Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Back in November, I promised a new post about 'The Dick Van Dyke Show' on the first day of the month until next year's anniversary for the show. And here we are, into the second month and I've already broken that promise.

Better late than never, though, right? Hopefully.....
While Rob Petrie was in the Army, he reluctantly hosted a contest to win a date with Camp Crowder's "Bivouac Baby". The reason he did so reluctantly was because the Bivouac Baby happened to be his girl-friend, USO dancer Laura Meehan.

Among the soldiers in the audience, hoping for a chance to win was one guy who was identified in the credits as just "Heckler". He needled Rob about how the eventual winner was going to get the chance to take his girl-friend out on the town - well, to a Chinese restaurant, anyway.

And when Rob tried to invalidate the winner of the contest because he wasn't there in person to accept the "prize" - and then to take it for himself! - this heckler led the booing until the contest winner did show up.
It could be that Rob and the heckler met up again years later in 1966. By this time, he was working as a bartender in an Albany, New York, hotel. And Rob was hoping for the chance to watch a fashion show on the bar's TV since the one in his room was broken. However, the bartender had to follow union rules - once the bar's piano player began her set, the TV had to g off.
Because of the passage of time since Rob had been at Camp Crowder with the heckler, it didn't seem as though the two of them recognized each other.

As a hazard of the job, I guess, that bartender became an alcoholic. He quit the business and moved to Hollywood, California, in hopes of making a fresh start. There he got a job as a gopher at the TV studio where 'Inspector Lucerne' was filmed. And he became friends with the show's star, Ward Fowler. (By this point, we learned that the heckling bartender's name was Mark Davis.)
Fowler planned to murder Claire Daley, the producer of 'Inspector Lucerne', in order to end her blackmailing of him. It turns out that she knew he had been a deserter from the Army during the Korean Conflict and had gone to Canada where he became an actor. Fowler used Mark Davis as part of his alibi, first by drugging his drink. (Davis being an alcoholic was established in this episode. Fowler knew this and figured on Mark being too embarrassed about passing out to become suspicious.) He then reset Mark's watch and recorded a sports broadcast so that he could play it back for Mark when he woke up. That way, Mark would be convinced that it was playing in real time.

And so while Mark Davis was out cold, Fowler murdered Claire Daley.
Fowler's big mistake was resetting Mark's watch to the correct time once he fell asleep again. Mark always kept it five minutes fast so that he could be on time to do things in his job at the studio.

It may have been unjust, since it wasn't Mark's fault, but it could be that he was fired from the studio because of his "involvement" in the murder. If so, he could have set himself up with a shop (perhaps a pawn shop) near the beaches of Los Angeles County. There he met a lifeguard named Cody Madison in 1996, who wanted a gold medallion appraised which he had found on the ocean floor. Knowing it was worth far more, Mark offered Cody 3500 dollars for it, but Cody turned him down.

As always with my Toobworld theories, this is all just conjecture.....
'The Dick Van Dyke Show' - "No Rice At My Wedding"
'The Dick Van Dyke Show' - "Bad Reception In Albany"
'Columbo' - "Fade In To Murder"
'Baywatch' - "Go For The Gold"

If anybody has access to screen captures of Bert Remsen in that episode of 'Baywatch', I'd be most appreciative to get one.....

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