How Well Do You Remember "Rhoda"?

Jane Andrews

Who played the role of Rhoda Morgenstern?

Valerie Harper was a struggling stage actress when she won the supporting role of Rhoda Morgenstern on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" in 1970. She played the role for four years before "Rhoda" debuted in 1974.

What network did "Rhoda" air on?

"Rhoda" ran on CBS from 1974 to 1978. It initially aired on Monday nights after "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," where it earned huge ratings. After ratings started to decline during seasons three and four, it was was moved to Saturday nights for its fifth and final season.

How many years does Rhoda say her puberty lasted during the show's opening credits?

During the first season of the series, the opening credits featured a voiceover of Rhoda talking about her life. In addition to famously declaring, "I had a bad puberty ... it lasted 17 years," she also noted that her entrance exam for art school was done on a book of matches.

When "Rhoda" debuted in 1974, it became the first and only pilot episode to reach a number-one Nielsen rating. What highly rated show did it beat out?

Titled "Rhoda's Wedding," the highly anticipated and heavily promoted episode was watched by a record-breaking 52 million viewers — more than half of the entire U.S. audience — when it aired on Monday, Oct. 28, 1974.

What Manhattan neighborhood did Rhoda live in?

Throughout the run of the series, Rhoda lived in a number of different apartments within the same Upper East Side building at 332 E. 64th Street. She also moved back in with her parents in one memorable episode from the first season.

What borough was Rhoda born in?

During the first season's opening credits, Rhoda tells us she was born in the Bronx in December of 1941. That would make the character 29 years old when she first appeared on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show."

This was the name of Rhoda and Brenda's eccentric doorman.

Though we never saw his face, Carlton the doorman was a hilarious member of the "Rhoda" cast of characters. He was played by Lorenzo Music, who went on to become the voice of the popular cartoon cat, Garfield.

Why does Rhoda decide to stay in New York City?

In a bold move rare for 1970s television, Rhoda asks Joe out just five minutes after they first meet. The two hit it off, and when Joe asks her stay in New York City, she says yes. And a spin-off series is born.

Julie Kavner, who played Rhoda's younger sister Brenda, has become famous as the voice of which animated character?

Julie Kavner has been the voice of matriarch Marge Simpson for more than three decades. She also supplies the famously hoarse voices of Marge's twin sisters, Patty and Selma Bouvier.

Rhoda's mother, Ida Morgenstern, was played by this veteran actress. What was her name?

Born in 1922, Nancy Walker enjoyed a 50-year career on both the stage and screen. She's was also well-known for playing Rosie the waitress in a long-running series of Bounty paper towel commercials.

Rhoda and Brenda had the same middle name. Do you know what it was?

During the first episode of the series, Rhoda asks her mother why she didn't give her or her sister the first name Faye if she liked it so much. "I didn't like it that much!" was Ida's smart reply.

There was a running gag throughout the run of the series about Carlton the doorman. What was it?

Though a beloved (and hilarious) character, Carlton wasn't very good at his job. The drunken doorman even let burglars into Rhoda and Joe's penthouse by accident during the second season.

Rhoda opened her own window-dressing business late in the first season of the series. What was it called?

Not long after marrying Joe, Rhoda opened Windows By Rhoda with Myrna Morgenstein, her best friend from high school. Much to Joe's surprise (and dismay), Rhoda continued to use her maiden name for the business.

During the second season, Ida develops romantic feelings for her doctor. What popular character actor played him?

Both Brenda and Rhoda are shocked when Ida tells them she's falling for Dr. Henry Gerber. Though she agrees to meet him for a drink at a bar, she brings Rhoda along with her to help break off the unconsummated affair.

What does Joe do for a living?

Joe Gerard was the owner of the fictional New York Wrecking Company. The character, who was played by actor David Groh, was introduced on the very first episode of the series as Rhoda's love interest.

Rhoda was forced to ride the subway in her wedding dress after which character from "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" forgot to pick her up on her big day?

"Rhoda's Wedding," which became one of the highest-rated TV episodes of the '70s, featured guest appearances by most of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" cast, including Mary Tyler Moore, Cloris Leachman, Ed Asner, Gavin MacLeod and Georgia Engel.

This TV-show veteran made a memorable guest appearance on the show during its second season. Who was it?

Vivian Vance played Maggie Cummings, an older neighbor who, like Rhoda, was a married career women. When she meets Rhoda in the building's laundry room, the two become fast friends, much to the dismay of Rhoda's jealous mom.

Nancy Walker was noticeably absent from the show's third season. Do you know why?

Nancy left "Rhoda" in 1976 to star in both "The Nancy Walker Show" and the "Happy Days" spin-off "Blansky's Beauties." When both shows were canceled after just one season, she returned to her role as Ida Morgenstern, which she continued to play until the series ended in 1978.

Which "Rhoda" character was given their own quirky animated spin-off?

Featuring Lorenzo Music as the voice of Carlton, "Carlton Your Doorman" aired as an unsold pilot and was never picked up us a series. However, the show's originality earned it an Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program in 1980.

During what season did Joe and Rhoda separate?

During the first episode of the third season, Joe tells Rhoda he needs space and moves out. The couple eventually separate, and are divorced by season four. Many people attributed the show's ratings decline to the failure of the beloved couple's marriage.

What was Brenda's job?

During the season two episode "Brenda's Unemployment," Brenda quits her "crummy" job at the bank and falls into a lazy funk. Luckily, Rhoda is there to help her little sister get back on her feet and find another teller job.

This famous actor, unknown at the time, appeared in the second episode of season one as Rhoda's realtor. Do you know who it was?

Henry Winkler also appeared as a guest star on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" in 1973. The actor became a household name in 1974 as Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli in the hit show "Happy Days."

How many Emmy Awards did Valerie Harper win for her portrayal of Rhoda?

Valerie Harper won four Emmys for her portrayal of Rhoda Morgenstern — three for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and one for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series on "Rhoda."

Who was Charlie Burke?

Charlie Burke was a friend of Joe's — and Rhoda couldn't stand him. He was played by actor Richard Schaal, who was Valerie Harper's real-life husband at the time. He also appeared on the "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" as several different characters.

This actor played Gary Levy, one of Brenda's love interests during seasons three and four.

Ron Silver was at the start of his very successful career when he nabbed his recurring role on "Rhoda." He won a Tony Award for Best Actor in 1988 for his role in the David Mamet play "Speed-the-Plow."

What happens when Rhoda meets Joe's ex-wife, Mariane in season two?

When Joe is unable to pick up his son, Donny, from Marian's house in Tarrytown, Rhoda goes in his place. The two drink too much wine while waiting for Donny to return from his karate class, and Rhoda's mom has to pick them up.

What was Joe's son's name?

Donny was Joe's 10-year-old son from his first marriage to a woman named Marian. Brenda Morgenstern was Donny's babysitter, which is how Rhoda and Joe met in the first episode of the series.

This actress briefly joined the cast in season three as Rhoda's airline attendant friend Sally Gallagher.

When Nancy Walker departed the show to star in her own series during the third season, the creators hoped Anne Meara would help distract viewers from her absence. Ultimately, the character didn't catch on and was written out by the end of the season.

Another spin-off of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," this show aired on CBS from 1977 to 1982.

Unlike "Rhoda" and "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," "Lou Grant" was an hour long-drama. Ed Asner won two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Actor in a Drama for his portrayal of the title character.

Rhoda takes a job at a costume shop in season four. What was the name of her boss?

Played by actor Kenneth McMillan, Jack Doyle was a rough-around-the-edges guy who would often give Rhoda tough-love advice. His character was similar to the gruff Lou Grant, who was Mary Richards' boss on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show."

What happened when Rhoda briefly moved back in with her parents at the start of season one?

At first, Ida was delighted that her daughter had moved back home and waited on her hand and foot. However, after realizing her daughter was regressing, she showed some tough love and kicked her out.

Nick Lobo, one of Brenda's on-again, off-again boyfriends, plays which instrument?

The garish and over-confident Nick Lobo was played by Richard Masur. The actor appeared on numerous sitcoms throughout the '70s and '80s, including "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and "One Day at a Time."

What was the name of the made-for-TV movie that reunited Rhoda and Mary Richards?

"Mary and Rhoda" aired on ABC in February of 2000. The two-hour special saw Mary and Rhoda reunite in New York City after not seeing each other for more than two decades. While the special was highly rated, viewers were disappointed that no other characters from "Rhoda" or "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" made guest appearances.

Who does Brenda get engaged to during season five?

Brenda and Benny became engaged in episode four, with a wedding planned for later in the reason. Unfortunately, we never got the chance to see the cute couple tie the knot — "Rhoda" was canceled by CBS in the middle of its fifth season.

Valerie Harper returned to sitcoms in the 1980s as the star of what show?

After starring for two seasons as Valerie Hogan on the sitcom "Valerie," the actress left the show due to salary disputes, and her character was killed off. The sitcom continued on without her, first with the name "Valerie's Family" and finally as "The Hogan Family."

Explore More Quizzes

Image: CBS

About This Quiz

Before “Fraiser,” before “Benson” and before "Alice," there was “Rhoda,” the sitcom spun off from "The Mary Tyler Moore Show." Debuting in 1974, the show was an instant hit, earning record-breaking ratings right from the start and quickly becoming just as popular as its parent show. 

"Rhoda" followed the adventures of Mary Richards' best friend after she moved from Minneapolis to New York City. During its five seasons on the air, we saw the show's sassy, independent-minded main character fall in love, get married, get divorced and start dating again. We met her overbearing mother, her sweet-but-insecure little sister, and even her oddball doorman, who was heard but never seen. Rhoda's boho-chic wardrobe made her one of the best-dressed characters on TV, and her colorful headscarves turned into a national trend.

So, how big of a "Rhoda" fan were you? Were you one of the more than the 52 million Americans who rushed home to watch Rhoda and Joe's wedding? Did you rock the headscarf, tunics and statement-making jewelry? If so, we challenge you to take this quiz.  It's filled with fun questions about all five seasons of the show — let's see just how well you remember it!



About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!