By the time the iconic theme song of The Mary Tyler Moore Show asked the question, "Who can turn the world on with her smile?" audiences had all the proof they needed to know that the answer could only be Mary Tyler Moore. In the wake of Moore's death on Jan. 25, 2017 at the age of 80, many people have taken to Twitter to eulogize the comedic legend with the line that started off her iconic television program. Her influence and importance helped lead countless other women into comedy, paving the way for successful talents like Tina Fey, Ellen Degeneres, and Amy Schumer. Moore turned on the world not just with her own smile, but by getting everyone else to smile with her.
The title sequence that the iconic line comes from has also left its own legacy on television. One of the most famous title sequences of all time, the theme to The Mary Tyler Moore Show is a perfect example of what the light-hearted sitcom represented and of the unparalleled charm of Moore herself. The sequence is less than a minute long, but, even decades later, it's still alive and well in the hearts of Moore's many fans.
RIP Mary Tyler Moore. "She can turn the world on with her smile." pic.twitter.com/kdlNo2TTTW— History In Pictures (@HistoryInPix) January 25, 2017
The legendary title sequence that introduced each episode of the equally legendary Mary Tyler Moore Show shows Moore as her character, Mary Richards, walking through the sunny streets of Minneapolis. The sequence pays special attention to the many business buildings and bustling hallways that Mary walks through in her day-to-day life, reinforcing that this is a series about a working woman as opposed to the many housewives of television past.
Throughout the sequence, Mary proves that she can not only turn the world on with a smile, but that she can take a nothing day and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile. The song reminds fans that "love is all around," echoing the optimism and friendship that defined through the series. The sequence ends with two equally iconic television moments — the line "You're gonna make it after all" and Mary throwing her hat into the air in celebration.
As Moore's fans express that she could "turn the world on with her smile," it's a reminder that people should continue to follow her example of not letting others dictate what they can or can't do — whether it's producing for a local news station or starring in your own iconic sitcom.
Mary Tyler Moore did make it after all, which is why her death is such a heavy loss. Many have paid tribute to Moore since her death, but, for most of her life, she had the privilege of seeing others paying their respects to her iconic title sequence. The show's spinoff Rhoda replicated the hat toss, sitcoms as far-reaching as Family Guy and Scrubs have parodied the sequence, and Oprah even re-created the sequence to pay tribute to her icon.
Mary Tyler Moore may have passed on, but her smile will never stop lighting up the world.