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The Dick Van Dyke Show
Season Three: 1963-64



THE PILOT EPISODE: 1960
SEASON ONE: 1961-62

SEASON TWO: 1962-63

SEASON THREE: 1963-64
SEASON FOUR: 1964-65

SEASON FIVE: 1965-66

CREDITS
EMMY AWARDS

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1963-64: THE THIRD SEASON

Year-End Rating: 33.3 (3rd place)

The creative team expands with the permanent addition of Bill Persky and Sam Denoff, who--along with Jerry Belson and Garry Marshall--make their first significant story contributions in the third year. The new writers work under the close supervision of Carl Reiner, who continues as producer, story consultant, and head writer in the third season.

Jerry Paris succeeds John Rich as the series's regular director, a position he will maintain for the final three seasons.


63 That's My Boy???    First Aired: September 25, 1963
Writers: Bill Persky, Sam Denoff
Director: John Rich
Guest Stars: Greg Morris, Mimi Dillard, Amzie Strickland
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Rob recalls Ritchie's birth and a series of mix-ups that had him convinced he'd brought the wrong baby home from the hospital.

Of course, as Rob discovers when he finally meets them, it's unlikely that Mr. and Mrs. Peters could've confused the Petries' baby for their own, since they're black. Strange as it seems now, this relatively innocuous topper caused great controversy in 1963. After being rejected by both CBS and the sponsor, the script was only filmed after executive producer Sheldon Leonard offered to reshoot the ending if it didn't play to the live studio audience. The producers were vindicated when the gag received the longest ovation in the show's history.

Writers Persky and Denoff began their long tenure on the show with this script, after a false start the previous year. In The Dick Van Dyke Show: Anatomy of a Classic, authors Ginny Weissman and Coyne Steven Sanders recount how Carl Reiner rejected the team's first submission outright. When they returned a few months later with "That's My Boy???" the producer was so impressed that he offered them permanent jobs. "If I hadn't found Persky and Denoff in the third year," Reiner observed, only half joking, "I think I would have had a heart attack."


64 The Masterpiece    First Aired: October 2, 1963
Writers: Sam Denoff, Bill Persky
Director: John Rich
Guest Stars: Howard Morris, Alan Reed, Amzie Strickland, Ray Kellogg

The Petries become instant art collectors when Rob accidentally places the high bid at an art auction.

Guest star Howard Morris--an old crony from Carl Reiner's days with Sid Caesar in the 1950s--also directed a handful of episodes in the show's third and fourth seasons.


65 Laura's Little Lie    First Aired: October 9, 1963
Writers: Carl Reiner, Howard Merrill
Director: John Rich
Guest Star: Charles Aidman

The Petries discover that their marriage may not be legally binding after Laura confesses that she lied about her age on their marriage license.


66 Very Old Shoes, Very Old Rice    First Aired: October 16, 1963
Writer: Carl Reiner
Director: John Rich
Guest Stars: Burt Mustin, Madge Blake, Russell Collins

Rob and Laura renew their vows in a hastily arranged ceremony, even though neither is speaking to the other.

This was the farewell episode directed by John Rich, who left the series to direct feature films.


67 All About Eavesdropping    First Aired: October 23, 1963
Writers: Sheldon Keller, Howard Merrill
Director: Stanley Cherry

The Petries get an earfuI when they accidentally listen in on Millie and Jerry over Ritchie's toy intercom.


68 Too Many Stars    First Aired: October 30, 1963
Writers: Sheldon Keller, Howard Merrill
Director: Jerry Paris
Guest Stars: Sylvia Lewis, Eleanor Audley, Jerry Hausner, Eddie Ryder

Rob has to choose between Laura and a beautiful new neighbor for the lead role when he directs the annual PTA revue.


69 Who and Where Was Antonio Stradivarius?    First Aired: November 6, 1963
Writer: Carl Reiner
Director: Jerry Paris
Guest Stars: Sallie Janes, Betty Lou Gerson, Hal Peary, Amzie Strickland, Chet Stratton
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Rob finds himself the life of the party in Red Hook, New Jersey, during a temporary bout with amnesia, while Laura waits up nervously in New Rochelle.


70 Uncle George    First Aired: November 13, 1963
Writer: Bill Idelson
Director:Jerry Paris
Guest Stars: Denver Pyle, Bill Idelson, Elvia Allman

Rob's exuberant Uncle George comes to New York to find a wife and sets his sights on Sally.


71 Big Max Calvada    First Aired: November 20, 1963
Writers: Bill Persky, Sam Denoff
Director: Jerry Paris
Guest Stars: Sheldon Leonard, Art Batanides, Jack Larson, Sue Casey, Tiny Brauer, Johnny Silver

Rob, Buddy, and Sally's latest assignment finds them under the gun--perhaps literally--when a mobster asks them to pen a comedy routine for his nephew.

Executive producer Sheldon Leonard was a natural for the role of Big Max, having played scores of Runyonesque tough guys in his career as an actor in films and TV. The character's name was also an in-joke--Calvada Productions was the company that owned The Dick Van Dyke Show.


72 The Ballad of the Betty Lou    First Aired: November 27, 1963
Writer: Martin A. Ragaway
Director: Howard Morris
Guest Star: Danny Scholl

Landlubbers Rob and Jerry buy a sailboat, but run aground due to their petty squabbles on deck.


73 Turtles, Ties, and Toreadors    First Aired: December 4, 1963
Writer: John Whedon
Director: Jerry Paris
Guest Stars: Miriam Colon, Tiny Brauer, Alan Dexter

Rob hires a maid to help out around the house, but the incompetent domestic who arrives only makes Laura's life more complicated.

Maria offers the Petries an unusual gift--a box turtle with the family's caricature painted on its shell. The actual cartoon was sketched by Van Dyke himself, an enthusiastic doodler.


74 The Sound of the Trumpets of Conscience Falls Deafly on a Brain That Holds Its Ears    First Aired: December 11, 1963
Writers: Bill Persky, Sam Denoff
Director: Jerry Paris
Guest Stars: Ken Lynch, Bernie Hamilton, Edward Holmes

Rob can't decide whether to testify when he discovers he's the only witness to a jewelry-store holdup.


75 The Alan Brady Show Presents    First Aired: December 18, 1963
Writers: Bill Persky, Sam Denoff
Director: Jerry Paris
Guest Stars: Carl Reiner, Cornell Chulay, Brendan Freeman
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Alan Brady revamps his Christmas show into a Yuletide extravaganza starring Rob, Laura, and the rest of his show's talented writing staff.

Carl Reiner makes his first full onscreen appearance as Alan Brady, after hiding in the shadows for his occasional cameos during the first two seasons. The producer resisted casting an actor in the role because he didn't think a bit player would be convincing enough playing a star of Alan Brady's magnitude. "I wanted the audience to think of Milton Berle or Danny Thomas," Reiner said, "not some guy I hired for $600."


76 The Third One From the Left    First Aired: January 1, 1964
Writer: John Whedon
Director: Jerry Paris
Guest Stars: Cheryl Holdridge, Jimmy Murphy

Rob seeks Laura's advice when he finds himself the reluctant object of an enthusiastic young dancer's affections.


77 My Husband Is the Best One    First Aired: January 8, 1964
Writer: Martin A. Ragaway
Director: Jerry Paris
Guest Stars: Valerie Yerke, Carl Reiner, Frank Adamo

Rob faces a frigid reception from his co-workers after Laura convinces a journalist that her husband is the brains behind The Alan Brady Show.


78 The Lady and the Tiger and the Lawyer    First Aired: January 15, 1964
Writers: Garry Marshall, Jerry Belson
Director: Jerry Paris
Guest Stars: Anthony Eisley, Lyla Graham

The Petries stage a matchmaking competition to see whether a new bachelor in the neighborhood prefers Sally to Laura's cousin, Donna.

An early script from Garry Marshall and Jerry Belson, the talented pair who later turned Neil Simon's Odd Couple into a hit series. Garry Marshall would eventually forge one of the most formidable dynasties in sitcom history with Happy Days and its family of spin-offs in the 1970s.


79 The Life and Love of Joe Coogan    First Aired: January 22, 1964
Writer: Carl Reiner
Director: Jerry Paris
Guest Stars: Michael Forrest, Johnny Silver
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Rob is overcome with jealousy when he meets one of Laura's old beaus at the golf club and then discovers that she saved a box of his old love poems.


80 A Nice Friendly Game of Cards    First Aired: January 29, 1964
Writer: Ernest Chambers
Director:Howard Morris
Guest Stars: Edward C. Platt, Shirley Mitchell

Rob is a big winner in poker, though it nearly costs him his friends after they discover he's been dealing from a marked deck.


81 Happy Birthday and Too Many More    First Aired: February 5, 1964
Writers: Bill Persky, Sam Denoff
Director: Jerry Paris
Guest Stars: Michael Chulay, Cornell Chulay, Brendan Freeman, Tony Paris, Johnny Silver

After Rob scotches Laura's elaborate plans for Ritchie's birthday party, he faces the challenge of entertaining sixty-three screaming kids in the Petrie living room.


82 The Brave and the Backache    First Aired: February 12, 1964
Writers: Sheldon Keller, Howard Merrill
Director: Jerry Paris
Guest Stars: Ken Berry, Ross Elliott

Laura is convinced that Rob's recurring backache is a subconscious sign that he really doesn't want to spend the weekend alone with her.


83 The Pen Is Mightier Than the Mouth    First Aired: February 19, 1964
Writers: Bill Persky, Sam Denoff
Director: Jerry Paris
Guest Stars: Dick Patterson, Herb Vigran, Johnny Silver

Sally considers leaving her job on The Alan Brady Show after she makes a big splash on a late-night talk show.


84 My Part-Time Wife    First Aired: February 26, 1964
Writers: Bill Persky, Sam Denoff
Director: Jerry Paris
Guest Star: Jackie Joseph

Rob reluctantly hires Laura as interim secretary during Sally's absence.

Buddy and Rob's inability to cope with Sally's temporary absence underscores the creative symbiosis the trio enjoyed under normal circumstances. Not surprisingly, Carl Reiner's fictional staff had real-life counterparts in the writers' room of Your Show of Shows. "Alan Brady was Sid Caesar," the creator admits. "Sally was a combination of Lucille Kallen and Selma Diamond, and Buddy was Mel Brooks."


85 Honeymoons Are for the Lucky    First Aired: March 4, 1964
Writer: Carl Reiner
Director:Jerry Paris
Guest Stars: Johnny Silver, Kathleen Freeman, Allan Melvin, Peter Hobbs

Rob recalls how he and Laura spent their honeymoon in a dilapidated wedding suite when he went AWOL from Camp Crowder.


86 How to Spank a Star    First Aired: March 11, 1964
Writers: Nathaniel Curtis, Bill Idelson
Director: Jerry Paris
Guest Star: Lola Albright

Laura is jealous when Rob is appointed producer of The Alan Brady Show as a sop to the show's beautiful, but spoiled, guest star.

This episode offers a vivid comic portrait of marital discord in the painfully funny sequence where Laura chews her pot roast and potatoes alone while Rob feebly explains how he dined on chicken fricassee with the flirtatious starlet. Laura's fuming anger suggests a more complex motivation than petty jealousy: She also resents that Rob gets to travel through a world of movie stars and romantic temptation while she's stuck at home with a faulty garbage disposal. Mary Tyler Moore once observed, "Laura Petrie was nothing more than an extension of her husband and child, but she didn't question it." But if Laura never questioned her role, she was certainly no stranger to the frustrations of its limitations.

The actress presumably had no such complaints about the character she played in her own series a few years later. And yet, it's doubtful that Mary Richards would ever have considered trying to make it on her own if the seeds of her independence hadn't been planted so many years earlier by a headstrong young housewife in Capri pants.


87 The Plots Thicken    First Aired: March 18, 1964
Writers: Carl Reiner, Bill Persky, Sam Denoff
Director: Jerry Paris
Guest Stars: J. Pat O'Malley, Isabel Randolph, Geraldine Wall, Carl Benton Reid

The Petries are caught in a raging debate as their in-laws fight to determine where Rob and Laura will make their final resting place.


88 Scratch My Car and Die    First Aired: March 25, 1964
Writer: John Whedon
Director: Howard Morris

Rob is obsessed with his new sports car, which doesn't make it any easier for Laura to confess when she brings it home with a brand-new scratch.

Dick Van Dyke had a similar weakness for fancy sports cars. When the episode was written, he had recently indulged himself with the purchase of a Jaguar XKE.


89 The Return of Edwin Carp    First Aired: April 1, 1964
Writer: Carl Reiner
Director:Howard Morris
Guest Stars: Richard Haydn, Arlene Harris, Bert Gordon

Rob attempts to coax a legendary radio star out of retirement for a guest spot on a TV special.


90 October Eve    First Aired: April 8, 1964
Writers: Bill Persky, Sam Denoff
Director: Jerry Paris
Guest Stars: Carl Reiner, Howard Wendell, Genevieve Griffin
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Laura encounters a long-forgotten skeleton from her closet when a nude oil portrait bearing her face surfaces at a prominent gallery.

A classic episode that features Carl Reiner in one of his best guest roles, as the newly respectable bohemian artist Serge Carpetna.


91 Dear Mrs. Petrie, Your Husband Is in Jail    First Aired:April 15, 1964
Writers: Jerry Belson, Garry Marshall
Director: Jerry Paris
Guest Stars: Herkie Styles, Barbara Stuart, Jackie Joseph, Johnny Silver, Art Batanides, Henry Scott

Rob ventures into a steamy honky-tonk to catch an old buddy's nightclub act and winds up in jail on vice charges.


92 My Neighbor's Husband's Other Life    First Aired: April 22, 1964
Writers: Carl Reiner, Bill Persky, Sam Denoff
Director: Jerry Paris
Guest Star: Johnny Silver

Laura and Rob suspect the worst after they spot Jerry having dinner at a fancy restaurant with a beautiful blonde.


93 I'd Rather Be Bald Than Have No Head at All    First Aired:April 29, 1964
Writers: Bill Persky, Sam Denoff
Director: Jerry Paris
Guest Star: Ned Glass
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Worried that he might be going prematurely bald, Rob consults a quack who administers a bizarre vinegar-and-oil treatment.


94 Teacher's Petrie    First Aired: May 13, 1964
Writers: Jerry Belson, Garry Marshall
Director: Jerry Paris
Guest Stars: Bernard Fox, Cheerio Meredith

Rob is unable to share Laura's enthusiasm for a creative-writing course after he begins to suspect her attentive instructor's motives.



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