The Dick Van Dyke Show grew out of the situation comedies of the 1950's and brought North America into the new decade of the 1960's. While in it's early days it still had the influences of earlier 50's shows, it quickly transcended the formulaic 50’s comedies to be a unique and rare gem of a show. The Dick Van Dyke Show stood alone.
Out of the 157 episodes there are very few that would be considered duds. This show was made with quality. Quality writing, acting and comedic timing! And because it is relative “early television” there are no huge budgets or salaries. (Many of the stars wore their own clothes to save on the wardrobe budget!)
It made use of the standard comedy props like pratfalls, props, slapstick as did many of the shows of the time and those before. Using many of these tools, the Dick Van Dyke show would expose our This show began in a wonderfully optimistic time in America and the world. The future was looking bright, outer space and the moon was the new frontier and an energetic and charismatic president, with a chic and cultured wife were in the White House. In some ways many people felt that the Petrie’s were like the Kennedy’s.
This show made fun of our foibles, but in a good natured way. It was never a mean spirited show, it was never cynical.
The highly creative cast and crew used the usual tools to make us laugh, pratfalls, slapstick, silly situations. The big difference and one that adds to the allusion to “Camelot” is the addition of music, songs and dancing. Add to that the suburbia/dinner party feel. It seemed to give the show more class. The Dick Van Dyke Show was very hip for it’s time. The whole cast was talented and it set this show apart. Because Rob worked in the entertainment business, it wasn’t odd for them to be singing and dancing, in some way or another. They all performed at a cocktail party or two in the show. The Dick Van Dyke show was, and remains one of the most warm hearted and fun shows on TV.