Sunday, July 19, 2015
I’ve written a spec DICK VAN DYKE SHOW. Wrote it as if it were 1965. I then sent it to Carl Reiner, the creator of the show, and Bill Persky, who wrote some of the classic episodes and was one of the showrunners the last few seasons. I asked for their reaction and any notes.
Carl has said he will read and respond, but obviously he has a lot on his plate. As of today he hasn’t gotten back, but I hope he soon will.
Bill Persky has responded. We had a great conversation, discussed the script at length, and he graciously pointed out the good things and the things he would have done differently. It was a fascinating and enlightening discussion.
So here’s my plan: Over the next four days I will post the script. Then Friday Questions and after the weekend I will share my conversation with Bill Persky. Who knows? I might get lucky and Carl will weigh in by then too and I will add his thoughts to the conversation. If not, whenever he does I'll post it.
I will also offer my observations on writing the script – what surprised me, what was easy, my thought process in how and why I constructed the story the way I did, etc. Hopefully, this experiment will provide a fresh fun look into the process of sitcom writing.
I was listening to a Kevin Smith podcast recently and he confessed that although he knew about THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW, he really had never watched it. He didn’t know the characters or situations. This seemed baffling to me. For my money, if you’re a student of screen comedy in any form you need to watch THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW.
So I will be devoting most of this week and a portion of next week to the show – well aware that my traffic may plunge. But what the hell? I had a great time writing the script and hopefully you’ll enjoy reading it, whatever your age. We fade in tomorrow morning.
By Ken Levine at 6:00 AM