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The Classic Sitcoms Guide to...
The Dick Van Dyke Show
Season Five: 1965-66



"HEAD OF THE FAMILY": 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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1965-66: THE FIFTH SEASON

Year-End Rating: 23.6 (16th place)

After the show's creators announce their intention to quit while they're ahead of the game, the series ends its celebrated run at the close of the fifth year. Carl Reiner trades off producer's chores with story consultants Bill Persky and Sam Denoff, who maintain the show's high standards in a final season that includes some of the show's most fondly remembered episodes.

Fifth-year scripts are contributed by a wide array of writers, including notable efforts from Garry Marshall and Jerry Belson, Carl Kleinschmitt and Dale McRaven, John Whedon, and, as usual, Bill Persky and Sam Denoff.


127 Coast-to-Coast Big Mouth    First Aired: September 15, 1965
Writers: Bill Persky, Sam Denoff
Director: Jerry Paris
Guest Stars: Carl Reiner, Dick Curtis
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Laura faces Alan Brady's wrath after a fast-talking game-show host goads her into admitting that the star wears a toupee.


128 A Farewell to Writing    First Aired: September 22, 1965
Writers: Fred Freeman, Lawrence J. Cohen
Director: Jerry Paris
Guest Star: Guy Raymond
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Rob hopes a few days of seclusion in a mountain cabin will motivate him to complete his novel, but it nearly drives him stir-crazy instead.

Rob expends most of his efforts on avoiding writing, as he perfects his paddle-ball swing and horses around with a pair of cowboy six-shooters he finds in the cabin. The producers knew Van Dyke well enough to know they couldn't go wrong by leaving Rob Petrie alone in a room filled with funny props.


129 Uhny Uftz    First Aired: September 29, 1965
Writers: Carl Kleinschmitt, Dale McRaven
Director: Jerry Paris
Guest Stars: Karl Lukas, Ross Elliott, Madge Blake, John Mylong

No one seems to believe Rob's claim that he's seen a flying saucer hovering outside the office window.


130 The Ugliest Dog in the World    First Aired: October 6, 1965
Writers: Bill Persky, Sam Denoff
Director: Lee Philips
Guest Stars: Billy De Wolfe, George Tyne, Michael Conrad, Florence Halop, Barbara Dodd

A homely mongrel becomes the temporary ward of the Petries after his abbreviated appearance on The Alan Brady Show.


131 No Rice at My Wedding    First Aired: October 13, 1965
Writers: Garry Marshall, Jerry Belson
Director: Lee Philips
Guest Stars: Van Williams, Bert Remsen, Johnny Silver, Allan Melvin

Rob recalls his only serious competition for Laura's hand, a charming Army corporal who won a date with her in a USO charity auction.


132 Draw Me a Pear    First Aired: October 20, 1965
Writers: Art Baer, Ben Joelson
Director: Jerry Paris
Guest Stars: Ina Balin, Jackie Joseph, Frank Adamo, Jody Gilbert, Dorothy Neumann

Laura suspects that Rob's comely drawing instructor may be interested in something other than her husband's artistic abilities.


133 The Great Petrie Fortune    First Aired: October 27, 1965
Writers: Ernest Chambers, Jay Burton
Director: Jerry Paris
Guest Stars: Dan Tobin, Herb Vigran, Forrest Lewis, Elvia Allman, Amzie Strickland, Howard Wendell, Tiny Brauer

Rob discovers that he's the heir to a mysterious fortune that's hidden somewhere in his Uncle Hezekiah's rolltop desk.


134 Odd But True    First Aired: November 3, 1965
Writers: Garry Marshall, Jerry Belson
Director: Jerry Paris
Guest Stars: James Millhollin, Hope Summers, Peter Oliphant, David Fresco, Bert May, Ray Kellogg
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Rob becomes a reluctant candidate for the "Odd But True" newspaper column when Ritchie connects the freckles on his back and discovers the Liberty Bell.

Bill Persky and Sam Denoff begin their stint as producers with this episode, after Carl Reiner takes a temporary leave to appear in The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming.


135 Viva Petrie    First Aired: November 10, 1965
Writer: John Whedon
Director: Jerry Paris
Guest Stars: Joby Baker, Jack Bernardi

Rob and Laura attempt to find work for a newly landed immigrant whose only occupational skill is professional bullfighting.


136 Go Tell the Birds and Bees    First Aired: November 17, 1965
Writer: Rick Mittleman
Director: Jerry Paris
Guest Stars: Alberta Nelson, Peter Hobbs

After Ritchie regales his schoolmates with tall tales about where babies come from, Rob sits him down and tells him the real story.


137 Body and Sol    First Aired: November 24, 1965
Writers: Carl Kleinschmitt, Dale McRaven
Director: Jerry Paris
Guest Stars: Allan Melvin, Ed Peck, Michael Conrad, Garry Marshall, Barbara Dodd, Paul Stader, Burt Taylor

Rob recalls his short-lived career as Pitter Patter Petrie--middleweight champ of the U.S. Army Special Services.

Writer Garry Marshall has a cameo as the referee of Rob's boxing match.


138 See Rob Write, Write Rob, Write    First Aired: December 8, 1965
Writers: Lawrence J. Cohen, Fred Freeman
Director: Jerry Paris
Guest Star: John McGiver

The Petries find themselves locked in literary competition after Rob volunteers his help on a children's book that Laura's writing.


139 You're Under Arrest    First Aired: December 15, 1965
Writer: Joseph C. Cavella
Director: Jerry Paris
Guest Stars: Phillip Pine, Lee Krieger, Sandy Kenyon, Ed McCready, Bella Bruck, Tiny Brauer, Johnny Silver

Rob has difficulty coming up with a plausible alibi when the police accuse him of taking part in a barroom brawl.


140 Fifty-two Forty-five or Work    First Aired: December 29, 1965
Writer: Rick Mittleman
Director: Jerry Paris
Guest Stars: Reta Shaw, Dabbs Greer, Al Ward, John Chulay, Jerry Hausner, James Frawley

Rob recalls the financial strain that forced him to take a job writing copy for an electronics catalog during his first hiatus from The Alan Brady Show.


141 Who Stole My Watch?    First Aired: January 5, 1966
Writer: Joseph Bonaduce
Director: Jerry Paris
Guest Star: Milton Frome

Rob plays amateur sleuth when his new watch turns up missing and he becomes convinced it was stolen by one of his friends.


142 I Do Not Choose to Run    First Aired: January 19, 1966
Writers: Dale McRaven, Carl Kleinschmitt
Director: Jerry Paris
Guest Stars: Arte Johnson, Philip Ober, George Tyne, Peter Brocco, Howard Wendell, Helen Spring

Rob's stirring speech at a citizen's meeting brings him an unexpected nomination for a seat on the New Rochelle City Council.

Arte Johnson, later a star of NBC's Laugh-In, has a role as the high-powered media coordinator of Rob's political campaign.


143 The Making of a Councilman    First Aired: January 26, 1966
Writers: Carl Kleinschmitt, Dale McRaven
Director: Jerry Paris
Guest Stars: Wally Cox, George Tyne, Margaret Muse, Lia Waggner, Arthur Adams, Remo Pisani, James Henaghan, Jr., Kay Stewart, Holly Harris, Marilyn Hare, Lorna Thayer

Rob has second thoughts about running for city council after he meets his eminently more qualified opponent.

Wally Cox, star of TV's Mr. Peepers in the early 1950s, plays Rob's well-versed competitor, Lincoln Goodheart.


144 The Curse of the Petrie People    First Aired: February 2, 1966
Writers: Dale McRaven, Carl Kleinschmitt
Director: Jerry Paris
Guest Stars: Tom Tully, Isabel Randolph, Leon Belasco
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Laura single-handedly destroys generations of Petrie family tradition when she accidentally crunches a garish heirloom brooch in the garbage disposal.


145 The Bottom of Mel Cooley's Heart    First Aired: February 9, 1966
Writer: John Whedon
Director: Jerry Paris
Guest Star: Carl Reiner

Mel loses his job after Rob convinces him to stand up to Alan Brady's bullying.


146 Remember the Alimony    First Aired: February 16, 1966
Writers: Dale McRaven, Carl Kleinschmitt
Director: Jerry Paris
Guest Stars: Lee Krieger, Allan Melvin, Don Diamond, Bernie Kopell, Shelah Hackett, Jose Nieto, Guillermo DeAnda

Rob and Laura recall a hectic trip to Mexico that almost spelled the end of their new marriage.


147 Dear Sally Rogers    First Aired: February 23, 1966
Writer: Ronald Axe
Director: Richard Erdman
Guest Stars: Richard Schaal, Bill Idelson, Bert Remsen
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Sally's televised plea for a husband on a late-night talk show yields unexpected results--including a letter from Mr. Right.

This episode suggests one possible conclusion to the bittersweet saga of Sally's oft-stalled love life when her secret admirer is revealed to be Herman Glimscher.

Dick Schaal plays talk-show host Stevie Parsons. The talented character actor would hit his stride a few years later as a recurring player on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and its offspring.


148 Buddy Sorrell--Man and Boy    First Aired: March 2, 1966
Writers: Ben Joelson, Art Baer
Director: Richard Erdman
Guest Stars: Pippa Scott, Ed Peck, Arthur Ross Jones, Sheldon Golomb, Maria Sokolov
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Buddy's strange behavior has Rob and Sally completely puzzled until they discover he's been nervously preparing for his belated bar mitzvah.


149 Bad Reception in Albany    First Aired: March 9, 1966
Writers: Garry Marshall, Jerry Belson
Director: Jerry Paris
Guest Stars: Bert Remsen, Tom D'Andrea, Joseph Mell, Johnny Haymer, Robert Nichols, Chanin Hale, Bella Bruck, Lorraine Bendix, Joyce Wellington, Tiny Brauer

Rob encounters endless difficulties at a hotel in Albany when he tries to find a functioning TV set during the annual convention of the Seals Lodge.


150 Talk to the Snail    First Aired: March 23, 1966
Writers: Jerry Belson, Garry Marshall
Director: Jerry Paris
Guest Stars: Paul Winchell, Henry Gibson, Carl Reiner
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Fearing that network budget cuts might cost him his job, Rob interviews for a position as staff writer for a talking snail.

As Sally's date, Henry Gibson recites "Keep A-Goin'," the poem that would be his trademark on NBC's Laugh-In. Jellybean the Snail is brought to life by ventriloquist Paul Winchell.


151 A Day in the Life of Alan Brady    First Aired: April 6, 1966
Writer: Joseph Bonaduce
Director: Jerry Paris
Guest Stars: Carl Reiner, Kim Ford, Lou Wills, John Chulay, Joyce Jameson

Pandemonium results when Alan Brady arrives at Millie and Jerry's anniversary party with a documentary-film crew recording his every move.

Assistant director John C. Chulay has a cameo as the director of the documentary crew.


152 Obnoxious, Offensive, Egomaniac, Etc.    First Aired: April 13, 1966
Writers: Carl Kleinschmitt, Dale McRaven
Director: Jerry Paris
Guest Stars: Forrest Lewis, Carl Reiner

Rob, Buddy, and Sally try to retrieve a script that contains less-than-flattering descriptions of their arrogant boss before he has a chance to see it.


153 The Man From My Uncle    First Aired: April 20, 1966
Writers: Garry Marshall, Jerry Belson
Director: Jerry Paris
Guest Stars: Godfrey Cambridge, Biff Elliott, Steve Geray

The Petries' dull weekend is enlivened by the arrival of an unlikely secret agent who wants to conduct a stakeout from Ritchie's bedroom.


154 You Ought to Be in Pictures    First Aired: April 27, 1966
Writer: Jack Winter
Director: Jerry Paris
Guest Stars: Michael Constantine, Jayne Massey, Frank Adamo

When Rob is cast opposite a voluptuous Italian in an underground film, Laura keeps a close watch on the star chemistry.

Jack Winter won a Writer's Guild Award for this script, which features Rob at his most endearing as a would-be actor who can barely stammer out a line and fumbles even worse when he's called on to kiss the beautiful starlet. Ever the dutiful husband, he first asks his wife, "May I?"


155 Love Thy Other Neighbor    First Aired: May 4, 1966
Writers: Dale McRaven, Carl Kleinschmitt
Director: Jerry Paris
Guest Stars: Joby Baker, Sue Taylor

Jerry and Millie fly into a jealous fit when Rob and Laura begin spending time with a new couple on the block.

Joby Baker, a favorite of writers Persky and Denoff, made his second appearance of the season in this episode. In 1967, the writers would co-star the actor in Good Morning World, a series that bore distinct echoes of Dick Van Dyke--including a set design that afforded an unsettling glimpse of what the Petries' living room might have looked like in full color.


156 Long Night's Journey Into Day    First Aired: May 11, 1966
Writers: Jerry Belson, Garry Marshall
Director: Jerry Paris
Guest Star: Ogden Talbot
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Laura and Millie spend a terrifying night with only a mynah bird to keep them company after Rob and Jerry go off for a weekend fishing trip.


157 The Gunslinger    First Aired: May 25, 1966
Writers: Bill Persky, Sam Denoff
Director: Jerry Paris
Guest Stars: Carl Reiner, Allan Melvin
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Under Jerry's anesthetic, Rob dreams that he's a sheriff in the Old West, the only man who can save the town from the threat of Big Bad Brady.

For the last episode of the series filmed, the cast and crew allowed themselves the final indulgence of this irreverent parody of the Old West--a well-earned release of all the silly gags and priceless puns they managed to restrain during five seasons of the most deceptively disciplined comedy on television.


158 The Last Chapter    First Aired: June 1, 1966
Writers: Carl Reiner, Bill Persky, Sam Denoff
Directors: Jerry Paris, John Rich
Guest Stars: Carl Reiner, Dabbs Greer, Herbie Faye, Frank Adamo, Tiny Brauer, Greg Morris, Mimi Dillard
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Laura excitedly reads the completed manuscript of Rob's autobiography, a comical look at the life and times of a TV comedy writer and his loving wife.

High points in the colorful saga of Rob and Laura Petrie are recounted in flashbacks of Rob's stuttering marriage proposal, his faltering stumble down the aisle, and Laura's eventful trip to the maternity ward. The show finally ends where it began, as Carl Reiner's Alan Brady announces his plan to produce and star in a TV show based on the real-life story of a TV comedy writer.

When The Dick Van Dyke Show voluntarily left the air in 1966, it had already distinguished itself as the most-honored show of its time, and its demise would be lamented by viewers in living rooms all across the country. With intelligence and keen wit, the show proved that a sitcom for grown-ups could not only survive, it could thrive.

Thankfully, the lesson wasn't lost on the next generation of TV creators. When Mary Richards, Archie Bunker, and Barney Miller arrived to burst the floodgates of intelligent, meaningful TV comedy in the 1970s, all they had to do was fling open the door that Rob Petrie had so thoughtfully left ajar in 1966


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