Friday, July 6, 2012


In October of last year, 'The Dick Van Dyke Show' celebrated its fiftieth anniversary - which is hard to believe since the humor and characters seem so fresh today. (Yeah, okay there are some parts that are hopelessly dated but still......)

On that day, I posted about 29 stories about the series in that 24 hour time period. And rather than burning me out, I was determined to keep the celebration going. So once a month until this coming October, Inner Toob is publishing a post about the show. And here's the latest entry.

Sadly, it's more of a "Hat Squad" tribute as we look back at two actors who recently passed away and who portrayed characters on 'The Dick Van Dyke Show'.

First up is Richard Dawson who passed away on June 2. He played the Hollywood star Tracy Rattigan, otherwise known as "Racy Tracy Rattigan".

Based on his look, I think Tracy Rattigan was supposed to be based on Richard Burton.

Dawson was better known for 'Hogan's Heroes', 'Family Feud', 'Rowan & Martn's Laugh-In', and 'Match Game', but he also was a regular on Dick Van Dyke's other major sitcom, 'The New Dick Van Dyke Show', in which he played Richard Richardson. (O'Bviously his parents had no sense of an imagination.....)

Twenty-four days later, we lost Doris Singleton, one of the great supporting troupers in the business behind Toobworld. Most of Team Toobworld remembers her as Caroline Appleby in nearly a dozen episodes of 'I Love Lucy'. (She also played Clara Appleby in Skitlandia when she guest-starred in an episode of Red Skelton's comedy show.) For me, the first thing I always think of is an episode of 'All In The Family' - "Edith's Jury Duty". Lillian Stonehurst was Edith's room-mate when they were sequestered while rendering a verdict, and she tried her best to get Edith to change her vote. (As Archie Bunker called her, Edith was the "one lone dingbat" on the jury.) In making her argument, Ms. Stonehurst revealed her own prejudices.

On 'The Dick Van Dyke Show', she played three separate women:

Mrs. Kendall in "The Talented Neighborhood"

Lorraine Gilman in "My Two Showoffs And Me"

Doris Darwell in "Girls Will Be Boys"

I suppose the argument could be made that all three women are related, maybe even sisters (not necessarily triplets). The difference in last names would be due their marriages. 

And as to why Rob never noticed that they all looked alike, we just have to ascribe that to some physical disparity that just isn't noticeable to the audience viewing at home. (I'm also toying with the idea that Doris Darwell could be either a clone or a member from some alien race - a la the Red Lectroids of "Buckaroo Banzai" - who use the code name of "Doris" to identify themselves as being members of the same secret group, just as the Red Lectroids did with all of them being named "John".  If you check her IMDb resume, you'll see Ms. Singleton played quite a few characters named Doris.)

Lorraine Gilman worked for Manhattan Magazine, which was the same publication for which an Art Carney character wrote a piece about an unsympathetic comedian (played by Jackie Gleason.) This happened in "The Laugh Maker", an episode of 'Studion One'. So a connection could be made between both shows.

As the previously mentioned Red Skelton would have said, "Good night and may God bless."


All but one of the pictures accompanying today's post are courtesy of Vince Waldron's Facebook page dedicated to his fantastic book about 'The Dick Van Dyke Show'. You should not only "like" the page, but you really should get this book if you call yourself a fan of the show!

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