. Buck Lombardi and his family and animals. It's called "Ridin' the Train to Heaven," and I sure hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed singing and writing it for you.

Raymond Larkin: The only mishap I have is living past any reasonable man's threescore and ten. [looks heavenward] You want me, Grace?
Martha Shumway: Long life is a blessing, you know that, Pa.
Raymond Larkin: For who? For hearing aid companies and denture manufacturers, that's for who. Another man who wouldn't take any guff was Harold Ickes.

Episode 6

Martha Shumway: [visiting the psychiatric social worker] Where's your couch?
Roberta Wolashek: Well, you see, I work for the county and they won't buy me one. But you won't believe what can be accomplished in chairs!

Mae Olinski: Charlie, you can stop by the payroll office. I put your check through for your overtime.
Charlie Haggers: [yelps in delight and hugs Mae] Oh, that does it! That puts me over the top, and on chunky tuna day, too! There are some days where everything goes right. It's like my daddy said, it's better to be born lucky than good lookin'.
Mae Olinski: And you were born both.

Episode 8

Mary Hartman: Where's Grandpa?
Martha Shumway: Watching "Years of Our Days to Live." It's his favorite.
Mary Hartman: Oh, I don't like that one.
Martha Shumway: No?
Mary Hartman: No, all the girls look alike, and they're all divorced, and all the husbands fool around with someone at work. I like a more realistic program where everybody's happy.

Heather Hartman: [dials the phone] Hello, Trudy? This is Heather. Yeah, I can talk now. No, no, I'm not wiped out. What? What? [slams down phone, turns to Detective Johnson] If that's true I'll kill myself!

Episode 9

George Shumway: [slurps coffee] I mean, I went along with this psychologist social worker bit 'cause I don't know what to do with Grandpa. Martha wouldn't let me send him away. Mary thinks he's harmless. Cathy thinks he's cool. And then they send this dame Walkie-Talkie-Shacky, whatever her name is, and she falls in love with him. I tell you, this woman is getting crazy.

Charlie Haggers: You know that demo we made last night is pure gold. Do you have any idea how much you can make from just one hit record?
George Shumway: No, I don't.
Charlie Haggers: Well, neither do I, but it's a lot. The hits are what count.
Tom Hartman: [half-asleep, mumbles] Hits, hits, the dodger hit fifty-six in a row then he married Marilyn Monroe, and that's the way they go.
George Shumway: Meet my son-in-law, Mr. Non-Poetry in Motion.

Episode 10

Charlie Haggers: [at the doctor's office] How come you gotta send the thing off to the lab?
Dr. Fermin: Now there's the proof right there, y'see? The patient tries to play doctor and have all the answers and just winds up frightening himself.
Loretta Haggers: Herself. I'm a her.
Dr. Fermin: Of course you are, and a very attractive her if I may say so.
Loretta Haggers: Thank you. I'm in show business.
Dr. Fermin: But a her who should be home and taking it easy.
Charlie Haggers: Well, why should she be taking it easy if there's nothing to worry about?
Dr. Fermin: [puffs a cigarette and coughs] "Cause doctor says.

Tom Hartman: I want to tell you something, too.
Mae Olinski: Yeah?
Tom Hartman: You know I'm married?
Mae Olinski: To your wife, right?
Tom Hartman: To my wife. Does it make a difference?
Mae Olinski: Sure, it makes a difference. But like they say, nobody's perfect.
[Tom and Mae break into laughter and exit the bar]

Episode 11

Mae Olinski: Let me tell you about guilt. It's like crime, it doesn't pay.

Blanche Fedders: I am talking about an atmosphere. A permissive atmosphere, with TV showing all those filthy programs! And I know Heather watches television; all the kids do it!
Martha Shumway: But what station shows pornographic movies?
Blanche Fedders: All of them.
Martha Shumway: The Waltons isn't dirty.
Blanche Fedders: What about Cher?
Martha Shumway: She looks clean to me.
Blanche Fedders: That navel? That naked navel? Can you imagine the ideas that puts into people's heads? We ought to protest the television stations!
Martha Shumway: Why, television is getting cleaner every year now with this "family hour" business and all.
Blanche Fedders: Television isn't getting cleaner. It's getting filthier. Nothing's sacred anymore. Nothing.
Martha Shumway: Blanche, now what are you talking about?
Blanche Fedders: Mary Tyler Moore isn't a virgin.

Episode 12

Loretta Haggers: [pulling a bra from the laundry basket] Mary, is this yours?
Mary Hartman: No, it's Heather's training bra.
Loretta Haggers: Well, I didn't know she had this much to train.
Mary Hartman: Well, she doesn't, not yet, but I brought it to her to show that I have faith in her.

Martha Shumway: [bursting into Mary's kitchen] I am at the end of my rope, at the end of my rope! And it's a good thing. If I had more rope I'd hang myself!
Mary Hartman: You want some rope?
Martha Shumway: Your father complaining about grocery bills, Grandpa Larkin acting like the playboy of the year, and your sister Cathy talkin' about marrying a deaf and dumb man. And it's all your fault!

Episode 13

[Martha has fainted]
Mary Hartman: Sit up, sit up!
Martha Shumway: Heather in the hands of a maniac! Say it's not true!
Mary Hartman: It's not true. She's home. She's not in the hands of a maniac.
Heather Hartman: Not until 6:30. Then I gotta go back.

Detective Johnson: [calming an apoplectic George] It's always a good idea to take it easy when your daughter is in the clutches of a mad killer, sir.

Episode 14

Announcer: Don't let this scene confuse you! You saw it yesterday, you're seeing it again today. Sometimes we repeat a scene for the people who missed something yesterday.

Mary Hartman: [Davey has a pistol pressed against Mary's head] Is that a real gun, Davey? It's not real, is it? What is that, a little toy, little water cap pistol?
Davey: No, it's real.
Mary Hartman: Oh, it is real. Oh. See, I saw this skit on the Howard Cosell show once. It was a hilarious skit. Tina Louise had a gun, and she took out her gun, and she pulled the trigger, and a sign came out that said "Bang!" Isn't that hilarious, Davey? Does yours have a sign, Davey? It does, doesn't it?
[Davey points pistol at ceiling and fires, plaster rains down on Mary's head]
Mary Hartman: It's real.

Episode 15

Jesus Jarrera: Hi, everybody! This is your action reporter Jesus Jarrera on target outside the Chinese laundry where terrified housewife Mary Hartman has just emerged with what looks like a list of the mass murderer's mass demands!

Clete Meizenheimer: Hi! I'm Clete Mizenheimer doing an on-the-spot report with some of the people actually, physically, personally involved in this ongoing tragedy of terror. Now, uh, ah! [looking around, spies Loretta scribbling in a notepad] Here's a young lady right here! Hello, your name is?
Loretta Haggers: I'm Loretta Haggers, friend and neighbor of the hostage.
Clete Meizenheimer: Oh, a friend and neighbor of the hostage, I see. Well, how do you feel about your friend in there being trapped?
Loretta Haggers: Oh, well, personally, I feel very terrible about it. See, and as a result I have begun to write this tune about the horrendous hours that we've all experienced here of the unknowing, the waiting, the uncertainty, and the sweat and tension that is climaxing in each of us.
Clete Meizenheimer: Yeah, I feel it, too.

Episode 27

Mary: I've filled out entry blanks for every single drawing in the supermarket for the last 12 years, and the only thing I ever won was a coupon for a small, little jar of tomato paste; but they were out of tomato paste, and by the time they got more in, my coupon had expired. And now I have venereal disease.

Episode 33

George: You know I can't stand the taste of that mouthwash. I hate it until I've had a cigarette and a cup of coffee.

Tom: To my wife: my best friend, my companion, the woman I love.
Mary: Oh, Tom, that's so beautiful. It's just like a Geritol commercial.

Episode 37

Tom: I'm probably one of the few grown men in this whole town who's never so much as had a puff on one of these things. Can you imagine that? And here I am, a grown man.
Mary: You mean you wanna try it?
Tom: No, no, no. What I was thinkin' is this: Now marijuana is a problem that every parent in America has to deal with, right?
Mary: Right.
Tom: OK. But how can we deal with it if we don't know what the hell it is?
Mary: It's a joint.
Tom: I know it's a joint, but I don't know what it does. I've never had any experience with it.
Mary: You mean you wanna try it for scientific purposes?
Tom: Well, for parental purposes, so when we discuss this thing with Heather, we know what we're talkin' about.
Mary: I don't know, Tom. I don't know if it's a good idea for us to smoke this thing at all—I mean, even for parental purposes. I don't think we should smoke it, I really don't.
Tom: Have you got a match?
Mary: Yeah, here.

Episode 38

Dorelda Doremus: Do you have faith?
Loretta: Oh yes, Ma'am, I do.
Dorelda Doremus: Do you truly believe?
Loretta: Oh, I truly believe, I do. I believe like I know my name's Loretta Haggers and I'm gonna be the biggest country/western star in the whole world!
Dorelda Doremus: And you truly have faith?
Loretta: Oh yes, Ma'am, it's just … runnin' through me like a turned-on garden hose.

Episode 51

Mary: You're angry, aren't you?
Tom: Who the hell said I was angry? Who?

Episode 59

Miriam: Well, a body can't be married to a man like Charlie for five months without wondering how the rest of his life turned out.
Loretta: Oh! Well, I can answer that for you real quick: It turned out great. See, Charlie is happier than a hungry hog with a bowl o' slops. … I mean, we have what a lot of people call "the ideal marriage". We're just so plum in love that it's kinda sickening to some folks.

Episode 71

Mary: I saw a very sad episode on a soap opera today.
Cathy: Oh, I saw it, too: The Horror of Our Days?
Mary: No, no. It was The Torment of Our Lives.
Cathy: What channel is that on?
Mary: It's ABC.
Cathy: Oh. That explains why I haven't seen it.

Episode 75

Mary: I'm, fine, Ma, I'm just fine. Tom went to work at the plant, I am here in the kitchen, and we said goodbye at the door.
Martha: But he was so upset, and you were so upset.
Mary: Ma, it is probably just the mineral wastes. You know? There is a lot of mineral waste in the water. You have to remember: these are the 1970s; we have to be thankful that we're just functioning.
Martha: I suppose.
Mary: You know what else I did? I did the dishes, I made my shopping list, I made my grocery list, I have Hamburger Helper, I have Tuna Helper, I have Helper Helper ….
Martha: But, Mary, do you really think they help? Because just look at you.
Mary: I'm not depressed, Ma. I managed to get out of bed, and I remembered that Loretta is about to be on TV. I mean, that, to me, is such a lift! I mean, that a neighbor of mine, a friend, has actually broken out of this rut!

Dinah Shore: Though he had to leave earlier in the show, I want to thank the wonderful Joe Namath for taking time out from his many knee injuries to model pantyhose for us today. Thank you so much, Joe! [Dinah kisses the air.] You are a dear. Now, where were we?
Loretta: Well, Dinah, we was just mashin' the heck out of these sweet potatoes.

Episode 85

Dennis: I want to talk to you.
Mary: About what?
Dennis: The truth.
Mary: No! Don't do that! I don't want to hear the truth. It confuses me. What truth?

Mary: My sister hates me, my daughter ignores me, and … my mother bugs me, and my husband can't communicate with me, and I just—. Why? I mean, why is this happening to me? Why?
Dennis: Because you're not honest with yourself.

Episode 99

Howard: … there are certain things we don't want anybody to know about! And you deliberately bring a stranger into the house? If he finds out, you can be damned sure the whole neighborhood is gonna know!
Ed: Are you through?
Howard: Yeah.
Ed: Well, you made a mistake.
Howard: About what?
Ed: You said we don't want anybody to know. Right?
Howard: That's right.
Ed: No, that isn't right: It's wrong. You don't want anybody to know. I don't give a damn who knows. I want the whole world to know! I'm sick and tired of living in a closet! I wanna start living like a human being.

Episode 104

Vivian: I've just come from a wonderful theosophy meeting.
Mary: Theosophy? Oh, is that a religion?
Vivian: Well, it's more a way of life.
Mary: Oh, really? 'Cause I'm very interested in ways of life.
Vivian: Oh! Well, maybe you'd like to come to a meeting with me sometime.
Mary: Well, I would, but just not for a while yet, 'cause right now I'm trying to figure out what went wrong with my way of life.



Main cast


Supporting cast

  • Samantha Harper as Roberta Wolashek
  • Salome Jens as Mae Olinski
  • Bruce Solomon as Sgt. Dennis Foley
  • Laurence Haddon as Ed McCullough
  • Beeson Carroll as Howard McCullough
  • Vivian Blaine as Betty McCullough

Guest appearances


See also

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