Widower Sheriff Andy and his son Opie live with Andy's Aunt Bee in Mayberry NC. With virtually no crimes to solve, most of Andy's time is spent philosophizing and calming down his cousin Deputy Barney.
Widower Steve Douglas raises three sons with the help of his father-in-law, and is later aided by the boys' great-uncle. An adopted son, a stepdaughter, wives, and another generation of sons join the loving family in later seasons.
Rob, Buddy and Sally write for the Alan Brady TV show under the thumb of Brady's brother-in-law Mel. Rob and Laura live in new Rochelle next-door to Jerry and Millie. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
Dick Van Dyke took a big chance agreeing to do this show because in order to do it, he had to leave the Broadway hit show "Bye Bye Birdie" for which he won a Tony Award. If the show was not a hit, he would have been out of work. See more »
A third variation on the tripping-on-the-ottoman opening was added in later seasons, wherein Van Dyke neither stumbles over nor skips around it, but trips on a corner attempting to do the latter, and recovers without falling. See more »
As a teenager growing up in the early 1960's, I was a big fan of "The Dick Van Dyke Show". And this episode is the one I remember the best, after all these years. It is a flashback to when Ritchie was born and Rob becomes convinced that the hospital accidentally switched their baby for another one born at the same time of a family with a similar name. The climactic moment (which I will not reveal) was both one of the funniest things I ever saw on television in my life and an amazing demonstration of how American attitudes were changing. I have read that this is Dick Van Dyke's personal favorite episode, and I completely agree with him. Apparently, the live studio audience laughed so long and hard that the cameras had to stop until they calmed down and the actors could continue.
I would guess that today the shock of this moment is lost to a great extent, but for its time, it was an astonishing, courageous moment - and also side-splittingly funny.
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