Premiered December 30, 1974.
"This is going to be a fabulous party, the most fantastic party ever! I mean I guarantee you this is not going to be one of those typical New Year's Eve disasters.where all the guests sit around waiting for Guy Lombardo to come on while two drunks throw up in their paper hats."
|Maude tells Mrs. Naugatuck about her party plans.|
|Mrs. Naugatuck says it feels more like Labor Day than New Year's Eve to her!|
Especially since the party means that she has to work on New Year's Eve.
Maude is undeterred, but her enthusiasm is dampened when her friends Vivian (Rue McClanahan) and Arthur (Conrad Bain) say they just attended a "scavenger hunt" party the night before. Maude is convinced her party is ruined. She gets angry when she learns that Vivian invited Estelle and Herman Ellinger, a couple who always have arguments and ruin everyone else's good time, to her party.
No one feels like celebrating 1974, Maude's friends and family are in a cranky mood. They all agree it was an all-around bad year. Maude's husband Walter (Bill Macy) has had a tough year running his business. Inflation has hurt his appliance shop and Walter doesn't see that improving in 1975.
In this atmosphere, Arthur suggests they celebrate their favorite years instead of the current one. Maude likes this idea and tells everyone to come to her party dressed as their "most nostalgic year".
|Guests in nostalgic outfits of various eras|
|Walter does a Groucho Marx impression in uniform|
|"That long-stemmed American beauty, Gypsy Rose Findlay!"|
The Ellingers arrive along with 90 something year old Aunt Polly (Judith Lowry). The couple immediately get into a fight with each other and depart, leaving Aunt Polly behind.
|The bickering Ellingers with Aunt Polly caught in the middle|
|Aunt Polly breaks up the argument by blowing a noisemaker to get everyone's attention|
J.A. Morris says:
There are not that many "New Year's" themed episodes. And that's because there aren't many stories that can be told about Christmas' lesser sibling (plus, most series are on hiatus during the Christmas holidays). But this episode makes good use of the New Year's Eve setting. It's a typical episode of Maude, but that's not a bad thing. Everyone has some good one-liners. Maude gets in some zingers at Arthur, her political nemesis. Mrs. Naugatuck points out Maude's classism. Vivian says something slightly airheaded.
|Vivian's childish behavior makes Maude want to throw up in a party hat!|
I really like the idea of a party where guests dress as their favorite year. Of course it helps when you have a sitcom's costume department to help you. But the message here about living in the now and not romanticizing the past is a good one.
|Arthur chants "I like Ike", the slogan for Eisenhower's 1952 campaign.|
J.A. Morris' rating:
3 and a half champagne flutes.
I really enjoyed this episode, which was new to me this past year. (I've been watching quite a few episodes of Maude on the Antenna TV network recently.)
|Mrs. Naugatuck winking|
|Maude and Walter share a New Year's Eve kiss|
3 and a half champagne flutes