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Proof of the “Too Close for Comfort” Monroe Rape Episode
In the collective mind of all generations, there are dark moments that dwell just at the edge of remembrance, occasionally surfacing in our fevered dreams, but remaining untouchable during our waking times. For some generations, it is the dark memories of war or the specter of depression and plague.
If you were born in the 1970s there is a good chance that the dark phantom that haunts you is the episode of “Too Close for Comfort” where Monroe is raped by two women in the back of a van. I know your mind is racing now. You remember it right, but you are not sure that if it really happened. Now go ask all your friends about it. About 1 in 10 will remember the episode, 4 in 10 will stare at you with a puzzled look (they remember, but are blocking) the other 5 will think you are a total idiot and will no longer take your calls.
I had read about this episode a few years ago and I was one of those 1 in 10. I clearly remember the episode, but everyone else looked at me like I was making stuff up. So I let it go – that is until I found the short movie “A Very Special Episode” by Ethan Duff and the memories returned. “A Very Special Episode” is a story about a man who remembers the episode and follows his short descent into madness as he tries to prove to himself and the world that the episode exists. If you have ever had a memory of something that no one else seems to remember this is the film for you.
After watching the episode I decided to see if I had anything in my immediate possession that proved that I had indeed seen the episode. I knew from the movie that the episode aired on July 20th, 1985, and that it was called “For Every Man, There’s Two Women”, which is more than I had before. I started digging through old VHS tapes hoping to dredge up something. Sadly it turns out I didn’t have one episode of “Too Close for Comfort” on tape. I was about to give up when I remembered that the “Retroist Print Archive” (box at bottom of hall closet) is filled with old TV guides. After an hour of searching I found what I was looking for:
So there it is. Proof of the airing of the episode in 1985 New Jersey. Notice that the show is airing at 6 pm on channel 17? That is because at this point the show was airing on the Metromedia network (which would eventually become Fox). The show had run for 3 seasons on ABC, but due to declining ratings, they decided to pull the plug. Metromedia picked up the show and ran it in syndication from 1984 to 1986. The show still can be found in syndication, but mysteriously enough, “For Every Man, There’s Two Women” had never been rebroadcast.
I still do not have this episode of the show in my collection, but my quest for proof had energized me and it is only a matter of time before I get to watch this episode again with adult eyes and will have more to share.
This episode has been made available again. Here is a clip of the show. As you will see, things are played for laughs. It is more uncomfortable than I remembered.