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All Episodes Talk: The Many Talents Of Dick

I suppose this doesn't come up on many lists of alltime favorite episodes, but I just love it. Because it's the one where we first got a hint how far Mary Tyler Moore's talents ranged -- what, she could dance like that? and sing?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-5oqs2GTQE

And not only is it a delightful number, it also furthers the story. She can't stand him before the number, as they perform together he kind of wins her over, and then at the end he steps on her foot and injures her. And that was how Rob and Laura met.

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This one does turn up on lists of favorite Dick Van Dyke episodes, and rightly so. The escalating horror of the alien invaders, with their need to breathe water, the extra eyes, the fondness for walnuts, all leading up to this unforgettable scene:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkcOsuV_gmc

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I love that number.  I've seen that two-part patter (sorry, is there a name for it?)  done with a couple of songs in other episodes, too, and I always love it.  DVD and MTM had great chemistry.

I"m not usually a fan of flashback episodes, but this number does elevate the episode.

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two-part patter (sorry, is there a name for it?)

The general term for two tunes that fit together is "counterpoint." Or one tune is a countermelody to the other.

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Would that DVD and MTM had done a full-fledged, full-length musical together, but their numbers from the show are pretty delightful, including this one. I think it was Carl Reiner who tells of how DVD and MTM would tell the choreographer(s) the numbers were too hard, and CR would tell the choreographer just to go ahead and get them to do it.  And of course they did.  So talented.  DVD claims no formal dance training,

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Can I just admit here that upon first viewing this episode (a long, long time ago, but not during its first run) it gave me bad dreams??

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A Boston Gal, I am not ashamed to join you. This episode freaked me out as a child (not during its first run), and I still tend to shy away from it because that memory just floods back. I am shivering just thinking about it! Edited by Crs97.
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This was one of my favorite episodes ever. I don't think there's ever been a more creative use of a guest star playing himself. I love the way everything seems normal with the occasional weird detail, like Laura (or "Lolak") handing Rob a bag of walnuts for lunch, and climaxes with that walnut avalanche.

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I never thought about the walnuts hurting, but they probably did. I think MTM was probably so nervous about whether the stunt would even work that she never noticed!

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In her memoir, MTM recounts that the pressure was on to get the stunt right on the first try, and it was fun to do.  But I'll bet it was kind of a bumpy, if short ride.  And didn't DVD say somewhere that everyone ate too many walnuts that week and paid the price gastronomically?

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In her memoir, MTM recounts that the pressure was on to get the stunt right on the first try, and it was fun to do.  But I'll bet it was kind of a bumpy, if short ride.  And didn't DVD say somewhere that everyone ate too many walnuts that week and paid the price gastronomically

Specifically she said that she was glad for the audience laughter when she slid out of the closet on that avalanche of walnuts because it drowned out the sounds issuing from her posterior (to put it politely)!

 

I always especially loved the "scary" episodes--this one, "Uhny Uftz" (left alone in the building, Rob thinks he sees a flying saucer), "The Ghost of A. Chantz" (the gang has to spent the night in a cabin said to be haunted), and "Long Night's Journey Into Day" (Laura is left alone in the house when everyone else goes on a fishing trip).  Tension was never funnier.

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Specifically she said that she was glad for the audience laughter when she slid out of the closet on that avalanche of walnuts because it drowned out the sounds issuing from her posterior (to put it politely)!

 

For some reason, I don't trust a lot of what MTM has to say about this series.  I've gotten the impression that she embellishes copiously.

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I never saw that quote from MTM about flatulence on the set, and I've read pretty much everything I could get my hands on about the series. Was it in a magazine interview or something like that?

 

I think by this point everyone connected with The Dick Van Dyke Show does plenty of embellishing. They've been asked to talk about it all so many times by now....

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I never saw that quote from MTM about flatulence on the set, and I've read pretty much everything I could get my hands on about the series. Was it in a magazine interview or something like that?

In one of MTM's books, she mentioned the incident of sliding out of the closet on the walnuts and passing gas all the way, and then she told the story on Late Night with David Letterman, although she was so cryptic about it--using a not-very-realistic sound effect to illustrate the problem--that even the audience didn't catch on to what she was talking about immediately. 

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On 2/9/2015 at 0:32 PM, Sparkling Beth said:

Specifically she said that she was glad for the audience laughter when she slid out of the closet on that avalanche of walnuts because it drowned out the sounds issuing from her posterior (to put it politely)!

 

I always especially loved the "scary" episodes--this one, "Uhny Uftz" (left alone in the building, Rob thinks he sees a flying saucer), "The Ghost of A. Chantz" (the gang has to spent the night in a cabin said to be haunted), and "Long Night's Journey Into Day" (Laura is left alone in the house when everyone else goes on a fishing trip).  Tension was never funnier.

Loved all the scary epis too Sparkling - especially The Ghost of A. Chantz.  But "Walnuts" was my second favorite!  Such fun shows.  I am posting here because i am so tired of the politics and violence going on in our country...takes me back to my childhood which seems like bliss compared to the ultra weirdness out there.

Thanks y'all for the memories. 

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On 2/9/2015 at 1:32 PM, Sparkling Beth said:

Specifically she said that she was glad for the audience laughter when she slid out of the closet on that avalanche of walnuts because it drowned out the sounds issuing from her posterior (to put it politely)!

 

I always especially loved the "scary" episodes--this one, "Uhny Uftz" (left alone in the building, Rob thinks he sees a flying saucer), "The Ghost of A. Chantz" (the gang has to spent the night in a cabin said to be haunted), and "Long Night's Journey Into Day" (Laura is left alone in the house when everyone else goes on a fishing trip).  Tension was never funnier.

Those are all great episodes! It's been forever since I've seen the show, and I had no idea it was on Hulu - time to start binging!

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I used to watch this show when I was growing up and hadn't seen it, really, since then. 

 

And then, about two weeks ago, I watched an X-Files episode, "Arcadia" where Mulder and Scully investigate strange disappearances in a suburban subdivision.  They pose as a squeaky clean married couple. 

 

Rob and Laura Petrie (Mulder's idea).

 

From there, I did some YouTube surfing and saw MTM singing, "True, Mon, True" from "Someone Has to Play Cleopatra" and discovered that Netflix had all the episodes.

 

I watched the first three or four episodes (including the godawful pilot, "Head of the Family") and knew I had to get the series in a tangible medium.

 

And that brings me to today.


I'm watching them in original air date order.  And seeing them now, as an adult, is a very different experience.


"Washington vs. the Bunny" is an early favorite.  The dream sequence is trippy and does a good job capturing the way your dreams incorporate things you've encountered throughout the day.  And the episode is just plain funny.

 

And the writing.  And the acting.  They're just stellar.  And the show makes me wish I could magically go back in time and experience it as an adult while it was in its heyday.


Has anyone here revisited the show as an adult after a long hiatus?  Why do you watch it now instead of something contemporary?

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On 5/10/2018 at 9:56 PM, Bercilak said:

Has anyone here revisited the show as an adult after a long hiatus?  Why do you watch it now instead of something contemporary?

I can't say there's been a long hiatus ever since the show has been on Netflix! I watch it now instead of something contemporary because: 

On 5/10/2018 at 9:56 PM, Bercilak said:

the writing.  And the acting.  They're just stellar

And the stories, they hold up, even the silly ones. I think my favorite is Long Nights Journey into Day. I loved Ann Morgan Guilbert, she was such a brilliant (and under appreciated) comedienne! She was so great as nervous Millie in that episode. I'm actually watching "Getting On" right now. AMG is on that show at the age of 85 and she's still great.

I'm sitting here trying to think of episodes I skip, I'm sure there are some but I'm blanking now. 

This show is comfort food for me. I love all the characters. I love when Mel is in on the joke instead of the butt of the joke. I love when Alan blusters. I love the way Sally walks and how funny she can be. Even Buddy's cornball jokes can make me laugh. And of course the Petrie family. They were the family/marriage/friends/parties I always wanted (and, at the age of 59, still have never had!)

I notice on these forums people talk about continuity gaps. These things never bother me and I feel like it's because I grew up in a time where shows like DVD had the same actors play many different roles. Even actors that had big parts, like the guy who played Rob's army buddy Sol played two or three other characters. DVD's assistant also played several characters. 

On the old Television Without Pity forums, my name was CrumbyButtons (blech!) because I love DVD so much!

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I also don't think I ever took a "long" hiatus from this show, because it always seemed to be around (Nick at Nite; TV Land), and now it's available on Netflix whenever I feel like watching an episode. Agree with Nordly Beaumont that it's comfort food. I do enjoy some contemporary sitcoms, but The Dick Van Dyke Show will always be the ultimate "sophisticated comedy" to me. 

I have to occasionally force myself to "remember the era" because there are some episodes that get under my skin (for one example, the attitude toward women; there's at least one episode where Rob is accused of being henpecked). But most of the episodes really do hold up now. That's a sign of great writing - and writing that did not comment on current events or pop culture of the time. 

And it goes without saying, Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore are/were very gifted comedic actors.

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1 hour ago, rubaco said:

I have to occasionally force myself to "remember the era" because there are some episodes that get under my skin (for one example, the attitude toward women; there's at least one episode where Rob is accused of being henpecked). 

For me, it's the notion (expressed mainly through Sally) that a woman wants (even needs) a husband more than a career.  But for the most part, I thought Rob and Laura had a pretty respectful relationship, even if their gender roles were very much of the time.  

I love Carl Reiner's occasional appearances as Alan Brady -- thankfully, they didn't over do those.  Coast to Coast Bigmouth is a particular favorite.

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29 minutes ago, Inquisitionist said:

Coast to Coast Bigmouth is a particular favorite.

The line-up of his wigs and his complaining to them about Laura revealing their existence on national TV!

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50 minutes ago, Loandbehold said:

The line-up of his wigs and his complaining to them about Laura revealing their existence on national TV!

Ha-ha, the way he describes the different wigs is a riot:  "I had this one made so that people will say 'Alan is losing his hair.'  Would you like this one?"  Carl Reiner made a terrible leading man, but a terrific tyrant (in small doses).

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20 hours ago, Inquisitionist said:

Carl Reiner made a terrible leading man, but a terrific tyrant (in small doses).

He could have learned that from working w/ Sid Caesar, who often played a tyrant, and it seems occasionally acted like one, on Your Show of Shows.

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On 5/12/2018 at 1:12 PM, Loandbehold said:

The line-up of his wigs and his complaining to them about Laura revealing their existence on national TV!

Hilarious! Reiner just nailed that scene.

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I love when he knocks the phone over with his hurt foot, grabs the phone and yells "GRRRRRRR!" into it. I always wondered if that was planned or if CR hit the phone accidentally and ad-lib'd yelling into the phone.

Edited by Nordly Beaumont.
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The line-up of his wigs and his complaining to them about Laura revealing their existence on national TV!

The moment he turns to them and addresses them, "Fellas, ..."  One of the great moments in TV history.

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Love this show.  Have seen each episode multiple times since I was a child in the 60s.  My two favorite episodes are the duck episode (especially at the end when Rob gives such a heartfelt explanation of why he put Stanley in the pond, and then tells Ritchie (about the caviar), "This was a very special occasion," and the skiing accident episode, where Rob tries to hide his injuries.  

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