Ooh baby! Carol is in labor!…Or is she?
Original Air Date:
November 27, 1993 – Season Six
Richard Mulligan as Dr. Harry Weston / Dinah Manoff as Carol Weston / David Leisure as Charley Dietz / Park Overall as Nurse Laverne Todd / Marsha Warfield as Dr. Maxine Douglas / Estelle Getty as Sophia Petrillo
Jeanine Jackson as Rachelle / Jane Lynch as Tammy / David Cromwell as Dr. Rubenstein / Tom Nibley as Rachelle’s Husband / J. David Krassner as Man
Harry and Maxine are selling opera tickets as a fundraiser. While making a bet that whoever sells the least number of tickets has to work the late shift at the clinic, Carol calls announcing that she’s in labor and will meet Harry at the hospital. He arrives at Community Medical Center to discover that Carol, in a panic, has called the police, the fire department, and even the cable guy when she couldn’t manage to get herself there on her own. Carol’s doctor tells Harry that she’s out of her mind – she isn’t in labor yet.
Later, Carol plays host to her Lamaze class and lets Charley serve as her coach, a decision she immediately regrets when he discovers that he once slept with Rachelle, one of the expectant mothers. Rachelle goes into labor during the class and Carol, after watching Rachelle’s behavior, convinces herself once more that she is in labor. Charley takes her to the hospital where her doctor again tells Harry that Carol’s labor is all in her head. Harry informs Carol that she is having Braxton-Hicks contractions, a sort of false labor.
When the night of the opera finally arrives, it looks as though Maxine and Harry are tied in terms of ticket sales. Carol complains of not feeling well, but Harry brushes her off after her recent false alarms. As Carol’s complaints progress, Laverne notes that they are coming in fast intervals. Harry realizes that Carol is in fact in labor, and there’s no time to get her to the hospital. Harry ends up delivering the baby, a boy, in the balcony of the opera house as the performance is taking place down below. He tells Maxine that the baby’s arrival wins the bet for him.
This episode aired during November sweeps and coincided with the Nurses episode in which Gina, a character on that show, also gave birth. The episode featured an Empty Nest crossover with Richard Mulligan as Harry delivered Gina’s baby.
A then-unknown Jane Lynch, now an Emmy winner for her work on Glee, appeared in this episode as Tammy, Carol’s Lamaze teacher.
Dinah Manoff discussed this episode, and Jane Lynch’s appearance, in our Return to the Nestinterview with her.
A unforgettable Empty Nest/Nurses hour – An NBC TV spot for the episodes
Watch “The Girl Who Cried Baby” on YouTube