Sunday, September 6, 2009

TV Nostalgia - The Dick Van Dyke show

My brother was hanging out with me this weekend and we decided to watch some of our favorite episodes of the Dick Van Dyke show. If you have never seen it, you should definitely give it a watch. I am convinced that our modern comedy shows would not exist without their roots in 60s sitcoms like this. The basic premise of the show is that Van Dyke's character, Rob Petrie, husband to Laura, father to Richie, is a comedy writer for a popular sketch show called the Alan Brady Show. Think of it as a precursor to SNL or the fictitious TGS that forms the basis for the show 30 Rock (which I am absolutely convinced would not exist without the Dick Van Dyke show).

It is just absolutely hilarious. Story lines include the one where Rob accidentally gets hypnotized to act drunk whenever a bell rings, the one where they write a sketch about a wife who is always opening her husband's mail and she gets caught in the closet with a self-inflating boat (which Laura is convinced is based on her - hilarity ensues), and the reminiscences about the highly entertaining ways in which the characters all originally met. Plus, the cast is full of great performers - in many episodes they dance and sing quite nicely.

One of my favorites was always "It may look like a walnut," where the Petries watch a scary alien invasion movie late at night and then it appears that aliens have invaded in real life!

Thanks to modern technology, I have all of the episodes on my instant streaming netflix, but there are a couple of seasons up on hulu as well. Trust me, despite some cultural figures and references, the funny translates just fine to this century's viewers.


  1. my friend forwarded this to me cause I am such a huge Dick Van Dyke Show fan. _MY_ favorite episode is Pink Pills and Purple Parents. There's a point in the episode where I stop breathing (every time I watch) I am laughing so hard. I think it's such an exceptional episode because usually Mary Tyler Moore isn't the one doing the physical comedy, she usually lets Dick Van Dyke do it. So when she lets loose and does it so well it's hard to not die laughing. Um, sorry this comment is so long, basically, I agree, great show that helped future shows. . . .

  2. I always liked the Dick Van Dyke Show too. Though, it's been so long since I watched any episodes, that I don't remember my favorites :|

    I remember Dick Van Dyke and the Bob Newhart Show played back-to-back for years on Nick at Nite; I used to love watching them both!


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