There is no question that this is the best sit-com of all time, with one of the great ensemble casts ever assembled.
Carl Reiner was a staff writer for Sid Caesar on his "Show of Shows", giving him much of the inspiration of Rob Petrie's character.
Where does one start in assessing the impact of this show? In a nutshell, this was a show that flouted the conventions of the sit-coms that had gone before it...and unless I'm mistaken, it was the first major t-v series that revolved around a "mythical" and all-to-real television show.
It was the perfect vehicle for Van Dyke to display his acting ability and skill with physical comedy as well.
The then-very young Mary Tyler Moore really grew into her role through the years, and got the attention of a very young boy ( to say nothing of CBS and the nation) with those Capri slacks she wore.
Morey Amsterdam - Rose Marie - Richard Deacon - Ann-Morgan Guilbert, etc...what an ensemble!
And, in case you're wondering, my favorite episode was "Coast-To-Coast Big Mouth". The scene where Laura stands in Alan's office...while he looks at a row of now-useless hairpieces... it still cracks me up after all these years.