THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW:
THE COMPLETE SERIES
- QUICK DVD STATS:
- NUMBER OF DISCS -- 25 (Single-Sided; Dual-Layered)
- VIDEO -- Full Frame 1.33:1 (OAR)
- AUDIO -- English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
- SUBTITLES -- None
- "PLAY ALL" OPTION? -- Yes
- SPECIAL FEATURES -- A whole bunch (details below)
- DVD RELEASE DATE -- May 24, 2005 (Image Entertainment)
- DVD PACKAGING (LARGE VIEW)
If you're looking for a super-sensational, tantalizingly-terrific, and spectacularly-massive DVD set containing some of the greatest comedy moments in television history, then look no further than "THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW: THE COMPLETE SERIES", a colossal 25-Disc DVD set featuring every episode ever made of "The Dick Van Dyke Show" (the multiple Emmy Award-winning CBS-TV comedy series which ran from 1961 to 1966).
The Complete Series DVD collection, which was originally released on May 24, 2005, holds all five seasons of the perpetually-entertaining Van Dyke Show -- 158 total episodes -- all restored and remastered by Image Entertainment and Paul Brownstein Productions, with each episode exhibiting excellent video and audio quality. And every single program is complete and unedited. The average running time per episode is a shade more than 25 minutes.
Each of the twenty-five single-sided discs gets its own individual slim plastic case. Each case has unique cover art, featuring a different publicity still photo on the front.
The 25 discs in this Mega-Set are placed side-by-side inside a large outer box. For an up-close look at the packaging, CLICK HERE. (And then click on the picture itself to blow up the image to an even larger size.)
Image Entertainment distributed five separate seasonal "Dick Van Dyke Show" DVD boxed sets in 2003 and 2004, with each of those sets coming with a 5-Disc slipcase box, with each of the boxes representing a facsimile of an old-fashioned black-and-white television set (right down to the simulated "vent holes" on the back).
However, those separate seasonal slipcases are not included in the 25-Disc Mega-Set, which is a shame, because the smaller boxes for the individual season sets are easier to handle and much easier to extract a single disc from.
The huge Complete Series box is a bit cumbersome and not all that thick or sturdy. Bent corners are probably commonplace after shipping this set through the mail. In fact, mine arrived with two damaged corners. :(
As mentioned, the video quality is very good on these DVDs. Considering the considerable age of these television programs, I think it's safe to say, due to the intense and lengthy restoration and remastering process that was undertaken here, that these episodes have never looked any better.
The black-and-white photography is sharp and clear, bringing out some details you probably never knew were even there while watching these episodes originally in the 1960s on the smaller 19-inch (or even smaller) monitors of the era.
A few of the episodes (mainly in Season 1) do suffer from some slight "fluttering" (for lack of a better term). That is to say, some portions of a few episodes have a bit of a "blurred" look to them in some scenes (particularly noticeable in the "wider" shots, as opposed to the close-ups, which aren't marked by the curious "flutter").
This slight imperfection in video quality (which affects just a few random episodes) isn't enough of a distraction, however, to reduce the enjoyment of any of these Van Dyke programs, in my opinion. And I'm guessing that this "flutter"/"blur" problem that exists on some of the episodes probably won't even be noticed by viewers who watch these DVDs on a smaller TV screen. On a larger screen, you might notice more irregularities and anomalies.
Gobs and gobs of supplemental bonus features are also included on the twenty-five DVDs, including: Audio Commentary Tracks on several episodes (sporting the voices of Dick Van Dyke, Carl Reiner, Rose Marie, and others), along with cast interviews, vintage 1960s TV commercials, documentaries, featurettes, Emmy Award video clips, photo galleries, behind-the-scenes rehearsal footage, trivia games, CBS-TV promos, some hidden Easter Eggs to seek out, and lots of other little interesting extra tidbits besides.
There are even full-length TV-show bonuses included on selected discs, including a complete episode of "The Danny Thomas Show" (which has Morey Amsterdam popping up as his Van Dyke Show character, "Buddy Sorrell").
Other complete TV-show extras include the original Pilot episode for the Van Dyke series; plus a full-length 46-minute CBS-TV Van Dyke Show documentary made in the mid-1990s; and an absolutely-outstanding and ultra-fun-to-watch episode of a 1962 television game show entitled "Stump The Stars" (aka: "Mike Stokey's Pantomime Quiz"), which has several Van Dyke Show cast members playing a lively charades game. Great, great fun.
A nicely-constructed 12-page booklet, packed with interesting info about the series, is also a part of this Dick Van Dyke Show DVD-Video bonanza too. The booklet also includes several photos of the cast and crew (with some of the pictures being printed in color).
NOTE --- Rest assured that every bonus item that can be found on the five individual DVD season sets can also be located within this Complete Series monster set as well. The discs in this mega-collection are identical to those found in the individual sets.
For a detailed list of the abundant amount of bonus material that is included on these 25 "Dick Van Dyke" discs (including all of the hidden "Easter Eggs"), check out my individual season reviews linked below:
Among the special features that are detailed at the links above, here are my personal favorite bonus supplements:
- My very favorite bonus feature is on the fifth disc of Season Two, when we're treated to four members of the Van Dyke Show cast appearing on a 1962 episode of a CBS-TV game show called "Stump The Stars". Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore, Morey Amsterdam, and Rose Marie compete in this charades-style game against the game show's "regulars", which include the likes of Sebastian Cabot, Ross Martin, and others.
The "Stump The Stars" bonus is not just a clip or two from the show either -- it's the entire episode, running 27 minutes. A humorous commercial for Wheat Chex cereal is also included. This game-show bonus exhibits very good picture quality too. It's just great, great stuff. Very fun to watch.
Let me say, also, that all of the players involved in that game show are excellent at playing the game too. You can tell the Van Dyke Show cast had been practicing in anticipation of their appearance on this Pat Harrington-hosted program.
- Another first-rate bonus appears on a Season Four DVD -- the complete, uncut CBS-TV documentary "The Dick Van Dyke Show Remembered" (made in 1994). It's a darn good program too. The run time for this bonus is 46:35.
- A very fun bonus item pops up on one of the discs in Season Five -- A 7-minute clip from the April 1969 TV Special "Dick Van Dyke And The Other Woman". It's not a song-and-dance clip with Dick and Mary (probably because no music rights could be secured for such a clip); instead, it's a "look back" at "The Dick Van Dyke Show". A film clip is provided from the episode "The Impractical Joke".
But the thing that makes this bonus feature priceless is an "outtake" from the fifth-season episode "You Ought To Be In Pictures", which is actually an "alternate take" of a scene in that episode. In this hilarious alternate version of the scene, Dick Van Dyke (Rob) deliberately goes way over the top, as he overacts, cries, and carries on in baby-like fashion. You'll be rolling on the floor after seeing this.
[NOTE -- The "Stump The Stars" episode featuring the Dick Van Dyke Show cast can be watched in its entirety below. I've also got some screen captures from that game show at another one of my websites, HERE.]
Coming up next is my Mega Episode List -- a look at all 158 Dick Van Dyke programs (plus the Pilot) that can be found at your digital fingertips within this gigantic 5-Season DVD collection.
I've laid out this Program Guide in the same order in which the episodes are arranged on the 25 DVDs, which is a "Film Date" order, instead of the "Air Date" chronology. (Note -- There's a slight mix-up in the proper order of the shows on Disc 2 of Season 4. The order shown below is how the shows should have been arranged on that disc, but the actual disc has them in a different order.)
The original CBS-TV air dates have also been mentioned in my list below, plus I've added in some selected program descriptions, anecdotes, and funny dialogue for many of my favorite shows.
And there's a picture from each episode as well, which I've captured directly from the DVDs. Click on each image to see a larger version.
If you begin to suffer from a slight case of "Van Dyke Show Overload" before you're able to finish reading the following tome/guide, I can fully understand. In such a case, stop reading at once and then take two walnuts from Laura's egg carton and wash them down with a glass of fresh air. You should feel better shortly.
And if the following batch of non-stop Dick Van Dyke Show nostalgia still isn't enough for you, then you can always
NOTE -- The links attached to the titles of each of the episodes listed below will take you to an Amazon Video page, with options for purchasing a single episode or a complete season of "The Dick Van Dyke Show":
PILOT EPISODE -- "Head Of The Family" -- Starring Carl Reiner in the role of Rob Petrie. Featuring Barbara Britton as Laura, Morty Gunty as Buddy Sorrell, and Sylvia Miles as Sally Rogers.
"Head Of The Family" was filmed in early December of 1958, but it didn't get its one and only network television airing until more than a year-and-a-half later, when CBS aired it on Tuesday, July 19, 1960.
SEASON #1 (1961-1962):
1. The Sick Boy And The Sitter (First Aired: 10/3/61) .... The premiere episode of "The Dick Van Dyke Show" does a fine job of introducing America to Rob and Laura Petrie (and company). Young son Ritchie is a little under the weather, and Laura senses that something bad is about to happen at home when she reluctantly agrees to attend a party with Rob at Alan Brady's house.
The assorted talents of Dick Van Dyke, Morey Amsterdam, and Rose Marie are put on display during the "party" scene at Alan's house. Mary Tyler Moore's considerable dancing and comedic (and crying) talents, however, aren't fully realized in this debut show; but those MTM traits shine through nicely in the episodes soon to follow.
Ritchie Petrie (played by 5-year-old Larry Mathews) is given numerous funny lines in this first episode of the series, and he's never been cuter. .... "Do I feel hungry, mommy?"
2. The Meershatz Pipe (11/28/61) .... Rob is the one who gets sick in episode #2, with his ego and pride taking a beating when he feels he's not needed down at the office. .... "I sound this way because my wife thinks I've got a cold."
3. Jealousy! (11/7/61) .... A first-rate episode, highlighting Laura's insecurities when Rob has to work late at the office with a beautiful female, "Valerie Blake", who is guest-starring on "The Alan Brady Show". .... "You've been very busy blakely!"
4. Sally And The Lab Technician (10/17/61) .... "I can't remember when I laughed that much. I found myself laughing out loud -- right out loud!"
5. Washington vs. The Bunny (10/24/61)
6. Oh How We Met The Night That We Danced (10/31/61) .... A great flashback episode, the first of many such "Let's Go Back In Time" shows, detailing how Rob and Laura first met while Rob was in the Army.
7. The Unwelcome House Guest (11/21/61)
8. Harrison B. Harding Of Camp Crowder, Mo. (11/6/61) .... One of my all-time favorite episodes. When Harrison B. Harding drops by for a visit, Rob can't seem to remember who this guy is. To his later embarrassment, Rob calls the police on Mr. Harding after deciding Harrison might be some kind of shady character. .... "Give me a napkin, quick! -- Tomato juice in my ear."
Just after the hilarious "tomato juice in my ear" portion of this episode, watch carefully as Rob ever-so-gently places the glass back onto the exact same part of the wall where he had it previously. It must have left a 'ring', and Rob didn't want to create a second such ring.
9. My Blonde-Haired Brunette (10/10/61) .... This extremely funny episode has Laura deciding to dye her hair blonde in order to spice up her marriage. But she soon regrets that decision. .... "I told you, I never dyed before!" .... "And the GRAY HAIR!!"
10. Forty-Four Tickets (12/5/61) .... Rob's faulty memory causes him some problems in this episode (44 problems to be precise). Watch for Rob's/Dick's outstanding (and seemingly effortless) head-over-heels pratfall at the very beginning of this show.
11. To Tell Or Not To Tell (11/14/61) .... "Can I just say something? Va-va-va-voom!"
12. Sally Is A Girl (12/19/61)
13. Empress Carlotta's Necklace (12/12/61) .... This episode is just fantastic. It features just about everything that makes this television series so fabulous and timeless and charming -- great natural humor brought out by life's ordinary occurrences, plus the genuinely heartfelt tenderness and love that exists between the two main characters (Rob and Laura Petrie). We can really feel Laura's sincerity in the scene where she apologizes to Rob for having suggested giving the necklace to Rob's mom.
Gavin MacLeod puts in a very funny performance here as Mel Cooley's jewelry-selling cousin, "Maxwell", who (like Mel) is bald as a cue ball. .... "You see, Maxwell doesn't have any overhead." --> "Kind of runs in the family, don't it?"
14. Buddy, Can You Spare A Job? (12/26/61)
15. Who Owes Who What? (1/24/62) .... "Here's three dollars -- I owe you seventeen."
16. Sol And The Sponsor (4/11/62) .... "You're both named Henry? That's crazy!"
17. The Curious Thing About Women (1/10/62) .... A classic. A first-class script, a curious female named Laura, and lots of very funny moments. .... "Honey, did a package come for me?"
18. Punch Thy Neighbor (1/17/62) .... Another fave, with Jerry Paris (as neighbor Jerry Helper) playing a major role here. Frank Adamo, frequently seen in small bit parts throughout the series, pops up again in this episode. He plays a messenger who delivers a singing telegram to Rob, and he gets to read (sing) a very funny rhyming message sent to Rob by the wisecracking Jerry:
"Robert Petrie wrote a show,
Supposed to be funny, ho-ho-ho;
Look how far this man has gotten,
Writing shows that are really rotten!"
19. Where Did I Come From? (1/3/62) .... Rob's physical humor is a highlight of this flashback show. The "Perfectly Placed Hat On The Bedboard" scene is always worth a big laugh, no matter how many times you've seen it. .... "Oh, I really need my pants today, Rob; I'm having lunch with the sponsor."
20. The Boarder Incident (2/14/62)
21. A Word A Day (2/7/62)
22. The Talented Neighborhood (1/31/62) .... Will Rob survive the agony of the annual "Most Talented Child" contest? .... Watch for character actor Ken Lynch in a highly unusual role for him -- incredibly, he's NOT playing a policeman. And also watch for Rob's cool-looking tiger pajamas, too.
23. Father Of The Week (2/21/62)
24. The Twizzle (2/28/62)
25. One Angry Man (3/7/62) .... A proverbial "lone juror holdout" episode. Rob, naturally, is the only juror voting "not guilty". The scenes in the courtroom highlight this show. .... "What's the matter with the way I ogled her?"
26. Where You Been, Fassbinder? (3/14/62)
27. The Bad Old Days (4/4/62) .... "Why don't you wash your hair?! You disgust me!!"
28. I Am My Brother's Keeper (3/21/62)* .... Jerry Van Dyke makes his first of several funny appearances as Rob's brother "Stacey".
29. The Sleeping Brother (3/28/62)*
30. The Return Of Happy Spangler (4/18/62) .... Season One concludes with more first-rate physical humor from Dick Van Dyke. In lesser-talented hands, Rob's "lecture on comedy" would not have been nearly as funny. But Dick has that magic "something" that can turn a scene that might otherwise be "ordinary" into pure comic gold.
SEASON #2 (1962-1963):
31. Never Name A Duck (9/26/62)
32. The Two Faces Of Rob (10/3/62) .... I love this particular episode. Rob's telephone gag aimed at Laura backfires on him, and large quantities of hilarity follow. .... "Like you said mommy, 'dolce far niente'!"
33. Bank Book 6565696 (10/17/62) .... "A 378-dollar sports shirt?"
34. The Attempted Marriage (10/10/62)
35. Hustling The Hustler (10/24/62) .... We get our only look at Buddy Sorrell's brother ("Blackie") in this show. And we also are afforded our lone gander at the pool table in the basement of the Petries' house in New Rochelle, New York (which really can't be down there in the first place, due to the fact that "the rock" is prohibiting a full-sized billiard table from being installed in the Petrie basement; but the "rocky" details of Rob's basement aren't revealed until Season 4, in episode #119).
36. What's In A Middle Name? (11/7/62) .... Ritchie discovers why he's been saddled with the middle name of "Rosebud". .... "If it's a boy, 'Ulysses David'; if it's a girl, 'Ulyssia Davida'!"
37. My Husband Is Not A Drunk (10/31/62) .... Charles Aidman (who also plays an insurance salesman named "Ed Rubin" in another Van Dyke episode) plays hypnotist "Glen Jameson" in this Halloween 1962 installment. This episode is a funny one, but it also ranks as one of most unbelievable and unrealistic in several respects. .... "Oh, Doctor Zorba! Just because I disobeyed you, you didn't have to cut off all your hair!!"
38. Like A Sister (11/14/62) .... Vic Damone guest stars as a love interest for the forever-single and "always-looking" Sally Rogers. Vic's musical number is a really good one, too.
39. The Night The Roof Fell In (11/21/62) .... Another very good flashback show, featuring different versions of a rare fight between Rob and Laura. .... "Why don't you fix yourself up?!"
40. The Secret Life Of Buddy And Sally (11/28/62) .... "I gotta no -- slike a ban -- anna." --> "Now say the whole thing." --> "I gotta nose like a banana."
41. A Bird In The Head Hurts (12/5/62) .... This is the "Ritchie Gets Attacked By A Giant Woodpecker" episode. Ritchie gets a big laugh when he enters the house wearing a pith helmet and sunglasses (in an effort to ward off that pesky bird). Laura's bent pot is another highlight here.
42. Gesundheit, Darling (12/12/62) .... Another extremely funny show from the desk of creator Carl Reiner. Rob can't stop sneezing, and Laura thinks SHE is the cause. Keep the rewind button handy when Rob comes home after a sneeze-free day at the office, only to immediately start sneezing after one kiss to Laura's cheek.
43. A Man's Teeth Are Not His Own (12/19/62) .... Rob busts a tooth and his dentist (Jerry Helper) is out of town. It's quite a dilemma for poor Rob. One of the top highlights here is when Mel gives Rob some ice water when Rob is in severe pain from his broken tooth. Rob's reaction is worth at least one replay.
44. Somebody Has To Play Cleopatra (12/26/62) .... Bob Crane puts in a humorous guest appearance. .... "Once I get the 'hemlet' on Rob." .... "Harry!! GET...IN...THE...CAR!!!"
45. The Cat Burglar (1/2/63) .... This episode features one of the very best scenes in the whole series -- the scene where the musical jewelry box seems to be hooked up to the bedroom door, with Rob quickly closing the door as he looks around, wondering where in the world that music's coming from. It's a brilliant comedy moment that demands multiple instant replays every time this episode is cued up.
"The Cat Burglar" also contains probably the most logic gaps of any single episode in the entire Van Dyke series. Here's what I mean by that.
46. The Foul-Weather Girl (1/9/63)
47. Will You Two Be My Wife? (1/16/63)
48. Ray Murdock's X-Ray (1/23/63) .... Rob is interviewed on TV and reveals some not-too-flattering details about wife Laura. .... "Rob, go to your room!"
49. I Was A Teenage Head Writer (1/30/63)
50. My Husband Is A Check-Grabber (2/13/63) .... Time for some more (funny) flashback sequences. This is yet another dandy episode that makes this TV series so immeasurably "rewatchable". And we also get a rare look at the Petries' car.
51. It May Look Like A Walnut (2/6/63) .... Danny Thomas pops up in Rob and Laura's dreams as "Kolac" from the planet "Twilo" (serving as a spoof and a tribute to the series "The Twilight Zone"). Keep an eye on your thumbs. .... "Why, without my thumbs, I couldn't type."
52. Don't Trip Over That Mountain (2/20/63) .... Despite Laura's warnings, "klutz" Rob goes skiing. Guess what happens? .... "Laura probably pictures me in some strange hospital, all crippled and banged-up -- oooh [ouch]!"
53. Give Me Your Walls (2/27/63)
54. The Sam Pomerantz Scandals (3/6/63)
55. I'm No Henry Walden (3/27/63) .... Everett Sloane puts in a guest appearance here. And watch for Carl Reiner, not as "Alan Brady", but as "Yale Sampson", a mush-mouth intellectual who (as Rob puts it) has the ability to say things that "seem vague, but are in reality...meaningless".
56. The Square Triangle (3/20/63) .... This episode has a very heartfelt and touching scene between Rob and Laura at the end of the show. The realistic interaction between those two characters can easily make a viewer believe they are really married and, more importantly, genuinely care about each other as well.
57. Racy Tracy Rattigan (4/3/63) .... Richard Dawson is "Racy Tracy", a skirt-chasing British playboy who gets "such a kick out of seeing irate husbands".
58. Divorce (4/10/63) .... Buddy's wife, "Pickles", takes center stage here. And she's a howl in this episode, too, as she tries to explain who "Floyd B. Barriscale" and "Barton Nelson" are.
59. It's A Shame She Married Me (4/17/63) .... Robert Vaughn guest stars as "Jim Darling", a former beau of Laura's. .... "Are you coming, Cooley?" --> "Yes, Darling. Er, uh, I mean Jim!"
60. A Surprise Surprise Is A Surprise (4/24/63) .... Laura tries her best to surprise Rob on his birthday -- and she does just that. Watch this fun episode and find out how she manages it.
61. Jilting The Jilter (5/1/63)
62. When A Bowling Pin Talks, Listen (5/8/63) .... "There aren't too many funny bits we can lift from 'The Telephone Hour'."
63. All About Eavesdropping (10/23/63) .... This show actually aired during the third season, but was filmed as the "head start" episode at the end of Season 2. "Eavesdropping" probably ranks as my all-time favorite episode in the 5-year history of "The Dick Van Dyke Show". The hysterical "On The Street Where You Live" charades game is sure to put you on the floor. .... "You mean you didn't give 'em the house?"
ALL ABOUT "ALL ABOUT EAVESDROPPING"
SEASON #3 (1963-1964):
64. That's My Boy?? (9/25/63) .... The third season begins in fine fashion, with another top-flight episode, which tells the story of what happens when new father Rob Petrie's imagination starts working overtime after bringing baby Ritchie home from a very hectic hospital.
65. The Masterpiece (10/2/63) .... This terrific episode features a chipped "Artanis", a funny auction, Howard Morris as a kooky-acting art expert, and "The Thing".
66. Laura's Little Lie (10/9/63)*
67. Very Old Shoes, Very Old Rice (10/16/63)* .... This two-parter ("Lie" and "Rice") serves as double the Van Dyke fun after we find out why it is that Laura seems to be avoiding the insurance man.
68. Uncle George (11/13/63) .... Denver Pyle pops up as Rob's "Uncle George". The standout parts of this show are the scenes with Herman Glimsher's overbearing mother. .... "Rob's uncle wanted to meet some nice lady." --> "We couldn't find any, so we invited your mother."
69. Too Many Stars (10/30/63)
70. Who And Where Was Antonio Stradivarius? (11/6/63) .... A crack over the head with a violin sends Rob to Red Hook (in New Jersey) with a case of amnesia. .... "I left my raisin cake in Red Hook!"
71. Big Max Calvada (11/20/63) .... A spoof on gangster movies is on tap in this fun episode. Sheldon Leonard pokes some fun at himself when he shows up in Rob's office as "Maxwell Calvada", a no-nonsense shady character who wants a big favor from Rob's writing staff -- or else! .... "Well, I'd call the police, but I don't know what to tell 'em."
72. The Ballad Of The Betty Lou (11/27/63) .... A day at sea for Rob and Jerry turns out to be no day at the beach. .... "I don't know how sheep stand each other in the rainy season."
73. Turtles, Ties And Toreadors (12/4/63) .... Rob hires a maid to help out an overworked Laura. But there are a few problems, not the least of which is the fact that one of her arms is in a sling! .... "Which arm?" --> "Well, maybe she's left-handed even."
74. The Sound Of The Trumpets Of Conscience Falls Deafly On A Brain That Holds Its Ears...Or Something Like That! (12/11/63)
75. The Third One From The Left (1/1/64)
76. The Alan Brady Show Presents (12/18/63) .... The one and only Christmas-themed show in the series. .... "We all are fine musicians; we practice every day..."
77. My Husband Is The Best One (1/8/64)
78. Happy Birthday And Too Many More (2/5/64) .... One of the very few episodes that wasn't filmed in front of a live studio audience (the Christmas show, filmed just two weeks earlier, is another). Canned laughter is used here. The reason for that being: this "Happy Birthday" episode was filmed on November 26, 1963, just one day after America buried its assassinated President, John F. Kennedy. [Mary Tyler Moore and Dick Van Dyke recall JFK's assassination here.]
79. The Lady And The Tiger And The Lawyer (1/15/64) .... "We always have a little coffee and cake before dinner."
80. The Life And Love Of Joe Coogan (1/22/64) .... Rob bumps into an old flame of Laura's on the golf course. It's another very solid entry in the life of this series, with the epilogue scene rising to the level of pure "brilliance", IMO. The show's last line ("You lost him to a better man"), spoken just perfectly by Rob/Dick, wraps up this episode in impeccably classy fashion.
81. A Nice, Friendly Game Of Cards (1/29/64) .... Yep, this is yet another classic episode. Edward Platt guests as "Lou Gregory", who accuses Rob of cheating during a "nice, friendly game of cards" at the Petrie house. Funny stuff here. This is a rare episode that features no "work" scenes filmed from the "writer's room". .... "That IS my new 'system' -- ante up, take two cards, and fold."
82. The Brave And The Backache (2/12/64)
83. The Pen Is Mightier Than The Mouth (2/19/64)*
84. My Part-Time Wife (2/26/64)*
85. Honeymoons Are For The Lucky (3/4/64) .... Another flashback show, revealing the details of Rob's unorthodox honeymoon.
86. How To Spank A Star (3/11/64)
87. The Plots Thicken (3/18/64) .... Rob and Laura become a "two-plot family" in this delightful episode with an unusual "plot"-line (all about cemetery plots, golf courses, several angry parents, and Buddy's funny "Home Food Plan").
88. Scratch My Car And Die (3/25/64) .... Rob gets a new "Tarantula" (a car, not the other icky thing) and can't seem to ever get a chance to drive it himself. And when Laura scratches the "bug", Rob is fit to be tied. .... "Oh, honey, I meant to remind ya -- don't park that car under a tree, or a bird."
89. The Return Of Edwin Carp (4/1/64) .... "Hot boiling drats, mother wants her cocoa!"
90. October Eve (4/8/64) .... When an embarrassingly "raw" painting of Laura shows up in a popular art gallery, it causes considerable grief for the painting's subject and her husband. .... "You're not gonna have another [baby], are ya?" --> "Oh Rob! Would Sally call and tell ME that?!"
91. Dear Mrs. Petrie, Your Husband Is In Jail (4/15/64)
92. My Neighbor's Husband's Other Life (4/22/64) .... "Look, honey, when a man is out on the town he doesn't go around telling girls he's married -- forget what I said!"
93. I'd Rather Be Bald Than Have No Head At All (4/29/64) .... Rob finds 28 hairs in the wash basin one morning and is convinced he's going bald -- fast! .... "How did I get a head of lettuce?!" --> "Well, if you use salad dressing, you can't expect to grow meat loaf!"
94. Teacher's Petrie (5/13/64)
95. My Two Show-Offs And Me (12/16/64)
SEASON #4 (1964-1965):
96. My Mother Can Beat Up My Father (9/23/64) .... The Season-Four opener has Rob tangling with a stuffed monkey -- and losing the battle.
97. The Ghost Of A. Chantz (9/30/64) .... This spooky and hilarious entry has Rob and the gang staying at a "haunted" cabin and having the collective daylights scared out of them. .... "All that's missing now is Vincent Price!"
98. The Lady And The Baby Sitter (10/7/64)
99. A Vigilante Ripped My Sports Coat (10/14/64)
100. The Man From 'Emperor' (10/21/64)
101. Romance, Roses And Rye Bread (10/28/64)
102. 4-And-A-Half (11/4/64)* .... Don Rickles puts in a very funny appearance as "Lyle Francis Delp", a rather inept crook. .... "You mean you've held up people in elevators before?" --> "No, I held 'em up in front of a police station, dum-dum!"
103. The Alan Brady Show Goes To Jail (11/11/64)* .... "Is this the underwear of a criminal?!!"
104. Three Letters From One Wife (11/18/64)
105. It Wouldn't Hurt Them To Give Us A Raise (12/2/64) .... "Did you know that Alan Brady's mother-in-law pays the band?"
106. Pink Pills And Purple Parents (11/25/64) .... One of the best shows from Season 4, as a few pink pills have Laura acting very strangely when she meets Rob's parents for the first time. MTM was never funnier. .... "One for moo-moo!" .... "Gonna have a little music, moo-moo, oh yes!" .... "I think there's something wrong with that girl." --> "Well, could be. But she's worth straightening out." .... "Pink Pills" Footnote: This episode is mistitled on the DVD (on both the packaging and the on-screen menus). For some reason, the makers of these discs seem to think the episode is called "Pink Pills For Purple Patients". Strange. ~shrug~
107. The Death Of The Party (12/9/64) .... Dick Van Dyke's considerable talents in physical comedy are on full display in this funny episode. Rob tries his best to hide the fact he is sick the same night Laura is giving a family dinner party. .... "Al Jolson, the Jazz Singer!!"
108. Stretch Petrie Vs. Kid Schenk (12/30/64)
109. The Impractical Joke (1/13/65) .... Buddy enlists a friend to play a phone gag on Rob. In the days that follow, Buddy is worried sick that a whopper of a joke is about to come his way in retaliation. A great episode. .... "Now there may be a little dust on your 'loud-soft'."
110. Brother, Can You Spare $2500? (1/6/65) .... "Excuse me, is that the 'Louie Wexler' water fountain?" --> "I don't know; but ANYBODY can drink from it."
111. Stacey Petrie - Part 1 (1/20/65)*
112. Stacey Petrie - Part 2 (1/27/65)*
113. The Redcoats Are Coming (2/10/65) .... A very rare "time-stamped" type of episode, as the Van Dyke Show writers cash in on the '60s "Beatles" craze. .... This show also includes an odd line in the script for Buddy (Morey), when he claims to have been a teenager when Frank Sinatra was in his height of "teen idol" status. Only problem there is: Buddy/(Morey) is seven years OLDER than Mr. Sinatra. Oh, well. .... BTW, don't forget the password ("Paul Revere").
114. Boy #1, Boy #2 (2/3/65) .... "Mr. Petrie, I'm sick to my stomach." --> "Who isn't?!"
115. The Case Of The Pillow (2/17/65) .... Ed Begley appears as a court judge in this extremely-funny episode. Rob gets to play a variation of "Perry Mason" here, too, which adds to the hilarity. .... "It's not your fault, Mr. Petrie. It's television. You think you're a lawyer; I think I'm a doctor."
116. Young Man With A Shoehorn (2/24/65) .... "I'd like to try them a half-a-size smaller." --> "Smaller?" --> "Smaller."
117. Girls Will Be Boys (3/3/65)
118. Bupkis (3/10/65) .... Watch for the "phone book goof" made by Rob/Dick, when he dials a phone number BEFORE looking it up in the book.
119. Your Home Sweet Home Is My Home (3/17/65) .... That great-big rock in Rob's basement is causing a few problems in this flashback program. .... "There's plenty of room for a pool table right over here." --> "Oh sure, if we use chopsticks for cues."
120. Anthony Stone (3/24/65) .... Sally's dating a mortician, and she's not exactly dying to tell any of her friends. .... "It was nice meeting you." --> "Of course." --> "Of course??"
121. Never Bathe On Saturday (3/31/65) .... This very memorable ep. centers around Laura's toe. Many moments in this program are worthy of multiple (and immediate) replays. .... "Don't toy with me, you saucy wench." .... "She gets stuck in the bathroom, he paints on mustaches; they're a great match." .... "How can you get stuck in a bathtub? Is it THAT narrow?"
122. One Hundred Terrible Hours (5/5/65)
123. Show Of Hands (4/14/65) .... What are Rob and Laura going to do after they accidentally dye their hands pitch-black just before going to a dinner banquet? Check out this episode and see. .... "Nothing goes over worse at a formal dinner than the smell of sweaty bunny fur."
124. Baby Fat (4/21/65)
125. Br-rooom, Br-rooom (5/12/65) .... "Robby Baby's" new "Geronimo" motorcycle causes nothing but trouble in this episode.
126. There's No Sale Like Wholesale (5/26/65) .... Rob wants to get Laura a mink coat. Buddy tries to help via one of his "wholesale bits". Things go downhill from there. .... "Does your mother know you're doing this?"
127. A Farewell To Writing (9/22/65)
SEASON #5 (1965-1966):
128. Coast-To-Coast Big Mouth (9/15/65) .... The final year of "The Dick Van Dyke Show" begins with "Big Mouth" (aka Laura Petrie). Laura tells a doozy of a secret about Alan Brady on a live TV game show. .... "If you want to see ruins, why don't you go to Greece!?" .... "Your place is on NETWORK TELEVISION!!"
129. Uhny Uftz (9/29/65) .... Rob says he saw a flying saucer while working late one night. Is he ready for the funny farm? .... "Just you and Hugo, huh?"
130. The Ugliest Dog In The World (10/6/65) .... "Has he been eating onions?"
131. No Rice At My Wedding (10/13/65) .... "If you're not back by the time the convicts grab the priest, you can forget about me." .... "Well, what's the difference? Rain? Rob? They're both big drips!"
132. Draw Me A Pear (10/20/65)
133. The Great Petrie Fortune (10/27/65)
134. Odd But True (11/3/65) .... Is Rob's back REALLY worth all of this fuss and freckle-connecting? Millie certainly thinks so. .... "I have dozens of freckled bells in my files. It was the 'crack' that was the interesting feature."
135. Viva Petrie (11/10/65)
136. Go Tell The Birds And The Bees (11/17/65) .... "Girls come in pink pumpkins."
137. Body And Sol (11/24/65)
138. See Rob Write, Write Rob Write (12/8/65)
139. You're Under Arrest (12/15/65) .... "You slept through 'The Guns Of Navarone'?"
140. Fifty-Two, Forty-Five Or Work (12/29/65)
141. Who Stole My Watch? (1/5/66) .... Rob's brand-new watch is missing. Was it stolen -- by a friend? .... "Why you vicious little beast!!"
142. Bad Reception In Albany (3/9/66) .... "Oh, honey, I know you're upset." --> "I never could fool you, could I?"
143. I Do Not Choose To Run (1/19/66)*
144. The Making Of A Councilman (1/26/66)* .... "Well, with all due respect to your son's gingerbread house, there's an easterly low-pressure area leading a cold front over Ohio, and that should reach here by this afternoon." --> "What does that mean?" --> "Rain."
145. The Curse Of The Petrie People (2/2/66) .... An ugly brooch causes quite a bit of misery for the Petries after Laura accidentally grinds the thing up in the garbage disposal. This episode contains one of the funniest scenes in the whole series, when Rob's father says "Oh, the delivery boy could see her [an undressed Laura] but we couldn't, huh?"
146. The Bottom Of Mel Cooley's Heart (2/9/66)
147. Remember The Alimony (2/16/66)
148. Dear Sally Rogers (2/23/66)
149. Buddy Sorrell, Man And Boy (3/2/66)
150. Long Night's Journey Into Day (5/11/66) .... "Rob, I'm worried about you up there all alone with that hat."
151. Talk To The Snail (3/23/66)
152. A Day In The Life Of Alan Brady (4/6/66)
153. Obnoxious, Offensive Egomaniac Etc. (4/13/66)
154. The Man From My Uncle (4/20/66) .... Godfrey Cambridge guests as FBI agent "Harry Bond" (a "marksman"!). A highlight is when Rob starts to fiddle around with all of Bond's equipment. .... "Banana?" .... "They can see me from Denver!"
155. You Ought To Be In Pictures (4/27/66)
156. Love Thy Other Neighbor (5/4/66)
157. The Last Chapter (6/1/66)**
158. The Gunslinger (5/25/66) .... The last episode to be filmed, "The Gunslinger" offers up lots of fun within a "western spoof" script. .... "I was a singer, turned slinger, turned rancher, turned dancer, turned parson, turned sheriff."
* = Indicates a 2-part episode.
** = For continuity reasons, "The Last Chapter" is presented as the final episode on the last disc of this boxed set.
CLOSING COMMENTS (YES, FINALLY):
Pull out any of these 25 discs and you'll have some great television entertainment. Via this amazing boxed set, a viewer has instant access to all of Rob Petrie's physical comedy bits, along with every one of Laura Petrie's "crying jags" (Mary Tyler Moore's sobbing routines are hard to top).
And don't forget about all those "Buddy insults Mel" gags (which must number in the hundreds over the course of the series) -- not to mention Dick Van Dyke's uncanny ability to act out a "one-way telephone conversation" (which always amazes me when I see him do this -- and there are many such "telephone" moments during the series).
"The Dick Van Dyke Show" seems as fresh, funny, and real today as it did all those years ago, when it barely was able to survive its rocky, low-rated first season.
Just suffice it to say that I love this television series. Its humor is timeless, the characters never seem phony, and the writing is remarkable. And you'll be able to see why when you pop in any of these Digital Discs.
To sum it all up -- "THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW: THE COMPLETE SERIES" DVD collection is, without fear of argument, a "complete treasure".
I'm done now (except for the videos, pictures, and links below).
David Von Pein
DICK VAN DYKE
BIOS, AND MORE:
"The Dick Van Dyke Show" (Video-On-Demand)
Review of "The Dick Van Dyke Show" (Book)
"Dick Van Dyke Show" Official Website
"The Walnut Times" Newsletter