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"Oh, Rob!"

- W.J. Flywheel, Webporium Curator



1. Never Name a Duck

September 26, 1962

"There's a bright side to havin' ducks around the house, too. When... when they... when they grow up, we can have fresh duck eggs for breakfast every morning."

- Rob Petrie

"From which one, Oliver or Stanley?"

- Laura Petrie

Ritchie becomes very attached to two baby ducks that were left over from a show and adopts them. Rob faces the task of making Ritchie understand the consequence of trying to keep pets that may be happier living in the wild.

Writer: Carl Reiner, Director: John Rich

Guest Stars: Jerry Hausner, Jane Dulo, Geraldine Wall, Frank Adamo

2. The Two Faces of Rob

October 3, 1962

"I like the way your eyes light up when you go crazy."

- Buddy Sorrell

Posing as a mysterious stranger, Rob calls Laura and asks for a date - a prank that backfires when she accepts his invitation.

Writers: Sheldon Keller, Howard Merrill, Director:John Rich

Guest Star: Herbie Faye

3. The Attempted Marriage

October 10, 1962

"I hate to see you cry like this."

- Rob Petrie

"Well, it's the only way I know how to cry."

- Laura Petrie

Rob recalls the disastrous circumstances that led to his beleaguered arrival at his own wedding, battered, bruised, and three hours late.

Writer: Carl Reiner, Director: John Rich

Guest Stars: Sandy Kenyon, Ray Kellogg, Dabbs Greer

Carl Reiner fondly recalls the sequence where Rob shudders as he summons the courage to propose to Laura in an open Jeep. "That was my proposal! When I asked my wife to marry me, I got chills just like that." The producer took pride that most of the stories on the show sprang from events that had actually happened to him, or someone on the staff. "I would always ask writers," he explained, "'What happened to you today?' and not, 'What have you seen lately and how can we change it around for a story?'" Writer Bill Persky found that the search for storylines could become a comical obsession. In Look magazine, he recalled getting a flat tire on a deserted Mexican roadway. "I was scared to death, but I was thinking, how can I put this in the show?"

While the idea that Rob would accidentally drop the key for the jeep into the radiator is amusing, military jeeps do not have keys. Instead, they have a button for the starter.

4. Bank Book 6565696

October 17, 1962

"For years, my wife kept throwing quarters into a cookie jar. Drove me nuts!
Finally, I found out what she was saving for. Cookies!"

- Buddy Sorrell

Rob's imagination runs rampant when he discovers a sizable sum of cash stowed away in Laura's secret bank account.

Writers: Ray Allen Saffian, Harvey Bullock, Director: John Rich

5. Hustling the Hustler

October 24, 1962

"You've heard of Minnesota Fats? This is Illinois Skinny."

- Laura Petrie

Buddy worries that his incorrigible brother plans to fleece Rob when the supposedly reformed gambler challenges the head writer to a friendly game of pool.

Writer: Carl Reiner, Director: John Rich

Guest Star: Phil Leeds

6. My Husband Is Not a Drunk

October 31, 1962

"How do you do? I'm Sally Rogers. I'm already in a trance and I'm nobody's wife."

- Sally Rogers

Rob suffers from a post-hypnotic suggestion that forces him to act hopelessly inebriated every time he hears a bell ring.

Writer: Carl Reiner, Director: Al Rafkin

Guest Stars: Charles Aidman, Roy Roberts

All the scenes where someone is being hypnotized were purposely interrupted to ensure nobody watching at home would accidentally be hypnotized (is that even possible?). This episode reveals Millie Helper's maiden name as Krumbermacher. Guest star Charles Aidman filled in for Ross Martin for four episodes on The Wild Wild West as secret service agent Jeremy Pike during the last seaon of that series. Martin was off recuperating from a heart attack.

7. What's in a Middle Name?

November 7, 1962

"Pa, nobody's sending you to your grave yet."

- Sam Petrie

"I'll go to my grave when I WANT to, and just try and let anybody try and stop me!"

- Grandpa Petrie

Rob tells Ritchie how he was given the middle name Rosebud in order to settle a feud that raged among his grandparents before he was born.

Writer: Carl Reiner, Director: John Rich

Guest Stars: Carl Benton Reid, Geraldine Wall, Cyril Delevanti, J. Pat O'Malley, Isabel Randolph

"What's in a name? A cat by any other name
STILL wouldn't smell like a rose."

8. Like a Sister

November 14, 1962

"Heeeey... Dootle-lee dootle-lee do do do."

- Buddy Sorrell

Rob is concerned that Sally may be developing romantic illusions about Ric Vallone, the handsome singer who's been flirting with her all week.

Writer: Carl Reiner, Director: Hal Cooper

Guest Star: Vic Damone

Vic Damone receives a special guest credit at the top of the show - an insertion that is quite unusual in the series.

9. The Night the Roof Fell In

November 21, 1962

"Hello, Marge? Could you call Mrs. Petrie and tell her I said that Buddy told me that Rob asked him to tell her that Rob's coming home with a surprise? - and I'll give you eight to five I can't repeat it."

- Sally Rogers

Rob and Laura each have an extremely trying day, and end up having a terrible fight. Three versions of the incident are shown - one from Rob's perspective, one from Laura's - and the way that it really happened.

Writer: John Whedon, Director: Hal Cooper

Guest Star: Peter Oliphant

10. The Secret Life of Buddy and Sally

November 28, 1962

"He knows, he knows, but he don't know WHAT he knows,
and we're gonna keep it that way."

- Buddy Sorrell

Rob feels something's gone wrong in his relationship with Buddy and Sally. Their work life is going all right, but they don't seem to socialize together outside of work anymore. Even when Rob suggests they come to his house for a barbecue on the weekend (which includes doing some work), they make up an obviously lame lie to get out of it. What's worse for Rob is that he overhears Buddy tell Sally that what they do outside the office is none of Rob's business. At first, Rob thinks they're moonlighting (writing for another show), which is forbidden under the terms of their exclusive contracts, but comes to an even more shocking conclusion after phoning Buddy's house and learning from Pickles that Buddy isn't there: Buddy and Sally are having an affair. Eavesdropping, Rob later overhears Buddy and Sally talk about Herbie's Hiawatha Lodge - a getaway outside of New York City. To save their friendship and Buddy's marriage, Rob makes any excuse to go there with Laura and catch them in the act.

Writer: Lee Erwin, Director: Coby Ruskin

Guest Star: Phil Arnold

In the opening sequence, when Mary puts the frozen sirloins back in the freezer, she can't quite get the freezer door closed all the way but abandons it to get on with the scene.

11. A Bird in the Head Hurts

December 5, 1962

"Honey, would you rather have him pruny or hysterical?"

- Rob Petrie

Rob and Laura worry that Ritchie may be suffering from an overactive imagination when he complains that he's been attacked by a giant woodpecker.

Writer: Carl Reiner, Director: John Rich

Guest Star: Cliff Norton

12. Gesundheit, Darling

December 12, 1962

"No, you're not. You're going there to sneeze thoughts that I can't hear!"

- Laura Petrie

After Rob has a sudden fit of uncontrollable sneezing, Jerry suggests Rob's sneezing is a psychosomatic condition brought about by anger, the most probable cause of that anger - based on the events of the evening - being Laura. Laura too begins to believe that Rob is angry with her and it becomes a vicious cycle when Rob continues to sneeze. After getting allergy tests done and speaking to his doctor, Rob gets it into his head that he really is allergic to Laura.

Writer: Carl Reiner, Director: John Rich

Guest Star: Sandy Kenyon

Rob tells his doctor he has a catfish in an aquarium. Three episodes earlier, in The Night the Roof Fell In, he had two goldfish in an aquarium.

13. A Man's Teeth Are Not His Own

December 19, 1962

"I been busier than a centipede's mother tryin' to diaper a baby while puttin' their shoes on."

- Jerry Helper

Rob is afraid that Jerry will never forgive him after he lets another dentist perform emergency work on his teeth.

Writer: Carl Reiner, Director: John Rich

14. Somebody Has to Play Cleopatra

December 26, 1962

"Miss Harding can't participate in the play... Well, a few of the wives got up a little petition that prohibits her from being anything but a script girl."

- Laura Petrie

"Petition? Wh-when did THIS happen?"

- Rob Petrie

"First thing tomorrow morning."

- Laura Petrie

Rob has his hands full directing the latest neighborhood variety show and none of the husbands are too keen on letting their wife play Cleopatra.

Writer: Martin A. Ragaway, Director: John Rich

Guest Stars: Valerie Yerke, Eleanor Audley, Bob Crane, Shirley Mitchell

Guest star Bob Crane would move on to a regular spot on The Donna Reed Show before he assumed the lead role in CBS's long-running wartime sitcom Hogan's Heroes. The song Laura sings, "True Man True" was written by Morey Amsterdam. (Buddy). Below, a rare color production photo of Mary Tyler Moore performing "True Man True".



Laura rehearses her number, "True Man True", for the amateur variety show that Rob is directing. The song was written by Morey Amsterdam.



15. The Cat Burglar

January 2, 1963

"Now, Lieutenant, my husband doesn't want publicity.
He wants his table and chairs."

- Laura Petrie

Rob and Laura are unable to unravel the mystery of how a cat burglar stole their living-room set without leaving any clues.

Writer: Carl Reiner, Director: John Rich

Guest Stars: Barney Phillips, Johnny Silver

The maiden name of Buddy's wife Pickles is revealed to be Conway.

16. The Foul-Weather Girl

January 9, 1963

"You know, you sound exactly like one of those wives in a situation comedy."

- Rob Petrie

Based on an off the cuff remark in a reply letter he wrote, Rob's old high school friend Jane Leighton comes to New York to try and make it big in show business. Rob vows to help her in any way he can; however, Laura isn't so comfortable with his doing that. Although Laura trusts Rob not to cheat on her, she doesn't trust the beautiful and flirtatious Jane as much.

Writer: Carl Reiner, Director: John Rich

Guest Star: Joan O'Brien

17. Will You Two Be My Wife?

January 16, 1963

"Well, don't you DARE tell me what it is. If it's a surprise, I want Rob to tell me. [pause] What is it? "

- Laura Petrie

Rob faces the fury of a woman scorned in a flashback that recounts how he lowered the boom on his hometown sweetheart after his engagement to Laura.

Writer: Carl Reiner, Director: John Rich

Guest Stars: Barbara Bain, Ray Kellogg, Allan Melvin

Rob talks about going back to Danville, Illinois to tell his old girlfriend he can't marry her. Dick Van Dyke grew up in Danville, Illinois.

Guest star Barbara Bain (playing the part in a kind of Judy Holiday voice) would go on to win three emmys for playing Cinnamon Carter in Mission: Impossible (1966-1969). She would reprise the Cinnamon Carter role in a guest appearance in Dick Van Dyke's later crime series, Diagnosis Murder (1997).

18. Ray Murdock's X-Ray

January 23, 1963

"Aw, Honey, all right. I apologize, but believe me, nobody's gonna think you're a kook or anything. I'll bet you none of your friends even saw that show."

- Rob Petrie

"How can you be so sure?"

- Laura Petrie

"Because, Honey, if they saw it, you can bet that that phone...
[as Rob points to it, the phone rings] ... would be ringing."

- Rob Petrie

Laura feels betrayed when Rob tells a TV interviewer how she inspired most of the outlandish domestic situations featured on The Alan Brady Show.

Writer: Carl Reiner, Director: Jerry Paris

Guest Stars: Gene Lyons, Jerry Hausner

Jerry Paris began his long tenure as the primary director of The Dick Van Dyke Show with this episode. John Rich recalls how he came to appoint the actor as his successor when he left the series to direct feature films. "Carl and Sheldon were worried about what would happen to the show," he remembers. "But it was already firmly on the tracks. The cast and the writing were so solid, I told them, that anyone could direct the show, I looked around, and Jerry happened to be standing there, even him. Actually, Jerry turned out to be a fine director. He did an excellent job."

The show's creator recalls a different account of how the talented director found his calling. According to Carl Reiner, Paris had been anxious to direct from the very start. "But he was such a fidgety guy, no one thought he'd be very good as a director. After John left, we finally gave Jerry a chance, and he did better than anyone dreamed. He finally surprised us all."

19. I Was a Teenage Head Writer

January 30, 1963

"But all we need is just one joke to finish the show. Come up with something, Buddy, and you can go home to your wife."

- Rob Petrie

"Go home to my wife? What kind of reward is that?"

- Buddy Sorrell

When Buddy and Sally refuse to join Rob in an impulsive walkout, he recalls his tempestuous early days as a writer on The Alan Brady Show.

Writers: Sheldon Keller, Howard Merrill, Director: Jerry Paris

This opening is the first time Rob sidesteps the footstool and doesn't do a pratfall from tripping over it.

20. It May Look Like a Walnut!

February 6, 1963

"Danny Thomas put nuts in my hat!"

- Rob Petrie

A terrifying science-fiction TV program grips Rob while Laura cowers under her bed covers, trying in vain to ignore the show and its blood-chilling music. When the show ends, Rob further tortures Laura by acting out the tale of Kolak, a visitor from the planet Twilo who resembles Danny Thomas and deploys walnuts to destroy Earth's technological capacity by excising all Earthlings' thumbs and imaginations. Rob awakes in the morning to a living room strewn with walnuts and an eerily calm Laura preparing scrambled walnuts for Rob's breakfast.

Writer: Carl Reiner, Director: Jerry Paris

Guest Star: Danny Thomas

The thousands of walnuts used for the scene of Laura descending from the closet were supplied to the show by walnut wholesalers. Dick Van Dyke recalled that the actors and crew were allowed to eat as many walnuts as they wanted -- eventually causing many of them intestinal problems from over-consumption of the low-fiber nut meat. After the show, the producers returned any unbroken walnuts to the wholesalers, most of which ended up on store shelves. The scene was never rehearsed with the walnuts; the crew had to get the shot correct the first and only time walnuts were used, because it would take too long to reload the walnuts for another take.

Producer Sheldon Leonard hated the story when it was presented as a script, thinking it was not funny and too strange, but gave the go-ahead for it to be filmed. Later, he acknowledged the popularity of the episode and said he had been wrong to think it would flop.

The Dick Van Dyke Show was the last show to have its entire run filmed in black and white. Carl Reiner considered moving the production of the series to full color only to drop the idea when he was informed that it would add about $7,000 to the cost of each episode. Ever wonder what the Petries' living room would look like in color? These color test shots from the "It May Look Like a Walnut!" episode will give you some idea.

21. My Husband Is a Check-Grabber

February 13, 1963

"Oh, no. Don't tell me we're gonna have another one of those arguments where I have to guess what it is."

- Rob Petrie

The Petries' latest skirmish springs from Rob's annoying habit of always picking up the check when they're out with friends. Laura gives Rob the silent treatment on the ride home from the restaurant as he tries to figure out just what he did that got her so riled. "Well," she finally volunteers, "I think it's pretty terrible not to be able to send our son to college." And from that marvelous leap in logic, the quarrel escalates in a funny, dizzying spiral.

Writer: Carl Reiner, Director: Al Rafkin

Guest Stars: Phil Arnold, Bill Idelson, Joan Shawlee

This marks the first appearance of Sally's steadiest boyfriend in the series, Herman Glimscher.

22. Don't Trip Over That Mountain

February 20, 1963

"Laura, Rob loves you. He'd rather cut off an arm than break a leg to cause you pain."

- Millie Helper

Rob is excited about his two-day ski trip with Jerry, while Laura says she doesn't mind his going without her. Though true, Rob eventually learns that Laura (thanks to a bad dream) is dreading that Rob (who has never skied before) will try and compete with expert skier Jerry and, in the process, break a bone. Her fears worsen when Rob and Jerry are late returning from their trip. As Laura and Millie wait together, Rob and Jerry are in a hospital getting medical attention for injuries sustained in a four person/one goat on-slope collision. Though Rob feels like his entire body is "sprained," when he gets home, he does whatever he can to hide his injuries from Laura so he won't have to endure a bunch of I-told-you-so's if she knows the truth.

Writer: Carl Reiner, Director: Coby Ruskin

Guest Stars: Jean Allison, Ray Kellogg

23. Give Me Your Walls!

February 27, 1963

"In fact, I would consider it an honor - not an honor, a privilege - if you would allow the brush of Vito Giotto to caress-a these-a magnificent walls. Please. Give me your walls."

- Vito Giotto

Laura hires a flamboyant artist, Vito Giotto, to paint the living-room walls but has second thoughts when he turns their lives upside down and manages to paint most of the rest of the house and become increasingly involved in their daily lives without ever completing the job he was hired to do.

Writer: Carl Reiner, Director: Jerry Paris

Guest Star: Vito Scotti

When Ritchie exits the house to go next door, he walks straight to the exterior corner of the house rather than straight down the sidewalk. It seems apparent Larry Mathews was exiting between gaps of the set.

24. The Sam Pomerantz Scandals

March 6, 1963

"Well, this is another fine mess you've gotten me into."

- Sam Pomerantz (as Oliver Hardy)

Rob, Laura, Mel, Buddy, Sally and Pickles visit a resort operated by Sam Pomerantz, an old friend from Rob's Army days; however, when Rob accidentally incapacitates Danny Brewster, the resort's regular entertainer, Rob must convince his friends to give up their vacations in order to provide the entertainment. Rob and his old Army pal revive their old Laurel and Hardy routine in what amounts to Dick Van Dyke's own heartfelt homage to the movie comedy team. Van Dyke frequently acknowledged Stan Laurel's influence on his work, and his talent for "taking one simple prop and doing fifteen minutes with it".

Writer: Carl Reiner, Director: Claudio Guzman

Guest Stars: Henry Calvin, Len Weinrib, Joan Shawlee

"One night she says to me "How do you fix frankfurters?" I says "I don't know. I guess the same way you fix fish." She says "I tried it. Once you clean out those weenies, there's nothing left."

25. The Square Triangle

March 20, 1963

"Well, he's... he's taller and handsomer than I am,
but don't forget I'm, uh, shorter and dumpier."

- Buddy Sorrell

Rob and Laura are nervous to learn that French actor/singer Jacques Savon will be a guest on the Alan Brady Show. Rob and Laura met Jacques and his then wife Yvette when they visited Europe years ago. It is a trip that they never speak of, although neither knows exactly why the other doesn't talk about it.

Writer: Bill Idelson, Director: Jerry Paris

Guest Star: Jacques Bergerac

Writer Bill Idelson appeared in a handful of episodes as Sally's forlorn boyfriend, Herman Glimscher. He continued to forge a distinguished career as a comedy writer and eventually produced much of the first year of MTM's The Bob Newhart Show.

26. I'm No Henry Walden!

March 27, 1963

"Oh, yes. You pronounce that Petrof, don't you?"

- Mrs. Huntington

Rob feels self-conscious and out of his league when he discovers that he's the only comedy writer at a literary gathering full of pretentious writers and authors hosted by a wealthy patron of the arts, Mrs. Huntington - whom they've never met. Rob and Laura really only hope to meet famed poet Henry Walden but discover instead that the party is a fund-raiser for a literary foundation.

Writer: Carl Reiner, Story By: Ray Brenner, Jack Guss, Director: Jerry Paris

Guest Stars: Everett Sloane, Doris Packer, Roxanne Berard, Betty Lou Gerson, Frank Adamo, Howard Wendell, Carl Reiner

27. Racy Tracy Rattigan

April 3, 1963

"The only thing I have against marriage, my dear:
it takes the prettiest girls out of circulation."

- Tracy Rattigan

Alan Brady's summer replacement is British actor Tracy Rattigan. Despite Tracy never having hosted a variety show, Rob, Buddy and Sally are eager to be working with him. Known as somewhat of a ladies' man with the nickname Racy Tracy, Sally in particular is anxious to meet him, but the one person Tracy seems interested in is Laura.

Writers: Ronald Alexander, Carl Reiner, Director: Sheldon Leonard

Guest Star: Richard Dawson

"Yeah... it's just like my Aunt Agnes always says, 'You may have the world at your feet, but that don't stop the corns from hurtin'."

Guest star, Richard Dawson later discovered enormous popularity as a game-show host, though not before he would log scores of sitcom appearances, including regular roles on Hogan's Heroes and in the final incarnation of The New Dick Van Dyke Show in the early seventies.

28. Divorce

April 10, 1963

"Honey, Buddy is my best friend and she is the one that drove him to Dozy Doodles."

- Rob Petrie

Rob gets a late evening emergency call from Buddy and ends up playing amateur marriage counselor when Buddy threatens to divorce Pickles. Buddy has found a pile of canceled checks which proves to him that she's been having an affair and moves into a hotel. Later Rob gets a another late night call, this time from Pickles, in hysterics over Buddy not coming home. Rob reluctantly rushes over in an attempt to consol Pickles (still dressed in his pajamas) just as Buddy decides to come home finding Rob with his wife.

Writer: Carl Reiner, Director: Jerry Paris

Guest Stars: Joan Shawlee, Charles Cantor, Marian Collier

29. It's a Shame She Married Me

April 17, 1963

"You, uh... you never got married, huh?"

- Rob Petrie

"Well, how could I? You got my girl."

- Jim Darling

Rob and Laura learn from their accountant that they'll have to cut some corners and penny-pinch for the next little while until their financial situation improves. Despite Rob making a half-decent living, he is dismayed, feeling he should be able to provide a more comfortable standard of living for Laura and Ritchie. Rob's dismay changes to paranoia, persecution, insecurity, fear and envy when he runs into Jim Darling, the show's new wealthy and good-looking sponsor, who also happens to be Laura's old beau. Rob fears that if Laura sees Jim again she may decide she made the wrong choice in who she married, which may be hard to do since Jim wants to host a cocktail party for the show's staff and their spouses.

Writers: Sheldon Keller, Howard Merrill, Director: James Niver

Guest Star: Robert Vaughn

30. A Surprise Surprise Is a Surprise

April 24, 1963

"You see, what she's doing, in chess, is called the double-reverse half-truth check-your-mate gamble."

- Rob Petrie

Rob tries to second-guess Laura's plan to surprise him on his birthday. When Rob finds out Laura is planning "something" for his birthday, Laura makes a change of plans. So Rob knows that Laura is planning a surprise party for him, but what Rob doesn't know is that Laura knows that he knows, or so Laura thinks. Rob is pretty certain she is trying the old double reverse on him. Is she really? Only a party (or none) on Saturday night will tell the real story of who managed to outfox whom.

Writer: Carl Reiner, Director: Jerry Paris

Sally Rogers (Rose Marie) teases Rob about his amateur sleuthing to learn whether he's going to have a surprise party by referring to him as "Sebastian", an almost incomprehensible reference to most viewers today. She is referring to the then-recent television series Checkmate (1960) that ran from 1960-1962, in which 'Sebastian Cabot' played a British criminologist who assisted the partners of a San Francisco detective agency.

"My mother-in-law is spending the month with us for a couple days."

31. Jilting the Jilter

May 1, 1963

"If I play my cards right, that boy is gonna be the future Mr. Sally Rogers."

- Sally Rogers

Sally's latest heartthrob is a stand-up comic who's badly in need of a new writer, which is exactly what Rob and Buddy suspect he's after.

Writer: Ronald Alexander, Director: Jerry Paris

Guest Star: Guy Marks

"I'll always hold a special place in my heart for the guy who introduced me to (my wife) Pickles. Every time I get heartburn, I think of him."

32. When a Bowling Pin Talks, Listen

May 8, 1963

"Why don't you shut up and hand me the phone?"

- Alan Brady

Ritchie helps his dad overcome a bout with writer's block when the boy inadvertently causes Rob to plagiarize a sketch idea from a TV kid's show.

Writer: Martin A. Ragaway, Director: Jerry Paris

Guest Stars: Jon Silo, Herbie Faye, Carl Reiner

The voice of Uncle Spunky was provided by Jerry Paris.


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