Longtime TV star Marcia Wallace dies at 70

Dean Mouhtaropoulos

Marcia Wallace played Carol in the best sitcom of the seventies, The Bob Newhart Show, and then played Mrs. Krabappel in the best sitcom of the nineties and aughts, The Simpsons.

Long time readers of Clips Nation will know that there was a time when it was a somewhat more personal blog. The focus was always the Clippers of course, but in the early years when the readership was small, I was more prone to use the platform to write about other things on my mind, not just basketball.

As the audience has grown along with the "responsibility" of being a part of a larger media entity, I've stayed more consistently on topic. When the site is indexed by Google as Clipper news, it seems inappropriate to muse aloud on random topics.

Still, it's difficult to resist in some situations, and this is one of them.

Marcia Wallace died today at the age of 70. Wallace was a part of two of the great sitcoms in the history of television, playing the receptionist Carol on the (original) Bob Newhart Show and then playing Bart's teacher Mrs. Krabappel on The Simpsons. Basically, between those two shows she's been a fixture in prime time since the early seventies.


A few of you will remember that The Bob Newhart Show, the real one, was my favorite show of the seventies -- though I realize that many of my readers have no idea what I'm even talking about. In fact, one reason I feel compelled to write this post on Marcia Wallace is because I wrote one for Suzanne Pleshette, who played Bob's wife Emily, when she died in 2008, also at the age of 70.

Back then I waxed philosophical about the state of television sitcoms, but I should say that I've since discovered The Big Bang Theory, which I find quite funny -- and in which, coincidentally, Newhart has guest-starred.

With nothing more profound to say about Marcia Wallace, I'll simply end with one of my favorite exchanges between receptionist Carol and her bosses, psychologist Bob (played by Newhart) and orthodontist Jerry (played by Peter Bonerz). This is from memory, so it clearly won't be completely accurate, but hopefully you get the gist. To set the scene, Bob wants to send an angry letter (and Jerry wants to send an even angrier letter), but the "S" key on Carol's typewriter (yes, it was the seventies, she had a typewriter) is broken:

Bob: Dear Sir

Jerry: Dear Slime

Carol (typing and speaking): Dear Guy

Bob: I am saddened

Jerry: I am sickened

Carol: I am annoyed

Bob: by the shoddy service

Jerry: by the slipshod screwups

Carol: by the boo-boo

Bob: of your so-called superintendent

Jerry: of your sniveling sychophant

Carol: of your bad helper.

Bob: OK, Carol, read that back.

Carol: Dear Guy, I am annoyed by the boo boo of your bad helper.

Bob: It seems to have lost something in the translation. Forget it.

Carol: I bust my "S" for these guys and this is the thanks I get.

RIP, Carol and Mrs. Krabappel. You'll always be with us in reruns.

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