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Rinaldo

The Dick Van Dyke Show

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I have been watching the series on Netflicks and noticed an interesting fact. She is called Laura and Lauri alternately in the first few  episodes. Just as if they couldn't decide on her name.

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Laurie would be a nickname for Laura, which was her official name. (I seem to remember that only Rob ever addressed her as Laurie, if it was their private pet name such as couples sometimes have.) But it's true, they decided rather quickly that no nicknaming was needed and she would stay consistently Laura.

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I think there was also some confusion as to Laura's maiden name, I remember hearing it as Meeker in some episodes and Meehan in others?  I think it mainly came up when the in-laws would visit so not very often.  I think they settled on Meehan but I could be wrong about that.

 

 

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Yes, Meehan was eventually her maiden name but they did start with Meeker. She was married to Richard Meeker when the series started, and after they divorced, it was decided not to use that name for her family on the show. Such is the story anyway.

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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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It occurs to me that the Christmas show should be seen in the light of "everyone does Christmas shows," rather than "The Alan Brady Christmas show." Christmas shows were expected, so many shows got into the holiday spirit and did them. It should perhaps be looked at as Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore, et al doing a holiday show, rather than Rob and Laura Petrie doing a holiday show. Just a thought.

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14 hours ago, Katalina said:

It occurs to me that the Christmas show should be seen in the light of "everyone does Christmas shows," rather than "The Alan Brady Christmas show." Christmas shows were expected, so many shows got into the holiday spirit and did them. It should perhaps be looked at as Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore, et al doing a holiday show, rather than Rob and Laura Petrie doing a holiday show. Just a thought.

Especially given that shows at the time basically went straight through from September through May with only the summer off. DVD did 32 shows per year, so an episode was going to air around Christmas.

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On 10/22/2015 at 6:43 PM, Rinaldo said:

Laurie would be a nickname for Laura, which was her official name. (I seem to remember that only Rob ever addressed her as Laurie, if it was their private pet name such as couples sometimes have.) But it's true, they decided rather quickly that no nicknaming was needed and she would stay consistently Laura.

There are some episodes throughout the series when other people call her Laurie. It's just a natural nickname. My sister's name is Laura, and random people throughout her life have called her "Lauraloo" or "Lauralee" and other names. Laurie is just another of those.

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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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My favorite is probably the one where Rob babysits Buddy's German Shepherd & Richie is scared of him at first (he's gonna eat me!!!).  I especially love Rob putting the dog in a crib & singing him lullabies.

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10 hours ago, Charlie Baker said:

Two colorized episodes showing on CBS tonight--but I wonder why the Christmas ep wasn't colorized a la the I Love Lucy one that is being repeated before it.

This is the subject of discussion every year since they've started showing these colorized Dick Van Dyke Shows.  It's getting to be part of the Christmas tradition.

WHY don't they show a colorized version of their Christmas show?  It isn't that bad, is it?  I enjoyed it.

Whoever's involved with this needs to do something about it!

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18 hours ago, Snow Apple said:

I agree it's weird showing two random episodes instead if having at least one Christmas one.

Richie's rendition of The Little Drummer Boy is iconic!

This might be a bit of a stretch, but I wonder if the issue with the Christmas episode might be connected with having to pay for the music?  I'm sure The Little Drummer Boy at least is in the public domain though.

I was reading a few articles online about the colorizing, and Carl Reiner said he was in favor of it being colorized.  I bring that up because some people will always argue against colorization, but this show was only in black and white because of the cost involved, and not for artistic reasons.  I also like a quote here from Reiner:  

"As a matter of fact, Steve Martin once said that in all of show business, nobody is more talented than Dick Van Dyke, and I agree with that."

I can't argue with that either.

https://ew.com/tv/2018/12/14/cbs-colorized-dick-van-dyke-show/

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1 hour ago, Loandbehold said:

According to this site Holiday songs that are/not in the Public Domain, "The Little Drummer Boy" is not in the public domain. 

That only strengthens my theory that maybe they're not doing a colorized Christmas episode because of music licensing issues.

But wow, how old can a song be and not be in the public domain?  That was written in 1941.  Copyright laws are puzzlers.

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1941 is just the day before yesterday in copyright terms. It isn't really that puzzling. Some compositions from the 1920s are now public domain, but most of the Great American Songbook (the later Kern and Berlin, essentially all of Rodgers, Porter, Gershwin) remain under copyright.

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1 hour ago, rubaco said:

So wait. It can be shown in reruns, but it can't be colorized? (I'm not disputing, just confused.)

Not necessarily. Colorization costs money. As does using songs that are still under copyright. It may be too expensive to do both assuming that the ratings aren't out of this world. If they can't sell enough advertising, they're not going to do it.

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Also, the workings of contracts can be insanely complex and specific. It may be that the original granting of music rights covered syndication, and I bet they had to go back and get a further permission to issue DVDs (whose existence was not foreseen at the time the show was made), but a new network airing may involve a further payment. Or it may be something else entirely. But each new avenue of transmission involves new negotiations, unless someone managed to get in a clause including "all further means of distribution yet to be invented" back in 1962.

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At another TV board, besides it possibly being the music rights suggested above, someone posted that Carl Reiner picks the episodes and he doesn’t particularly like the Xmas episode.

Don’t know how valid that claim is.

Edited by opus

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2 hours ago, opus said:

At another TV board, besides it possibly being the music rights suggested above, someone posted that Carl Reiner picks the episodes and he doesn’t particularly like the Xmas episode.

Don’t know how valid that claim is.

I guess none of us is in a position to know, but I don't find it inherently unbelievable. I adore the series, but this isn't one that particularly like either. If I were picking out episodes to hook people on the series it'd be closer to the bottom than the top. It's possible to get over-reliant on "the cast shows off their song-and-dance talents" in place of a story premise, and for me this segment does it. (Quite aside from the question, "What is the writer's kid doing on this national TV series?")

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1 hour ago, Inquisitionist said:

Aw, I've always had a soft spot for the Christmas episode.

Me too. And I usually dislike when they use any excuse for the actors to break into song and dance. That happened a lot in the first season and it was so obvious.

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I notice a huge chunk of this discussion is about the Christmas episode.  Somebody get a note to Carl Reiner or whoever's involved and maybe next year we can get that colorized episode for Christmas.  

It's not the greatest episode in the series, but it would be nice to see during the season.  And it's a Christmas episode, so it's likely to be colorful!  Although all I remember are the Santa suits and the rather bland stage.

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