The Dick Van Dyke Show

by Erika Cox
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An all-time favorite, the Dick Van Dyke show was a great television comedy show that depicted the wholesome perception or idea of the early to mid-1960's.

The Dick Van Dyke show aired from 1961 to 1966 and starred Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore playing Rob and Laurie Petrie.

Carl Reiner, the creator of the show, also played the part of Alan Brady who was the often unseen boss and brother-in-law of Rob Petrie played by Dick Van Dyke. The other characters in the show were Rob's co-workers, Buddy and Sally, which were played by Morey Armstrong and Rose Marie, respectively.

The couple's next-door neighbors also made frequent appearances, Jerry and Millie Helper, played by Jerry Paris and Ann Morgan Guilbert. The couple also had a son, Ritchie, played by Larry Mathews.

The show depicted the typical family life during the 1960's; the husband went off to work everyday while the wife stayed home. The show mostly centered on Rob, Buddy and Sally's many issues at work and how to convince their boss, Brady, to accept their innovative and challenging ideas.

All three characters were writers for a television comedy show and their ideas often conflicted not only with their boss, but also at times with each other.

After a hard day at work, Rob came home to a joyful and loving wife where he spilled all of his concerns about his work. However, Rob would not throw things around, yell, or seemingly be very upset over his issues at work.

Other times the show would focus on the relationship between Rob, Laura and their son or their interactions with their neighbors, Jerry and Millie. The show often focused on Dick Van Dyke's comedy skills, which made the show very funny at times.

The show had some great actors and actresses that helped it develop and maintain its humorous edge and success. Several introductions of the show that have Rob coming through the door missing his step almost falling, or tripping over a piece of furniture, displays Dick Van Dyke's comedy style.

One thing I could never understand since I was watching reruns during the 1970's is why Rob and Laura slept in different beds. I never heard of a married couple sleeping in separate beds.

I'm guessing this was the way the producers wanted it and how society was back in those days, but that was only a minor nonrealistic display in my eyes. Based on the show's storyline, Carl Reiner wanted viewers to get some insight into how a television comedy show was created.

The character, Rob, was based on Carl Reiner's career as a writer and Rob's boss, Mr. Brady, was Reiner's former boss. With this in mind, that makes the show almost an autobiography of sorts, which is perhaps why it was so successful and funny.

It was based on reality to a certain degree. However, I doubt that Carl Reiner and his wife actually slept in separate beds.

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