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"Oh, Rob!"

- W.J. Flywheel, Webporium Curator



1. The Sick Boy and the Sitter

October 3, 1961

"How's your white satin evening gown?"

- Rob Petrie

"Fine. How's your red flannel bathrobe?"

- Laura Petrie

Alan Brady is throwing a party at his penthouse for a few of the network executives and he wants the writing staff to attend. Unfortunately for Rob though Laura thinks Richie is on the verge of being sick and wants to stay home. Rob is certain he'll be okay and wants to get a babysitter but he's having a hard time convincing Laura.

Writer: Carl Reiner, Director: Sheldon Leonard

Guest Stars: Mary Lee Dearing, Barbara Eiler, Stacy Keach, Sr.

Filming of the first episode started on January 20, 1961, the same day that John F. Kennedy was sworn in as President of the United States.

2. My Blonde-Haired Brunette

October 10, 1961

"Why? Well, yesterday morning, and I kissed you... and you said, Don't do that!... And you came down to breakfast in your yucky shirt... And the orange juice and the flesh and the pits and seeds... And the gray hair... And the Harpo Marx... And the general yuckiness..."

- Laura Petrie

Laura dyes her hair blonde to rekindle Rob's interest after she becomes convinced that the romance has left their marriage. Confronted with a disastrous dye job and a thoroughly confused husband, Laura finally breaks down and sobs her exasperation to Rob, communicating in a string of barely coherent phrases.

Writer: Carl Reiner, Director: John Rich

Guest Star: Benny Rubin

This was actually the ninth episode filmed, but the producers scheduled it to run in the second week to better spotlight the quickly emerging talents of Mary Tyler Moore. As Reiner told a reporter for TV Guide, "It was obvious from the first that we had accidentally stumbled on a kid of twenty-three who could do comedy."

3. Sally and the Lab Technician

October 17, 1961

"How do you do? I'm Sally Rogers. Are you still single?"

- Sally Rogers

Laura plays matchmaker for Sally, with disastrous results, when she pairs the talkative comedy writer with her shy cousin. The first episode filmed by John Rich, the series's regular director through the start of the third season. A veteran director of Our Miss Brooks and scores of TV westerns in the 1950s, he had a knack for getting involved with classic comedies; a decade later he would direct four years of All in the Family, and he was also a key figure in the genesis of Barney Miller.

Writer: Carl Reiner, Director: John Rich

Guest Stars: Eddie Firestone, Jamie Farr

4. Washington Versus the Bunny

October 24, 1961

"Boy! Whatever you didn't do, I think you shoulda done it."

- Bill

Rob is plagued by fatherly guilt when he's forced to take a business trip on the night of Ritchie's debut in the school play.

Writer: Carl Reiner, Director: John Rich

Guest Stars: Jesse White, Jamie Farr

5. Oh, How We Met the Night That We Danced

October 31, 1961

"It's just because I make a rotten first impression. Ask anybody!"

- Rob Petrie

Rob recalls his frustrated attempts to date Laura when she was a USO showgirl and he was an over-eager sergeant in the Special Services. This is the first of many flashback episodes that describe significant moments in Rob and Laura's life together.

Writer: Carl Reiner, Director: Robert Butler

Guest Stars: Marty Ingels, Glenn Turnbull, Jennifer Gillespie, Chickie James

Rob Petrie's being stationed at Camp Crowder originated from writer/producer Carl Reiner's stationed in the same location while serving in the Army.

6. Harrison B. Harding of Camp Crowder, Mo.

November 6, 1961

"Hello, Police Headquarter? Can you tell me where your prowl cars are? No, I mean do you have any up on the north end? Why? Well, I'd-I'd like to report a possible robbery. Maybe later this evening. No, it is not definite. No, sir, this is not a gag."

- Rob Petrie

Rob is too embarrassed to admit that he doesn't remember the mysterious stranger who arrives and claims to be an old Army pal from Camp Crowder.

Writer: Carl Reiner, Director: John Rich

Guest Stars: Allan Melvin, Peter Leeds, June Dayton

Allan Melvin would play Rob's best Army pal in numerous later episodes. The well-known character actor also held down regular roles on The Phil Silvers Show, Gomer Pyle, and All in the Family, among others.

7. Jealousy!

November 7, 1961

"Jerry, you're just awful. Isn't he awful? You're just awful."

- Millie Helper

Jerry plants seeds of mistrust in Laura's mind when he learns that Valerie Blake, the beautiful movie star, will be guesting on The Alan Brady Show. Laura doesn't listen to him until Rob begins a string of late night work sessions. Soon Laura's jealousy begins to grow and Rob will have to work just as hard to convince Laura that nothing is going on between he and Valerie Blake.

Writer: Carl Reiner, Director: Sheldon Leonard

Guest Star: Joan Staley

"I gotta call my wife before she gets ready to burn the dinner. Boy, you heard of pot roast - she makes roast pot."

8. To Tell or Not to Tell

November 14, 1961

"Well, I think I know my wife well enough to hope that she'll say what I know she thinks that I hope she'll say."

- Rob Petrie

When Mel offers Laura an opportunity to dance on The Alan Brady Show, Rob worries that she might be tempted back into show business full-time.

Writer: David Adler, Director: John Rich

Guest Star: Jamie Farr

David Adler, the first writer other than Carl Reiner to contribute scripts to the series, was actually a pseudonym for Frank Tarloff, a Hollywood screenwriter blacklisted as a Communist sympathizer in the fifties. A decade later, his son, Erik, would be a regular contributor to All in the Family.

"Two flies talikng. One of 'em says, "Say, Mrs. Fuzzbuzz, how's the baby?" She says, "Sick - I had to walk the ceiling with him all night."

9. The Unwelcome Houseguest

November 21, 1961

"The wolf is eating Daddy! The wolf is eating Daddy!"

- Ritchie Petrie

The Petries' plans for a weekend in the country are spoiled after Buddy suckers Rob into looking after his family pet... Larry, a giant German shepherd.

Writer: Carl Reiner, Director: Robert Butler

10. The Meershatz Pipe

November 28, 1961

"We're writing a comedy show, we got no time for jokes."

- Buddy Sorrell

Rob's not as impressed with Buddy's new Meershatz pipe as he is with the fact that it was a gift from Alan Brady. Not just impressed but envious as well. After all, he is the head writer of the show and begins to feel as if he isn't needed. Getting sick and having to miss work for several days doesn't help his insecurities.

Writer: Carl Reiner, Director: Sheldon Leonard

Guest Star: Jon Silo

He sits and he looks at the keys; he says, "Do you realize that it takes two elephants to make the keys for a piano like this?" And the guest star says, "My, I didn't know those big brutes did such delicate work."

11. Forty-Four Tickets

December 5, 1961

"What do you mean, Oh, Robert? I could just as well say, Oh, Laura!"

- Rob Petrie

Rob turns to scalpers as a last resort after he forgets to reserve forty-four tickets to The Alan Brady Show for his local PTA.

Writer: Carl Reiner, Director: John Rich

Guest Stars: Eleanor Audley, Opal Euard, Joe Devlin, Paul Bryar

12. Empress Carlotta's Necklace

December 12, 1961

"Yeah, don't worry about our credit.
Ask the hundreds of people we owe money to."

- Buddy Sorrell

Mel's cousin Maxwell Cooley, a wholesale jeweler, sells Rob an ostentatious necklace, a copy of one belonging to Empress Carlotta. The original, in a Madrid museum, is valued at $250,000. Maxwell convinces him to buy it for Laura. Rob isn't sure if she'll like it, or whether he likes it himself for that matter, but is still excited to give it to her. When he sees it on Laura, he totally falls in love with it. Laura hates the necklace but can't tell Rob her true feelings for fear of hurting his. She vows to tell him, but the longer she waits, and the more people that Rob wants her to show it to, the harder it is for her to tell him.

Writer: Carl Reiner, Director: James Komack

Guest Stars: Gavin MacLeod, Carol Veasie, Will Wright

The large mirror on the wall next to the den, that Rob holds up for Laura, is never seen on that wall or in the show again.

Maxwell Cooley is played by Gavin MacLeod, who, though he shares no screen time with Mary Tyler Moore in this episode, did spend many hours as Murray, the news writer sitting at the desk next to her on the Mary Tyler Moore show.

13. Sally Is a Girl

December 19, 1961

"Yes, it is a strange name, but you see my real name is Fiona, and at my neighborhood everyone named Fiona is called Pickles."

- Pickles Sorrell

Laura convinces Rob that he has to treat Sally more like a woman and not just one of the guys. Sally is initially unsure of why Rob's treatment of her has changed, but she begins to love it. Buddy sees what is happening, and he and Mel come to the conclusion that Rob and Sally must be having an affair.

Writer: David Adler, Director: John Rich

Guest Stars: Jamie Farr, Paul Tripp, Barbara Perry

14. Buddy, Can You Spare a Job?

December 26, 1961

"Mel, in the... many years of our association, I know I've said a lot of unkind things about your bald head. And... I'm sorry I didn't mention the rest of your ugly puss."

- Buddy Sorrell

When Buddy's plan to leave for greener pastures backfires, Rob and Sally face the difficult task of convincing Mel to let him return.

Writer: Walter Kempley, Director: James Komack

Guest Star: Len Weinrib

Director James Komack became a successful TV producer in the 1970s, with a string of hits that included The Courtship of Eddie's Father, Welcome Back, Kotter, and Chico and the Man.

15. Where Did I Come From?

January 3, 1962

"Well, how... you know what a sound sleeper you are. I was afraid, something might happen, you'd sleep through it."

- Rob Petrie

Rob recalls the final frantic days of Laura's pregnancy, which culminated in her arrival at the maternity ward in a laundry truck.

Writer: Carl Reiner, Director: John Rich

Guest Stars: Herbie Faye, Jerry Hausner, Tiny Brauer

Dick Van Dyke said, in a program that he hosted on Nick-At-Nite, that this episode, The Dick Van Dyke Show: Where Did I Come From? (1962) is his all-time favorite. Other favorites include: It May Look Like a Walnut (1963), The Attempted Marriage (1961), I'd Rather Be Bald Than Have No Head at All (1964) and Never Bathe on Saturday (1965).

16. The Curious Thing About Women

January 10, 1962

"Honey, did a package come for me?"

- Rob Petrie

Laura opens and reads Rob's mail, giving him a Reader's Digest version of it, and throwing away what she considers unimportant. Rob is not angry that Laura opened his mail, but he is angry that she read it before he did. At the office Rob tells Sally and Buddy about the event and Buddy thinks the situation is ripe for a comedy sketch for the show. Laura boasts to Millie and Jerry that Rob said she was the inspiration for the sketch but after it airs she's angry for being portrayed on television as a "pathological snoopy-nose" opening a package with a self-inflating life raft inside. Rob tries has to make it up to Laura just as a mysterious package arrives at the Petrie household.

Writer: David Adler, Director: John Rich

Guest Star: Frank Adamo

"If your heart is where the sky is bluest, then the sound of winter's twilight will be your friend."

17. Punch Thy Neighbor

January 17, 1962

"Well, one closing clinker can make a whole show clank."

- Jerry Helper

Rob gets fighting mad after Jerry thoughtlessly broadcasts his low opinion of The Alan Brady Show throughout the neighborhood.

Writer: Carl Reiner, Director: John Rich

Guest Stars: Frank Adamo, Peter Oliphant, Jerry Hausner, Peter Leeds

18. Who Owes Who What?

January 24, 1962

"It may only be twenty-five cents to you, but to Marge,
our switchboard girl, twenty-five is a quarter of a dollar."

- Buddy Sorrell

While doing their books, Laura comes across a check Rob wrote over six months ago for $25 made out to cash. Seeing that Buddy endorsed the check, Rob vaguely remembers that the money was a loan to Buddy. Although Rob initially says that Buddy paid him back, Laura can tell that he is lying, and is probably embarrassed to ask Buddy for the money. Rob admits what Laura suspects is the truth. Not able to be direct in asking Buddy for the money, Rob decides to drop hints for Buddy instead, even leaving the canceled check in conspicuously inconspicuous locations around the office, to no success. After figuring that he has as much a problem at home in dealing with Laura about not getting the money, Rob decides to write a sketch for the show about someone owing money, which he hopes will jog Buddy's memory.

Writer: Carl Reiner, Director: John Rich

19. The Talented Neighborhood

January 31, 1962

"They're not people. They're my friends."

- Ritchie Petrie

When Alan Brady announces a juvenile talent competition, Rob is besieged by pushy stage mothers and their would-be child stars.

Writer: Carl Reiner, Director: John Rich

Guest Stars: Doris Singleton, Ken Lynch, Michael Davis, Jack Davis, Barry Livingston, Anne Marie Hediger, Ilana Dowding, Kathleen Green, Christian Van Dyke, Barry Van Dyke, Cornell Chulay

20. A Word a Day

February 7, 1962

"I know. If I eat it I'll get happy and I want to stay mad!"

- Rob Petrie

Rob and Laura are disturbed when Ritchie's vocabulary expands to include a small glossary of four-letter words.

Writer: Jack Raymond, Director: John Rich

Guest Stars: William Schallert, Lia Waggner

21. The Boarder Incident

February 14, 1962

"I knew I loved my wife, but I didn't know how much I liked her."

- Buddy Sorrell

Rob invites Buddy to spend a few days at his house while Pickles is out of town.

Writers: Norm Liebmann, Ed Haas, Director: John Rich

22. Father of the Week

February 21, 1962

"Well, it's this Father of the Week thing. Ritchie's upset about it."

- Laura Petrie

"Well, didn't you tell him I'll be there?"

- Rob Petrie

"Mm-hm. That's why he's upset."

- Laura Petrie

Rob is crushed when he's not invited to speak on career day at Ritchie's school because his son is embarrassed to admit how his dad makes his living.
A rewrite of Carl Reiner's pilot script for Head of the Family. In the original, Reiner's Rob Petrie redeemed himself with a clever poem composed for Ritchie's class, but in this version, adapted to emphasize the unique talents of Dick Van Dyke, Rob wins the kids over with an impromptu demonstration of physical clowning.

Writers: Arnold and Lois Peyser, Director: John Rich

Guest Stars: Isabel Randolph, Allan Fielder, Patrick Thompson

23. The Twizzle

February 28, 1962

"Don't try to figure it out. My Aunt Agnes was born on a hill."

- Sally Rogers

Sally drags Mel and the writing staff to a bowling alley to audition her latest discovery, a reluctant pop singer who's invented a new dance craze. Jerry Lanning sings "The Twizzle," written by Mack David and Jerry Livingston.

Writer: Carl Reiner, Director: John Rich

Guest Stars: Jerry Lanning, Jack Albertson, Tony Stag, Freddie Blassie

"It is wise for a poor man to choose the weather,
but it's folly for a rich man to choose a poor man."

"You can't tell a book if the title's covered."

24. One Angry Man

March 7, 1962


- Buddy Sorrell

Laura is convinced that a pretty face has tipped the scales of justice when Rob, on jury duty, sides with the attractive defendant.

Writers: Leo Solomon, Ben Gershman, Director:John Rich

Guest Stars: Sue Ane Langdon, Dabbs Greer, Lee Bergere, Doodles Weaver, Herb Vigran, Herbie Faye, Patsy Kelly, Howard Wendell

25. Where You Been, Fassbinder?

March 14, 1962

"I've got all the advantages of marriage: I got a tea kettle that whistles, a parrot that talks too much and a cat that stays out all night. Who needs a husband?"

- Sally Rogers

Sally pins her romantic dreams on Leo Fassbinder, an old acquaintance she hopes will arrive to brighten a lonely birthday celebration.

Writer: John Whedon, Director: John Rich

Guest Stars: George Neise, Barbara Perry

26. I Am My Brother's Keeper

March 21, 1962

"Well, when he's that way he calls everybody Burford."

- Rob Petrie

Rob knows something's wrong when his brother arrives telling jokes and singing songs, shy, retiring Stacey Petrie acts that way only when he's sleepwalking.

Writer: Carl Reiner, Director: John Rich

Guest Star: Jerry Van Dyke

Jerry Van Dyke started in show business as a stand-up comic while still in Danville High School, and was already a veteran of strip joints and nightclubs when he joined the United States Air Force Tops In Blue in 1954 and 1955. During the mid-fifties, Van Dyke worked at WTHI-TV in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Following his first guest appearances on The Dick Van Dyke Show and two others on CBS's The Ed Sullivan Show, CBS made him a regular on The Judy Garland Show. He was also given hosting chores on the 1963 game show Picture This. In that same year, movie audiences saw him in supporting roles in the films McLintock!, Palm Springs Weekend, and The Courtship of Eddie's Father.

In 1964, Jerry Van Dyke turned down an offer to play Gilligan in Gilligan's Island, a role which went instead to Bob Denver. He also rejected an offer to replace Don Knotts as Sheriff Andy Taylor's deputy on The Andy Griffith Show and instead accepted the lead role of attorney David Crabtree in the short-lived sitcom, My Mother the Car (1965), the misadventures of a man whose deceased mother Gladys (voiced by Ann Sothern) is reincarnated as a restored antique car. Although the series was a commercial failure, Van Dyke continued to work steadily in supporting television and film roles through the rest of the decade. He starred in another short-lived situation comedy, Accidental Family (1967), as widowed comedian Jerry Webster who buys a farm to raise his son while he is not away on professional tours.

During the 1970s, Jerry Van Dyke returned to stand-up comedy and made television guest appearances on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Love, American Style, and Fantasy Island amoung others.

In 1989, Jerry Van Dyke portrayed Luther Van Dam, a beloved, yet befuddled assistant coach on the long-running series Coach (right). For this role, he received four consecutive Emmy Award nominations (1990 through 1993) for "Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series." Dick Van Dyke, appeared as an uncredited extra in one episode of Coach as one of Luther's distant relatives.

After Coach, Jerry Van Dyke continued to perform stand up comedy in major venues around the country and make frequent television appearances including, My Name Is Earl (2008), Raising Hope, The Millers and The Middle, playing Frankie's father Tag. Brother Dick would also guest star playing Tag's estranged brother Dutch (below).

27. The Sleeping Brother

March 28, 1962

"Hi, ya, Burford!"

- Stacey Petrie

Rob's somnambulant brother lands a guest spot on The Alan Brady Show and then wonders how he'll get through the show if he happens to be awake.

Writer: Carl Reiner, Director: John Rich

Guest Star: Jerry Van Dyke

Whenever the cast broke into song at a party, which they did quite often, the show reveals its strong ties to The Danny Thomas Show, which, like I Love Lucy, regularly incorporated music and dancing into its show-biz format. Carl Reiner identified Thomas's program as one of the primary models, along with Leave It to Beaver, that inspired him when he created The Dick Van Dyke Show which would film episodes on Danny Thomas's stages.

28. The Bad Old Days

April 4, 1962

"Nobody important, just the neighborhood smart-aleck."

- Rob Petrie

Rob rebels against Laura's domestic tyranny after Buddy convinces him that he's become hopelessly henpecked.

Writers: Norm Liebmann, Ed Haas, Director: John Rich

29. Sol and the Sponsor

April 11, 1962

"Yeah. Nobody drives weapons carriers anymore, Sarge."

- Sol Pomeroy

Rob can't bring himself to tell a boisterous old Army buddy that he's not invited to stay for the fancy dinner the Petries are hosting for an important sponsor.

Writer: Walter Kempley, Director: John Rich

Guest Stars: Marty Ingels, Patty Regan, Roy Roberts, Isabel Randolph

Marty Ingels left the occasional role of Sol Pomeroy to star in I'm Dickens, He's Fenster in 1962. Allan Melvin assumed the role of Rob's Army pal in later episodes.

30. The Return of Happy Spangler

April 18, 1962

"Well, he's tall, good-looking and has excellent taste in wives."

- Happy Spangler

Rob runs into the old-timer who gave him his first break in show business and makes the mistake of trying to return the favor.

Writer: Carl Reiner, Director: John Rich

Guest Star: Jay C. Flippen


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