2/6/09

Fact or Fiction #10: Newsflash on the Infamous Too Close for Comfort Rape


Hot off the press! New developments in the mysterious Too Close for Comfort rape episode. In case you aren't familiar with it and didn't read my post Was Monroe Raped by a Pack of Women in the Back of a Van? here's a brief rundown:

It seems that almost every GenXer has a fuzzy memory of an episode of Too Close for Comfort where the overtly gay neighbor, Monroe Ficus, is raped in the back of a van by two women. Highly disturbing, yes. But did it ever happen? Who knows.

Ted Knight died just before the show was eligible for syndication, so it never ran in reruns; the episode came and went, never to be aired again. Those that were unlucky enough to catch it were permanently scarred by the memory. Yet, it is almost impossible to find someone who remembers it clearly.... it's as if those who watched it repressed the memory as if it were some highly traumatic event.

For years, I doubted myself as to whether I'd really witnessed it, maybe it was just a delusion.... that is, until I started meeting others with the same memory. We all vividly remember Gordon Jump as the child molester bicycle shop owner on Dif'rent Strokes because it aired repeatedly in reruns, but the Monroe rape was just an extraordinarily bizarre 30 minutes never to show its ugly head again.

In the previous post on the subject, I outlined a few clues that seem to indicate there's actually some truth behind these memories. Now we have narrowed down our search:


Original air date: July 20th, 1985
Episode: Season 5, Episode 10
Title: For Every Man, There's Two Women

Unfortunately, they have only released seasons 1 and 2 on DVD. So, until season 5 comes out, we may never know for sure.

A big thanks to Ookla for bringing this important information forward and also adding that "The Rape of Richard Beck," starring Richard Crenna also featured the plot device of male rape. "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."

23 comments:

  1. I do not remember that one. All I seem to remember is the hot daughters, the Cosmic Cow puppet, and the occasionally hot mom.

    Some more pics at Meredy's Too Close for Comfort Tribute.

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  2. I have admittedly never seen this show, but oddly enough I remember this episode being talked about on one of those "I Remember the..." VH1 shows. The concept really stuck out to me. Anyway, just so you know that it's definitely something people still remember and discuss.

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  3. You know, sometimes, your just minding your own business on the net and then WHAM, something like this hits you and you are all like "what the f..."

    I did watch Too Close for Comfort back in the day, but I SO don't remember this episode. Almost seems like it would be too strange to actually be real. Then I remember than the downstairs neighbor who died was a cross-dresser whose sister was played by Selma Diamond. After that, yeah, I can buy into it.

    ... weird ...

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  4. I never saw it, and i watched this show too. It was a great show, and I miss Ted Knight.

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  5. Darius- I enjoyed TCfC as much as anybody, but a tribute site? I wonder if there's a "Mr. Belvedere" or "Hello Larry" tribute site out there as well.

    Alex- Until season 5 comes out on DVD, we will never know if it really happened. I don't know which disturbs and repulses me more, the Monroe TCfC rape or the Richard Crenna rape (mentioned at the end of the post). The worst of all time has to be Ned Beatty in Deliverance.

    Wings- Sorry to shock you like that. At least TV got it out its system in the early eighties- I don't think I could've handled a "Gimme a Break" male rape episode with John Hoyt... or worse - a "very special episode of Perfect Strangers" with a Balki rape. The horror!

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  6. I love the new header, btw.

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  7. Hey Gil. I watched this series, but I'll be honest that I never remember this episode. Thanks for the info you posted about it.

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  8. I loved Too Close For Comfort but I never remember seeing this weird and wacky episode. It's funny you bring up the Different Strokes episode. That's what it reminded me of.

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  9. OK, so my husband and I were watching old shows on youtube and I asked him if he remembered the male rape episode from "Too Close for Comfort" and he's all... "what?" We googled it and your blog popped up. Yes, I too remember this disturbing episode and remember how it made me feel weird. Do you remember the rapists? The two super fat ladies?

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  10. I most certainly do remember this episode! Henry went to confront the women after being made to feel bad by the girls. He still didn't really believe Monroe but wanted to check it out himself. When he went to the women's apartment they were going to attempt to rape him as well. In fact I 100% remember one of the women mentioning bathing in jello with Henry.

    Keie3

    This episode definatly happened. In fact my mom and I debated on weather it is possible for a woman to rape a man.

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  11. I am one of those who saw and was scarred by, or at least marked by, this very special episode.

    Some years ago I was working for a pop culture radio show and, appropos of nothing, the memory came back. I did some internet research and found only other confused people. So I tracked down the show's story editor, who I believe was also one of the writers, and set up an interview for my radio program. (I was gong to be in New York, where he lives and teaches.) We made what I thought was a definite date but he never showed. Thus the mystery was compounded.

    Other details: Munroe doesn't want to talk about what happened, but Henry knows something went down because Munroe is acting darkly fey instead of just fey. Henry badgers the poor guy until he spills the beans; he doesn't want to go to the police because he's too embarrassed, but Henry convinces him that he must report it. And that's the message of the episode: if you are assaulted, report it no matter how unlikely or borderline impossible the crime is.

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  12. 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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  13. AnonymousMay 22, 2009

    Too Close for Comfort was syndicated. Your statement that "Ted died before it could go into syndication" is wrong. It ran in syndication for years and in Europe too. A show only needs 5 years to go into syndication. TCFC had 6 years when Ted died.

    We think Don Taffner has to pay too much to Ted Knight estate to make syndication profitable. It needs to come back on daily, so we can see this rape episode.

    I always wanted to see more of the daughters, Sara and Jackie.

    A great show

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  14. Here's what I remember from that episode. I was about 13 years old when I saw it.

    when Munroe told Henry Rush what happened to him, he had Munroe lay on the kitchen table to reenact him being taken away in the van. He had to remember which way the van turned and how far it went so that they can try and find the place where these women lived. Anyway, they find the place and knock on the apartment door, and when it opens up a LARGE woman answers the door. We’re talking Weather Girls large, only taller. And Munroe yells, “That’s the little one!” and runs off. Then it cut to commercial. After that I guess they confronted them in the 2nd part of the show. I recall that the woman who answered the door called out to the 2nd one and said something like "He's back for more." I think the 2nd woman was in the bathtub or something like that.

    And I think in the end, if I’m not mistaken, Henry probably gets attacked too. But that’s left up to the imagination of the viewer because that’s where the episode kinda ended.

    It was really bizarre. I guess someone thought it would be funny if a guy got raped.

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  15. I saw it about 2 years ago - a friend has a VHS of it -- it's exactly as described - and ends with Ted going to confront the 2 butch rapists -- and when he knocks on the door, they pull him in - and it freezes as he's half way through into darkness. Presumably to be raped himself -- and then the credits roll...

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  16. I totally remember this episode! We were just talking about it this morning at the office. RANDOM! HA! Yes, Monroe was raped by two very LARGE moo-moo wearing women. I have never been the same since...

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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. the episode is on youtube:
    part 1: http://youtu.be/OvJCHAXjdv8

    part 2: http://youtu.be/mGdJF4nW6Go

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  19. wow..your description of the episode being weird and fuzzy and disturbing is dead on. I am watching it right now and looked it up...it feels a bit like a relief finding this page any knowing others were have this disturbing memory of watching this as a kid, especially if your a guy. It's interesting that there are so many shows that have female rape, and somehow it does not seem as disturbing..thoughts?

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  20. I remember this episode....didn't really care for it. I thought after they brought in Monroe, they focused too much on him and not the daughters. He even was with them when they moved and not the daughters. Ted Knight must of had a lot of faith in Jim J"s acting to just keep him.

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  21. I saw this episode about a month in half ago!!! They aired it on The Antenna Network. They show a lot of Too Close For Comfort episodes. It was pretty hilarious and weird all at the same time.

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  22. AnonymousMay 21, 2012

    Oh I vividly remember this one. I have horrific flashbacks of the second giantess knocking down the bathroom door. I guess as long as its a man getting raped, it's funny.

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  23. I finally found a video of the "rape" conversation from the episode on YouTube. First of all it just described him being abducted by the women in what sounds more like a funny impromptu forced threesome rather than a rape.(I bet there are many men who would pay for that and get turned on the rough looking women)
    If it would have been a serious discussion on male rape it would have involved a broomstick and his ass.

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