Why & When The Dick Van Dyke Show Was Born
by Carl Reiner Hardback
In 1960, Carl Reiner shot the pilot for a comedy series titled “Head of the Family,” starring Carl Reiner. The show was about a writer who lived with his family in New Rochelle, New York and commuted to his job in Manhattan, writing on a TV comedy show. “Head of the Family” aired only once. So Carl had moved on, until Sheldon Leonard came along and said they would not fail this time because, “we’ll get a better actor to play you.” And thus, “The Dick Van Dyke Show” was born.
“Why and When ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show’ Was Born” is a recounting of behind-the-scenes stories, many of which only Carl could know, about the casting, writing and shooting of “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” It includes the real life happenings in the lives of Carl and his family and friends, which inspired many of the episodes, often proving that truth is exactly as strange as fiction – like the episode where Ritchie had to ward off a bullying woodpecker.
It also includes the real life happenings surrounding “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” with all the wonderful actors who brought these beloved characters into our homes every week from 1961 to 1966 – Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore, Rose Marie, Morey Amsterdam, Richard Deacon, Jerry Paris, Ann Morgan Guilbert, Larry Mathews, all the talented guest players and, of course, Carl Reiner as Alan Brady.
“Why and When ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show’ Was Born” is a must-read for any fan of the show, and we will just say, thank you, Carl, for the birth of this smart, sophisticated, groundbreaking comedy, a birth which we continue to celebrate over five decades later.
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