The Dick Van Dyke Show

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Dick Van Dyke Show
The Dick Van Dyke Show.jpg
Genre Sitcom
Created by Carl Reiner
Written by Carl Reiner
Frank Tarloff (as "David Adler")
John Whedon
Sheldon Keller
Howard Merrill
Martin Ragaway
Bill Persky
Sam Denoff
Garry Marshall
Jerry Belson
Carl Kleinschmitt
Dale McRaven
Directed by Sheldon Leonard
John Rich
Jerry Paris
Howard Morris
Alan Rafkin
Starring Dick Van Dyke
Mary Tyler Moore
Rose Marie
Morey Amsterdam
Larry Mathews
Theme music composer Earle Hagen
Composer(s) Earle Hagen
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 5
No. of episodes 158 + 1 reunion special (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Sheldon Leonard, in association with Danny Thomas
Producer(s) Carl Reiner
Bill Persky (1965)
Sam Denoff (1965)
Running time 22–24 minutes
Production company(s) Calvada Productions
Broadcast
Original channel CBS
Picture format Black-and-white
Audio format Monaural
Original run October 3, 1961 (1961-10-03)  – June 1, 1966 (1966-06-01)

The Dick Van Dyke Show is an American television sitcom that initially aired on CBS from October 3, 1961, until June 1, 1966. The show was created by Carl Reiner and starred Dick Van Dyke, Rose Marie, Morey Amsterdam and Mary Tyler Moore. It centered on the work and home life of television comedy writer Rob Petrie (Van Dyke). The show was produced by Reiner with Bill Persky and Sam Denoff. The music for the show's theme song was written by Earle Hagen.[1]

The series won 15 Emmy Awards. In 1997, the episodes "Coast-to-Coast Big Mouth" and "It May Look Like a Walnut" were ranked at 8 and 15 respectively on TV Guide's 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time.[2] In 2002, it was ranked at 13 on TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time.[3]

Premise[edit]

The two main settings show the work and home life of Rob Petrie (Dick Van Dyke), the head writer of a comedy/variety show produced in Manhattan. Viewers are given an "inside look" at how a television show (the fictitious The Alan Brady Show) was written and produced. Many scenes deal with Rob and his co-writers, Buddy Sorrell (Morey Amsterdam) and Sally Rogers (Rose Marie). Mel Cooley (Richard Deacon), a balding straight man and recipient of numerous insulting one-liners from Buddy, was the show's producer and the brother-in-law of the show's star, Alan Brady (Carl Reiner). As Rob, Buddy, and Sally write for a comedy show, the premise provides a built-in forum for them to be making jokes constantly. Other scenes focus on the home life of Rob, his wife Laura (Mary Tyler Moore), and son Richie (Larry Mathews), who live at 148 Bonnie Meadow Road in suburban New Rochelle, New York. Also often seen are their next-door neighbors and best friends, Jerry Helper (Jerry Paris), a dentist, and his wife Millie (Ann Morgan Guilbert).

Head of the Family pilot[edit]

The Dick Van Dyke Show was preceded by a 1960 pilot for a series to be called Head of the Family, with different actors playing the parts, although the characters were essentially the same, with the absence of Mel Cooley. In the pilot, Carl Reiner, who created the show based on his own experiences as a TV writer, played Robbie Petrie, although the name was pronounced with a long "e", as opposed to the short "e" used in the later program. Laura Petrie was played by Barbara Britton, Buddy Sorrell by Morty Gunty, Sally Rogers by Sylvia Miles, Ritchie by Gary Morgan, and Alan Sturdy, the Alan Brady character, was played by Jack Wakefield, although his face was never fully seen, which was also the case with Carl Reiner's Alan Brady for the first several seasons of The Dick Van Dyke Show.

The pilot was unsuccessful, which led Reiner to revamp the show with Dick Van Dyke playing the central character.[4]

Episodes[edit]

At least three episodes were filmed without a live studio audience: "The Bad Old Days," which featured an extended flashback sequence that relied on optical effects that would have been impractical to shoot with a live audience in the studio;[5] "The Alan Brady Show Presents," which required elaborate set and costume changes;[6] and "Happy Birthday and Too Many More," which was filmed on November 26, 1963, only four days after President Kennedy's assassination.[7]

Reiner considered moving the production of the series to full color as early as season three, only to drop the idea when he was informed that it would add about $7,000 to the cost of each episode.[8]

Characters[edit]

Main:

  • Robert Simpson "Rob" Petrie (Dick Van Dyke) – head writer for The Alan Brady Show, a fictional network television comedy/variety show broadcast from New York City. The role of Rob Petrie was almost given to Johnny Carson, but Sheldon Leonard, the show's executive producer, suggested Van Dyke.
  • Laura Petrie (née Meehan; played by Mary Tyler Moore) – Rob's wife. As a 17-year-old dancer in the United Service Organizations, she met and married Rob. Then, she became a stay-at-home mom. About 60 actresses auditioned for the part before Moore was signed. Moore later wrote that she almost skipped the audition.
  • Maurice "Buddy" Sorrell (Morey Amsterdam) – an energetic and at times sarcastic "human joke machine", one of the comedy writers. Amsterdam was recommended for the role by Rose Marie as soon as she had signed on to the series. Buddy is constantly making fun of Mel Cooley, the show's producer, for being bald and dull. His character is loosely based on Mel Brooks who also wrote for Your Show of Shows. He makes frequent jokes about his marriage to his wife Fiona Conway "Pickles" Sorrell. In several episodes, it is mentioned that Buddy is Jewish. He was identified by his Yiddish name, Moishe Selig, when he had his belated bar mitzvah in "Buddy Sorrell – Man and Boy." Buddy plays the cello and owns a large German Shepherd named Larry. Buddy made a guest appearance on the Danny Thomas Show episode, "The Woman Behind the Jokes" that aired October 21, 1963.
  • Sally Rogers (Rose Marie) – another of the comedy writers, and the designated typist, who is always on the lookout for a husband. The character was loosely based on Selma Diamond and Lucille Kallen, both writers for Your Show of Shows. She never drinks and quotes frequently from her "Aunt Agnes in Cleveland". She has an on-again/off-again relationship with her boyfriend Herman Glimscher, who seems to be too much of a mama's boy to get married. She frequently scares men off with her sense of humor and strong personality.
  • Richard Rosebud "Richie" Petrie (Larry Mathews) – Rob and Laura's son (his middle name is an acronym for "Robert Oscar Sam Edward Benjamin Ulysses David," all the names suggested by members of Rob and Laura's families in the episode "What's in a Middle Name?".[9])

Supporting:

  • Melvin "Mel" Cooley (Richard Deacon) – the balding producer of The Alan Brady Show and Alan Brady's brother-in-law. Though Mel can often be an obsequiously sycophantic yes-man to the demanding Brady, he is also shown to be a dedicated, competent producer. Mel is constantly at odds with Buddy, who often makes insulting comments about Mel's baldness, to which Mel often responds with a simple "Yechh!"
  • Millie Helper (Ann Morgan Guilbert) – the Petries' neighbor and Laura's best friend.
  • Jerry Helper (Jerry Paris) – the Petries' neighbor, Millie's husband, Rob's best friend, and a dentist.
  • Alan Brady (Carl Reiner) – the egocentric, toupee-wearing star of The Alan Brady Show. Originally an off-screen character, then shown only with his back to the camera or only in voice, Brady began to make full-face appearances in season four. Alan appeared on the Mad About You episode, "The Alan Brady Show", named after the fictional show within The Dick Van Dyke Show, that aired February 16, 1995.

Recurring:

  • Stacey Petrie (Jerry Van Dyke) – Rob's brother, played by Dick Van Dyke's real-life brother. Stacey – a quiet, shy, man – is prone to episodes of sleepwalking, during which he becomes, literally, the banjo-playing life of the party, and calls his brother Rob "Burford".
  • Fiona Conway "Pickles" Sorrell (Barbara Perry/Joan Shawlee) – Buddy's slightly nutty wife and former showgirl. She becomes an off-screen character after season two.
  • Herman Glimscher (Bill Idelson) – Sally's occasional and nerdy boyfriend. In the 2004 reunion special, Sally and Herman had been married for years (In an early episode, Sally mentioned having dated a Woodrow Glimscher, presumably a relative, until Woodrow's overbearing mother arranged for her to date Herman instead.)
  • Sam (or Edward) Petrie - (Will Wright/J. Pat O'Malley/Tom Tully) - Rob and Stacey's father, Laura's father-in-law, and Clara's husband.
  • Clara Petrie - (Carol Veazie/Isabel Randolph) - Rob and Stacey's mother, Laura's mother-in-law, and Sam's wife.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Alan Meehan – (Carl Benton Reid and Geraldine Wall) are Laura's parents.
  • Freddie Helper (Peter Oliphant) – Millie and Jerry Helper's son and Richie's closest friend.
  • Sol/Sam Pomeroy/Pomerantz – Rob's army buddy in flashback episodes, was originally played by Marty Ingels. The character's names changed over the course of the series. Ingels left the role in 1962 to star in I'm Dickens, He's Fenster. In 1963, the character was played by two actors, Allan Melvin and Henry Calvin.[10]
  • Delivery boy – originally a nameless character played by Jamie Farr in four season one episodes. Subsequently, he was given the name Willie, and Herbie Faye played the role (Faye also played other characters in later episodes).
  • Mrs. Billings (Eleanor Audley) - the head of the local Parent-Teacher Association, who shoehorns Rob into writing and directing their annual fundraising shows.
Rob throws his hat into the ring in the election for city councilman.


A group of character actors played several different roles during the five seasons. Actors who appeared more than once, sometimes in different roles, included Elvia Allman (as Herman Glimscher's mother), Tiny Brauer, Bella Bruck, Jane Dulo, Bernard Fox, Dabbs Greer, Jerry Hausner, Peter Hobbs, Jackie Joseph, Sandy Kenyon (who also appeared in the 2004 reunion special), Alvy Moore, Burt Remsen, Johnny Silver, Doris Singleton, Amzie Strickland, George Tyne, Herb Vigran and Len Weinrib. Frank Adamo, who served as Van Dyke's personal assistant and stand-in, also played small roles throughout the show's five seasons.

Production[edit]

Many of the show's plots were inspired by Reiner's experiences as a writer for Your Show of Shows, which starred Sid Caesar, but though he based the character of Rob Petrie on himself, Rob's egocentric boss Alan Brady is less Caesar than a combination of the more abrasive Milton Berle and Jackie Gleason, according to Reiner himself.[11]

CBS had intended to cancel the show after its first season, but Procter & Gamble threatened to pull its advertising from "the network's extremely lucrative daytime lineup" and the show was renewed, keeping its Wednesday night time slot.[12] After going into summer reruns, the show jumped into the top 10 by the third episode of its second season. It may have been helped by coming directly after the new #1 hit, The Beverly Hillbillies.

Crossovers[edit]

Cast reunions[edit]

In 1969, Van Dyke and Moore reunited for a one-hour variety special called Dick Van Dyke and the Other Woman which included a never before seen alternative take from one of the show's episodes in which Van Dyke breaks down and cries after being dismissed from a film role instead of just being disappointed. A 1979 episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Hour featured Van Dyke and Moore reprising their roles as the Petries in a short sketch presented as the brainstorming of Van Dyke (guest-starring as himself) and the writers of Mary McKinnon's (Moore) variety series, who noted McKinnon's resemblance to "the gal who played Laura Petrie". In a 1995 episode of the sitcom Mad About You, Carl Reiner reprised the role of Alan Brady, appearing in a documentary by Paul Buchmann (Paul Reiser) about the early days of television. The episode included several other references to The Dick Van Dyke Show, including a scene in which Reiner and Reiser discuss whether it would be funnier to trip over an ottoman or to step over it at the last moment. In 2003, TV Land produced The Alan Brady Show, an animated special presented as an episode of Dick Van Dyke '​s show-within-a-show. Reiner, Van Dyke, and Rose Marie contributed voice performances to the show. A 2004 reunion movie, The Dick Van Dyke Show Revisited, brought together the surviving members of the cast. In this continuation, Rob and Laura have left their New Rochelle home to Richie and moved to Manhattan, where Laura runs a dance studio. Alan Brady re-enters their lives to ask Rob to write his eulogy, with the help of a happily married Sally Rogers Glimschere.

While his wife is away, Buddy becomes the Petries’ houseguest

Theme lyrics[edit]

In a 2010 interview on National Public Radio, Van Dyke revealed that Morey Amsterdam wrote a set of lyrics for the show's theme song:

So you think that you've got troubles?
Well, trouble's a bubble
So tell old Mr. Trouble to get lost!
Why not hold your head up high and
Stop cryin', start tryin'
And don't forget to keep your fingers crossed.
When you find the joy of livin'
Is lovin' and givin'
You'll be there when the winning dice are tossed.
A smile is just a frown that's turned upside down
So smile, and that frown will defrost.
And don't forget to keep your fingers crossed

[13]

Broadcast history[edit]

  • Tuesday at 8:00-8:30 pm on CBS: October 3—December 26, 1961
  • Wednesday at 9:30-10:00 pm on CBS: January 3, 1962—May 13, 1964; September 15, 1965—June 1, 1966
  • Wednesday at 9:00-9:30 pm on CBS: September 23, 1964—May 26, 1965

Primetime Emmy Awards[edit]

The Dick Van Dyke Show was nominated for 25 Primetime Emmy Awards and won 15.[14]

The Petries: Laura, Rob and Ritchie
Award Nominee Result
1961–1962 (presented May 22, 1962)[15]
Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy John Rich Nominated
Outstanding Writing Achievement in Comedy Carl Reiner Won
1962–1963 (presented May 26, 1963)[16]
Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actor in a Series (Lead) Dick Van Dyke Nominated
Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actress in a Series (Lead) Mary Tyler Moore Nominated
Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy John Rich Won
Outstanding Performance in a Supporting Role by an Actress Rose Marie Nominated
Outstanding Program Achievement in the Field of Humor Won
Outstanding Writing Achievement in Comedy Carl Reiner Won
1963–1964 (presented May 25, 1964)[17]
Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actor in a Series (Lead) Dick Van Dyke Won
Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actress in a Series (Lead) Mary Tyler Moore Won
Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy Jerry Paris Won
Outstanding Performance in a Supporting Role by an Actress Rose Marie Nominated
Outstanding Program Achievement in the Field of Comedy Won
Outstanding Writing Achievement in Comedy or Variety Carl Reiner, Sam Denoff and Bill Persky Won
1964–1965 (presented September 12, 1965)[18]
Outstanding Individual Achievements in Entertainment: Actors and Performers Dick Van Dyke Won*
Outstanding Individual Achievements in Entertainment: Writers Carl Reiner for "Never Bathe on Saturday" Nominated
Outstanding Program Achievements in Entertainment Carl Reiner, producer Won
1965–1966 (presented May 22, 1966)[19]
Outstanding Comedy Series Carl Reiner, producer Won
Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Comedy Series Dick Van Dyke Won
Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Comedy Series Mary Tyler Moore Won
Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy Jerry Paris Nominated
Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Comedy Morey Amsterdam Nominated
Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Comedy Rose Marie Nominated
Outstanding Writing Achievement in Comedy Bill Persky and Sam Denoff for "Coast to Coast Big Mouth" Won
Bill Persky and Sam Denoff for "The Ugliest Dog in the World" Nominated

0*Shared with Lynn Fontanne and Alfred Lunt for Hallmark Hall of Fame: "The Magnificent Yankee" and Barbra Streisand for My Name Is Barbra

Home video releases[edit]

Image Entertainment has released all five seasons of The Dick Van Dyke Show on DVD in Region 1. Season sets were released between October 2003 – June 2004. Also, on May 24, 2005, Image Entertainment repackaged the discs from the individual season sets into a complete series box set. On Blu-ray, the complete series, remastered in high definition, was released on November 13, 2012.[20]

In Region 2, Revelation Films has released the first two seasons on DVD in the UK.[21][22]

In Region 4, Umbrella Entertainment has released the first three seasons on DVD in Australia.

DVD Name Ep# Release Date
Season 1 31 October 21, 2003
Season 2 33 October 21, 2003
Season 3 31 February 24, 2004
Season 4 32 April 27, 2004
Season 5 31 June 29, 2004
The Complete Series 158 May 24, 2005 (DVD)
November 13, 2012 (Blu-ray)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ "Dick Van Dyke Plays Not My Job". NPR. October 23, 2010. Retrieved February 13, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Special Collector's Issue: 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time". TV Guide (June 28-July 4). 1997. 
  3. ^ "TV Guide Names Top 50 Shows". CBS News. April 26, 2002. Retrieved June 18, 2011. 
  4. ^ Cullum, Paul. "The Dick Van Dyke Show". The Museum of Broadcast Communications. Retrieved September 25, 2011. 
  5. ^ Waldron, Vince (2011). The Official Dick Van Dyke Show Book. Episode Guide: Chicago Review Press. p. 310. ISBN 1-56976-839-0. 
  6. ^ Waldron, Vince (2011). The Official Dick Van Dyke Show Book. Episode Guide: Chicago Review Press. p. 334. ISBN 1-56976-839-0. 
  7. ^ Waldron, Vince (2011). The Official Dick Van Dyke Show Book. Episode Guide: Chicago Review Press. pp. 336–337. ISBN 1-56976-839-0. 
  8. ^ Waldron, Vince (2011). The Official Dick Van Dyke Show Book. Footnote: Chicago Review Press. p. 250. ISBN 1-56976-839-0. 
  9. ^ Waldron, Vince (2011). The Official Dick Van Dyke Show Book. Episode Guide: Chicago Review Press. p. 291. ISBN 978-1-56976-839-6. 
  10. ^ Waldron, Vince (2011). The Official Dick Van Dyke Show Book. Episode Guide: Chicago Review Press. pp. 291, 299, 303, 320, 334, 351, 361, 377, 379, 383, 387. ISBN 978-1-56976-839-6. 
  11. ^ John Clark, "'2,000 Year Old Man' still kicking on new DVD", San Francisco Chronicle, Nov. 22, 2009
  12. ^ [P. 170 of The official Dick Van Dyke show book: the definitive history and ultimate... By Vince Waldron]
  13. ^ Dick Van Dyke Plays Not My Job (October 23, 2010) NPR.org archive Retrieved September 6, 2011
  14. ^ Brooks, Tim (2007). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows: 1946-Present (Ninth Edition). Ballantine Books. pp. 1634–1636. ISBN 978-0-345-49773-4. 
  15. ^ [http || //www.imdb.com/event/ev0000223/1962 14th Primetime Emmy Awards]
  16. ^ [http || //www.imdb.com/event/ev0000223/1963 15th Primetime Emmy Awards]
  17. ^ [http || //www.imdb.com/event/ev0000223/1964 16th Primetime Emmy Awards]
  18. ^ [http || //www.imdb.com/event/ev0000223/1965 17th Primetime Emmy Awards]
  19. ^ [http || //www.imdb.com/event/ev0000223/1966 18th Primetime Emmy Awards]
  20. ^ http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/The-Dick-Van-Dyke-Show-The-Complete-Series-Blu-ray/49650/#Review
  21. ^ http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Dick-Van-Dyke-Show/dp/B000M5KTMC
  22. ^ http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Dick-Van-Dyke-Show/dp/B000NUW9GK

External links[edit]