Our favorites -- and the easiest to identify -- were always the ones written by the team of Garry Marshall & Jerry Belson. They were just a little more off-beat, a tad sharper and funnier. Our goal was to become the next Marshall & Belson – to have people think that our scripts were just a slight cut above all the rest.
Jerry Belson sent Matt a baby gift along with the following touching note:
Always remember I was funnier than your father.
He was, but then so were most of the writers on THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW.
Happy Birthday, Matt. Thanks for being my “Richie” but not nearly as dopey. I love you.
There’s a great new book out called THE OFFICIAL DICK VAN DYKE SHOW BOOK by Vince Waldron. I’m guessing it’s about the show.
In my recent poll of your all-time favorite sitcoms, THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW was number one. What makes that all the more remarkable is…
It’s fifty years old.
It’s in black-and-white.
Rob’s job no longer exists. There are no primetime variety shows starring nightclub comics. Are there even nightclub comics?
Not everyone in the cast was twentysomething and hot.
Writers had to bang out 39 episodes a year. At the most today shows produce 25.
The mores were so different back then. For standards & practice purposes, Rob & Laura (a married couple) slept in separate beds.
So why does THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW still resonate today? Because Carl Reiner created a show about real people, facing relatable problems, and behavior that is as true today as it was back in 1961. The comedy comes out of the characters, astute observation, and human nature not high-concept ideas or stylized formats. It seems like such a no-brainer but you’d be surprised. When the DICK VAN DYKE SHOW premiered it was considered positively ground-breaking. People acting like people was ground-breaking? Yep, when you consider this was the comedy era of talking animals, flying nuns, witches, bimbo robots, genies, Munsters, affluent Hillbillies, and favorite Martians.
It’s scary how fast time flies. I still can’t believe it – not that the DICK VAN DYKE SHOW is fifty. It’s timeless. How can my son be 29??? In any event, Carl Reiner and I are two proud parents. Although how can Carl Reiner be 89???