Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Leave it to the staff of The Mary Tyler Moore Show to mine creativity and hilarity out of two of the oldest sitcom devices: the "highlights from earlier episodes" clipfest and the "very special guest star." Determined that her latest dinner party won't be a disaster like all the others (shown in brief and compelling excerpts), Mary (Mary Tyler Moore) has invited Johnny Carson as guest of honor -- and surprise of surprises, Johnny accepts. But on the night of the party, the question isn't "Where's Johnny?," but instead "Where is everybody else?" -- including Mary. Capped by one of the series' "darker" denouements (but funny all the same), "Mary's Big Party" originally aired on March 5, 1977.