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RERUNS TO RE-WATCH

When Mary Chuckled and the Beaver Hopped

April 01, 1990|JOAN FANTAZIA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

You can learn important lessons from a man in a peanut costume and a boy in a bunny suit.

Both are tragic figures this week, and each brings a message worth paying attention to.

In "Chuckles Bites the Dust" (Tuesday at 9:30 p.m., KDOC), a must-see for fans of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," a TV kiddie show host dressed as a peanut is killed by a hungry elephant. The message: It is OK to laugh at death-providing it is someone else's.

In "Leave It to Beaver" (Thursday at 1:05 a.m., TBS, time approximate after basketball), the Beav suffers untold indignities-by uncivilized boys and impolite dogs-as he walks to the school pageant in a bunny suit. When he is back in his own skin, Beaver lets us in on what he has learned: It wouldn't be so bad to be an animal, because no one would expect you to go to a school pageant dressed as a human being.

"Chuckles Bites the Dust" won an Emmy for writing. Somehow, "Beaver the Bunny" did not. The academy just wasn't into messages back then.

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