I LOVE LUCY
DICK VAN DYKE
MARY TYLER MOORE
ALL IN THE FAMILY
The Classic Sitcoms Guide to...
The Dick Van Dyke Show
Season Two: 1962-63
1962-63: THE SECOND SEASON
Year-End Rating: 27.1 (9th place)
Carl Reiner continues as producer and head writer in the show's second
year, once again contributing most of the season's scripts, with a welcome
assist from Sheldon Keller and Howard Merrill, who would continue to
write for the show through the fourth season. John Rich returns as staff
director, and John C. Chulay signs on as assistant director--a position
he maintains for the remainder of the show's run.
Ritchie is grief-stricken by the death of his pet duck.
Posing as a mysterious stranger, Rob calls Laura and asks for a date--a
prank that backfires when she accepts his invitation.
Rob recalls the disastrous circumstances that led to his beleaguered
arrival at his own wedding--battered, bruised, and three hours late.
Carl Reiner fondly recalls the sequence where Rob shudders as he summons
the courage to propose to Laura in an open Jeep. "That was my proposal!
When I asked my wife to marry me, I got chills just like that." The
producer took pride that most of the stories on the show sprang from
events that had actually happened to him, or someone on the staff. "I
would always ask writers," he explained, "'What happened to you today?'
and not, 'What have you seen lately--and how can we change it around
for a story?'"
Writer Bill Persky found that the search for storylines could become
a comical obsession. In Look magazine, he recalled getting a
flat tire on a deserted Mexican roadway. "I was scared to death, but
I was thinking, how can I put this in the show?"
Rob's imagination runs rampant when he discovers a sizable sum of cash
stowed away in Laura's secret bank account.
Buddy worries that his incorrigible brother plans to fleece Rob when
the supposedly reformed gambler challenges the head writer to a friendly
game of pool.
Rob suffers from a post-hypnotic suggestion that forces him to act
hopelessly inebriated every time he hears a bell ring.
Rob tells Ritchie how he was given the middle name Rosebud in order
to settle a feud that raged among his grandparents before he was born.
Rob is concerned that Sally may be developing romantic illusions about
Ric Vallone, the handsome singer who's been flirting with her all week.
Rob and Laura recount vastly different versions of a spat that sent
Rob storming out of the house.
Rob suspects foul play when Buddy and Sally mysteriously disappear
together every weekend.
Rob and Laura worry that Ritchie may be suffering from an overactive
imagination when he complains that he's been attacked by a giant woodpecker.
A sudden fit of uncontrollable sneezing has Rob worried that he's developed
an allergic reaction to Laura.
Rob is afraid that Jerry will never forgive him after he lets another
dentist perform emergency work on his teeth.
Rob has his hands full directing the latest neighborhood variety show;
none of the husbands are too keen on letting their wife play
Guest star Bob Crane would move on to a regular spot on The Donna
Reed Show before he assumed the lead role in CBS's long-running
wartime sitcom Hogan's Heroes.
Rob and Laura are unable to unravel the mystery of how a cat burglar
stole their living-room set without leaving any clues.
The TV weather girl from Rob's hometown asks him to help her land a
role on The Alan Brady Show--a proposition that Laura eyes with
Rob responds to Laura's jealousy by accusing her of sounding "exactly
like one of those wives in a situation comedy." That such a comment
could be delivered without self-consciousness offers a clue to the show's
growing sophistication. The world of the Petries had become so real
that we could easily envision Rob and Laura sitting through annoying
half-hour comedies, just as we did.
Rob faces the fury of a woman scorned in a flashback that recounts
how he lowered the boom on his hometown sweetheart after his engagement
Laura feels betrayed when Rob tells a TV interviewer how she inspired
most of the outlandish domestic situations featured on The Alan Brady
Jerry Paris began his long tenure as the primary director of The
Dick Van Dyke Show with this episode. John Rich recalls how he came
to appoint the actor as his successor when he left the series to direct
feature films. "Carl and Sheldon were worried about what would happen
to the show," he remembers. "But it was already firmly on the tracks.
The cast and the writing were so solid, I told them, that anyone could
direct the show--I looked around, and Jerry happened to be standing
there--even him. Actually, Jerry turned out to be a fine director.
He did an excellent job."
The show's creator recalls a different account of how the talented
director found his calling. According to Carl Reiner, Paris had been
anxious to direct from the very start. "But he was such a fidgety guy,
no one thought he'd be very good as a director. After John left, we
finally gave Jerry a chance, and he did better than anyone dreamed.
He finally surprised us all."
When Buddy and Sally refuse to join Rob in an impulsive walkout, he
recalls his tempestuous early days as a writer on The Alan Brady
A late-show thriller gives Rob a nightmare about a world-domination
plot cooked up by an alien who looks exactly like Danny Thomas.
The Petries' latest skirmish springs from Rob's annoying habit of always
picking up the check when they're out with friends.
Laura gives Rob the silent treatment on the ride home from the restaurant
as he tries to figure out just what he did that got her so riled. "Well,"
she finally volunteers, "I think it's pretty terrible not to be able
to send our son to college." And from that marvelous leap in logic,
the quarrel escalates in a funny, dizzying spiral, and we laugh as we
recognize how in comedy--as well as in marriage--what isn't said often
reveals more than what is.
Fearing disaster, Laura warns Rob not to go on a weekend ski trip and
then blames herself for the inevitable accident.
Laura hires a flamboyant artist to paint the living-room walls but
has second thoughts when the ingratiating con man takes over the entire
Rob convinces Laura and the gang to stage a variety show at an old
pal's Catskills resort.
Rob and his old Army pal revive their old Laurel and Hardy routine
in what amounts to Dick Van Dyke's own heartfelt homage to the movie
comedy team. The star frequently acknowledged Stan Laurel's influence
on his work, especially the screen comedian's talent for "taking one
simple prop and doing fifteen minutes with it"--a gift that would also
prove to be Van Dyke's forte in the many extended solo bits that would
appear in later episodes.
Buddy and Sally are puzzled when Rob vanishes every time the show's
handsome French guest star walks in.
Writer Bill Idelson appeared in a handful of episodes as Sally's forlorn
boyfriend, Herman Glimscher. He continued to forge a distinguished career
as a comedy writer and eventually produced much of the first year of
MTM's The Bob Newhart Show.
Rob feels self-conscious when he discovers that he's the only comedy
writer at a literary gathering.
Carl Reiner does a lively bit as Yale Sampson, an English philosopher
prone to double-talk. The canny producer supplied himself with ample
opportunities to chew scenery, even after he assumed the on camera role
of Alan Brady in the show's third year.
Alan Brady's summer replacement is Tracy Rattigan, a lecherous flirt
who tests Rob's patience when he zeroes in on Laura.
Richard Dawson later discovered enormous popularity as a game-show
host, though not before he would log scores of sitcom appearances--including
regular roles on Hogan's Heroes and in the final incarnation
of The New Dick Van Dyke Show in the early seventies.
Rob plays amateur marriage counselor when Buddy threatens to divorce
Pickles over a silly misunderstanding.
Rob makes a fool of himself by attempting to outdo Laura's old boyfriend,
a suave and wealthy industrialist.
Rob tries to second-guess Laura's plan to surprise him on his birthday.
Sally's latest heartthrob is a stand-up comic who's badly in need of
a new writer, which is exactly what Rob and Buddy suspect he's after.
Ritchie helps his dad overcome a bout with writer's block when the
boy inadvertently causes Rob to plagiarize a sketch idea from a TV kid's