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

(1961–1966)

Trivia

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.
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 role Rob Petrie, was based on Reiner and the character role of Buddy Sorrell, was based on the longtime television comedy writer Mel Brooks. The character role of Alan Brady, was based on Sid Caesar.
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 re-married 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 a 17 year young damsel.
For the first three seasons of the show, Alan Brady's face was never shown but his voice was heard rarely, because Carl Reiner wanted to get a big star to play Alan. Reiner eventually decided to take on the role himself as the newest on-screen star.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, a majority of the episodes over the course of the show's five season run were based on actual events, that really occurred.
Rose Marie wanted to leave the show, when she became a widow as her husband, Bobby Guy, died. Director John Rich talked her out of quitting and she stayed until the series' end.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Morey Amsterdam and Richard Deacon were actually close friends. According to Deacon, many of the best insults Buddy hurled at Mel were worked out while the two went out for a drink after work, or a screen filming time out.
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.
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.
Rob originally was from Danville, Illinois, which is where Dick Van Dyke spent his childhood.
The Dick Van Dyke Show: My Blonde-Haired Brunette (1961) (when Laura dyed her hair blonde, temporarily) was the ninth episode filmed during the first season, but it was the second episode to be aired, because 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.
Laura's maiden name was changed from Meeker to Meehan following Mary Tyler Moore's divorce from her first husband, Richard Meeker.
Dick Van Dyke took a big chance agreeing to do this show because in order to do it, he had to leave the Broadway hit show "Bye Bye Birdie" for which he won a Tony Award. If the show was not a hit, he would have been out of work.
Johnny Carson was a runner-up for the role of Rob Petrie.
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".
Dick Van Dyke originally 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), successfully filmed and with extreme humor.
Rose Marie immediately suggested Morey Amsterdam for the role of "Buddy Sorrell" as she was signed her "Sally Rogers" contract.
During Richard Deacon's first season as Mel Cooley, on The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961), he was also finishing up the last season as Fred Rutherford on Leave It to Beaver (1957), as it was in progress of concluding its seven season run.
Two episodes were filmed without a live audience. First, 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. 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.
"Head of the Family", the original pilot starred the series' creator Carl Reiner.
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Morey Amsterdam wrote lyrics to Earle Hagen's famous musical theme, but they were never used. The lyrics are heard on bonus of The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961)'s season 4 DVD's and blue-ray discs.
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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.
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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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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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. Apparently, what Morey Amsterdam was speaking of was The New Dick Van Dyke Show (1971).
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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 longtime favorite brand.
CBS canceled the show after season one temporarily, 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. Addition fact, Carl Reiner personally said at the very beginning, that the show would not run for more than five seasons.
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In the 1959 television pilot "Head of the Family" which eventually became the basis for the show, Carl Reiner played 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, with her second daughter, Hallie Todd. Since her pregnancy was not written into the show, great pains were taken to hide & conceal this fact as a top secret.
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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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In the series, Dick Van Dyke's brother Jerry Van Dyke played his brother "Stacey", in two two-parters. Stacey was in fact the name of Dick's daughter, so this was undoubtedly done at his request. Apparently leading to his upcoming series, with the leading role in, My Mother the Car (1965).
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Voted #13 on TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time.
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The actors lip synced to their own prerecorded vocal tracks in every song performed during the show's five season run.
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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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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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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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Sally's aunt Agnes was named after producer Danny Thomas's own aunt Agnes, who died when he was almost five.
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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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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.
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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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After The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961) composer Earle Hagen also wrote the theme songs for three others. In order, the were Gomer Pyle: USMC (1964), That Girl (1966) and Mod Squad (1968).
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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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Mr. Henderson, the name given to Sally Rogers' cat, is a possible reference to Fletcher Henderson, a band-leader with whom Rose Marie performed as a child and who accompanied her on her phonograph debut, during her Vaudeville days.
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Rob and Laura Petrie's telephone number, was 636-9970. It was revealed in link of episode, The Dick Van Dyke Show: The Impractical Joke (1965), as Phil Franklin actor, Lennie Weinrib asked Rob Petrie, a question of "Is this New Rochelle-6-9970?"
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Mary Tyler Moore completely quit smoking cigarettes, during 4th season. Facts are revealed on a top favorite, of Dick Van Dyke, _"The Dick Van Dyke Show" (1961) {Never Bathe on Saturday (#4.27)_
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Laura Petrie mentioned their address as 148 Bonnie Meadow Road. In The Dick Van Dyke Show: The Case of the Pillow (1965) Laura Petrie, (in court, with Rob) said "148 Bonnie Meadow Road, New Rochelle, New York.", to the judge. (Just before ZIP codes were created).
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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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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), [the 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, being the last Tuesday. Starting with The Dick Van Dyke Show: Where Did I Come From? (1962), it televised on Wednesday, January 3rd, 1962. This and the 143 episodes, after it televised on a Wednesday evening.
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Just before TV Land replaced Nick-at-Nite, Dick Van Dyke was the master of ceremonies during a three hour special on Nickelodeon, one evening and explained his personal top five favorites of the five season comedy. He also mentioned his personal five favorite episodes of the series. They were The Dick Van Dyke Show: The Attempted Marriage (1962), The Dick Van Dyke Show: It May Look Like a Walnut (1963), The Dick Van Dyke Show: I'd Rather Be Bald Than Have No Head at All (1964), The Dick Van Dyke Show: Never Bathe on Saturday (1965). His top favorite, The Dick Van Dyke Show: Where Did I Come From? (1962).
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Two crew members' birth-dates: Dick Van Dyke & Rose Marie, their births are unique. Add their month number and day number and they will equal (the last two digits) of their year of birth. Rose Marie: Wednesday, August 15th, 1923. 08 + 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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