Unlike far too many shows today, 'The Dick Van Dyke Show' didn't have many celebrities appearing on the series as themselves. (It's my opinion that it was Sammy Davis, Jr.'s appearance on 'All In The Family' that really opened the flood-gates, even though there had been many such instances in the past on other shows, especially 'I Love Lucy'.) Off-hand, I can think of only a few - Fred Blassie in "The Twizzle" and Bert Gordon and Arlene Harris in "The Return Of Edwin Carp".
They also didn't try to con us with appearances by actors who were supposedly famous people (unless you want to count Danny Brewster's impressions of then-current celebs like Jack Paar, Robert Stack, Jack E. Leonard, and President Kennedy.) Examples of this in the past on other shows have been "President Bill Clinton" on 'The Nanny', "Martin Scorsese" in the first episode of 'The Sopranos', and "Queen Elizabeth II" in 'Doctor Who'.
But one thing they did do every so often was to introduce a guest character who was clearly a stand-in for somebody else, somebody famous. A roman a toob, if you will. (And even if you won't.....)
So here's an Inner Toob semi-regular feature, the "Super-Six List", in which I've chosen the six best guest characters who were based on real world celebrities....
1] HENRY WALDEN, "I'M NOT HENRY WALDEN!"
The author and historian played by Everett Sloane was meant to suggest Carl Sandburg, the poet and historian.
2] HARPER WORTHINGTON YATES, "BABY FAT"
The Pulitzer Prize-winning Southern playwright may as well have been called "Tennessee" for all that he resembled Tennessee Williams. There may have been some sub-text to the portrayal by Strother Martin to suggest Williams' lifestyle, but I don't want to read too much into it. Not that there's anything wrong with that......
3] TRACY RATTIGAN, "RACY TRACY RATTIGAN"
Richard Dawson played a British movie heart-throb (who was also a bounder and a cad) in a way that resembled Welsh-born Richard Burton.
4] DREW PATTON, "THE MAN FROM EMPEROR"
Hugh Hefner and Playboy magazine are the archetypes upon which so many men's magazine publishers are based in other TV shows. (Another example? Bo Buffington from 'The Odd Couple'. In fact, it had been so many years since I saw this episode, that I was surprised to find that it wasn't John Astin playing Drew.....
5] STEVIE PARSONS, "THE PEN IS MIGHTIER THAN THE MOUTH"
This time, the character is more of a combination of two late-night talk show hosts. Based on the name, Parsons was meant to suggest Steve Allen and Johnny Carson, both of whom hosted the 'Tonight' show.
6] RIC VALLONE, "LIKE A SISTER"
This is one of two instances on the series in which the person who is being fictionalized also played the role. (Chad & Jeremy as Freddie and Ernie, the British moptop duo known as The Redcoats, are the other example.) Vic Damone played Ric Vallone as a sex symbol singer of the old school crooner style, just like Damone at the time.