|All in the Family episode|
Episode 24 (37th overall)
|Directed by||John Rich|
|Written by||Rod Parker|
|Produced by||Norman Lear|
|Editing by||Marco Zappia|
|Original air date||March 11, 1972|
|Running time||24 minutes|
"Maude" is the twenty-fourth and final episode of the second season of the American television sitcom All in the Family which also served as the eponymous pilot episode of its first spin-off series Maude. The episode, directed by John Rich and written by Rod Parker, was videotaped on February 18, 1972 in front of a live audience at CBS Television City in Hollywood, California and originally aired on March 11, 1972 at 8:00 p.m. EST on CBS.
Archie Bunker (Carroll O'Connor) and his wife Edith (Jean Stapleton) prepare to visit Edith's cousin Maude Findlay (Beatrice Arthur) in Westchester County, New York to celebrate the wedding of her daughter, though Archie is less than thrilled about the trip. Maude's daughter Carol (Marcia Rodd) is equally annoyed to learn of Archie's invitation, predicting that he will make offensive comments about her Jewish fiancé, David Green (Robert Dishy). Maude assures her that David will handle Archie with grace, as it is "a trait of theirs," and Carol points out her mother's own shortsighted views. She grumbles about the "archaic ritual" of marriage, but Maude points out that weddings come with gifts.
After Maude gets rid of an unhelpful plumber (Bernie West) and refuses his high fee, David stops by with information about the bachelor party. Walter, Carol's stepfather (Bill Macy), questions her traditional "white" wedding, as she was married once before and already has a "dumb kid," Phillip. Archie and Edith arrive and Maude bluntly tells Archie about David's faith, to which he reacts as predicted. When he learns that he must chip in for the bachelor party, Archie refuses to attend and declares his intentions to stay with Edith at the bridal shower, but the arrival of the other female guests drives him back to his motel.
After the party, Maude and Carol discuss their previous marriages, while Edith goes upstairs and gets Carol's son, Phillip, a drink and tell him a story; and debate who gave whom a shower for which event. David and Walter return in bad tempers, the bachelor party having been broken up by the cops. Carol is upset to learn that there was female entertainment at the party, and further alarmed when David reveals that he bought a house without Carol's knowledge and expects her to quit her job and be a stay-at-home mother and housewife. She inadvertently makes an anti-Semitic remark in response, and though Maude attempts to smooth things over, the couple argues and calls off the wedding. Maude comforts her daughter and breaks the news to Edith and Archie, and Archie reveals that he was the one who called the cops on the party, leading Maude to blame him for the entire debacle. For what he did, Maude stomps on his foot and then berates him. Carol assures him that it was not his fault, however, and he agrees with this and departs with Edith, leaving behind their wedding gift as "a deposit for the next one."
- In 1971, Bea Arthur received a telephone call from Norman Lear about guest-starring on a few episodes of All in the Family as Edith's cousin Maude, an outspoken liberal feminist who was the antithesis to the bigoted, conservative Republican Archie, who described her as a "New Deal fanatic". Lear strongly insisted her on doing it, despite Arthur, who hated flying. She agreed at the very last minute to take the role for a few episodes.
- The character of Maude Findlay was first introduced on All in the Family on December 11, 1971 in the episode "Cousin Maude's Visit" in which she helped take care of the Bunkers when they were all sick with a nasty flu virus. Maude disliked Archie intensely, mainly because she thought Edith could have married better, but also because Archie was a conservative while Maude was very liberal in her politics, especially when Archie denounced Maude's support of Franklin D. Roosevelt.
- Following her first appearance as Maude, Arthur appealed to viewers and to CBS executives, who, she would later recall, asked: "Who is that girl? Let's give her her own series."
- The pilot episode was essentially designed to set up the premise for the spin-off series that would premiere later in the year. In the episode, Bill Macy played Maude's fourth husband, Walter; it was a role he reprised for the weekly series that fall. Marcia Rodd, the actress who played Carol in the pilot episode, was replaced by Adrienne Barbeau in Maude.
- Frances Lear, then-wife of Norman Lear, was believed to be the inspiration for the character of Maude Findlay.
- Pilot: "Maude" at TV.com
- Brooks, Tim & Marsh, Earle F. The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946–Present
- "Golden Girls Star Be Arthur Dies at 86". NPR. April 25, 2009. Archived from the original on April 27, 2009. Retrieved April 27, 2009.