9/25/08

Fact or Fiction #5: Was Monroe Raped by a Pack of Women in the Back of a Van?

Someone with way too much time on his hands wants to know. My last few posts have focused on the "fact or fiction" theme and, unfortunately, it still isn't out of my system. I am plagued by the memory of a Too Close for Comfort episode where the ever-so-gay Monroe Ficus is raped in the back of a van by a group of women. Whether this really happened, I can't say for sure - it just seems too bizarre to have really occured. Yet, there are many people out there with the same vague memory (many of you have thankfully repressed it). Well, I've tried to do some research and come up completely empty. There's a bunch of people out there wondering the same thing (notably at Jump the Shark and the AV Club), but no definitive answers yet. Supposedly, on the VH-1 show "Super Secret TV Formulas" episode 1 there is an actual clip and comment on this legendary scene. However, I haven't been able to confirm it, or find a clip of it on YouTube. What was it with all those sitcoms during this period? Why did they think sexual assault would make a good topic for a zany sit-com? Yet, there's numerous examples. My favorite (or should I say, worst) was the episode of Diff'rent Strokes where Gordon Jump plays a pedophile bicycle shop owner. I'm still recovering from that one.

If you have an answer to the infamous Monroe rape scene, please let me know. Also, (so that I can put the whole "fact or fiction" thing to rest) if you get a chance to look at this picture - I am real curious if it's a fake. It's from a post back in June, but no one really read my blog back then, and so I never got a response. The picture features a group of groovy looking secretaries and one is holding a picket sign that says "Long Copies, Short Copies, Dimensional Copies" with the letters LSD standing out. Is the drug reference real or Photoshop? Retrospace wants to know.

24 comments:

  1. Yes! That Diff'rent strokes episode was sooooo ridiculous! Yet it's the episode I remember best...wait wasn't it a 2 parter? I can't remember. It's the molesty episode and the one where there is a fire in the penthouse and they are forced to evacuate by helicopter or something.

    What a silly, silly show.

    And there was that Sam character too! Ick!

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  2. I did watched Too Close for Comfort, but I'll be honest in that I don't remember much about the show. Even as a kid, it wasn't hard to tell that Monroe had sugar in his tank.

    I do remember that episode of Diff'rent Strokes. What's funny is that Gordon Jump's character reminded me of a guy in our neighborhood. That scared me about that dude.

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  3. becca- Yes it was a two parter. And yes, Sam was an abomination and hellish curse upon the Drummond family.

    king of cool- So far no bites on the Monroe rape episode. I refuse to give up hope, and am confident that someone will chime in that can lead me to closure on this issue....patience, patience.

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    1. Yes there was an episode in Too Close for Comfort where Monroe was raped by two older thicker than thick women. Henry got involved to confront the women only to almost get raped himself but of course the police got to him before that happened. Henry only got involved because the police didnt believe Monroe and as feeble as Monroe was he didn't even want to pursue the charges. I love this show!!

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    2. Wish I could see that one!!!

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  4. I actually do recall Jim J. being abducted by two large women in a van on a 'very special episode' of 'TCFC'.

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    1. AnonymousJuly 24, 2014

      If written now, it would be two lesbians who wanted to get pregnant by a gay man.
      Was that the plot then? Was the story inspired by a real event?

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  5. El Famous - Thanks for chiming in. There's a lot of people out there with a fuzzy memory of this episode, yet no empiracle proof yet exixts. Someday, we'll be vindicated.

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  6. Mirinov's NoseNovember 21, 2008

    I'm a little late to the party here but years ago I recall reading a Too Close For Comfort episode summary in Tv Guide that read something like:
    "Henry is out for revenge on the two women who raped Monroe". No one has ever believed me so I was doing a search. The best I can find is this interview on Gay.com with Jim J. Bullock(the actor who played Monroe) in which the interviewer asks about that episode and Bullock says "Yes, there was that episode."

    http://www.gay.com/entertainment/news/?sernum=1050

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  7. mirinov - Great information. We are one more step closer to solving the mystery... and yet no definitive proof yet exists. If it's indeed true, it'll be on YouTube one day.

    Fuzzy memory or collective delusion of a generation? The world may never know.

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  8. The episode definitely happened. I was 12 or so. Monroe goes out to a club, gets lured into a van in the alley. Two very fat women strap him to a cot like in an ambulance and the last shot is the one fat woman climbing into the van and slamming the door behind her. He tells Mr. Rush and the police about it and they find it funny.

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  9. I remember it well. Monroe went to the police, and I remember the policeman saying, "And anyway, how bad was it...really?" Only the girls were sympathetic.

    A little googling at IMDB, and I found its Original Air Date was 20 July 1985 (Season 5, Episode 10). A separate site had a one-line plot summary, which was indeed two large women abduct Monroe and tie him up in the back of a van.

    The title is, "For Every Man, There's Two Women."

    I remembered another movie with a similar theme, and looked it up. It was "The Rape of Richard Beck," starring Richard Crenna. It was released in 1985, the same year as the Monroe rape episode, so I think we can safely say it was a theme that year.

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    1. AnonymousJuly 24, 2014

      The Rape of Richard Beck was by two men.

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  10. Yo, definitely late to the party here, but I do remember there being a "very special episode" about this (I've been following Google links about this 'cause it rang a bell) . . . and vaguely remember there being a R. Crenna movie about roughly the same thing. There were a lot of those things on TV those days, what with the captive audience of 40-50 million or so to be "educated" . . . As for the ad you linked to - tongue in cheek ads like this were quite common in the late 60's and early 70's (yo, I'm 39, I should know) - the LSD reference was no doubt snuck past an unsuspecting executive (or they had a REALLY good explanation of what a f%&*ing dimensional copy is.

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  11. My buddy and I both recalled this episode the same night in 2006. We couldn't believe the plot line and our memories conflicted as to the details. We did some internet research and discovered this blog discussion among others. So...we decided we must make a movie about a guy who suddenly recalls the episode, and goes nuts trying to find proof that it existed. Check it out! www.wasmonroeraped.com

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  12. This is fantastic, and well-done. What's scary is one of the scenes is shot right down the street from me here at Radio City not too far from where McHale's was.

    Have you heard the rumor that the venerable watering hole and burger place was shut down because the saloonkeeper got too close to the truth about the Monroe episode?

    The truth is out there...

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  13. I'm definitely late, here, but I'm definite about a few other things, too - it definitely happened, I definitely remember seeing the part where everyone laughed at him, and it definitely informed me, and millions of other 10 year olds, that rape wasn't something people ever got punished for doing, so why bother reporting it?

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  14. here's something really strange. i was born in 1989. 4 years after the episode supposedly aired yet i clearly remmber watching this particular episode when i used to stay up all night and the only thing on was too close for comfort. how the hell can that be, if they've never repeated the episode?!?!? i think my brain may implode . . .

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  15. yes, I definitely recall seeing this as well. I can visualise quite a lot of it but it is very very patchy. Mostly centered around Monroe behind a green van. looked like a ford of some type. van was faded green colour of some sort. was living in arkansas at the time. I would have been around 15 at the time it aired. I forgot completely about this show until stumbling across the recent short film that has been made about this.

    I have flashback memories of this episode. I did not know the memories were related to this show, I only now have connected the dots a bit more.

    something strange here. why did I have a recurring memory similar to the episode? I am fairly certain the memory I have is distorted from the episode. I now need to see it to resolve the whole story.

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  16. A while ago I wrote a post called "When Sitcoms Taught a Lesson"...lots of 70s and 80s comedies covered controversial subjects such as eating disorders, homosexuality, drug use and more. Seems the Diff'rent Strokes one was an attempt to make children aware of pedophiles. Not necessarily a bad thing...and today it would probably be even more controversial if it were portrayed in a modern day sitcom. When did we all get so PC?

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  17. AnonymousMay 31, 2011

    The Too Close For Comfort episode called "For Every Man, There's Two Women" will air this Friday at 6:30 PM ET and Saturday at 5:30 PM ET on Antenna TV. Episode info: Monroe is kidnapped and raped by two women in a van. When the police dismiss Monroe's story, Henry searches for the rapists himself.

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  18. I don't recall the Monroe rape episode, but I vaguely recall the "Different Strokes" episode. If I remember correctly, these episodes were dubbed "A very special episode". For some reason comedies had to inject a life lesson in at least one or two episodes a season.

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  19. Diff'rent Strokes seemed to be particularly rife with "very special" episodes. Kimberly was a walking object lesson in everything bad that could potentially happen to a teenage girl, including bulimia and getting kidnapped by a pedophile. I do remember that two-part episode: Arnold escaped, but couldn't remember where he escaped from, so they had to hypnotize him to make him remember.

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  20. AnonymousJune 02, 2012

    Clips from the 'Too Close For Comfort' episode are finally on YouTube:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-gw2_SCjtk

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