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The Dick Van Dyke Show (TV Series 1961–1966) Poster

(1961–1966)

Trivia

The writers' office where Rob works is a recreation of the writers' bullpen from Your Show of Shows (1950), where Carl Reiner worked as a writer. The character Rob is based on Reiner and the character Buddy Sorrell is based on then-television comedy writer Mel Brooks. The character of Alan Brady was based on Sid Caesar.
A small controversy occurred because of Mary Tyler Moore wearing Capri pants on the show. Up until the show's premiere most housewives were seen in dresses, but Moore's explanation was that most of the housewives she knew wore pants. Because of Moore, Capri pants became a huge fashion craze in the early 1960s.
Laura usually wore Capri pants on the show. The network was against this at first, and said that she had to be in a skirt for a certain number of scenes per episode. To fight this, they filmed a scene where Laura walked into the kitchen in Capri pants and came out a second later in a skirt. The network finally relented.
Sally Rogers was the first woman on an American television show to portray a solely independent and unmarried woman. Before that, women were mostly cast as housewives.
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For the first few years of the show, Alan Brady's face was never shown but his voice was heard, because Carl Reiner wanted to get a big star to play Alan. Reiner eventually decided to take on the role himself as an egotistical star.
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The first episode filmed without a live audience was The Dick Van Dyke Show: The Bad Old Days (1962) originally televised on Wednesday, April 4th, 1962. It used extra sped-up filmed inserts during Rob's dream of a 1920s lifestyle, which made shooting in front of an audience impractical. The second was The Dick Van Dyke Show: Happy Birthday and Too Many More (1964), because the cast were grieving after the assassination of President, John F. Kennedy, in Dallas Texas, on Friday, November 22nd, 1963.
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The series originally was to focus on Rob at the office with Sally Rogers as the lead female character and Laura as a minor one. The character of Laura became so popular that Mary Tyler Moore became the lead female character and more of the focus of the show shifted to the relationship between Rob and Laura. Many times situations at the office were still focused on Rob and Laura. This put a strain on the relationship between Rose Marie and Mary Tyler Moore, and while the two ladies got along well, they never became close friends.
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Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore played a married couple so convincingly on the show that many viewers actually thought they were married in real life. They did in fact become very close - "like siblings", as Dick Van Dyke said - and both admit they had crushes on each other while the show was in production. They have remained close friends ever since.
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The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961) was the last show to have its entire run filmed in black and white. The show was due to be shot in color after the fifth season, but never happened because of the cast and producers' decision to end the show after five seasons.
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Morey Amsterdam and Richard Deacon were actually close friends. According to Deacon, many of the best insults Buddy hurled at Mel were worked out when the two went out for drinks after work.
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Inspired the later series Mad About You (1992). In 1995, series creator and occasional guest star Carl Reiner reprised the role of Alan Brady for an episode of that show.
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A grief-stricken Rose Marie wanted to leave the show when her husband, Bobby Guy, died. Director John Rich talked her out of quitting and she stayed until the end.
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Reportedly Mary Tyler Moore told the producers she was older than she really was in order to get the role of Laura. This fact was later incorporated in episode The Dick Van Dyke Show: Laura's Little Lie (1963) in which Rob and Laura have to get remarried in The Dick Van Dyke Show: Very Old Shoes, Very Old Rice (1963) because Laura had lied about her age, telling Rob she was 19 in reality, she was only 17.
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Carl Reiner would often ask cast and crew members about funny things that had happened to them, then he would write whole episodes about these occurrences. As a result, many of the episodes over the course of the show's five-year run were based on actual events.
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Bill Cosby was asked to perform for the cast and crew based on the recommendation of Carl Reiner's young son, Rob Reiner. Sheldon Leonard was so impressed that he cast Cosby in I Spy (1965).
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According to Dick Van Dyke, viewers used to make bets (during the opening credits of seasons 2, 3, 4 & 5) on whether or not Rob Petrie would stumble over the Ottoman, when walking into the door of his house.
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Frank Adamo, who appeared in numerous episodes as a waiter, delivery man, walk-on, or just a face in the crowd, was always uncredited and Dick Van Dyke's personal assistant and stand-in.
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Dick Van Dyke was granted a one-week leave from "Bye Bye Birdie" to film the series' debut. During his absence, understudy Charles Nelson Reilly filled in. When Van Dyke left "Bye Bye Birdie" permanently in April of 1961, he was succeeded by future host of The Match Game (1962), Gene Rayburn. Van Dyke was so nervous about filming the debut that he developed a cold sore on his upper lip, requiring additional makeup to cover it up, and he admits he cannot recall President John F. Kennedy being inaugurated on the same day the series' filming began.
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Carl Reiner and the other writers were very careful not to use any 1960s slang in the show's scripts. In fact, references to any time period or current events are very few and far between.
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The show's production company was called Calvada Productions. The name came from the names of all of the key persons involved in production: Carl Reiner, Sheldon Leonard, Dick Van Dyke and Danny Thomas. In The Dick Van Dyke Show: Big Max Calvada (1963), co-producer, Leonard played character role "Big Max Calvada".
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Rob originally was from Danville, Illinois, which is where Dick Van Dyke spent his childhood.
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Laura's maiden name was changed from Meeker to Meehan following Mary Tyler Moore's divorce from her first husband, Richard Meeker.
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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 been out of work.
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During Richard Deacon's first season as Mel Cooley, he was also finishing up the last season as Fred Rutherford on Leave It to Beaver (1957).
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"Head of the Family", the original pilot which starred series creator Carl Reiner.
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CBS cancelled the show after one season, then renewed it. When the show finally did go off the air, it was because the cast and producers wanted to quit while they were still proud of it. In addition, Carl Reiner said at the very beginning that the show would not run for more than five years.
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Dick Van Dyke initially objected to having Mary Tyler Moore on the series, because he felt that she was too young to convincingly play his wife. He changed his mind once their remarkable onscreen chemistry became apparent, especially after The Dick Van Dyke Show: Oh, How We Met on the Night That We Danced (1961).
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The Dick Van Dyke Show: My Blonde-Haired Brunette (1961) (when Laura dyed her hair blonde) was the ninth episode filmed during the first season, it was the second episode to be aired. Carl Reiner was so impressed with Mary Tyler Moore's rapid development that he wanted to highlight her in an episode as soon as possible. He had thoughts of it being the series' debut.
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Morey Amsterdam wrote the famous theme song (with lyrics), but were never used.
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During the final season, Carl Reiner temporarily gave up his producer duties in order to appear in The Russians Are Coming the Russians Are Coming (1966).
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Danny Thomas ultimately recommended Mary Tyler Moore for the part of Laura, remembering auditioning her for his show the previous year.
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During filming for the weeks that the makers of Kent cigarettes sponsored the show, free cartons of Kent cigarettes were handed out by the company to the cast and crew. Mary Tyler Moore, then a heavy smoker but since quit, would take her cartons and the ones of non-smoking crew members and trade them in at a local store for cartons of her preferred brand.
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Mr. Henderson, the name given to Sally's cat, is a possible reference to Fletcher Henderson, a bandleader with whom Rose Marie performed as a child and who accompanied her on her phonograph debut.
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Johnny Carson was a runner-up for the role of Rob Petrie.
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The running gag about Alan Brady's toupee was based on Max Liebman, the producer of Your Show of Shows (1950), who also wore a toupee.
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In the 1959 television pilot "Head of the Family" which eventually became the basis for the show, Carl Reiner played the Rob Petrie, Barbara Britton played Laura Petrie, and Sylvia Miles played Sally Rogers.
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Ann Morgan Guilbert was pregnant during the first season. Since her pregnancy was not written into the show, great pains were taken to conceal that fact.
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Rose Marie suggested Morey Amsterdam for the role of "Buddy Sorrell" as soon as she had signed on the "Sally Rogers" role.
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When CBS canceled the show after one season, Sheldon Leonard traveled to Procter & Gamble's main headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio, to make a personal plea for sponsorship, hoping it would sway CBS toward renewal. Procter & Gamble agreed to sponsor half a season. Eventually, Lorillard Tobacco Company, makers of Kent Cigarettes, agreed to pick up the other half, and the show was picked up by CBS for a second season. Ironically, when the show went off the air on its own five years later, CBS was doing the pleading for the show to continue.
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Carl Reiner seriously considered filming the show in color as early as the third season, but due to the resulting higher production cost, it didn't happen.
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The actors lip synced to their own prerecorded vocal tracks in every song performed during the show's five-year run.
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The task of casting Laura proved to be the most difficult. About 60 actresses auditioned for the role before Mary Tyler Moore was chosen. She almost didn't go to the audition, but was persuaded by her agent.
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According to Morey Amsterdam, the show was scheduled to return for the 1966-1967 season and was going to be seen in color for the first time. However, the plan was scrapped when Dick Van Dyke decided he had enough. This contradicts Carl Reiner, who is on record as saying the decision to end the series was his alone. In any event, Reiner made it clear that he would not be returning as producer after the fifth season, and the consensus opinion was that it would have been impossible to do the show without him.
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In the series, Dick Van Dyke's brother Jerry Van Dyke played his brother "Stacey". Stacey was in fact the name of Dick's daughter, so this was undoubtedly done at his request. Apparently leading to his his future series, My Mother the Car (1965).
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In The Dick Van Dyke Show: Never Name a Duck (1962), Richie named the two ducklings Oliver & Stanley, referring to Hal Roach's comical duo, Stan Laurel and 'Oliver Hardy (I)'.
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In The Dick Van Dyke Show: The Last Chapter (1966), the series' last episode Rob writes his autobiography and shows it to everyone. At the end of the episode Alan decides to buy the rights to the manuscript and turn it into a TV series with him as the star after he finishes the variety series.
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After The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961) composer Earle Hagen also wrote the theme songs for three others, Gomer Pyle: USMC (1964), That Girl (1966) and Mod Squad (1968).
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Laura Petrie gives their address as 148 Bonnie Meadow Road.
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Two crew members' birth-dates: Dick Van Dyke & Rose Marie. Add their month number and day number, they will equal their year of birth. Rose Marie: Wednesday, August 15th, 1923. 88 + 15 = 23 (of 1923) and Dick Van Dyke: Sunday, December 13th, 1925, 12 + 13 = 25 (of 1925). 851 days (121 weeks & 4 days) differ among the two births.
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The show's pilot was created by Carl Reiner and was highly autobiographical. CBS executives decided that the main character was too Jewish, too intellectual and too New York and cast Dick Van Dyke instead of Reiner.
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Voted #13 on TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time.
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There are 158 episodes, in the 5 seasons run. First season, first 14 were 13 Tuesdays, 1 Monday. The first 15 links are, 1st: The Dick Van Dyke Show: The Sick Boy and the Sitter (1961) (Tuesday, October 3rd, 1961). 2nd: The Dick Van Dyke Show: My Blonde-Haired Brunette (1961). 3rd: The Dick Van Dyke Show: Sally and the Lab Technician (1961). 4th: The Dick Van Dyke Show: Washington vs. the Bunny (1961). 5th: The Dick Van Dyke Show: Oh, How We Met on the Night That We Danced (1961). *6th: The Dick Van Dyke Show: Harrison B. Harding of Camp Crowder, Mo. (1961), [only Monday], Monday, November 6th, 1961. 7th: The Dick Van Dyke Show: Jealousy! (1961). It televised Tuesday, November 7th, 1961. 8th: The Dick Van Dyke Show: To Tell or Not to Tell (1961). 9th: The Dick Van Dyke Show: The Unwelcome Houseguest (1961). 10th: The Dick Van Dyke Show: The Meershatz Pipe (1961). 11th: The Dick Van Dyke Show: Forty-Four Tickets (1961). 12th: The Dick Van Dyke Show: Empress Carlotta's Necklace (1961). 13th: The Dick Van Dyke Show: Sally Is a Girl (1961) 14th: The Dick Van Dyke Show: Buddy, Can You Spare a Job? (1961) televised Tuesday, December 26th, 1961. Starting with The Dick Van Dyke Show: Where Did I Come From? (1962), it televised on Wednesday, January 3rd, 1962. The last 144 episodes televised on Wednesday evenings.
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The character of Sally Rogers was inspired by Lucille Kallen (who wrote for Your Show of Shows (1950)), and Selma Diamond (who wrote for Caesar's Hour (1954)).
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Filming of the first episode, The Dick Van Dyke Show: The Sick Boy and the Sitter (1961) started on Friday, January 20th, 1961, the exact same day that John F. Kennedy was sworn in as the 35th President of the United States.
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Rose Marie "Sally Rogers" & Larry Mathews "Richie Petrie" share August 15th birthday. Rose Marie was born on Wednesday, August 15th, 1923, & Larry Mathews was born on Monday, August 15th, 1955. 32 years (11,688 days = 1,669 weeks and 5 days differ, among the two births.
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