July Fourth will mark the 40th anniversary of the Bicentennial, a grand (and occasionally tacky) celebration of the USA’s 200th birthday. Here are five top TV shows that managed to work the Bicentennial into their episodes:
The Carol Burnett Show (Oct. 4, 1975) — Harvey Korman and Tim Conway teamed for a sketch called “200 Years Ago Today,” a spoof of the “Bicentennial Minutes,” which were airing frequently during commercial breaks on CBS.
Barney Miller (Nov. 27, 1975) — The squad must put up with Jackie Ace (Sidney Miller), a nightclub comic specializing in telling bad Bicentennial jokes (“Paul Revere tells Benjamin Franklin, “There’s a crack in the Liberty Bell . . . I toldya we shoulda got a horn.”)
Maude (Feb. 9, 1976) — Turns out that 1976 was also the 200th birthday of Tuckahoe, the home of bigmouth Maude Findlay (Beatrice Arthur), who decides to mark the occasion by staging a tribute to women.
The Jeffersons (Sept. 25, 1976) — In order to get more business during the Bicentennial, George (Sherman Hemsley) claims to be a descendant of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemmings.
The Bob Newhart Show (Oct. 2, 1976) — Emily (Suzanne Pleshette) accidentally gets herself and Bob (Bob Newhart) trapped in the basement storage locker while they’re preparing for their Bicentennial party.