Recap and React: The Dick Van Dyke Show ep. 16 – 20

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You can bet Laura gives Rob an earful when he gets home after the sketch airs... (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)
You can bet Laura gives Rob an earful when he gets home after the sketch airs… (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

SEASON 1, EPISODE 16: “THE CURIOUS THING ABOUT WOMEN”
DIR. JOHN RICH
WRITTEN BY DAVID ADLER
ORIGINALLY AIRED JANUARY 10, 1962
Recap: Laura has a habit of opening and reading Rob’s mail, and he decides this habit would be the perfect inspiration for a comedic sketch on the show. Knowing that she inspired a sketch but not knowing what the sketch is about, Laura advises all of her friends to tune in… much to her own embarrassment.
Reaction: I get really annoyed when people open my mail… so I can understand Rob’s frustration here. Using her as a character in a nationally-broadcast sketch is taking it a bit far, though! The episode still provides many a laugh.
Favorite moment: “I don’t like condensed mail for breakfast!” + the writing team being so impressed with their own jokes that they begin jumping

Ritchie pretends he's been punched in the nose after hearing that his dad punched Jerry in the nose. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)
Ritchie pretends he’s been punched in the nose after hearing that his dad punched Jerry in the nose. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

SEASON 1, EPISODE 17: “PUNCH THY NEIGHBOR”
DIR. JOHN RICH
WRITTEN BY CARL REINER
ORIGINALLY AIRED JANUARY 17, 1962
Recap: Rob gets angry when his neighbor, Jerry, begins joking that The Alan Brady Show‘s latest episode was awful.
Reaction: I can’t help feeling bad for Rob in this episode! We watch him work so hard to make a show that people will enjoy, and then everyone picks on him for a single lousy joke. Poor Rob! This episode has a lot of great one-liners.
Favorite moment: Jerry’s “One closing clinker can make the whole show clank” line; Jerry’s wife pouring sugar on him when Rob accidentally spills coffee on him

Buddy can't remember who he owes money to, but whoever it is he thinks he only owes 25 cents! (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)
Buddy can’t remember who he owes money to, but whoever it is he thinks he only owes 25 cents! (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

SEASON 1, EPISODE 18: “WHO OWES WHO WHAT?”
DIR. JOHN RICH
WRITTEN BY CARL REINER
ORIGINALLY AIRED JANUARY 24, 1962
Recap: While looking over the family’s finances, Laura notices that Rob wrote a check to give Buddy a $25 loan, and the question arises of whether or not Buddy ever paid him back.
Reaction: This is one of the slowest episodes I’ve encountered in my re-watch of the series thus far, but it’s got a few funny quips, and once again the Petries are dealing with a problem that many of us can relate to.
Favorite moment: Buddy borrowing another dollar from Rob in order to pay a quarter back to one of the switchboard operators

Rob gets very tired of fielding phone calls from overzealous stage moms who want him to help their kids win. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)
Rob gets very tired of fielding phone calls from overzealous stage moms who want him to help their kids win. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

SEASON 1, EPISODE 19: “THE TALENTED NEIGHBORHOOD”
DIR. JOHN RICH
WRITTEN BY CARL REINER
ORIGINALLY AIRED JANUARY 31, 1962
Recap: When The Alan Brady Show begins its annual talent search to discover the next great child star, pushy stage mothers who live near all of the show’s writers begin begging for private auditions, much to Rob’s annoyance.
Reaction: With shows like Toddlers & Tiaras and Dance Moms airing nowadays, stage moms have gotten crazier than ever… but that doesn’t mean they weren’t crazy at all in 1962. We see a different side of Rob as he becomes uncharacteristically angry and rude as the demands of private auditions continue to pour in, but his frustration is largely understandable.
Favorite moment: The mayor’s daughter reciting a 19-stanza poem over the phone while roller skating

Rob intends to make an angry call to the parents of the boy he thinks taught Ritchie the bad word. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)
Rob intends to make an angry call to the parents of the boy he thinks taught Ritchie the bad word. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

SEASON 1, EPISODE 20: “A WORD A DAY”
DIR. JOHN RICH
WRITTEN BY JACK RAYMOND
ORIGINALLY AIRED FEBRUARY 7, 1962
Recap: Ritchie uses a bad word in front of Laura one day. Rob and Laura have very different ideas on how to best handle the situation.
Reaction: Ah, the joys of parenting. This episode made me remember the first time that I said a “bad word” in front of my mom. I was in fourth grade, and I backpedalled as hard as a I could (“I said flunk! I swear!”).
Favorite moment: Sally asking Buddy to leave the room when Rob says that he can’t repeat the word that Buddy said “in mixed company.”

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3 thoughts on “Recap and React: The Dick Van Dyke Show ep. 16 – 20

  1. *Gasp!* I love love LOVE the first photo that you’ve posted of Dick van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore on stage with the studio audience in the background. I’m stealing it as wallpaper for my phone.

    Like

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