The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961–1966)
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Three Letters from One Wife 

To help Rob, Millie sends raving pseudo fan letters praising Alan Brady for hosting a "brainy" documentary show on comedy that Rob wrote - only the show doesn't air, and the letters meant to help Rob could help him right out of his job.


Jerry Paris

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Episode cast overview:
Dick Van Dyke ... Rob Petrie
Rose Marie ... Sally Rogers
Morey Amsterdam ... Buddy Sorrell
Larry Mathews ... Ritchie Petrie (credit only)
Mary Tyler Moore ... Laura Petrie
Richard Deacon ... Mel Cooley
Ann Morgan Guilbert ... Millie Helper
Carl Reiner ... Alan Brady
Valerie Yerke Valerie Yerke ... Miss Thomas


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 ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Family








Release Date:

18 November 1964 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Calvada Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This episode marks the very first time we ever see the unobstructed face of Alan Brady (played by Carl Reiner). Previously he was featured voice only, seen only from behind, dressed like Santa (beard and all) in a Christmas episode, and seen on a magazine cover in full clown makeup. See more »


Millie Helper: Huh.
Laura Petrie: Millie, what was that "huh?"
Millie Helper: Just "huh."
Laura Petrie: No, Millie, I know you a little too well. That was no ordinary "huh." Now, what are you thinking?
See more »


References Sea Hunt (1958) See more »

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User Reviews

Fantastic Script, Great Comedic Acting
19 June 2017 | by b5erikSee all my reviews

Re-watching "Three Letters From One Wife," I remembered that this was one of the episodes that I always thought of when it came to the characters on the Dick Van Dyke Show. This episode really nailed the characters. There was a depth to Rob, Laura, Millie, Alan, and even Mel that wasn't always seen. There were also some hilarious, laugh out loud moments as well. The script was so on point, so clever, and so witty that I was absolutely positive that it had to have been written by Carl Reiner.

It wasn't.

It was the team of Bill Persky and Sam Denoff, who had taken over the job of Script/Story Consultants from Reiner after writing several great scripts of their own earlier in the show's run, who wrote this fantastic script - and they should be recognized for this tremendous bit of sitcom magic.

And the cast clearly loved the script, too. They all made the most of their lines and put a ton of energy and enthusiasm into their performances.

A lot of people forget to mention Persky and Denoff when talking about the writing on the Dick Van Dyke show (including Dick Van Dyke himself a little too often). Yes, Carl Reiner wrote a lot of the iconic episodes, but Persky and Denoff also contributed several great scripts as well, helping to cement The Dick Van Dyke Show as one of the greatest sitcoms of all time (if not THE greatest)!

This script was just one that really stood out for me as it hit all the marks you'd expect a Dick Van Dyke script to hit - and it hit them all dead center!

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