7 Female Comedians on Mary Tyler Moore's Influence

50 Years of Iconic Comedy

They’re gonna make it after all! Starring Moore, Valerie Harper, Ed Asner Gavin MacLeod, Cloris Leachman, Ted Knight and Betty White, The Mary Tyler Moore Show aired from September 19, 1970 to March 19, 1977. Featuring Moore as a single TV producer, the show was groundbreaking at the time and went on to become one of the most iconic sitcoms of all time.

Read on to see how the show and its late star, Mary Tyler Moore, paved the way for comedians today.

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Julia Louis-Dreyfus

“I watched The Mary Tyler Moore Show all the time and fantasized that I was Rhoda. I wanted to be Mary’s best friend … Her being able to play humiliation as well as she did was very appealing.”  — to Entertainment Weekly

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Rachel Bloom

“I could not do what I do without her.”  — on Twitter

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Tina Fey

“Mary Tyler Moore was a working woman whose story lines were not always about dating and men. They were about work friendships and relationships, which is what I feel my adult life has mostly been about.”  — to the Sunday Times

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Ellen DeGeneres

“Mary Tyler Moore changed the world for all women.”  — on Twitter

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Jenni Konner, showrunner of Girls

“I think Girls IS Mary Tyler Moore-ish.”  — at the New York Television Festival’s Creative Keynote, on creating complicated roles for women

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Lea Thompson

“Mary will probably be really mad if she hears us say we’re trying to be Mary Tyler Moore. But every show with a girl is always looking to be the Mary Tyler Moore of the ’90s.”  — in a 1995 EW interview on her new show, Caroline in the City

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Zooey Deschanel

“You can’t have a television show that can run for a long time based on one person. You don’t have Mary Tyler Moore without Rhoda.”  — to Entertainment Weekly

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