Everyone in the audience for Friday night’s taping of Hot In Cleveland realized they were witnessing something very special.
Mary Tyler Moore, Valerie Harper, Cloris Leachman, Betty White and Georgia Engel were on the stage together for the first time since 1977, the year Mary Richards shut off the lights to WJM-TV.
Stealing a line from the theme to The Mary Tyler Moore Show, audience member Michael Stern tells RumorFix, “Love was really all around.” As each of the iconic women came on stage, they got standing ovations that lasted up to two minutes.
When the actresses re-shot the scenes, the director told the audience, “We know you love them, but don’t stand up this time!”
It was magical on stage. The chemistry from 36 years ago was reignited. “At one point Valerie Harper didn’t use Mary’s character’s name — and she called her ‘Mare.’ It was wonderful!” Michael said.
The MTM show’s director Jay Sandrich and executive producer James L. Brooks were also on hand in the green room to witness the historic reunion.
Cloris was the most playful with the audience during the four-hour-long taping. “She was wild — she was great,” Michael said.
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who guest starred in this historic episode, acted like a fan taking pictures and video of the cast.
At the end of the show, Valerie and Cloris and cast members Valerie Bertnielli, Wendy Malick and Jane Leeves stayed on stage for at least 20 minutes taking pictures and signing autographs.
“It seemed like none of them wanted this moment to end,” Michael concluded.
Photo Credit: Dan Glosser