The Dick Van Dyke Show: Season 5, Episode 16

I Do Not Choose to Run (19 Jan. 1966)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy | Family
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 28 users  
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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 ... See full summary »


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Title: I Do Not Choose to Run (19 Jan 1966)

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Episode cast overview:
Larry Mathews ...
Ritchie Petrie (credit only)
Mr. Howard
George Tyne ...
Bill Schermerhorn
Howard Wendell ...
John Gerber
Peter Brocco ...
Helen Spring ...
Woman at Meeting


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 ... Written by Huggo

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Comedy | Family





Release Date:

19 January 1966 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The title is based on a statement issued by President Calvin Coolidge about his further presidential aspirations: "I do not choose to run for President in 1928." See more »


During the election - when Laura says, "You're still ahead," - before she changes it, the results on the blackboard list Petrie-3401 and Goodheart-3422. See more »

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User Reviews

My favorite Van Dyke episode of all time!!!
5 March 2009 | by ((Yankton, SD USA)) – See all my reviews

The Dick Van Dyke show was one of my all-time favorites, and being a political buff myself, this two parter was the best of them all. After making a speech about a proposed shopping center replacing a park at a city council meeting, Rob is asked to run for his district's seat on the city council. I loved particularly that there was no alterior motive to get Rob to run. His constituents just thought he would make a good councilman. Rob doesn't know what to do despite the fact that Laura and all of his friends are behind him. I only have a few complaints about this two parter. First, Arte Johnson's role as Rob's publicity man was unnecessary and not put together well script-wise. Second, reviews I have read about this two parter all say that Rob's opponent Lincoln Goodheart, played by Wally Cox, was by far the better candidate. I don't know how much attention these reviewers were paying if they even watched. He was mechanical when he talked and looked at everybody in New Rochelle as if they were stupid bumpkins compared to him, especially when he would answer every question with figures, as if nobody else in town, including Rob, could lay his hands on that exact same information and recite it in the exact same way. I'm surprised he got any votes. But, the thing that really angers me is that Mr. Van Dyke and the producers did not find a way to put Rob's new job as a councilman into the show. Reviewers say that Rob dropped out of the race because Goodheart was smarter and better qualified. That's wrong. Yes, Rob was thinking about dropping out and came close to doing so, but Laura and his campaign manager convinced him to stay in. In the end, Rob wins the election, defeating Goodheart by seventy-five votes. As I said, this was my favorite Van Dyke episode and the best. If you watch it, I hope you agree.

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