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The Official Dick Van Dyke Show Book: The Definitive History and Ultimate Viewer's Guideto Television's Most Enduring Comedy Paperback – December 1, 1994


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion; 1st edition (December 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786880082
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786880089
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,510,748 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Definitive is a much-abused word, especially in subtitles, but this time it's used properly. The author of Classic Sitcoms (1987), Waldron combines nostalgia with substance, offering not only the expected stills, plot summaries, and backstage anecdotes, but also some fascinating commentary on what made the Dick Van Dyke Show unique in television history. Drawing extensively on the recollections of the show's creator, principal writer, and producer, Carl Reiner, Waldron argues that the saga of Rob, Laura, Buddy, and Sally took the sitcom genre in a new direction, away from complete reliance on I Love Lucy-like slapstick and toward a more reality-based version of comedy. Reiner, in fact, was famous for his obsession with "realies," carefully observed snippets of reality: "How do you use that rubber thing on the end of a toothbrush?" he once asked. "Put that in the show." Put it in the show they did--and with enough frequency to create a timelessness rare in television of any kind. The show's fans already span multiple generations, and there's no end in sight as long as the reruns keep coming, and Rob keeps tripping over (or sidestepping) that confounded ottoman. Definitive show, definitive book. Ilene Cooper

Review

“It was the very best time of my life and Vince's book helps me recall every treasured moment. Thanks, Vince!"   Dick Van Dyke



"Wonderful. You got all the facts down in the right order.  No embellishments.  All the truth.  Somebody finally got the whole story right.”  Rose Marie



The Official Dick Van Dyke Show Book is the best reference book on my shelf.  It makes it even more fun to watch the show, if that's possible.” 

Morey Amsterdam


“What an unexpected pleasure to read a book on a subject about which I thought I knew everything, only to find out that I didn’t. A very serious contribution to understanding what really were the best years of my theatrical life. I’d say it was a wonderfully scholarly work--but I won’t, because I don’t want to scare people away from a book that’s as much fun to read as this is.” Carl Reiner, producer/creator of The Dick Van Dyke Show



“Vince's tribute to our show offers as accurate a snapshot of the seriesand the era that begat itas any I've seen.”  Sheldon Leonard, Executive Producer



“A compelling narrative. . . . Waldron waltzes through the series’ story as gracefully as Van Dyke sidestepped his living room ottoman.” Entertainment Weekly



“Vince Waldron lovingly and very thoroughly recounts the history of The Dick Van Dyke Show." Los Angeles Daily News



"The definitive history...offers a wealth of backstage anecdotes."           

Emmy Magazine
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Filled with great behind the scenes stories and antecdotes.
Sammy
After reading about the creation of the show, I'm even more in awe of Carl Reiner.
Janie A.
I had read the earlier book and found this one to be even more fun to read.
Connie Tressler

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By David Von Pein on July 21, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book features an amazing amount of insight into one of the very best television programs to ever grace the airwaves, "The Dick Van Dyke Show".
If you're an avid fan of this 1961-1966 CBS-TV program, trust me, you will NOT be able to stop turning pages until you've read the whole thing!
In each chapter, we learn new tidbits of behind-the-scenes information. There's info (including some brief biographical data) about every single member of the show's stellar cast.
For example: Did You Know .... that the audience laughter went on so long when Greg Morris & his on-screen spouse entered the Petrie home at the end of the episode "That's My Boy??" that the editor actually had to cut out some of the audience hysterics in order to fit the episode into the allowable timeframe? (Too bad, too. I'd love to have heard the WHOLE thing. A great episode indeed.)
The book also reveals the fact that Mary Tyler Moore stormed off the set in a huff one time, while doing the ultimately-classic episode, "Never Bathe On Saturday". She was upset because she was off-camera and talking through a door for most of the show. But, after seeing how funny the show worked as written, MTM felt bad about her tirade.
"Never Bathe On Saturday" features Dick's great line, after finding that the hotel bathroom door is locked: "Don't toy with me, you saucy wench." :) LOL!!!!
Plus there's a complete episode guide, with still more tidbits written within most of the episode descriptions.
I cannot imagine a more thorough and detailed Dick Van Dyke Show volume than this one. This book is a MUST for any fan of this highly-intelligent and magnificently-written TV program.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By J. Hanahan on February 7, 2001
Format: Paperback
I read this book in one night---it was that good. I must confess that I usually buy books about TV series for the episode guide and I usually don't get around to reading the entire book. I'm glad I read this one. It was very entertaining and very well written. I really enjoyed it. I'd love to see Vince Waldron use his talent to bring other books about other classic TV series to fans. I say to him, "You write 'em, and we'll read 'em." If you are a Dick Van Dyke Show fan, you'll want this book!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Rosella Ann Myles on October 10, 2001
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed this book, and would highly recommend it to any fan of "The Dick Van Dyke Show." It was very entertaining to read and informative as well. It was also very well written. I would give it more stars if I could.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 17, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is super awesome, it's just the best episode guide book ever written and I'm kind of partial since The Dick Van Dyke Show is my favorite classic TV show, I especially like the episode guide part which explained in a wonderful well written detail about each different episode, when they were made when they were originally shown on TV what they were about, who the guest actors were etc. I very strongly recommend this amazing book to any major Dick Van Dyke Show fan!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Steven Cain on March 21, 2004
Format: Paperback
The other reviewers have pretty well covered it. This show was as good as it gets, and it never seems to date with time.
This book is an invaluable guide to the greatest show/series of all time, and represents oustanding value. The pairing of Dick and Mary was a stroke of genius, and the chemistry between them lifted this brilliantly conceived and well-written series onto another level. Remember the 'Nuts' episode?
Even the cutesy touches, such as the way Dick randomly tripped over or side-stepped the ottoman just added to the seemingly endless magic that was the Dick Van Dyke Show.
I had been itching to get my paws on this guide ever since I read Mary's autobiography After All, in which she rightly sings the show's praises - they both won Emmys of course - and this Definitive History illustrates just why it was out there on its own.
A wonderful book, and absolutely essential for the serious fan of this unique and unforgettable series.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By cal vespa on August 23, 1999
Format: Paperback
The Dick Van Dyke Show book by Mr Waldron far exceeded my expectations. It answered many questions that I had wondered about the DVD Shows' creation, ongoing creative process, and its creator and cast deciding to cease production. Fans of DVD or MTM themselves as well as fans of classic teevee generally I'd expect would all find this highly enjoyable.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Janie A. on November 19, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book answers every question a fan of the Dick Van Dyke Show could have. And then it tells behind-the-scenes stories we wouldn't have heard in any other way. After reading about the creation of the show, I'm even more in awe of Carl Reiner. He's obviously multi-talented, but I also love the part of the story about his work ethic - how he came to write an entire season of the show one summer, based solely on his own vision, even before there was a show to write for. I've already recommended this book several times. I have such respect for the amount of research the author (and all those who assisted) did, in order to get these stories right.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By ricardo_guerrero on June 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is *da book* on "The Dick Van Dyke Show", but it's really far more than that. It is the finest book on a TV sitcom I've ever come across. Waldron painstakingly discusses everything you'd ever want to know about the show, and he interviewed (seemingly) everyone connected with the show, including Carl Reiner, Mary Tyler Moore, Dick, Larry Matthews, Rose Marie, and many of the writers. If you're a DVDS fan, you've gottta have this tome on hand. I can't recommend it highly enough. I fervently hope Vince will do subsequent books on "Cheers" and other sitcoms...he's the ONLY man for the job.
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