Saturday, May 02, 2020

The Maude Squad

So, a couple more fun guest stars on "Maude," this time with common-denominator appeal. First Helen Martin popped up on two episodes as Arthur’s (and then later Arthur and Vivian's) maid, Stella. (She abruptly quits when Maude tries to get her to help her fix dinner for Vivian's dinner party ... it didn't make sense to me either that Vivian wasn't the one in charge of her own party and help.)

And then Paul Benedict showed up as a reverend who came to officiate Maude and Walter's "second wedding" -- aka Maude's fifth. There he recognized Arthur whose wife's funeral he oversaw. Paul Benedict, of course, would go on to play Mr. Bentley for 11 seasons on the "The Jeffersons." And Helen Martin, I'm sure you know, would play Pearl opposite Benedict's costar Marla Gibbs on "227" -- and was Wanda on "Good Times," which was a spinoff of "Maude" starring the Findlays' first maid, Florida Evans (aka Esther Rolle). It's a small sitcom world, after all!

All of which goes nicely with the time Isabel Sanford (Weezie) played the maid to Carol Burnett's Broad. Her name? New Jersey! 

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