Prepare to feel old all of you who were around for the first airing of The Dick Van Dyke Show. It happened 50 years ago on October 3, 1961.
The show is a comedy classic and has proven to be a valuable resource for comedy writers even in the present day. There has been many an episode of Friends where I have turned to my daughter and said, “Dick Van Dyke Show, 1963″ and then explained from whence the Friends writers have acquired their plot. It even happens on The Big Bang Theory”, one of the best sitcoms around these days. And speaking of The Big Bang Theory, did you know that Sheldon and Leonard are named after Sheldon Leonard, the producer of, you guessed it, The Dick Van Dyke Show.
So what does this show have to do with adoption. Nothing directly but it did have something to do with saving my sanity. The Dick Van Dyke Show went off the air about two years before my son was born. But, it went into syndication right after he was born. The Dick Van Dyke Show made me laugh even though post everything my heart was breaking. It still makes me laugh. No matter how many times I watch it.
One of my favourite episodes is the one where Rob becomes convinced that they have been given the wrong baby to bring home from the hospital. Laura doesn’t care what Rob thinks. She knows it’s her baby because, of course, a mother knows these things.
I read an interesting piece of trivia about that episode. When Rob is collecting Laura at the hospital, he, being very concerned and protective, doesn’t want her to do anything, including carrying the baby. In the original script, Laura’s response to this was, “I carried him for nine months, I think I can carry him out of the hospital.” The censors made them take that line out.
We are having a little dinner party at our house to celebrate. We are having a roast because I think that is what Laura usually made if it was a special occasion. We will be putting on the white linen table cloth and the silver and the candles. I might even put on a dress and find my pearls. And after dinner we will watch Episode One. It’s the one where Rob wants Laura to go out to a dinner but she is worried that Richie may be sick. After we watch that one, maybe we’ll watch another. And then maybe another and another.
Thank you Dick, Mary et al. for making us laugh. Thank you Carl Reiner for having the idea in the first place.
* Rob is also the name of my son’s father. That is a whole other post!