Before The Dick Van Dyke Show
, suburbia was never portrayed on television as a haven of sophistication. We never followed Ozzie Nelson to work. And we never, ever fantasized what Ward and June Cleaver did behind closed doors. But Your Show of Shows
veteran Carl Reiner's groundbreaking series broke the staid, sitcom mold. Just consider Mary Tyler Moore's Laura Petrie, the ravishing wife of Dick Van Dyke's comedy writer, Rob Petrie. "I'm just a housewife," she proclaims in the episode "To Tell or Not to Tell," just before breaking into an incendiary bossa nova in the Petrie living room. In "The Return of Happy Spangler," she is jokingly identified as Jackie Kennedy. But the comparison is apt. She's got style (those capri pants scandalized the show's sponsors!); she's got grace. The Dick Van Dyke Show
boasts a peerless ensemble, gold-standard writing, and characters who have become icons. How many comedy writers were inspired to get into the business by watching Rob and his staff, man-hungry Sally Rogers (Rose Marie) and old school "human joke machine" Buddy Sorrell (Morey Amsterdam), brainstorm sketches for tyrannical boss Alan Brady (much discussed, and much feared, but never seen in season 1)?
Much of the comedy in the first season springs from Rob juggling his glamorous career with his harried home life. In the first episode, he compels his over-protective wife to attend a party at Alan Brady's, though she is worried son Ritchie (Larry Matthews) is sick ("He turned down his cupcake"). In "Washington vs. the Bunny," Rob must choose between a business trip and seeing Ritchie in a school play. In another episode, Rob forgets "Forty-Four Tickets" he had promised to the P.T.A. But back to Laura (and about time!). As the season unfolds, Moore comes into her own as a gifted comedienne, and she takes her stock character to dizzy new heights, as witness "My Blonde-Haired Brunette" and the classic "The Curious Thing About Women," the one with the inflatable boat. A pop culture benchmark, The Dick Van Dyke Show is must-own television. --Donald Liebenson
Trip into the living room of comedy writer Rob Petrie (Dick Van Dyke) along with his lovely wife Laura (Mary Tyler Moore), wisecracking coworkers and nutty neighbors. Winner of 15 Emmy Awards, this groundbreaking series is consistently ranked among the top TV comedies of all time and renowned for its topnotch cast and stellar writing. Now enjoy the first season's entire 30 episodes, each digitally remastered to its original full-length version.
30 episodes on 5 discs: The Sick Boy and the Sitter, The Meershatz Pipe, Jealousy, Sally and the Lab Technician, Washington vs. the Bunny, Oh How We Met the Night That We Danced, The Unwelcome Houseguest, Harrison B. Harding of Camp Crowder MO, My Blonde-Haired Brunette, Forty-Four Tickets, Tell or Not to Tell, Sally Is a Girl, Empress Carlotta's Necklace, Buddy Can You Spare a Job?, Who Owes Who What?, Sol and the Sponsor, The Curious Thing About Women, Punch Thy Neighbor, Where Did I Come From?, The Boarder Incident, A Word a Day, The Talented Neighborhood, Father of the Week, The Twizzle, One Angry Man, Where You Been Fassbinder?, The Bad Old Days, I Am My Brother's Keeper, The Sleeping Brother, The Return of Happy Spangler.