Recap and React: The Dick Van Dyke Show, season 4, episodes 11 – 15

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Special note: Happy belated birthday to Dick Van Dyke, who celebrated his 89th yesterday!

Alan's companies are like the flowers in the vase -- some are healthier than others, and the one that pays Buddy and Sally isn't doing so well. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Alan’s companies are like the flowers in the vase — some are healthier than others, and the one that pays Buddy and Sally isn’t doing so well. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Season 4, Episode 11: “It Wouldn’t Hurt Them to Give Us a Raise”
Directed by Peter Baldwin
Written by Jay Burton and Ernest Chambers
Originally aired December 2, 1964
Recap:
Rob and his fellow writers hope to get a pay raise from the show after reading that a newer show’s writers are the highest-paid in the TV world, but when Rob is left to negotiate for them all, his bargaining skills leave a lot to be desired.
Reaction:
Undervalued and underpaid: it’s a struggle that’s more relevant than ever for many people today. However, Buddy and Sally’s woes aren’t exactly relatable, seeing as they’re highly-paid TV writers complaining about not being the most highly paid. The episode is still quite funny. I love the long-winded explanation of all of Alan Brady’s many corporations, and the fact that Buddy and Sally can’t get raises because the company that pays their checks is struggling to sell Martin & Lewis comic books.
Favorite quotes/moments: Sally refusing to even write a lunch order until she gets a raise + Rob ranting while brushing his teeth

Rob can barely stay awake when he gets home from his golf outing. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Rob can barely stay awake when he gets home from his golf outing. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Season 4, Episode 12: “The Death of the Party”
Directed by Al Rafkin
Written by Bill Persky and Sam Denoff
Originally aired December 9, 1964
Recap:
Laura’s planning a dinner party and has invited a few of her relatives over, hoping to have a lovely evening. But there’s a hitch in her plan when Rob comes home from a golfing trip with a terrible cold.
Reaction:
Not the funniest episode — Laura not seeing the signs that Rob is sick (he keeps his coat on, and keeps sneezing loudly!) is a little too difficult to believe, and I’m sure her family would have understood if he wanted to cut the party short. There are a few great moments, though, like Millie’s little ramble about the nature of friendships, and how she’s puzzled by the fact that she usually only has conversations with Laura, not Laura and Rob both. And Laura’s uncle’s guesses during the game of charades are golden!
Favorite quotes/moments:
Rob thinking that licorice ice cream is chocolate and buying it… when he was asked to pick up vanilla + “It would’ve been funny if my golf score was 98.6!” + “The Manchurian Canter-dirt!”

Sally promises she won't try to put on a show for the reporter. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Sally promises she won’t try to put on a show for the reporter. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Season 4, Episode 13: “My Two Show-Offs and Me”
Directed by Jerry Paris
Written by Sheldon Keller and Howard Merrill
Originally aired December 16, 1964
Recap:
When Mel tells The Alan Brady Show‘s writers that a journalist from a magazine will be visiting their office to sit in on a writing session, Rob and his “two show-offs” let their egos get in the way of their ability to work together.
Reaction:
Rose Marie and Morey Amsterdam do such a great job of going over-the-top to fake Rob into thinking they’re dressed to impress the reporter. Buddy swaggers into the office dressed like a sea captain, with a skip in his step. Sally wears her best dress and puts on the voice of flighty society woman. Luckily they don’t act like this in front of the reporter… but the interview is still a total bomb due to a case of mistaken identity, of all things! This is a pretty great episode.
Favorite quotes/moments: “Will you please tell Chicken Little he’s wanted in the hen house?” + Sally coming in for the interview with a fur coat and fancy hat

Neil is elated when Rob agrees to sign his self-penned letter of recommendation. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Neil is elated when Rob agrees to sign his self-penned letter of recommendation. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Season 4, Episode 14: “Stretch Petrie vs. Kid Schenk”
Directed by Jerry Paris
Written by Garry Marshall and Jerry Belson
Originally aired December 30, 1964
Recap:
Rob and Laura receive a mysterious package one day and find that it was sent to them by Schenk, an obnoxious man they’ve known for years who is trying to get a job at the ad agency that works with The Alan Brady Show.
Reaction:
The show finds another great guest star in Jack Carter as Neil Schenk — an egotistical, somewhat dishonest, and highly energetic old pal of Rob. He brings a lot of laughs and his high level of charisma are a great benefit to the episode.
Favorite quotes/moments:
Rob: “You’re terrible!”/Schenk: “I know, but I’m adorable.”

Rob bargains with a homeless man who finds the script in the train station. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Rob bargains with a homeless man who finds the script in the train station. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Season 4, Episode 15: “Brother, Can You Spare $2500?”
Directed by Jerry Paris
Written by Garry Marshall and Jerry Belson
Originally aired January 6, 1965
Recap:
An Alan Brady Show script is held for ransom, after Rob loses it and it’s found by a homeless man.
Reaction:
I was a bit apprehensive going into this episode, having read a brief synopsis beforehand. The midcentury isn’t exactly known for handling sensitive issues like homelessness well. Unsurprisingly, the guy is consistently referred to as a “bum” (both by himself and by Rob and the gang) and painted as an opportunist, upping his price after Rob offers him $25 to return the script. In the end, he seems to almost redeem himself — staying away from alcohol, buying a new suit — but it turns out he’s just started stealing scripts from other shows. It’s all meant to be funny, and some viewers may find it so, but I just couldn’t enjoy this story.
Favorite quotes/moments:
The clerk calling the lost and found “the pulse of the city”

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