Chico and the Man (1974–1978)
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Natural Causes 

Ed believes his time is short after reading about the demise of his former best friend, from natural causes.


Peter Baldwin


James Komack (created by), Steve Gordon


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Episode cast overview:
Jack Albertson ... Ed Brown
Freddie Prinze ... Chico Rodriguez
Bill McLean ... Alfred
Luis de Córdova Luis de Córdova ... Doctor (as Luis DeCordova)
Shirley O'Hara ... Betty Harrigan
Bonnie Boland Bonnie Boland ... Mabel


Ed believes his time is short after reading about the demise of his former best friend, from natural causes.

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Release Date:

20 December 1974 (USA) See more »

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Bonnie Boland debuts as Mabel
10 July 2016 | by kevinolzakSee all my reviews

"Natural Causes" introduced a new character in Bonnie Boland's Mabel, mail delivery lady, so cute, sharp and funny that it's a shame she wasn't retained after six appearances the first season. Her flirtatious, uplifting nature clashes with Ed's usual morning disposition, hardly batting an eye at the thought of sharing a hotel room with her at Niagara Falls! Mabel departs with sage advice for Chico, about certain things that are impossible: "finding a cure for the common cold, and cheering up Ed Brown!" Chico believes that Ed's constant drinking is a crutch out of fear, and confides that his father ran away when he was very little, and that he never knew him: "well look at the bright side, he never knew you!" Ed reads the obituaries every day to see if he's listed, but this day he learns about a former best friend who died owing him $500. The cause of his death has Ed bummed out: "they raise millions of dollars every year to fight cancer and heart disease, but did anybody ever put on a telethon for natural causes?" Believing his time to be short, Ed goes to bed to spend his final hours on his back, leaving everything in his will to Chico, who plans to make the garage a tribute to the memory of Ed Brown: "The Tomb of the Unknown Grouch!" Bill McLean makes the first of nine appearances in various roles, here as customer Alfred, returning in "The Doctor Story," with another hilarious reprise of "It's not my job," and the first instance where Chico tells Ed he loves him.

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