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"The Dick Van Dyke Show Season 5" -- A Personal Review


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#41 of 183 Casey Trowbridg

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Posted July 20 2004 - 06:45 PM

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But you may keep those (ahem) "potato poopies" (that name alone makes me sick!) for yourself.

(I've got to agree with this one as well.

Here's a question that I'm sure I could figure out the answer to by watching the show more carefully, but how long was Rob working for the Alan Brady show before Rich was born?

Mr. Reiner has made me laugh a lot during this series as well, especially in Coast to Coast big mouth and the way he's talking to Laura, not so much for what he says but his delivery is really good.

Him imploring Rob to read the article that was more about Rob than him in that particular episode of which I don't recall the title off hand is also really funny. Oh go ahead Rob, keep reading!

Sorry its late, and I'm tired but having all 5 seasons of this show on DVD has helped me to appreciate its greatness all that much more. As Reiner and Van Dyke have said in some of the commentary tracks on these sets, the episodes still work today and are still funny today and I wonder how much of modern TV people will find funny in 30-40 years. Its a credit to how well written the show was. Not to mention how well the show was acted, this was a great cast from top to bottom, perhaps one of the best in TV history.

#42 of 183 Eric Paddon

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Posted July 20 2004 - 06:57 PM

I think it was no more than one year or so that Rob was working for Alan. Of course what remains confusing is (1) how long did Rob stay in the Army after he and Laura married and (2) then got the job as a DJ in Danville ("100 Terrible Hours") before he was hired by Alan (which contradicts season 1 where Rob is established as having worked for comedy writer Hap Spangler before working for Alan)?

Throw in the inconsistency of Mel being bald in the flashbacks for "What's In A Middle Name" and "Where Did I Come From" but in "Fifty-Two Forty-Five Or Work" which takes place chronologically in between Mel is wearing a toupee to suggest a receding hairline! (as he also did in "100 Terrible Hours")

For more questions to which we have no answers, stay tuned for more of the VON Pein-Paddon report. Posted Image

#43 of 183 Casey Trowbridg

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Posted July 20 2004 - 07:06 PM

Yeah, all of this stuff was going on back then and they were all probably thinking...nobody will be watching these things in 40 years anyway, so lets not concern ourselves with lapses in logic and continuity.

Oh, and Laura must have had some real understanding parents to let her be in the USO show at the age of 17 and probably even 16. Oh, and for all the years they were married...I'm a little surprised or find it really hard to believe that one of her parents wouldn't make a comment about how old Laura actually was.

I mean if she ever got a cake or something that said happy 28th birthday why wouldn't mom or dad say something like, wait a minute she's only 26.

I mean even if her parents were willing to keep her secret as well, I'd find it hard to believe that something wouldn't slip by accident over all the years they had been married.

#44 of 183 Eric Paddon

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Posted July 20 2004 - 07:22 PM

And Laura must have been a genius to have married Rob at age 17, yet Joe Coogan the future priest was a "college" boyfriend! Posted Image

#45 of 183 Eric Paddon

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Posted July 20 2004 - 07:25 PM

Regarding Laura's age, maybe whenever Rob asked her father about it, he just said indignantly, "I don't want to talk about it!" Posted Image (that exchange between Rob and her father in "The Plots Thicken" is probably the funniest variation on Abbott and Costello style dialogue humor I've ever seen).

#46 of 183 David Von Pein

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Posted July 20 2004 - 10:07 PM

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And Laura must have been a genius to have married Rob at age 17, yet Joe Coogan the future priest was a "college" boyfriend!

I must interject a possible alternate scenario here, Your Honor. ---> (Played by Ed Begley, Sr. Posted Image) ......

If you'll watch the "Joe Coogan" episode again, I *believe* I'm correct when I say that Father Coogan said HE, himself, was "in college at the time" he knew Laura. BUT, he never specifically (and officially) claimed that Laura was also in college at the time (although, I suppose, we *could* assume she probably was).

But, it's *possible* (if only slightly), that Coogan was carrying on with Laura while she was in high school. Many guys like younger chicks, as we all know.

And so, Judge Begley, I submit to you that convicting Mr. Reiner of yet ANOTHER writing gaffe in the case of the Joe Coogan episode is premature, invalid, unsubstantiated, and altogether a violation of the Calvada Production, Inc., code of ethical 1960s television standards as we have known and grown to love them for lo these many decades.

Thank you.

Perry .... Your witness. Posted Image

("I don't know what letters HE intends using.") Posted Image

#47 of 183 David Von Pein

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Posted July 20 2004 - 10:29 PM

While I'm thinking of "Joe Coogan" ..........

This is a really good episode in many ways (writing-wise). I love the "flow" of the dialogue throughout this well-scribed episode.

For example -- The opening scene in the golf-course cafe: When Joe & Rob are sitting and talking and eating salty crackers with coffee. The dialogue seems so real, it's amazing. I say to myself: There's no way that's pre-written dialogue. Because it seems so unrehearsed.

And when Rob confronts Laura about the sonnets, we get more perfect, seemingly ad-libbed lines. And logical lines, like when Laura wonders (rightly so): "You mean he (Joe) goes around telling strange golfers he wrote sonnets to me?" Posted Image

The Coogan episode goes from the great opening "establishing" scene with Joe & Rob, to the funny scene at home, to the hilarious part of Sally bursting in to find her blind date is a "PRIEST!", and then winds up with the very nicely-done and poignant (but not overly-sappy) ending of Laura realizing the sonnets had a totally different meaning.

Rob's closing line "Look at it this way; you lost him to a better man" is one of the most touching moments in the whole series' run.

I find myself re-watching the Joe Coogan episode more than I thought I would. It's yet another example of great writing, combined with the fine acting of the cast, plus the equally-fine performance of the Joe Coogan character.

Father Coogan, BTW, was played by Michael Forest, who also made many other guest-star appearances in 1960s TV shows, including "One Step Beyond", "Gunsmoke", "Maverick", "The Outer Limits", "Ben Casey", and "Gilligan's Island".

#48 of 183 Casey Trowbridg

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Posted July 21 2004 - 04:18 AM

Here's one, in the what's in a middle name episode, Richie learns his middle name after finding a box with his birth cirtificate in it. Well, logically wouldn't said box possibly contain copies of Rob and Laura's birth cirtificates? and wouldn't this possibly have been something that Rob could've seen? Or perhaps Laura had some fony documents made up...

#49 of 183 David*P

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Posted July 21 2004 - 08:07 AM

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The "Magic Piano" that appears and disappears. It's only in the living room AS NEEDED, it seems. Then it'll disappear for several months.


Samantha and Durwood (Bewitched) had the same problem with a piano that would show up only when needed, though one time they did rent it. But I would suppose that an appearing/disappearing piano wouldn't be that strange for that witchy householdPosted Image

That "Joe Coogan" episode is one of the first DVDS I had ever seen and I thought it was simply superb! Sally's reaction when she walks in for her date only to see that he's a priest is priceless! And I had the same thought about the dialogue during the first scene...it seemed so unrehearsed and so realistic.

I have a question though, you DVDS Trivia Masters, is that mention of God in the "Joe Coogan" episode the only time on the series where God was mentioned? Did they ever go to church or did Laura ever participate in any church bizarre's?

I still only have the first season on DVD and have been watching the whole series on TV Land though I'm a month behind. Luckily I have Tivo so I can watch them anytime.


#50 of 183 Casey Trowbridg

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Posted July 21 2004 - 08:16 AM

Well, in the episode where Richie learns a new word, when Rob and Laura invite the parents of the boy that taught Richie the word over to their house, it turns out that the guy is a revrend.

I don't believe that they ever went to church though, or even implied that they did. Of course, this really isn't surprising and it seems to be standard in most sitcoms, in fact on commentaries for Simpsons episodes they take pride in the fact that theres is one of very few shows where you actually see people go to church.

I'd say the episode that dealt the most with religion mainly dealt with Buddy and his Jewish background.

I could be wrong though, and David VP, or Eric will be along to toss in a few that I *might* have forgotten but that's what I recall at this time.

Edit: They must have some religious background though, as in the burial plot episode Richie says something like but I thought that when you died you went to heaven. Of course, Rob calling the plot a launching pad is something I found very funny.

#51 of 183 Eric Paddon

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Posted July 21 2004 - 10:22 AM

Actually in "Never Bathe On Saturday" in the tag scene, Rob and Laura talk about spotting a group from their church "minister and all" at the theater, and this was why they came home because they didn't think Rob could explain his fake moustache that he couldn't get off.

#52 of 183 Eric Paddon

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Posted July 21 2004 - 10:24 AM

To add to that, there's a funny moment in "Who Stole My Watch?" when Mel Cooley gets IMO the biggest laugh he ever got in the series when he is upset over the insurance investigator interrogating him as a suspect in the watch theft by saying as his exit line, "And why did you have to have him come on the night we were entertaining our minister??"

#53 of 183 David Von Pein

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Posted July 21 2004 - 12:54 PM

Offhand, I can't add any more to the "religious" issue than has been adeptly stated by Eric & Casey. (You guys are good, too. No doubt about that. Posted Image)

Here's a dandy nitpick. (Again, I can't take credit for thinking of this (sadly Posted Image). A person at another site brought this up.) ..........

In "The Ghost Of A. Chantz", Rob & Laura banter back and forth about how they steal the pillow from one another while sleeping, and talk about giving the other person "a shot" in the ribs for such-&-such, etc. .... But HOW do they manage these activities WHEN THEY SLEEP IN SEPARATE BEDS? Posted Image

(I guess Rob must get up out of a sound sleep, walk over to Laura's bed, pilfer her pillow, walk back to his bed, crawl in, & return to sleep.) LOL. Posted Image


I find it also somewhat interesting that the censors DID allow Rob & Laura to be in the same bed together (without the proverbial "one foot being on the floor" Posted Image) in the "A. Chantz" episode.

Of course, both Sally & Buddy were in the bed also, as they all four were huddled together in the same pull-out bed in the haunted cabin.

Obviously, the Petries didn't have amore on their minds during this "bed" scene, being they were scared to death of the ghosts surrounding them that night -- but I'm still a tad surprised that was allowed (because of the super-strict restrictions of the era).

If Buddy & Sally hadn't been in the bed too, I'm sure it wouldn't have passed the censors unscathed.

"This place is great ... What time do we feed the walls?" Posted Image

#54 of 183 David*P

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Posted July 21 2004 - 06:29 PM

Well, if David VP can't recall anymore religious type scenarios then you guys must've got 'em all!Posted Image I was just curious, that's all, as it seems that it would've been really risky to attach them to any particular religion. I know the Bible Belt was probably seeing red when on "Bewitched" Samantha stopped time in church during a wedding and another time was helping out at a church bazaar. I figured if Samantha did church bazaar's Laura certainly would've...

#55 of 183 Eric Paddon

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Posted July 21 2004 - 07:34 PM

Probably the only other religious reference that indicates that they are active is in "Bad Reception In Albany" when Laura, upset about how Rob thanks to goofy circumstances has shown up for a relative's wedding in a bizarre tuxedo talks of how no one will forgive him including the minister who officiated, and Rob suddenly says, "Reverend so-and-so's (the name escaped me right now) GOT to forgive me!"

I don't think it was "risky" for people to generally assume that the Petries were much like Van Dyke himself, which would be midwestern Protestant. In the 50s and 60s, people took for granted the fact that religion was a general part of most people's lives and I saw these small references as the kind of acknowledgment of that that we would never see today given the present-day attitudes of Hollywood.

#56 of 183 Steve...O

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Posted July 22 2004 - 05:04 AM

In real life, Dick Van Dyke has often mentioned the importance of his faith to him especially during his battles with alcohol. Seeing him convey this attitude, even very subtly, in a series isn't surprising. I think Eric hit the nail on the head with his post above mine concerning the correlation between the Petries and real life America at the time.

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#57 of 183 BarryR

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Posted July 22 2004 - 08:54 AM

Two bits of Dick Van Dyke Show Trivia: (apologies if already mentioned)

In Season # 5, when Godfrey Cambridge is an FBI agent "spying" from Richie's room, I'm amused to see "Addams Family" figures on the wall! Uncle Fester is definitely noticeable.

In Season # 4 (?), in the episode when the relatives are arguing over family plots, Laura briefly flips up a newspaper--and it's The Los Angeles Times!

Posted Image

#58 of 183 David Von Pein

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Posted July 22 2004 - 05:10 PM

"Coast-To-Coast Big Mouth" nitpick ..........

It takes Rob (who's rushing as fast as possible) more than 5 minutes to get from his office to Alan's.

Posted Image

#59 of 183 Eric Paddon

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Posted July 22 2004 - 06:33 PM

That means it took him longer to go from his office to Alan's than it did to go from Manhattan to New Rochelle in "The Cat Burgler." Posted Image

Another nit-pick is that starting with Season 3, the number of Rob's old Army buddies to serve as convenient plot devices in a story took on leaps and bounds it seemed like!

#60 of 183 David Von Pein

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Posted July 22 2004 - 07:15 PM

Posted Image

More? OK. .........

Nitpick 394 -- In "Dear Sally Rogers" (Season 5), a huge bag of mail comes for Sally. Problem being: Sally had just appeared on the "Stevie Parsons Show" the night before (LATE night at that).

I'm doubting that the mail service is THAT fast! Besides, even if it WAS *that* fast, we'd have to then assume that hundreds of people watched Sally on the Parsons' show after 11:30 PM, then wrote a letter, then went out in the middle of the night to mail their letter to Miss Rogers. Posted Image

Plus, there's one letter that arrives all the way from Hawaii (to N.Y.) overnight! (Wish we had that kind of mail service today. LOL.)

Although -- It's *possible* it wasn't the night before, because Herman says the show was on "the other night", not "last" night. So, I'm not positive. But, anyway, we can definitely say that the mail service was extremely fast at any rate. Posted Image


SALLY -- "My future may be in this bag."
BUDDY -- "That's what I said when I first saw my wife." Posted Image





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