Sunday, September 30, 2012


I have one last example of a TV show within a TV show that would have an effect on life in the Mirror Toobworld.

Carl Reiner created a sitcom idea based on his own life - that of a comedy writer for a television variety show. We know it today as 'The Dick Van Dyke Show' which starred DVD as Rob Petrie.

From the IMDb:
Rob is asked to write an amusing bulletin for the PTA bazaar. Richie is having a difficult time explaining to his friends just what his father does at work and he's taking out his frustration on his father. Laura thinks it would be a good idea for Rob to take Richie with him to the office for a day so he can see first hand what his dad does. Rob is skeptical this will work but agrees to give her plan a try. [Written by tomtrekp ]

If you're a fan of 'The Dick Van Dyke Show', you should recognize that basically as the 22nd episode from the first season, "Father Of The Week".

However, Reiner saw the property as a vehicle for himself as Rob Petrie and he produced that script as a pilot for a show called "Head Of The Family". But the network didn't see Reiner as being right for the part, even though he WAS the part. So Dick Van Dyke, fresh off a success on Broadway in "Bye Bye Birdie", was hired and Reiner not only wrote most of the scripts and produced the show, but he also took the role of tyrannical star of 'The Alan Brady Show', Alan Brady his own self.

The true final episode of 'The Dick Van Dyke Show' is "The Last Chapter", bringing to a close a running sub-plot of Rob writing his memoirs:

From the IMDb:
Rob and Laura decide to put aside all else for one evening after Rob tells Laura that he has finished the manuscript for his book. Laura will read the manuscript while a nervous Rob watches her reading, he trying to gage her reaction. Their plans change when Laura refuses to let him watch. As Laura starts reading, she is excited to learn that the book is the story of their life, and she begins to reminisce about the situations written. Regardless of Laura's reaction, Rob is equally as anticipatory about the reaction of the publisher to who he sent the manuscript.

As it turned out, Alan Brady bought the rights to the book so that he could turn it into a TV sitcom for himself, (albeit many years later once his variety show went off the air - as if that would ever happen!)

So in Mirror Toobworld, there are two Rob Petries (as Rob played by DVD did appear on TV himself). The other one looked like Alan Brady, who looked like Carl Reiner.....

Here is the only known episode from Alan Brady's sitcom:

And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, marks the September entry in our year-long salute to 'The Dick Van Dyke Show' in celebration of its fifty years since the first episode aired. (And got it in just under the wire!)

Next week, we wrap up the theme on that anniversary day. One of the pieces I'll be posting the answer to this trivia question which I posted back at the beginning a year ago:

'The Dick Van Dyke Show' has two somewhat tenuous connections to Andy Warhol. One was "outside the box" - one of those six degrees of separation situations on the production side. The other was within the "reality" of the show - one of Andy Warhol's works of art actually appeared in an episode.

No one's even taken a crack at answering either part of it, so you still have a chance to gain the bragging rights. If you win, you could be awarded the Richard Rosebud Petrie Prize - combining presents from the episodes "Punch Thy Neighbor" and "Empress Carlotta's Necklace"!


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