The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961–1966)
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I'm No Henry Walden 

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.

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(teleplay by), (story by) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Episode cast overview:
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Ritchie Petrie (credit only)
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Doris Packer ...
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Yale Sampson
Betty Lou Gerson ...
Howard Wendell ...
Dr. Torrence Hayworth
Roxane Berard ...
Miss Thomas Evelyn (as Roxanne Berard)
Frank Adamo ...
H. Fieldstone Thorley
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Storyline

Rob is nervous about the elegant dinner party he and Laura have been invited to by a Mrs. Huntington - whom they've never met - for all the top writers in their respective fields. Rob feels nervously out of his league amidst a roomful of serious writers, especially as his writing has no, what he considers, permanence. Rob and Laura really only want to meet famed poet Henry Walden. They regret having gone to the party for several reasons: (1) having to spend the evening with a bunch of pretentious but nonetheless wealthy writers, (2) never getting to meet Walden among the bunch, and (3), most importantly, finding out the party was a fund-raiser for a literary foundation, with the writers to donate part or all of the royalties from their books. With no book to his name and, thus, no royalties, Rob donates the only thing he has in his pockets, which could end up ruining his reputation, but Rob changes his mind about the gathering when he learns who actually invited him to the party and ... Written by Huggo

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Genres:

Comedy | Family

Certificate:

TV-G
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Release Date:

27 March 1963 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Mrs. Huntington: Couldn't I just call you Bill?
Rob Petrie: Why don't... Why don't you just call me Rob?
Mrs. Huntington: Oh, I apologize, Bob.
Rob Petrie: [correcting] No, that's Rob - Rob Petrof.
Rob Petrie: [correcting himself] PETRIE!
Mrs. Huntington: [to Mr. Walden] Now, you see, Henry? No one can say that name.
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Connections

References The Milton Berle Show (1958) See more »

Soundtracks

Waltz in C-sharp Minor, Op. 64, No. 2
(uncredited)
Composed by Frédéric Chopin
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User Reviews

Who's the snob here?
5 February 2016 | by See all my reviews

This is a fascinating episode, a real time capsule, in capturing the mainstream attitudes of Kennedy-era America. When Rob & Laura are invited to a party of pretentious writers & upper-class hangers-on, he's reluctant to go. It's only because the party is for noted poet Henry Walden (obviously modeled after Robert Frost) that he agrees to go at all.

What's interesting is that Rob & Laura were the representative Kennedy-era couple -- young, attractive, sexy, and open to modern ideas & the avant-garde ... up to a point. The show always defaulted to the safety mainstream in the end, not wanting to alienate its core audience, and never more so than in this episode.

First, I'm sure the all-too-fey poet portrayed by Dick van Dykes's stand-in Frank Adamo, pushing his new book of poetry entitled "Lavender Lollipops" -- excuse me, pronounced "Lavender Lollipopths" no less -- is embarrassing for the cast & creators to look back on now. The show was quite bold in presenting black characters as real human beings; but gay people hadn't reached that point on television yet.

But also interesting is that the episode is so determined to show up the pretensions of the so-called snobs -- they're definitely a bit full of themselves, but clearly decent enough & well-meaning people -- that it's Rob who comes off as the snob, strident & mocking & almost bitter. He's quite defensive about it! It remains a funny episode, both as originally intended & in revealing new ways in retrospect.


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