3 October 1961
Alan Brady is throwing a party at his penthouse for a few of the network executives and he wants the writing staff to attend. Unfortunately for Rob though Laura thinks Richie is on the verge of being sick and wants to stay home. Rob is certain he'll be okay and wants to get a babysitter but he's having a hard time convincing Laura.
10 October 1961
A series of events occur that make Laura believe that Rob no longer sees her as the beautiful, young and lovable wife she hopes she still is. These events include Rob wanting to sleep in on his day off instead of waking up to eat breakfast with her, Rob being irked by her romantically playful attempts to wake him up, Rob not caring how he looks around her, Rob calling her his "old lady", and Rob pulling out a white hair from her head. Rob eventually sees that Laura is upset, but she won't tell him why if he doesn't know. Rob asks Buddy and Sally for advice, they collectively coming to the conclusion that Rob perhaps is not paying enough attention to her and not telling her often enough that he loves her. Laura turns to Millie, who thinks that Laura has to spice up their marriage every once in while by doing something different and daring, like dying her hair blonde. Once Laura does the deed, she's sorry she did it for more than one reason and tries to hide the fact of her new bleached state before Rob comes home and sees his new and perhaps not better wife.
17 October 1961
After Rob gets home late from work because he has to drive Sally home Laura gets the idea to try and play matchmaker. Rob is against it but Laura thinks Sally would be a good match with her cousin Thomas, the lab technician. The two are polar opposites...Thomas is quiet, mild and meek and Sally is loud, brassy and full of jokes. The dinner is a disaster but can opposites attract?
24 October 1961
Rob is torn between going to Washington, DC on business and attending Ritchie's school play.
31 October 1961
While clearing out the bedroom closet, Rob finds his old army boots, bringing back memories of how he and Laura first met.
6 November 1961
Harrison B. Harding stops by the office and claims he's an old Army buddy of Rob from Camp Crowder. Rob pretends to recognize Harrison, but he doesn't really recognize him (Harrison says he lost 57 pounds). Rob doesn't even remember anybody with that name. Rob tries to get rid of Harrison, but winds up inviting Harrison and his wife home for dinner. He then starts to suspect that Harrison is a con man with embarrassing results.
Season 1, Episode 7: Jealousy!7 November 1961
Jerry plants seeds of mistrust in Laura's mind when he learns that Valerie Blake, the beautiful movie star, will be guesting on The Alan Brady Show. Laura doesn't listen to him until Rob begins a string of late night work sessions. Soon Laura's jealousy begins to grow and Rob will have to work just as hard to convince Laura that nothing is going on between he and Valerie Blake.
14 November 1961
Complications ensue when Mel tells Rob that he wants Laura to dance on "The Alan Brady Show".
21 November 1961
Buddy and his wife can't take their German Shepherd, Larry, with them on a three-day weekend. Buddy wants Rob to keep Larry for the weekend, but Rob refuses because he hasn't talked it over with Laura. The next time we see Rob, he's trying to sneak Larry into the house. Ritchie is afraid because he thinks that Larry is a wolf and Laura can't sleep because Larry is crying. What is Rob to do?
28 November 1961
Rob's not as impressed with Buddy's new Meershatz pipe as he is with the fact that it was a gift from Alan Brady. Not just impressed but envious as well. After all, he is the head writer of the show and begins to feel as if he isn't needed. Getting sick and having to miss work for several days doesn't help his insecurities.
5 December 1961
Rob complains about Ritchie's forgetfulness, but suddenly realizes he forgot to reserve 44 tickets for the PTA to see The Alan Brady Show. Rob begs and borrows some tickets; Buddy and Sally try to steal some tickets for him. An unexpected twist occurs at the last moment.
12 December 1961
Rob buys Laura a hideous necklace but Laura can't bring herself to tell Rob how she really feels about it. When Rob invites his parents to see the necklace, his mother has a surprising reaction.
19 December 1961
Rob and Buddy treat Sally as "one of the guys", even in the presence of Sally's date. Laura wants Rob to treat Sally like a lady. Mel and Buddy get the wrong idea.
26 December 1961
Buddy has a chance for a head writer job. Rob and Sally help Buddy get released from his contract to "The Alan Brady Show". The plan backfires, so Rob and Sally have to find an ingenious way to get Buddy re-hired.
3 January 1962
Rob recalls the hilarious events leading up to Ritchie's birth when Ritchie asks the inevitable question.
10 January 1962
Laura opens and reads Rob's mail, she giving him a Reader's Digest version of it, and even throwing away what she considers unimportant. Rob is not angry that Laura opened his mail, but he is angry that she read it before he did. Laura doesn't understand why Rob is so upset as he always lets her read his mail anyway. After apologies are made, the issue is resolved. Or is it? Out of general chit-chat, Rob tells Sally and Buddy about the event. Buddy thinks the situation is ripe for a comedy sketch for the show, to which Sally and Rob concur. Before the show airs, Laura, not knowing the topic of the sketch, tells Millie and Jerry that Rob told her that she was its inspiration. What's worse for Laura after watching the sketch is that Rob, Sally and Buddy kept the female character's name Laura, so that everyone watching the show believes that character truly is her. To add further insult to Laura, the sketch truly is funny - one of the best they've ever written - making her an even bigger laughing stock. Laura is furious with Rob, who has to make it up to her somehow. But when the next day seems to mirror what happened in the sketch, will Laura act exactly the way the maniacal wife in the sketch did?
17 January 1962
Neighbor and friend Jerry Helper teases too much! Rob gets increasingly upset as Jerry jokes around the whole neighborhood that "The Alan Brady Show" was "rotten" this past week. Rob accidentally hits him in a restaurant, and hilarity ensues!
24 January 1962
Rob remembers $25 he lent Buddy. Laura doesn't think he will collect. Rob is too embarrassed to remind Buddy and tries many ways to drop hints to Buddy. Buddy remembers something that Rob overlooked.
31 January 1962
"The Alan Brady Show" announces its annual search for the most gifted youngster, and parents are asked to send a picture of their child. All of the stage mothers in Rob's neighborhood want him to get their children private auditions. And all of Sally's neighbors. And all of Buddy's neighbors. The final straw is parents who have just moved into the neighborhood and Rob is uncharacteristically mean.
7 February 1962
Ritchie is starting to learn some new words. He says a bad word to Laura in the car. She thinks ignoring it is the best course, but Rob wants to have a "man-to-man" talk with Ritchie. Rob also wants to confront the family that he assumes is responsible for Ritchie learning the bad words, but that could prove embarrassing.
14 February 1962
Buddy's wife Pickles is away for 3 weeks to take care of her mother. Buddy can't stay at home because he's too lonely. Rob discovers that Buddy has been sleeping overnight at work and insists he move into his guest room. Sally warns against it. Either Buddy and his dog Larry are keeping Rob and Laura awake, or Rob and Laura aren't letting Buddy stay up late.
21 February 1962
Rob is Father of the Week at Ritchie's school. Ritchie is afraid that Rob will embarrass him. How can Rob show a class of first graders what a comedy writer does? (What's he gonna do - type?)
28 February 1962
Sally drags the entire gang to a bowling alley when she discovers a new dance sensation that's sure to sweep the nation.
7 March 1962
Rob gets called for jury duty. Unbeknownst to Rob, Laura attends the trial. The defendant is an exotic dancer. Is she really innocent as only Rob believes? Is Rob going to be in a lot of trouble when he gets home?
14 March 1962
Sally doesn't have a date for her birthday, then an old friend from high school (Leo Fassbinder) calls. Sally invites Leo to her apartment for a quiet evening, but Rob, Laura, Buddy and Mel think Leo is just a made up friend and plan to bring a loud party to Sally's apartment.
21 March 1962
Rob's brother Stacey has a two week furlough and sends Rob a telegram that he's coming for a visit. Rob (whom Stacey calls "Burford") isn't thrilled. He explains to Laura that his shy brother has a problem.
28 March 1962
Rob's shy brother Stacey has a problem. He's a somnambulist! And Stacey's a great performer when he's asleep. How can Rob get Stacey to perform a great audition for Alan Brady while Stacey is awake?
4 April 1962
Buddy laments the decline of the American male and yearns for the "good old days". Rob starts to feel he does too much housework. He has a nightmare about the bad circumstances of the "old days".
11 April 1962
Rob faces a dilemma when a rambunctious old army pal must be told he cannot attend a special dinner party that the Petries are throwing to make an impression with an Alan Brady Show sponsor.
18 April 1962
Rob runs into Happy Spangler, the fellow who gave him his first break to get into show business. Learning that writing jobs have been a little lean of late for Spangler, Rob decides to repay the debt to his old mentor by agreeing to take him on temporarily as a writer for the Alan Brady Show. Rob soon comes to regret his act of kindness, however, as he realizes that Spangler is much more interested in telling stories that distract his writing staff, preventing them from getting their work done.
26 September 1962
Ritchie becomes very attached to two baby ducks that were left over from a show and adopts them. Rob faces the task of making Ritchie understand the consequence of trying to keep pets that may be happier living in the wild.
3 October 1962
Can a husband disguise his voice and fool his wife over the phone? Rob thinks he has, which could mean he's caught Laura flirting with a complete stranger - him.
10 October 1962
Rob recalls his and Laura's attempts to get married when Ritchie brings up the subject.
17 October 1962
Rob discovers Laura's secret bank account. Its mystery preoccupies his thoughts till he finally has to confront her and ask what it's for.
24 October 1962
Rob doesn't know what he's in for when he invites Buddy's charming, pool hustling brother Blackie over for dinner and a friendly game of billiards.
31 October 1962
A hypnotist visits a Petrie dinner party where Rob accidentally picks up a post-hypnotic suggestion.
7 November 1962
Ritchie finds his birth certificate and wants an explanation for his middle name being Rosebud.
14 November 1962
When handsome Ric Vallone is the guest star on the Alan Brady Show, Rob grows increasingly concerned that Sally is falling madly for the star, who is unaware of this complication.
21 November 1962
Having each had a rough day, Laura and Rob argue, but only their goldfish can report the truth as Laura and Rob later tell colorful, self-aggrandizing versions to others of what happened.
28 November 1962
Rob suspects that Buddy and Sally may be moonlighting for another comedy show (or worse - having an affair).
5 December 1962
Ritchie claims he keeps being attacked by a giant woodpecker.
12 December 1962
The Petries start quarreling after neighbor Jerry suggests Rob's recent sneezing fits are psychosomatic expressions of repressed rage at Laura. Worse yet, could Rob have become allergic to Laura?
19 December 1962
Rob suffers pangs of guilt after a dental emergency arises while Jerry's out of town, forcing Rob to accept treatment from another dentist whom Rob finds superior.
26 December 1962
While directing the annual variety show sponsored by his talented neighbors, Rob becomes frustrated by spousal jealousies as he tries to pair the perfect "Cleopatra" to "Mark Antony" for the lead roles.
2 January 1963
A successive string of neighborhood cat burglaries makes the Petries and the Helpers jumpy, all of whom get victimized despite their hyper-vigilance over every little sound.
9 January 1963
Rob sneaks in and plants a big kiss on Laura only to find it isn't Laura at all but an old flame of his from high school who's in New York for an audition.
16 January 1963
Rob recounts the wrath and fury he encountered when he broke his engagement with his hometown sweetheart, Dorothy, after he and Laura became engaged.
23 January 1963
Rob thinks he can be a guest on an infamously incendiary talk show without getting burned. Boy, was HE ever wrong. Now if he can just keep Laura from seeing the show, he might just save his marriage.
30 January 1963
Facing off with Mel over a rejected script, Rob leaves the show, fuming when Buddy and Sally don't join him.
6 February 1963
Rob enjoys a scary televised sci-fi movie while Laura cowers in fear from it, but the next day details of that movie, where Earthlings are being taken over, appear to be coming true.
13 February 1963
Laura's silence forces Rob to recount their evening out to determine what he did that made her infuriated over jeopardizing Ritchie's college future.
20 February 1963
Rob promises Laura he won't get injured on his skiing trip with Jerry, but when he sustains a full-body bang-up, he does all he can to keep it from her rather than admit her woman's intuition was correct.
27 February 1963
The Petries hire a painter for their living room who ends up doing a lot, other than what they hired him to do.
6 March 1963
The gang vacations at Rob's army buddy's new resort, but when Rob incapacitates its headlining comic, he gets the gang to help put on a show to make up for it.
20 March 1963
Rob plans to make himself scarce when he hears French heartthrob Jacques Savon is Alan's guest star, a man whose marriage Rob feels responsible for breaking up. Oddly enough, Laura feels responsible, too.
27 March 1963
In answer to an invitation, the Petries attend a swank dinner party thrown by wealthy Mrs. Huntington, which later reveals itself to be a fund-raiser where Rob's compliant gesture turns into a donation far beyond his means.
3 April 1963
Tracy Rattigan, the show's guest host while Alan Brady's on vacation, is a charming but incorrigible flirt, the extent of which Laura and Rob discover to their discomfort.
Season 2, Episode 28: Divorce10 April 1963
Suspected infidelity puts Buddy's marriage to Pickles in jeopardy, and Rob, friends to both, finds himself situated between an enraged husband and an hysterical wife.
17 April 1963
Laura's old beau re-enters the Petries' lives as Alan Brady's newest sponsor. His appearance coincides with Rob's agitation over personal finances, triggering insecurities.
24 April 1963
Rob drives himself beyond distraction trying to figure out whether Laura is going to throw him a surprise party for his birthday and, if she IS going to throw a surprise party, when and where it's going to happen.
1 May 1963
Marriage looms on Sally's horizon when she meets Freddy White, a rat fink comedian who's willing to become her husband in exchange for endless free comedy material.
8 May 1963
Rob submits a sketch about a talking bowling pin which Alan Brady loves, but trouble arises when it is revealed that a rival comedian has already used that same material.
25 September 1963
During a flashback about his early days as a parent, Rob recounts why he believed Laura and he brought home a baby belonging to someone else.
2 October 1963
Rob's unguarded gestures at an auction have him unwittingly bidding on and winning an ugly clown painting that covers another work beneath, perhaps a masterpiece.
9 October 1963
Laura disappears every time Rob's insurance agent, Ed Rubin, comes over or calls and Rob would like to know why.
16 October 1963
Rob and Laura must remarry to maintain legal marital status, but having a marital squabble before the judge may prevent it.
23 October 1963
Having unintentionally eavesdropped on the Helpers, Rob and Laura become infuriated just prior to attending their dinner party, making for a seriously disquieting evening.
30 October 1963
As director of the annual area variety show, Rob finds himself trapped between casting Laura as this year's leading woman (again) or a dazzlingly talented newcomer to the neighborhood.
6 November 1963
Following a concussion at the office, Rob winds up at a swinging party in New Jersey with no idea how he got there.
13 November 1963
Rob's energetic Uncle George comes for a visit to eagerly pressure Rob into finding him a wife.
20 November 1963
A man with suspected underworld connections asks Rob, Sally and Buddy to write a comedy routine for his no-talent nephew - a favor they fear for their lives to either decline or accept.
27 November 1963
Rob and Jerry's friendship is sorely tested when they buy a boat together.
4 December 1963
Rob hires a maid through the classifieds and ends up with a woman fresh from Barcelona who speaks no English, has a broken arm, and expects to work as a live-in.
11 December 1963
Rob struggles between his civic duty and fear for his family's safety when he believes he can identify the two robbers in a jewelry store holdup.
18 December 1963
It's the first Christmas presentation of The Alan Brady Show where he turns the spotlight upon his talented staff to entertain the TV public.
1 January 1964
Rob becomes the victim of undying gratitude and amorous attentions when he elevates a talented young chorus girl to a featured role on the show.
8 January 1964
Rob's job is threatened, and his work relationships throttled, by a news article praising him more than Alan for the success of The Alan Brady Show, all thanks to Laura.
15 January 1964
A suave bachelor moves in next door, and Rob and Laura compete as matchmakers. Rob sets him up with Sally, and Laura arranges a date with her clumsy but sophisticated cousin.
22 January 1964
Rob, Buddy and Mel have what they consider the most enjoyable round of golf they ever played, the enjoyment in large part to their stray fourth, a man they just met at the club named Joe Coogan. Good looking Joe mentions that he is single, has never been married and has only been in love once in his life while in college, coincidentally to a woman named Laura. As Rob and Joe discuss the issue further, Rob comes to the quick conclusion that Joe's Laura is also Rob's Laura, which he doesn't tell Joe. When Rob confronts Laura about why she's never mentioned Joe, Laura has to admit that she's kept some mementos of her relationship with Joe, namely love sonnets he wrote to her. Rob, on the other hand, is obviously hurt and jealous. His jealousy may increase when Laura, who has to come to the understanding why she kept the poems, decides to run into Joe "accidentally" at the golf course. She does and she invites him home for dinner with her and Rob. But she doesn't tell Rob an important piece of information about the new Joe that would change Rob's jealous outlook, which in turn would have stopped Rob from making his inappropriate addition to the dinner party. Through it all, Laura comes to a clearer understanding about the sonnets themselves.
29 January 1964
In a show told mostly in flashback, Rob and Laura invite Jerry and Millie Helper, Buddy Sorrell, and a new couple, the Gregorys -- a former FBI agent and his wife -- over to play poker. When Laura accidentally damages one of the cards, she gets a replacement deck, not realizing she's chosen a marked deck that Rob was using earlier to show Ritchie some card tricks. Halfway through the game Rob realizes that the cards are marked, and tries to figure out how to get out of the situation gracefully.
5 February 1964
The conundrum of the specific date to hold Ritchie's eighth birthday party - the only two available dates being three weeks before or three weeks after the actual date - is the least of Rob and Laura's worries about the event. Laura tells Rob that extravagant parties are now mandatory to "keep up with the Joneses", with Laura wanting to hold the party at an amusement park called Dizzyland with a guest list of sixty-three at $2 a child. Rob goes along with the idea despite thinking the whole concept outlandish and unnecessary, especially for an eight year old's party. After talking to Buddy and Sally about the issue, Rob puts his foot down and will only hold a party at the house organized and hosted by them. But as the day approaches, one problem after another arises leading to a disaster by party time. Although she feels that the disaster is not Rob's fault but that of society in general, Laura suggests that Rob keep to his word about the spirit of the birthday party for their son to get them out of the mess that has occurred.
12 February 1964
Rob Petrie suspects his illness is psychosomatic when he develops sudden and severe back pains after he and his wife Laura have made plans to spend a weekend at Lake Sissy Manoonoo.
19 February 1964
After meeting her at a party, late night talk show host Stevie Parsons invites Sally to appear as a guest on his show. The day of her appearance was a nightmare for Rob and Buddy as they had to write some jokes for her and deal with her nerves, thus not being able to do their real work. But they're happy for her especially as her appearance ends up being great, and happy for themselves as life can now get back to normal, or so they think. Because the response is overwhelming, Stevie invites Sally back for a second night. The second day for Rob and Buddy ends up being worse than the first. So when Stevie makes an on-air invitation to Sally to be a permanent guest, Rob is concerned about how Alan's show will suffer. He's right as Sally takes more and more unscheduled time off to deal with her new found fame. Rob and Buddy need Sally in the office not only as a third comic brain but as a buffer between the two male egos. Rob decides he needs to give Sally an ultimatum. Sally beats him to the punch with her own news about her long term future.
26 February 1964
With Sally's leave of absence to appear on the Stevie Parsons Show as his permanent guest, Rob needs someone temporarily at least to do the typing at the office. His suggestion that Laura fill in was just a joke, but Laura really does want to take the job against Rob's wishes. After failed secretary after failed secretary including Alan's giggly niece Jackie, Rob finally relents as Sally will know by the end of the week what her status on Stevie Parsons' show will be, and thus if she will be returning to Alan's show at all. As such, Rob can handle working with Laura for one week. Laura ends up proving Rob wrong in that she can do the secretarial job very well, and still maintain the house. However, Rob does whatever he can to make the office environment with Laura an antagonistic one. Rob has to come to some understanding of why he is doing what he's doing. Once he does, only Laura can tell him if his feelings are valid based on the reality of the situation.
4 March 1964
After Buddy and Sally catch Rob dictating his memoirs, Rob tells them the story at which he is currently: the less than romantic lead-up to his and Laura's honeymoon. As soon as Rob recovered from his illness and injury sustained in the lead-up to the wedding, he and Laura wanted to go on their honeymoon to the third rate Lakeview Lodge near to the camp before Laura's USO show was scheduled to move to the next army camp. However, the camp's Captain Lebost revoked all off-camp passes due to a theft, with no further passes issued until the thief caught. Rob was determined to have this romantic time with his new wife, and was going to risk getting caught being technically AWOL to do so. The problems were how to sneak off the base without getting caught, and once at the lodge how to make it a romantic getaway in light of the resort's owner, the boisterous Mrs. Campbell. With the former, Laura factored into the equation without actually being involved.
11 March 1964
This week's guest on Alan's show is talented but temperamental entertainer Paula Marshall. Her reputation precedes her as she is causing Mel no end of grief. When push comes to shove, she manages to get Mel relieved from his duties for the week with her designated replacement assigned by Alan to produce the show: Rob. She uses her feminine wiles to get Rob to do whatever unreasonable requests she wants - which includes him calling her Paula-Poo - which makes Rob feel like a doormat and a slightly jealous Laura feel like her husband is being manipulated by a temptress. With the requests, Rob comes to an understanding that Paula is making him do things against what he would normally consider for the good of the show. How Laura handles a disobedient Ritchie shows Rob how he needs to deal with Paula.
18 March 1964
Rob's parents, on their latest visit, tell Rob and Laura of "their future home together". They have bought side-by-side plots in a new cemetery for all of them. Rob is somewhat nonplussed at the news while Laura is shocked. It isn't until after Rob's parents have left that she reveals the reason for her shock: Rob has forgotten that Laura's parents have already bought them adjoining plots to theirs at another cemetery. Rob still doesn't see it as being an issue as they did not promise either set of parents, they themselves don't have to decide where they will be buried hopefully for years, and they don't need to tell either set of parents. Things change when Rob's father talks to Laura's father. Rob feels like all six of them need to get things out in the open, the cemetery plots only being a manifestation of their parents' competition for their love.
25 March 1964
While Laura is out and about with their brand new car, someone damages it and leaves a huge scratch on the passenger side. Laura tries to keep Rob from discovering the damage until she can get it fixed.
1 April 1964
Sally and Buddy are mad at Rob for making them work to write an Alan-less episode while Alan himself is away on vacation. They are all trying to come up with an original idea, when Rob comes up with what he believes is something never done on television: radio. He wants to write a show around old time radio characters. Buddy, Sally and even Laura don't think anyone watching television would be interested in these radio stars that no one except Rob probably even remembers. Another problem is even trying to find any of these old performers. Regardless, they allow Rob to run with the idea, even if it means losing their jobs after all is said and done. They are successful in convincing radio personalities Bert Gordon
who portrayed a character called the Mad Russian, comedy monologist Arlene Harris
, and Edwin Carp, who did fish imitations and was appropriately named "the Fish Man", to perform. However, Carp fails to disclose an issue which dogged him during his radio career and which he thought he would never have to deal with again since his last radio performance twenty-eight years earlier. When Rob finds out about the problem and the tricky solution one day prior to the show, Rob has to decide whether to go through with it or not.
8 April 1964
Laura tries to conceal the fact that there is a nude painting of her entitled "October Eve" hanging in a New York art gallery. She eventually recalls the circumstances under which eccentric artist Serge Carpenta depicted her posing in the all-together.
15 April 1964
With Laura out of town for a few days, Rob tries to figure out what to do in his spare time. Eventually, he looks in on an old Army buddy, who is at a nightclub. Unfortunately, it results in confusion that ultimately lands Rob behind bars.
22 April 1964
Rob and Laura spot their neighbor Jerry at a fancy restaurant with a pretty blonde. They suspect him of having an affair, and his lack of candor seems to confirm their fears. They try to squirm out a confession and save his marriage.
29 April 1964
Rob's fear that he might be losing his hair leads him to seek out an unusual baldness prevention measure from Irwin, a barber recommended by Buddy -- but Irwin's concoction includes ingredients that seem more suited to the dinner table than to a barbershop.
13 May 1964
Laura takes a creative writing course, and the teacher extols Laura's writing abilities. Rob infers from this unwarranted attention that Mr. Caldwell is using Laura to meet him. In fact, Mr. Caldwell's interest is only in Laura.
23 September 1964
When Laura and Rob are accosted by a drunk in a downtown bar, Laura surprises Rob by using a judo throw that flattens the man. Rob begins to feel inadequate as the "protector" of his household and sets out to prove a point with Laura.
30 September 1964
After a mix up by Mel for reservations at a lodge, Rob, Laura, Sally and Buddy are forced to spend a frightening night in a cabin that has not been used in years and is rumored to be haunted.
7 October 1964
Roger is a babysitter in high school that the Petries love. He develops a huge crush on Laura. Not realizing who is involved, Rob encourages Roger to express his love to the object of his desire.
14 October 1964
Rob and Jerry, and by association Laura and Millie, aren't speaking to each other over an argument concerning Jerry and Millie's vigilante mentality of wanting to spray weed killer on a neighbor's crabgrass infested lawn without his consent, of which Rob and Laura want no part. Their argument resulted in Jerry ripping Rob's jacket. It's been two weeks since that incident happened and they haven't spoken since. Rob thinks he's extended an olive branch by sending a written invitation to the Helpers to attend a dinner party at their house. In not hearing back from Jerry and Millie, Rob thinks that he and Laura were snubbed. However Rob forgot to mail the invitation, which Mel finds almost a week after the scheduled dinner party and mails it for Rob. So when the invitation arrives at the Helper's on a Saturday with the invitation stating that the dinner party is being held this Saturday (but was actually the week prior), Jerry is steamed since he thinks Rob purposely sent the invitation to arrive the day of in order for them not to show. When Millie convinces Jerry to go to the dinner party (which is now non-existent since the actual dinner party already occurred), the feud may escalate, unless one or the other clears up the misunderstanding. However, the misunderstanding may actually solve their problem.
21 October 1964
An old friend of Rob's shows up to offer him a job with his hugely successful but racy gentlemen's magazine. Rob says he won't do it, but Laura is not so sure. Rob is sorely tempted by the wining, dining, and the beautiful girls.
28 October 1964
Sally receives a red rose at the office from a secret admirer. The sender, a hint to whose identity is the rose's smell of pastrami, reveals himself as Bert Monker, the deli guy. Bert, who is always kidding with Sally, mentions that the rose is a first anniversary gift of the day she first stepped into his deli. Sally thinks that the rose is just a put-on, but through an unexpected encounter, Rob and Laura learn that it is no put-on and that Bert is really in love with Sally. When Sally learns what's going on, she doesn't know what to do as Bert isn't her type but she doesn't want to hurt his feelings. Until she figures out what to do, she decides avoidance is the best interim tactic. But Bert is a persistent and caring suitor. Sally ultimately has to be up front with her feelings, as Bert is with his.
Season 4, Episode 7: 4½4 November 1964
Rob relates the story of how he and Laura became friends with Lyle Delp, a convict in prison. Lyle had robbed the Petries years ago in an elevator, but then the three were trapped together when the elevator stuck.
11 November 1964
The gang from the show agrees to put on a show for Lyle and his fellow inmates in prison. They unwisely choose to wear prisoner uniforms for their show, and Rob gets mistaken for a real prisoner.
18 November 1964
Rob has written a script for a local television show called "Project Greatness", which discusses in a serious manner what makes certain issues great. Rob's script is about the world of comedy, and he thinks Alan would be perfect for the show. Alan, on the other hand, thinks it's a terrible idea as he only does comedy where he, as the center of the show, gets a laugh at least once every ten seconds. In turn, he does not do highfalutin, cultural television, which he believes his fans do not want to see. He also believes Rob only wrote it to show how smart he is in comparison. But Alan at least agrees to read the script. After reading it, Alan agrees to do the show, but he seems to agree solely to prove Rob wrong, which if Alan is right means Rob could lose his job. Laura believes that if Alan gets enough positive fan mail, he'll consider it a success. Since Laura doesn't tell her outright not to do it, Millie takes that as a sanction for her to write a handful of positive letters to Alan, and get everyone she knows to do the same. Ultimately, the show gets preempted by a week, which causes a problem not only as Rob has to endure the stress of Alan's negativity for one more week, but since Millie, the writer of fourteen glowing letters to Alan about the show and how lucky he is to have someone like Rob on staff, mailed said letters. Laura and Millie have to figure out what to do, hopefully to keep Rob from standing in the unemployment line after Alan reads the letters.
25 November 1964
Rob recalls when Laura took a tranquilizer prescribed for Millie before meeting Rob's parents for the first time, with disastrous results.
2 December 1964
Sally and Buddy get wind that they may be underpaid, and they recruit Rob to make the case for a raise. Rob returns with a raise... for himself! Rob tries to convince them that he is not a self-serving traitor.
9 December 1964
Over Laura's strong objections, Rob insists on keeping an early morning golfing date despite damp, wet conditions -- on the same day as a dinner party Laura is having for her relatives. Then as he begins to feel sicker and sicker, Rob must put on a positive face for the party rather than admit she was right that he should have skipped the golf game.
16 December 1964
Mel tells Rob that a reporter from Manhattan Magazine is coming to the office to do a story about the show and wants to sit in on a writing session. Although Rob tells Mel that he'll think about letting the reporter watch the writing staff work, Rob knows it's not a good idea as he knows that all three of them will grandstand leading to no work getting done and each of the three hating the other two in the process. He's afraid that if he tells Buddy and Sally, that they'll talk him into it. Laura, who would like to see Rob get some publicity for his excellent work, talks him into at least discussing the issue with Buddy and Sally. He ends up being right in that they talk him into letting the reporter in. An incident prior to the reporter coming in may show them if agreeing to the interview is a good or bad idea.
30 December 1964
Rob and Laura receive a mysterious gift of an attaché case and perfume. They soon learn that it is from Neil Schenk, perhaps Rob's oldest friend, who calls him "Stretch" (which Laura hates) and himself "The Kid". "Friend" is too strong a word as both Rob and Laura don't much like Neil, who likes to make himself out to be the big shot. He always seems to want something from Rob whenever he's in town - which is implied he is owed since he got Rob his first big job - and this trip seems no different as Neil plies them with the gifts and an expensive meal. Indeed, Neil is in line for a job in New York for an advertising agency that works on Alan's show, the job which is as primary liaison to Alan's show. He wants Rob to write him a glowing letter of recommendation, which is made all the more difficult as Rob knows Neil isn't right for the job. Rob has to figure out how to stand up to Neil this time and refuse to do what he wants.
6 January 1965
Rob returns from work in the wee hours only to discover he has left this week's Alan Brady Show script at Grand Central Station. An unsuccessful visit with the lost and found attendant Harry Keene (brilliantly portrayed by the always scene stealing Herbie Faye) forces Rob to face the music with his colleagues. The writing staff then receive a fateful phone call from a vagrant at Grand Central who found the document and used it as a pillow. However, after Rob's thankful embellishment on the phone, the bum now demands $2500 ransom for the vital script. Of course he settles for a lesser payment, yet now requests a 'drop' be made at a nearby park. Disgusted and anxious, Rob attends the drop point only to get drawn into a series of misadventures involving two other vagrants, a policeman, and a spoiled kid and mother on an outing. Hauled away to the police station for assaulting the wrong bum, Rob has failed to obtain the script. With hope lost and the show in jeopardy, the bum surprisingly shows up at their office building with script in hand, having witnessed Rob's arrest. Excellent pace in this episode, with many odd characters and adventurous plot twists.
13 January 1965
At a party at Sally's house (the guests who include Buddy and Mel but not Rob and Laura), Buddy is the center of attention as he plays a series of telephone pranks on unsuspecting people. He convinces his comic friend Phil Franklin to call Rob to pull a prank about a broken telephone. After the prank, an embarrassed Rob feels like a fool. Rob thinks revenge is the best medicine despite having sermonized in the past against practical joking. The problem for Rob is that Buddy is expecting him to pull a prank of his own. Or is that a problem for Rob? Buddy begins to look over his shoulder at all times waiting for Rob's bomb to drop on him, all the while Rob seemingly goes on with his regular prank-less life.
20 January 1965
Rob's brother Stacey, newly decommissioned from the army and who is staying with Rob and Laura for a few days while he looks for an apartment, comes bearing news. He is opening a nightclub in the city (in which Rob is investing) and he is engaged. What's somewhat troubling about the latter news is that he has yet to meet his betrothed, with who he has only corresponded via letters. What little information Rob and Laura can get out of Stacey is that her name is Julie, she lives in New York City, is a friend of an army buddy, and that he hasn't actually asked her to marry him yet. But he is hesitant to see or even telephone her as he's afraid he'll make a bad impression due to his shyness around women. He thinks that having a practice date with someone might help, that someone being Sally, who agrees as she sees it as a challenge. Sally gets some more information from Stacey about why he's nervous to meet Julie. The rest of the evening doesn't quite turn out the way either Sally or Stacey had envisioned, but at least they both benefit from the date in different ways.
27 January 1965
It's the day before the opening of Stacey's nightclub, but Stacey's thoughts are occupied by other things, which leaves Rob and Laura to do much of the work at the club. Stacey's preoccupation is with Julie Kincaid, the woman he intends to marry but has not yet met, and who in turn only knows about a man named Stacey Petrie as a friend of a special friend. While in the army, Stacey wrote to Julie on behalf of one of his army buddies named James Garner - no, not the 'James Garner' - who eventually gave up interest in Julie. But Stacey continued writing to Julie as himself but signing the letters still with James' name. Although he has an appointment to see Julie, Stacey has to build up the courage to see her and tell her the truth. The success or failure of one of the two big issues in Stacey's life may affect the success or failure of the other.
3 February 1965
Mel is branching out into a new career, that of television commercial director, with a script provided by Rob. The commercial requires a child actor. Instead of hiring a professional, Mel wants to hire a non-actor to make the scene more believable. He suggests Ritchie, but Rob turns Mel down, as he feels that one person in show business in the family is enough. Although Laura would have liked some input into the decision before Rob told Mel, she supports Rob, until Millie pipes up, saying that her son, Freddie, would love to do it. After Rob provides his taciturn approval, Millie quickly tells Freddie in front of Ritchie, who also wants to be in the commercial if only to be able to wear the costume (a baseball uniform) and miss a day of school. Rob and Laura feel like they're between a rock and hard place in allowing Freddie to do it but not their own son. Rob comes up with a solution: rewrite the commercial with two children in the scene. Rob's only concern is making the script appear equal for both kids. As hard as Rob tries to make it equal, Laura and Millie take it upon themselves to make it unequal, with each trying to increase the exposure of her own son.
10 February 1965
Ernie and Fred, better known as the Redcoats, a British rock band all the craze among the teen set, are performing on Alan's show, which is causing issues for the show staff if only in keeping the screaming female fans at bay. It becomes an even bigger issue for Rob as Mel asks him if the Redcoats can stay at his house for one night, since their top secret hotel whereabouts are always found out by their adoring fans, resulting in the boys not getting any rest whatsoever. Rob, who isn't allowed to tell anyone except Laura, reluctantly agrees, although Rob and Laura end up believing the worst will happen. They may be the instigators of their own demise as as much as they know it's a bad idea, they are both dying to tell someone - anyone - that the Redcoats are staying at their house.
17 February 1965
Rob and Laura are the plaintiffs in small claims court against the defendant, a man named Wylie. Despite the small amount of money involved, Rob is willing to take the day off work solely as a matter of principle in showing that they're right and Wylie's in the wrong. The case... Laura bought four what were listed as eiderdown feather pillows from Wylie. Although the pillows felt like eiderdown, they smelled more like funky chicken feathers. After smelling them himself, Wylie denied smelling anything unusual. The deal they struck was that Laura and Rob would keep the pillows for a few days, air them out, and after that if they were still unhappy, they'd discuss what to do. After that, they had a difficult time trying to get a hold of Wylie, they believe until their check for payment of the pillows cleared. Millie, Jerry, Buddy and Sally all corroborate the chicken smell. So Rob and Laura decided to take Wylie to court. Rob and Laura's problem is his word versus theirs, unless... Another problem, at least for the judge, is that Rob has been watching too many legal shows on television.
24 February 1965
Rob, Buddy and Sally have each received a bonus paycheck for a sketch previously written that Alan is reusing for a comedy special. As it is an unexpected windfall, Rob wants to invest it in something that he doesn't need but wants. Buddy convinces Rob and Sally at least to consider investing their bonuses on his Uncle Lou's discount shoe store. After seeing the store, meeting Uncle Lou and reviewing the store's financials, Rob thinks it's a good idea. He talks a reluctant Laura into going along with the decision. Laura may regret saying yes after she receives horrible service from the store's salesman, Sid, who didn't know she was Rob's wife. Although he doesn't want to be heavy handed but feeling he needs to protect his investment, Rob goes to talk to Sid about the situation. Not taking any guff from a new investor, Sid promptly quits. As Lou isn't around at the time, that leaves Rob and Buddy to mind the store until Lou's return. How much trouble can Rob and Buddy get into serving customers in a shoe store? Plenty.
3 March 1965
Laura is concerned about Ritchie since he has been coming home from school with bruises. She thinks he's been fighting. He finally admits as much, and ends up in tears when he tells Laura who has been beating up on him: Pricilla Darwell, a girl. He obviously hasn't been fighting back. Ritchie states that her attacks are unprovoked, but Rob and Laura think that there's more to the story that he isn't divulging. So they decide that Pricilla's parents may be able to shed more light on why their daughter is doing what she's doing. After meeting Mr. Darwell and sweet-as-sugar Pricilla who says she loves Ritchie and would never beat up on him, Rob can't believe that Pricilla is the bully. But an eyewitness confirms Ritchie's story. Since another visit to the Darwell's doesn't seem to yield any resolution to the conflict, Rob and Laura have to decide what to do to stop Pricilla from beating up Ritchie while teaching Ritchie to do the right thing.
Season 4, Episode 24: Bupkis10 March 1965
While listening to the radio, Rob hears a novelty pop song called "Bupkis" that sounds familiar to him. It's because he wrote it with a colleague named Buzzy Potter when the two were in the army. Apparently, Buzzy failed to give Rob any writing credit for the song. That's because two months earlier, Buzzy, down on his luck, came by Rob's office wanting to revive his and Rob's song writing partnership. When Buzzy asked about peddling the old songs, Rob verbally gave Buzzy outright ownership of the songs. Buddy and Sally believe that Buzzy probably already had a deal at the time to get the song recorded, and as such that Rob should sue, or at least speak to a lawyer about the issue. When Rob's attempts to be gracious with Buzzy result in a contemptible reaction from Buzzy, Rob decides he needs to get some sort of emotional satisfaction out of the situation, perhaps in the form of beating up Buzzy. In the process, Rob learns a little more about the true history of "Bupkis".
17 March 1965
Rob has a new tax accountant, Bert Steele, who is going through Rob's return with him. Among the receipts and such is a check to Jerry for $37.50, which Mr. Steele assumes is a medical deduction. Rob explains that it's not; Rob pays Jerry $37.50 every year for what he and Jerry call "friendship" money. The story... When Laura was pregnant with Ritchie, she and Rob knew they needed a bigger house than the one they had in Willitown. Jerry and Millie, their best friends and neighbors in Willitown, went house hunting with them. Laura found this almost perfect house an hour's drive away in Westchester County, except for one rather large approximately two meter round irremovable item from the basement. Although the best house that they saw by far up to that point, Rob and Laura, with a little convincing from Jerry and Millie (the convincing in large part due to the far distance from Willitown), decided initially not to buy the house. But the pressure of needing a new house before the baby came made them change their minds. The ensuing discussion between Rob and Laura and Jerry and Millie, another house for sale, and the problem caused by the irremovable item led to the annual $37.50 payment.
24 March 1965
Sally falls head over heels over handsome, suave Anthony Stone, whom she met while on vacation in Jamaica. All is not what it seems as Rob and Buddy uncover a shocking secret about Sally's new boyfriend that will only cause heartache.
31 March 1965
In a flashback, Rob and Laura recount to Millie why a romantic overnight getaway that evening was abruptly cut short. The couple's second honeymoon starts off well enough in their hotel suite until Laura takes a bath and Rob playfully paints a "David Niven-ish" mustache on his lip. Rob is assisted by a wisecracking hotel staff, including a surly maid, a detective and a bellboy. It finally takes a gunshot to the bathroom door lock and a locksmith to extricate Laura from her predicament.
14 April 1965
Rob and Laura have no choice but to wear gloves to an important community banquet because of an unusual accident involving dying a costume for Ritchie's school play.
Season 4, Episode 29: Baby Fat21 April 1965
Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Harper Worthington Yates has written a new play, his first comedy called "Baby Fat", which is supposed to debut on Broadway with Alan in the lead. This play would also mark Alan's Broadway debut. But Alan thinks the play as a comedy stinks, and wants Rob to doctor the script by adding more big laughs. The problem for Rob is that Yates knows nothing about Alan's dissatisfaction or the doctor job. Alan plans on memorizing Rob's rewritten lines and passing them off as ad libs during rehearsals. As such, Rob can't tell anyone besides Laura what he's doing. Rob takes the job out of fear of being fired, but Laura still doesn't think this job will amount to anything positive for Rob. The "ghost" part of Rob's ghost writing job is jeopardized when Alan, on an emergency because of rewrites by Yates, brings Rob into the rehearsal, where Rob may not be able to contain his feelings about official changes to what is increasingly becoming his better script.
5 May 1965
Rob and Laura are being interviewed for a magazine article primarily about Rob's professional life. The reporter, Mr. Waring, becomes more fascinated when Rob says that he was there but not really there for his job interview with Alan. The story... At the time, Rob was working as a disc jockey for WOFF radio in Danville, the number two station in a two-station market. To move them to number one, William Van Buren, the station manager, wanted Rob to do what many stations in the US were planning on trying to do: break a new 99 hour 50 minute broadcast endurance record held by a Houston DJ. Like how the then existing record was done, they planned on broadcasting from a department store window for the whole world to see Rob in action. Near the end of his record attempt, a disoriented Rob learned that Alan wanted to see him for an interview that evening. Nine hours later, Rob, who needed Laura's help in getting to the interview in Chicago, was even more disoriented as he met with Alan and Mel.
12 May 1965
Rob comes home uncharacteristically lackadaisical, talking about the joys of freedom. Laura soon finds out that Rob's talk about freedom relates to the fact that he just bought a motorcycle, just a small Geronimo. Laura doesn't like the idea of a motorcycle - large or small - which she thinks is unsafe since she knew a boy in high school who got into a serious motorcycle accident. She also knows that Rob is a klutz. As such, Rob reluctantly agrees to give it up. Turning that talk into action is a little more difficult for Rob, which results in a further argument between husband and wife on whether Rob should be able to keep the motorcycle. The argument results in Rob going off to ride his motorcycle. Rob gets into a different kind of incident on his ride.
26 May 1965
Rob and Laura have made a pact to get each other a nice gift once a year just because, with no pressure and no competition. This year, Rob has decided to get Laura a $500 fur coat, especially as Laura needs a new coat. Buddy, always with a deal at the ready, says that he knows someone who knows someone who can get a deal on such a coat. Rob isn't too sure about Buddy's deal as Rob wants to get something nice and genuine for Laura. But Rob eventually succumbs to Buddy's sales tactics if only to see if Buddy's ubiquitous wholesalers really do exist. Despite the somewhat shady process Rob has to go through with the wholesaler, Nunzio Vallani, that process which includes fake names, fake orders, a pick-up location way out on Long Island and a non-return policy, Rob can't argue with the $250 price tag for the exact same coat, even if the coat doesn't fit and he eventually has to get it altered. Laura is forced to pick up the coat herself from the store on Long Island pretending to be Nunzio's wife, which is difficult for Laura to do since she has no idea who Nunzio is. When Laura gets the coat home, it is not only the wrong size - it being for someone twice Laura's size - but the wrong style. Rob and Laura have to decide whether to take their loss, try to deal with Nunzio on an exchange, try to sell the coat to a female linebacker, or tell Buddy what a rotten deal his deal ended up being.
15 September 1965
Laura accidentally spills the beans on a nationally televised talk show that Alan Brady is bald.
22 September 1965
Harvey Bellman, a guy Rob once encouraged to write, finally finishes his book and sends Rob and Laura a copy. The incident leaves Rob envious over never finishing his own book. He then dedicates himself to the task but finds himself distracted by anything and everything. Laura finally has enough and sends him off to Lake Pushneck where Harvey has availed Rob his own personal get-away cabin in which to work. Will the isolation and change of scenery enable Rob to write? That's the question.
Season 5, Episode 3: Uhny Uftz29 September 1965
Rob, Buddy, and Sally are working late on the script for the Alan Brady Show. When Buddy and Sally are out of the room getting coffee, Rob sees what he thinks is a flying saucer hovering outside the window of their office. He also hears the saucer utter the mysterious phrase, "Uhny Uftz." After an embarrassing attempt to report the saucer to the authorities, Rob becomes convinced that it was just an illusion caused by fatigue -- until the saucer and its puzzling phrase reappear during another late night writing session.
6 October 1965
Rob, Buddy and Sally have an unusual challenge in writing this week's script. The show's guest is a not a comedienne but a dramatic actress, and one that is not human but canine, namely a dog named Pally. They are having problems coming up with a suitable idea for a sketch. Rob thinks he's figured out an angle, one that has been done before but probably not in canine form. As Pally is considered a beautiful and intelligent dog, she would be Eliza Doolittle in their version of Pygmalion. To pull the skit off, they would have to find the ugliest, stupidest dog in the world as a pre-transformation stand-in, which Rob believes he's found at the dog pound. They nickname their ugly dog Horrible. The next day, there is a slight change in plans when Pally is no longer scheduled to appear on the show. What Rob didn't figure is that Horrible now has to be returned to the pound, which is more difficult than he imagined it would be to do despite Horrible being an ugly, smelly dog with bad breath, on top of which to who Rob is allergic. Rather than put Horrible through that fate, Laura comes up with the idea of them being Horrible's Professor Higgins (or at least hire a team of Professor Higgins) so that they can find someone who will want to adopt him. Will their real life Pygmalion have a happy ending?
13 October 1965
Laura has just read about Clark Rice in the newspaper. The name Clark Rice evokes strong emotions in both Rob and Laura as the man who won and almost won Laura. The story... After Rob and Laura had become serious about each other, Laura was crowned "Bivouac Baby" at Camp Crowder, the title which also came with an obligation to be raffled off for a date. The winner of the raffle was Cpl. Clark Rice. Clark ended up being attracted to Laura, and Laura in turn admitted that she had a good time with Clark on their date. After some convincing by Clark that she should know about Rob for sure before committing her life to him, Laura agreed to see Clark again to test that commitment. The idea of Laura dating another man while she made up her mind between himself and Clark didn't sit well with Rob, who ultimately forced Laura to choose before Clark's imminent transfer overseas.
20 October 1965
Even though he agrees to do it, Rob is less than enthusiastic about taking an evening art class with Laura. However, Rob ends up having a great time and is the star pupil of the class, which is taught by a young, bohemian woman named Valerie Ware. Since Rob and Laura didn't identify themselves as husband and wife and as Rob was not wearing his wedding ring, Laura believes that Valerie is interested in Rob as more than a student by the extra attention he got in class and her want for him to take private lessons, jointly with her and a renowned artist. Laura doesn't want to seem jealous and she wants to be supportive. That is why she allows Rob to take the private lessons. Rob wants to take the private lessons but doesn't want to make Laura uncomfortable, especially if it turns out that Valerie really is attracted to him. Only going to his private lesson will tell the truth behind Valerie's motives.
27 October 1965
Rob and Laura attend the reading of the will left by Rob's elderly Uncle Hezekiah. After some fairly generous financial bequests are given to Rob's relatives, they are ushered out of the room, and Rob and Laura are shown a short film of Uncle Hezekiah informing Rob that he's left him his old roll-top desk; Hezekiah then sings him a chorus of "Me and My Shadow," which is supposed to be a clue to a "treasure" Hezekiah claims is hidden in the desk.
3 November 1965
As Rob naps one afternoon, Ritchie and his friend Freddie connect the freckles on Rob's back. Laura and Millie notice that the pattern resembles the Liberty Bell, so Rob reluctantly decides to follow Millie's suggestion that Rob submit it to "Odd but True," which publicizes unusual stunts and physical phenomena and in exchange pays the person responsible a $500 prize.
10 November 1965
Rob and Laura's former short term live-in immigrant maid, Maria, telephones asking for a favor. She would like Rob to help her Spanish boyfriend, Manuel Rodriguez, find a job, which will be no easy task as Manuel's primary profession is as bullfighter. When Manuel arrives at Rob and Laura's door, he has the misconception much like Maria did before him that his job is as their live-in housekeeper. He tells them that he left Spain and bullfighting in disgrace as a coward, and needs to regain his dignity before he can marry Maria. Regardless, Rob and Laura have to tell him that he can't work for or stay with them permanently, but they also realize that they have to help him regain that lost dignity. So they allow him to stay for a few days to do odd jobs around the house. After observing him, Rob and Laura don't believe he's what he appears to be on the surface. Only Manuel can prove them right or wrong.
17 November 1965
Ritchie's been giving lectures to the other children at school about human reproduction - fanciful stories that prompt his teacher to summon Rob and Laura to discuss the matter. After having a talk with Ritchie, the Petries feel they've handled the problem admirably and that no more tales will be told, but they soon hear of the lectures continuing. Finally Rob and Laura sit Ritchie down to find out what's up with him.
24 November 1965
In a story told mostly as a flashback, Rob recalls his days as "Pitter Patter Petrie," the middleweight champion of Camp Crowder, Missouri during his Army days. He also recounts how his then-fiancé Laura was deeply worried about Rob's defense of his title against a well-regarded challenger, even going so far as to suggest that Rob "take a dive."
8 December 1965
Laura has brought home a series of fantasy illustrations drawn by Charlie, the seventeen year old son of Laura's local butcher. Both Laura and Rob think they're good. Instead of buying any of them, Laura thinks that the entire series would make a good children's book, and she wants Rob to approach his friend, Ollie Wheelright, a children's book publisher, to see if he would be interested in publishing the drawings. Laura also thinks that the drawings might be sold more easily if there was a story accompanying them. Rob thinks that she wants him to write the story, but instead she wants to write it herself. Rob still believes what that means is that he will do the bulk of the work. To Rob's amazement, Laura churns out the story in a few hours without any help from him. He likes her story, but feels that it needs a few edits and offers to make those changes rather than explain the process to Laura. In the editing process, Rob changes Laura's story entirely, about which she is not happy. They decide to let Buddy and Sally be the judge of which story they should submit to Ollie. Although Buddy and Sally do have an opinion about which story they prefer, they believe that Ollie would be a better judge and that they should submit both stories for his consideration. In their want to be the published author, Rob and Laura have forgotten one thing: the drawings.
15 December 1965
Rob is questioned by the police regarding a fracas in a barroom where a woman was injured. Rob finds himself in a jam when his accounting of his whereabouts during the fight doesn't hold water.
29 December 1965
Mel comes into the writers' office with news that Alan has decided the show will go into summer reruns, meaning that the staff is off on summer vacation - or technically laid off - for two months. Although happy about the news, Rob has a sense of déjà vu to precisely nine years earlier when he just joined the writing staff of the show. Then, Mel came in with the exact same news. Sally and Buddy were ecstatic as it allowed them to take other temporary writing jobs. Rob, being relatively new in the business, had no such offers, and, without telling his colleagues due to embarrassment, was worried about how to make ends meet, especially with mortgage payments, no furniture in the new house and a baby on the way. Laura was not as concerned about their financial situation especially as she figured Rob could collect unemployment insurance. Fortunately or unfortunately, the unemployment office was able to get him a writing job, writing a stockholders report for a television tube rectifier company. He tried to hide the job from Buddy and Sally. But Rob didn't have to worry about hiding what had the potential to be over before it even started.
5 January 1966
Laura gives Rob an expensive watch at a birthday party attended by several family friends. But when the watch goes missing shortly after the party, Rob reluctantly concludes that one of his close friends may be a thief.
19 January 1966
Rob decides to speak at a public meeting to oppose a new shopping center development on the site of an existing park. Impressed by Rob's speech and by him as a man, Doug, who is his friend and a current city councilor, and Mr. Howard, a businessman who works on a committee for better local government, want Rob to run for city council. Once Rob and Laura recover from the shock of the request, they decide that Rob will at least speak further to them about the possibility, with him leaning more toward running. At the planning meeting with Doug and Mr. Howard among others, Rob finds out that there is a lot of politics involved, about which he is not too happy. Both he and Laura also find out that everyone in New Rochelle wants something, whether it be big, small, crazy or insignificant, from their local politicians. But Rob still wants to do some public good. As Rob teeters on the fence, guilt in not being civic minded enough may sway his decision, unless he can find a good excuse not to run.
26 January 1966
Rob enters into his public speaking engagements. At a ladies club, he meets his political opponent Lincoln Goodheart for the first time. Though Lincoln is short, mousy and with a nasal speaking voice, he is bright and extremely well-informed about everything. Rob, on the other hand, is tall, nervously awkward and politically ignorant but with a nice poster. The more Rob learns about Lincoln the more he finds himself inadequate for the job - but does the public want a well-informed leader or a charming figurehead?
2 February 1966
Rob's parents bestow upon Laura a Petrie family heirloom -- a huge, garish gold brooch in the shape of the United States, with a jewel for each city where a member of the family was born. Laura reluctantly accepts the brooch to keep the peace, but her embarrassment over it turns to horror when she accidentally drops it into the garbage disposal.
9 February 1966
Alan publicly berates Mel in front of the entire cast and crew for a small gaffe that made Alan look unintentionally comical. Rob and Buddy, who witnessed the incident, believe that Alan's actions were uncalled for. What's worse, they can't believe that Mel just stood there and did nothing to defend himself. Rob hears through the grapevine that Alan may find another producer to replace Mel, despite Mel being pseudo-family. Rob, Sally and even Buddy believe that what Mel needs is some belief in himself and some backbone to stand up to Alan. With some alcohol in his system, Mel, on Rob's advice since he doesn't believe Alan truly will fire Mel, decides to stand up to the bullying Alan. Beyond giving him the advice, Rob, Sally and Buddy try to figure out how else they can support Mel in this battle without jeopardizing their own jobs.
16 February 1966
When Ritchie brings out a secret document of Rob and Laura's while Buddy and Sally are over for dinner, Rob and Laura, who were initially not going to divulge the nature of the document, decide to reveal that it is their divorce papers issued by Mexico. The story... They had been married for about three months, Rob was still in the army and they were stationed in a small Texas border town called Anchor. To get away from the problems that living in Anchor was causing on their marriage, they decided to take a romantic getaway across the border into El Diablo, Mexico. What they didn't know was that El Diablo was the place were people went to get a quick and cheap divorce. For several reasons, the vacation ended up not being a romantic getaway. The problems Rob and Laura faced there were heightened by a flamenco dancer named Maxine and previous problems from Anchor following them to El Diablo. During an argument at the hotel, Rob and Laura told their story to Juan, who provided a specialized service at the hotel.
23 February 1966
Sally is appearing on the Stevie Parsons Show for the umpteenth time, but unlike the other times, she's nervous if only because she is running out of funny stories to tell. She loses her nervousness when she comes up with a story idea based on a suggestion from Buddy and the latest funny but bad incident in her long struggling relationship with Herman Glimscher and his mother: she's going to do a mock television commercial advertising herself as a potential girlfriend/wife. The gag may end up being funny, but Rob is worried that it will result in every crackpot man in America sending her a letter. As usual, Sally's appearance is a hit - except with Herman and his mother - and she does get hundreds of letters responding in jest, as her self promotion was meant to be. But when Stevie Parsons asks Rob to pick one of those letters without Sally's knowledge - Stevie who is planning on contacting the letter writer to introduce him to Sally live on the air - Rob has to decide first if he will go along with the stunt and second if he will choose the one letter that Sally really found sincere and beautiful in its approach. If Rob does choose that letter which was signed "Box 7030", he hopes that 7030 is true to his words, is Sally's type and is not a crackpot.
2 March 1966
A preoccupied Buddy Sorrell begins begging off early from work and making surreptitious phone calls from the office, so his co-writers Sally and Rob wonder what's going on. When Buddy again says he needs off early to go to his mother's place in Brooklyn, instead Sally spots Buddy in Manhattan. Rob talks with Buddy's seldom-seen wife Pickles - she thinks he's at his mom's too. Rob and Sally speculate whether Buddy's seeing a psychiatrist about his sour marriage, or is he putting Pickles on the side, for a sweetheart?
9 March 1966
Rob and Laura are in Albany to attend the wedding of Laura's cousin Edabeth. Laura is the matron of honor, while Rob is an usher. Rob sends Laura off to the church alone early as he, on order from Alan, has to stay in their hotel room to watch a fashion show on television to view the work of someone Alan is contemplating hiring as an on-air partner. Despite Laura's concerns, Rob figures he has plenty of time as it's now seven thirty, the show starts at eight o'clock ending at eight thirty, and the wedding ceremony starts at nine o'clock. The evening doesn't end up quite being as easy as Rob believed. First, he forgets the name of the church. And second, the television set in their hotel room breaks. As Rob calls in the hotel repairman to fix the set, he wanders around the hotel looking for an unused television set to watch the show. This task becomes a difficult one as the Seals, a men's service club, are holding a convention at the hotel, so there are no empty hotel rooms, and the hotel bar's television, which is controlled by majority rule, is monopolized by Seals and other hotel rules. When Rob hears that someone in the hotel is already watching the fashion show, he invading that person's space may have its own problems, which in turn may result in Rob either not making it to the church on time or arriving there in a less than appropriate state.
23 March 1966
Rob, Sally, and Buddy lose the script and have to dig through the outside trash container. Rob finds a memo from Alan Brady that seems like he wants to fire one writer. Rob starts looking for another job so he is the one cut.
6 April 1966
The entire office, including the writers' room, is getting a face-lift in preparation for a film crew who are shooting a television documentary on Alan's life. Wanting to put himself in as good a light as possible, Alan wants to stage any of the events filmed, including one at Rob's house with him having an impromptu, casual coffee with his head writer and his family. The coffee is to show that he mingles with the "little people". After Rob agrees, he remembers that he already has a previous engagement at their house for that scheduled time, that engagement being Jerry and Millie's wedding anniversary party. The anniversary party raises a totally different problem for Rob: Alan wants the film crew to come to the party. Alan wants to dictate what happens at the party. Conversely, Millie, who really doesn't like Alan, wants the film crew to come anyway to give her and Jerry and all their loving friends, including her flirtatious cousin Blanche and Blanche's jealous lush of a husband Hi, national television exposure, but on her own terms. Caught in the middle, Rob and Laura wonder if there is any way to salvage what has the potential of being a disastrous evening for all concerned.
13 April 1966
On weeks where they are feeling especially frustrated with Alan's dictatorial nature, Rob, Buddy and Sally type in disparaging remarks about Alan in their copy of the week's script, inking out those insults in the official copy that eventually goes to Alan. As they and Laura are in the office getting dressed to go to an opening night of a new play - tickets for which were provided by Alan - Sally comes to the realization that none of the three inked out the insults in this week's script that went to Alan. They feel they have no other choice but to try and break into Alan's office and retrieve the script, or else get fired after Alan reads it. With only Mac the night security man in the office, they think they have a good chance of breaking in. Breaking into Alan's office and actually finding the script are two totally separate tasks, each which may be equally difficult. But when they find out where the script is, they are sent on another quest, which may be a little more illegal in nature, but for which they have an extra accomplice.
20 April 1966
It's the beginning of a three day weekend for Rob,and he's in a giddy mood because of it. His mood is heightened when Mr. Phillips, a federal agent, stops by wanting to use their house as a stake-out post to watch the goings-on of their neighbor, Mr. Gerard. It isn't Mr. Gerard they are after, but his criminal nephew. Laura doesn't really like the idea of their house being used for a stake-out, but Rob thrives on the idea of a little excitement. Believing it being for the public good, they agree. The agent they send is Harry Bond. While Laura generally feels nervous not only with Harry in the house but also with a criminal possibly in their neighbor, Rob can't help but get in Harry's way while he tries to act the spy. But when a little trouble may be brewing at Gerard's house, Rob may have to get involved in the surveillance, as Harry is suffering not only from over-exposure to Rob, but a massive toothache.
27 April 1966
Leslie Merkle, one of Rob's old army buddies who now makes novelty movies, calls Rob. Rob is afraid Les is going to want him to write a script for him. So Rob is surprised when Les wants him to star in one of his movies. It is an experimental movie about the life of real life pseudo-celebrity Rita Rivera, a European woman renowned for her many lovers. The movie is to be shot from Rita's perspective, meaning the camera will play Rita, with all the men's parts played by those who work in that actual profession to add a sense of realism. For example, Rob is to play a writer. Rob is excited about the prospect, but Laura is skittish enough about the concept thinking it may make Rob look foolish. When Laura learns that the film is being shot from Rita's perspective - in other words, the camera will play Rita - one of her concerns is eased in that Rob won't have any love scenes with a real woman. Rob is not offended when he later learns that Les only asked him to appear in the movie also to be the script doctor. But other news that Les passes along Rob is afraid to tell Laura: that Les has instead hired a sexy Italian woman named Lucianna Mazetta to play the part of Rita. Feeling like she needs to be the supportive wife, Laura still lets Rob play the part. Rob invites Laura to the set for filming, which ultimately causes Rob to feel uncomfortable, especially during the love scene. Perhaps Laura isn't Rob's biggest problem.
4 May 1966
Purely out of coincidence, Mary Jane Staggs née Gibbs, a friend of Laura's from their grammar school days, moves in next door to the Petries with her husband, Fred Staggs. When Millie first meets Mary Jane at the Petrie house, she feels like a third wheel as Laura and Mary Jane are so preoccupied about catching up after all these years. Millie feels slighted and jealous of Mary Jane's friendship with Laura. Millie tries to get Jerry to feel the same way about Rob and his resulting friendship with Fred, which he refuses to do until he finds out that Rob, who had four free tickets to a new Broadway show, gave the two extras to Fred and Mary Jane. Rob only did so because he knew Jerry would hate the show. Rob and Laura come to the realization that Jerry and Millie are jealous of their friendship with the Staggs. Rob and Laura try to figure out a way to make Millie and Jerry not feel like they are becoming the lost neighbors while not pandering to what Rob considers their childish behavior. Through it all, both Rob and Laura, and Millie and Jerry, have to decide what constitutes true friendship.
11 May 1966
The Petrie and Helper families are heading off on an overnight camping and fishing trip. The only person not going is Laura, who is nursing a cold. Laura doesn't want to admit that she is nervous about staying alone in the house. As such, she even welcomes the company of Herschel, the Helper's myna bird. Millie, who came to the conclusion that the camping trip would be no fun without Laura, comes back to spend the evening with her best friend, which doesn't help as their collective jitteriness in being alone increases as each feeds off of the nervousness of the other. Laura and Millie try to deal with their frayed nerves about hearing all those little bumps in the night which they believe to be the worst. What could make the evening even worse is the early arrival home of Rob, who too eventually came down with Laura's cold.
25 May 1966
To extract Rob's impacted wisdom tooth, Jerry needs to place him under a general anesthetic. Rob is concerned about the procedure if only because he needs to get back to work to write a western sketch for the show which is due that day. While under the effects of the anesthetic, Rob begins not only to dream subconsciously about the sketch, but also place himself, his family and friends in that western setting within his dream. Gunless Sheriff Rob wants to rid the west of all the bad guys, with Big Bad Brady, a former associate of his when Rob was a gunslinger, at the top of that list. Rob hears from Killer Cooley that Big Bad Brady is coming to town to watch a show, and vows to kill anyone associated with it if he doesn't like it. If the show doesn't go on, he's going to kill Rob instead. Rob has to convince the cowboys of the town to perform. If he can't, Rob has to decide whether to face Big Bad Brady or go on the run. Sheriff Rob's wife, Laura, who is tired of running, thinks she has the answer to save Rob.
1 June 1966
Rob and Laura decide to put aside all else for one evening after Rob tells Laura that he has finished the manuscript for his book. Laura will read the manuscript while a nervous Rob watches her reading, he trying to gage her reaction. Their plans change when Laura refuses to let him watch. As Laura starts reading, she is excited to learn that the book is the story of their life, and she begins to reminisce about the situations written. Regardless of Laura's reaction, Rob is equally as anticipatory about the reaction of the publisher to whom he sent the manuscript.
You may add a new episode for this TV series by clicking the 'add episode' button